Yesterday’s top ten was capitalized by a move up from the Atlanta Falcons to grab Julio Jones, a very bold move that despite it’s fair share of criticisms I found to be extremely impressive. The Falcons see themselves as a team close to the top and just added an extremely impressive weapon to an already potent offense. The Bucs on the other hand were a bit conservative, acting very intelligently and picking up Adrian Clayborn, but hardly making a sexy pick or a bold move in the process.
Today, the Bucs could be bold. After getting a hulking, run-tough defensive end to play the right side, the Bucs could trade up and grab the former belle of the ball, Da’Quan Bowers. Bowers’ knee injury has caused him to plummet from potentially top 3 to still being on the board at pick 33 in the start of round two. You can’t help but feel for the kid, but he’s also going to have a lot of incentive to prove a lot of teams wrong and he won’t be around long in round two. The Patriots currently occupy the 33rd pick and I’m not sure they’re going to be interested in Bowers. But what they are typically interested in is accumulating more picks. The Patriots trade down more than any team in the league, if the player they want isn’t there or could be had later, they’re taking calls.
Based on the value chart NFL teams use to quantify picks, the Bucs could trade up from 51 to 33 by offering New England their 3rd round pick this year or next. There’s obviously other ways to play around with the trade too, but based on the value of the picks the 33rd pick is valued at 580, the 51st is 390. The Bucs’ 3rd round pick this year is 170. I’m assuming Belichick would be a stickler and ask for the Bucs’ 6th this year too. That would put it at approximately 577-580. The Bucs could certainly spring up and grab Da’Quan Bowers and frankly, I wouldn’t be opposed to being done for the day knowing next year Bowers, Gerald McCoy, Brian Price and Adrian Clayborn would be tormenting opposing offenses. That would be addressing the defensive end position aggressively and I think Tampa would be a force because of it.
Of course, Tampa could get stuck in a bidding war. They may have to go above value to get the pick, but on the other hand the Patriots could also be disinterested and the Bucs could get the pick cheaper from another team. Regardless, I think it would be worth the price to move up and grab Bowers. The tandem of Bowers and Clayborn with McCoy anchoring the middle would have massive potential. I’d love to see it actually unfold in Tampa.