Before I proceed with a little breakdown on the guys that we did draft I must make a few comments. When posting my final mock draft with my draft guru John Crimmins, I made one overall point to him about Saturdays’ first and second rounds: the only thing that would make me upset would be drafting Josh Freeman. Not only did we draft him, but we traded up to get him. It’s not that I don’t think the guy could be a good QB in this league, he seems to have a lot of the qualities of a great QB (other than mediocre completion %’s), I just feel, and have stated this many times that I think the Bucs had more pressing needs than at the QB position. Judging by some of the comments coming out of our front office, they apparently thought much differently. There have been numerous leaks from either the Freeman camp, or our front office, that the Bucs signed Byron Leftwich just as a smokescreen, and that Luke McCown and Byron Leftwich have at most one year to prove their worth, if they wanted to get traded to a team. Raheem Morris did say he was married to Freeman for god sakes.
Watching teams like the Pats and Ravens masterfully move around the draft, moving backwards, and only moving forwards to get guys they targeted pains me as I watch my team unnecesarily trade up to get a guy in two different rounds. I don’t think that moving that 7th rounder or that 6th rounder (6th in the Freeman deal, 7th in the Kyle Moore deal) will hurt us, because I don’t feel like we have that many open roster spots, but I also don’t feel like either of those trades were neccesary. The Pats m0ved back numerous times and got a guy who I thought would have looked great in a Bucs uni in Ron Brace, and than proceeded to get another guy who would have been great in a Bucs uni in Darius Butler, and they got them both in the 2nd round. Watching our new regime throw picks away to move up 2 spots in the 1st and 4 spots in the 4th, was a smidge confusing to me.
Onto the players drafted.
Josh Freeman – Obviously the main prize for the Bucs front office this weekend was the player they consider to be their QB of the future. Raheem has a lot exeprience with Freeman after he was the defensive coordinator with the Wildcats in Freeman’s 2006 sophomore season. I am concerned about Freeman’s subpar performances against the Big 12′s better teams. Against the 5 best teams in the Big 12 (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska) Freeman was 89 for 170 for 218 yards a game with 5 TD’s and 6 INT’s and a combined 0-6 record. Now I’m fully aware of the sucktitue of the Kansas State team, but those are not numbers that scream NFL Qb to me.
Roy Miller – Miller seems to be a perfect fit for what Jim Bates is looking for in a DT. A big 300+ guy that can clog the middle and stop the run is an integral part of Bates scheme. The guy is a freak in the weight room bench pressing 500+ and 700lb squats. This is not going to be a guy who comes in and gets sacks, but is in more of the Casey Hampton mold. These kinds of players are not exciting on the stats sheet, but are an important part of a defensive scheme such as ours. I think he will immediately be in the roation at the DT spot and might even end up competing with Chris Hovan for a starting position.
Kyle Moore – Moore, like Miller is a guy who fits Jim Bates scheme to a T. 6’5″, 270 lb ends are right up Bates alley. Seems like a solid to above average end at both rushing the passer and stopping the run. I think he has the potential to be a Greg Spires like player in our new system. Never will eye popping numbers but will have the chance to be extremely consistent. Should compete for snaps at the LDE position with Greg White and Jimmy Wilkerson.
Xavier Fulton – I can’t pretend to know much about this other than what I have read since yesterday. I think that the Bucs are looking for a more agile player at the RT position where Jeremy Trueblood currently starts. If Jeremy Zuttah were moved to RT, a real possibility, Fulton seems like a poor man’s Zuttah in his ability to be a swing offensive lineman. He was formerly a defensive tackle, so he has experience moving roles and changing positions. In my mind I thought the Bucs would go after a combo Olineman like this in the hopes of Zuttah starting at RT. This will most likely move Trueblood to a backup LT and RT role if this were to happen.
Mel Kiper has the Bucs 15th in his draft grades on ESPN.com.
The Bucs could’ve stayed where they were and still gotten Josh Freeman, so I don’t understand the decision to trade up for him. He has a lot of upside, but he’s a risk/reward type of player because he isn’t as polished as some of the other top quarterbacks in this draft. The Bucs made some very solid picks throughout the draft, including defensive endKyle Moore in the fourth round and wide receiver Sammie Stroughter in the final round.
Topics: 2009 NFL Draft, Byron Leftwich, Casey Hampton, Chris Hovan, Darius Butler, Greg Spires, Greg White, Jeremy Trueblood, Jeremy Zuttah, Jim Bates, Jimmy Wilkerson, Josh Freeman, Kyle Moore, Luke McCown, Raheem Morris, Ron Brace, Roy Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Xavier Fulton