I have been one of the most critical bloggers/writers in the Tampa Bay area of the Mark Dominik, Raheem Morris administration. I have not really hid my displeasure with the poor job that I thought that they did going into and through the 2009 season.
Hell, A few days ago, I even wrote a post, pleaing with the brass to not butcher this chance to replenish this Buccaneers roster in a way that could make us competitive for years to come. I thought our two biggest needs entering the draft were at DT, and at WR and apparently Raheem, Dominik and our scouts agreed with me.
The Bucs nailed the first two selections selecting Gerald McCoy and Brian Price. McCoy was almost a no brainer for us at 3, a guy who many people compare to Warren Sapp, who has a real knack for penetrating the pocket and getting to QB’s. He needs to put in some more work in the weight room, and probably put on about 10-12 lbs, but he has a very high ceiling and could be the guy the Buccaneers have truly been missing over the past half decade. I’m personally of the belief that if you are running a 4-3 defense, albeit a Cover 2, a basic 4-3 or some variation of it, that the entire core of the defense is based on the penetrating of the DT’s. Their ability to penetrate the pocket allows DE’s to face single teams, Linebackers to properly man their zones and corner backs to receive the necessary help by the safeties to make the plays that are needed. It all starts in the middle.
With this thinking in mind, the Buccaneers selected UCLA DT Brian Price with their first pick in the second round. I got about 30 immediate texts from pissed off fans wondering how we could take two DT’s in a row. Well based on what I just said about the DT’s being the base of the whole defense, and the fact that we currently have only DT on the roster that I believe is a serviceable DT in this league, Roy Miller, the Buccaneers selected a player who most teams had a first round grade on. Hell, many mock drafts had Price going as high as 12 to Miami in the first round. Price had 23.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in the 2009 season. Whereas Gerald McCoy needs to work on the weight room, Price is a workout warrior and should have no problems shedding centers and guards and allowing McCoy and our DE’s to roam free. Some might have thought of this as kind of a non-need pick, where I couldn’t disagree more. Roy Miller, Gerald McCoy, and Brian Price will create a fearsome trio of DT’s (DT’s need time in our penetrating defense) for years to come.
Most of our fans thought that the Bucs should have been looking WR with the Price pick, but in all actuality they were. The Bucs traded up to pick 39 with Oakland and selected the WR I thought was the 2nd best in the draft, Arrelious Benn. The biggest knock on Benn was his 2009 numbers at Illinois, but those numbers were not his fault. He had one of the worst BCS starting QB’s in the country in Juice Williams. Mark this down, Benn is very Anquan Boldinish. His route running will inevitably improve, but the guy is tough and has ridiculous hands.
The Bucs targeted another main area of concern with their 3rd round pick, selecting CB Myron Lewis from Vandy. I actually saw this guy play a few times on TV and was always impressed. He has what appears to be great top end speed, but lacked some gracefulness in recovering from misteps and misreads. If there is one thing that Raheem can do as a coach, its teach DB technique. Lewis has a high upside because of his tall frame and speed and should compete with EJ Biggers and Ronde Barber for time as the 2nd and nickel corner.
The Bucs took one of the true high risk high reward players with their first pick Saturday morning, taking WR Mike Williams from Syracuse. The guy got ridiculous draft grades from almost every scout, but every team was aware and concerned with his off the field issues. Williams was suspended for the 2009 season because of his academic issues and eventually just quit the team. Williams though has incredible size to speed ratio and is built very much like Arrelious Benn and the guy I keep comparing them too, Anquan Boldin. I’m personally of the belief that if the coaching staff can get Mike Williams head on straight, that the Bucs will have picked up the 2nd and 3rd best receivers in the 2010 NFL draft. The Bucs brass had to get weapons for Josh Freeman because Michael Clayton (not good), Maurice Stovall (proved nothing besides being a good special teams tackler) and Reggie Brown aren’t really putting fear into imposing defenses. A future trio of Benn, Williams and Stroughter gives Josh Freeman some fun, strong, versatile and fast targets to go along with Kellen Winslow.
While most people hate taking P’s or K’s in the draft, one of the Bucs needs was at P (Dirk Johnson punted us for last season people). Brent Bowden was one of the better Punters in the BCS last year and should prove to be a reliable punter for the Bucs for years to come.
I don’t know much about Cody Grimm or Erik Lorig, but my draft guru friend John Crimmins thinks that Grimm is a perfect fit for our defense and should see some playing time.
I do happen to know a lot of about Dekoda Watson, and the guy was an animal at FSU. He is undersized like every single FSU to play the Will spot to come into the draft, but instinctually, he is fantastic. He should compete for some backup snaps at WLB and SLB.
This was not a draft that the year old regime could afford to screw up. I have been very harsh on them in the past, but I am willing to give credit where credit is due. Props to Mark and Radio for freaking nailing this draft. As Colonel Hans Landa says in Inglorious Basterds…ITS A BINGGGGGOOOOOOO.
Topics: 2010 NFL Draft, Anquan Boldin, Arrelious Benn, Brent Bowden, Brian Price, Cody Grimm, Dekoda Watson, Dirk Johnson, EJ Biggers, Erik Lorig, Gerald McCoy, Josh Freeman, Juice Williams, Kellen Winslow, Mark Dominik, Maurice Stovall, Michael Clayton, Myron Lewis, Raheem Morris, Reggie Brown, Ronde Barber, Roy Miller, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Warren Sapp