Here at the Pewter Plank, we are more than ready for the 2013 NFL Draft to get underway. With the teams entering the last weeks of preparation, more and more prospects are making visits, working out, talking with coaches and being evaluated by scouts and personnel staff. We have previously profiled the Buccaneers’ confirmed targets who have met with Bucs’ staff, check out those articles here and here.
Walter Football’s compilation of team prospect meetings has been updated for the Buccaneers, and there are a few big names on the list. You can check out the entire list here. We’ll give you some brief thoughts on some of the new names to the list.
Dee Milliner and Dion Jordan are among the players who have spent time meeting with the Bucs over the past couple weeks. Milliner, from Alabama, and Jordan, from Oregon, are two of the biggest names from two of the biggest schools in college football. We discussed the possibility of the Buccaneers trading up for Milliner in a previous article, and he’s obviously quite an impressive player. He’d have to prove a lot to Mark Dominik, who usually prefers players with more experience in college and more leadership qualities, but that’s what these visits can do for a prospect. Jordan is one of the most exciting players in the draft; a defensive lineman with speed and quickness, or a linebacker with size and strength. He’s definitely a “tweener” but he’s explosive and can get after a quarterback. Probably not the best fit with the Buccaneers, but he’s got the potential to be a great sack artists in the NFL, which means he’s worth a look.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson is another prospect who has met with Tampa Bay, and he was likely there to see if he could further prove he’s capable as a man-to-man defender. Dane Brugler of CBSSports and NFL Draft Scout had this to say about Wreh-Wilson:
He has lined up in both press and off-coverage, but struggles in his transition to quickly flip his hips and blanket his man downfield. Not every cornerback can play man coverage and I’m not sure I would trust Wreh-Wilson outside of zone coverage.
That’s not a positive statement for a player looking to catch on with the Buccaneers, despite his size and physical nature. Wreh-Wilson is a big corner who has the size to hold up against the run, and the arms to make all the plays in coverage, but he just isn’t cut out to be a man-t0-man corner from day one in the league. He likely won’t be a Buccaneer unless he slides into the later rounds, but as a third round prospect, he will likely not be one of Mark Dominik’s picks.
In the constant quest to find a backup for Doug Martin, the Buccaneers have also met with Montee Ball out of Wisconsin. No player in NCAA Football history has scored more total touchdowns than Ball, but he still lacks the tools and traits draft experts and scouts look for in a draft pick. He’s got a sturdy bill, has decent speed numbers, and plenty of tape to look at since he was a workhorse with the Badgers. That said, he’s also been worked hard, and running backs don’t have a long shelf life, so he’s likely a player the Buccaneers will target should he slide down the draft board, since he currently projects as a second round selection.
An interesting middle round prospect that Mark Dominik and his team have shown interest in is William Gholston from Michigan State. Gholston is a massive defensive lineman, weighing in at 280 pounds on a 6 foot 6 inch frame. He’s got quickness and ability to go with that size, but nothing that stands out on film as a top notch skill or ability. Part of that is due to a lack of work ethic, as many scouts doubt his drive and motivation, and aren’t sure he’ll be able to cope with life in the NFL. His brother, Vernon, was a first-round bust a few years ago, so there’s definitely a sour taste in the mouth of draft prospect evaluators with William. But if he proves he’s willing to work hard, there’s room for improvement, according to CBSSports.com. Projected to be picked in the middle rounds, Gholtson has a chance to prove himself to the Buccaneers and possibly get his chance to stand out in Tampa Bay, if he can show he has the drive and the maturity to be a “Buccaneer Man.”
There have been no reports of quarterbacks meeting with the Buccaneers. This is interesting, because either there have been unannounced meetings, or the Bucs are waiting to meet with any QB’s until closer to the draft. Either way, it’s likely the Buccaneers will take a signal caller in the draft, so it will be interesting to see which of the prospects have caught their eye.