Happy Draft Weekend, ladies and gentlemen! After a seemingly endless wait the 2012 NFL Draft is finally upon us and tonight the first round will kick off in New York City.
When then Buccaneers make their selection over the next three days, most importantly the next two (rounds 1-3), Bucs fans will begin to get a clear idea of what Greg Schiano’s take on the current Bucs’ roster is. Thus far beyond a few polite remarks and continually reminding the media that the team is “in the process of evaluating,” there has been little indication as to what the Bucs’ new head coach actually thinks.
By the end of the this weekend that picture will be a lot clearer.
The first two nights, three rounds, are where teams look for guys who will come in and make an impact immediately. You look for guys who you can develop and will fill roles later on, but early is when you upgrade and look to build around players with the potential to start.
Early in the draft is where you find replacements.
How does Greg Schiano feel about LeGarrette Blount? Well surely drafting Trent Richardson is a pretty big indication that Blount’s emotional playing style and tendency to fumble may not be what Schiano is after in a feature back. Even picking a guy in round two, especially if his skill set is more similar than complimentary to the former Duck’s, could be a sign that Blount is not in favor with this knew staff.
What is the thinking on Aqib Talib?
If the team fails to grab a corner in the first couple of rounds you may be able to take that as a sign they’re willing to let Talib stay in Tampa for another season. Everyone assumes he’s gone and the Bucs double up, but they could draft a tailback and linebacker with the first two picks. Do you really think the team wants to enter the season with Ronde Barber, Eric Wright and a third round pick holding down the corner position?
What does Schiano think of third year DT Gerald McCoy?
McCoy is the most expensive player on the Bucs, when he’s healthy he has played well but he’s also missed a lot of time at a position that is vital to the defense. If Tampa opts to surprise people and pick a defensive tackle, either via a trade down or even fifth overall, the writing will be on the wall about how much faith this regime has in the former third overall pick.
There’s a bunch of other glimpses into Schiano’s true feelings on personnel that we’ll receive throughout the course of the weekend too.
Will the Bucs trade anyone during the draft? Is there a position they draft for as if it’s a need, that maybe we didn’t think was a problem?
Schiano has a blank slate to work with here, and while he has to be competitive, he does have time to build the team the way he wants it to look. Maybe he isn’t a fan of any of the young defensive linemen that were brought in the past two seasons and wants to start over there. Maybe Mason Foster isn’t the kind of middle linebacker he likes in the middle of his defense. Hell, maybe he wants to add another dynamic tight end, who knows?
The point is, we’ll have a lot better idea after this weekend plays out.