Ashlie’s Dream Draft Scenario
The 2018 season had been a roller coaster of emotions, and as the season ended, we were once again faced with another playoff-less season for the 11th straight year.
That being said, the Buccaneers will have 6 picks in this year’s draft, and this is how I think they should use them.
Round 1: OL
You could argue a CB should be taken first, but with the turnstile that is Caleb Benenoch, somehow being the steady starter all year, and Dotson and Smith both struggling, fixing this o line should be the Bucs top priority. The offensive line has been a highway for an opposing defensive lineman, allowing them to chase Jameis Winston around and stopping any hopes of a rushing game. If the Bucs want to be a winning football team, they will need to be able to establish the run game, and that starts with having an offensive line that can create holes and push defensive lineman back on their heels. With Dotson and Smith both struggling, the Bucs have not been able to set the edge for their RB’s to bounce outside and attack the edge of the field. Most of Barber’s success had been found between the tackles up the middle, which is a great trait to have, but imagine how much better he would be if he could also stretch the field. Protection for Jameis will also minimize rushed throws, injuries, and hopefully, help him correct his turnovers.
Round 2: CB.
Rookie CB’s Carlton Davis and MJ Stewart have for the most part held their own this year. Both have dealt with injuries, but have played better than expected. Stewart’s lack of speed is a concern, however, as he often was trailing the WR’s that he covered. He can fix this in the upcoming offseason with both, weight and speed work, as well as harnessing a “closing speed” to break up pass attempts. Although the future of the CB’s in Tampa is promising, Brent Grimes is out of the door at One Buc Place, and he will not be back in Tampa, the Bucs will need to find a replacement for Grimes. Talents, such as Greedy Williams, DeAndre Baker, and Trevon Diggs could provide the speed Grimes had lacked while being the cornerstone of this Bucs defense. Maybe they can help Tampa to get back to the reputation it had in the 90’s-early 2000s.
Round 3: DE/EDGE
Okay, hear me out. Let me start off by saying JPP was the BEST offseason acquisition the Buccaneers made last season. JPP ended the season with 12.5 sacks and broke the double-digit sack curse of the Bucs not having a 10+ sacker since Simeon Rice. Picking up Carl Nassib off of waivers, after being cut from the Browns, was also a steal, as he has 6.5 sacks on the season and 12 huge tackles for losses. The acquisitions of Beau Allen and Vinny Curry, haven’t been as productive as Tampa hoped. They each have less than 21 or fewer tackles. Gerald McCoy is also having a somewhat “off” year as he has only 23 Tackles, but a respectable 6 sacks. His future in Tampa Bay could be in jeopardy for the first time. I, personally, believe he comes back under new coaching, but the Bucs could look to add to the puzzle piece to the D-line that should allow starting rotation of McCoy, Vea, JPP, and Nassib. One more big name could make this Bucs defensive line something to fear, again. Since week 10, they’ve accumulated the second most sacks in the league, and another speed rusher would only make them better.
Round 4: A SPEED RECEIVER
I should have underlined, highlighted, and italicized the word “speed” for this one. The Buccaneers have a top two – Yes, I went there – receivers in the league: Mike Evans, who has now five straight 1000-yard seasons as well as second-year stand out Chris Godwin. In all likelihood, thanks to his stellar 2018 campaign, Adam Humphries should make a return, and wear pewter and red, next season. Not knocking the skilled wide receiver set, but what the Bucs lack on offense, is a true SPEED. DeSean Jackson was supposed to be that guy for the Buccaneers, but after a rocky couple of seasons, Jackson is out of here. A speedy WR would take attention from Evans, and provide a deep threat, allowing the playbook to open up. Hopefully, we will see the Bucs being able to run the end around and the reverses that worked so well against them.
Round 5: OL/RB
Honestly, this could go either way. On the other hand, the Bucs have a running back issue. Peyton Barber is the Buccaneers’ starter as of now and has done a good job behind the inconsistent line that he had been handed this year. The real problem lies within the depth. The Bucs drafted Ronald Jones last year, and he’s really just held a roster spot. He’s seen 23 rushes for 44 yards. Granted, that’s one game’s worth of touches, but his pass-catching skills had also been a real problem. The Bucs could be looking to the future, and pick up another RB to put pressure on ROJO.
Round 6: LB
“BUT, ASHLIE THE BUCS HAVE ONE OF THE BEST LB DUOS IN THE LEAGUE.” Yes, they do. Lavonte David has been a standout OLB since he entered the league and has been snubbed from multiple Pro Bowls. Kwon Alexander or “LiTiRilla” has put up impressive numbers, before tearing his ACL earlier this year. Kwon is set to be an unrestricted free agent, but I think the Buccaneers resign him to join Lavonte David in pewter and red.
With that said, the Bucs could be THIN in the LB position, despite many guys returning from injured reserve, but that lack of depth may have the Buccaneers looking to lock one in late in the draft.
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