Dec 26, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Aaron Donald (97) holds the lineman of the game trophy after defeating Bowling Green Falcons 30-27 to win the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Point Plank: Why Aaron Donald Isn't a "Better Warren Sapp" Than Gerald McCoy for the Buccaneers

Point Plank is an article series that takes up the other side of arguments and discussions about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from around the web. In this edition, we take a look at a 2014 NFL Draft Mock from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Sometimes it’s quite clear that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers aren’t America’s favorite team, and that many fans and media across the nation haven’t watched the Buccaneers play when they speculate about their roster.

Take this anecdote, for example:

  • “Gerald McCoy thinks he can be Warren Sapp in Lovie Smith’s defense.  Aaron Donald may have a better shot at it.”

That’s a quote from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explaining why he believes the Buccaneers can/should take Aaron Donald with the seventh pick of the upcoming NFL Draft. His entire mock draft is based on “input from a scout employed in the NFL.”

I sure hope that scout doesn’t work in Tampa.

Gerald McCoy is one of the most dominant players at his position in the league, with Ndamuking Suh and Geno Atkins representing his only competition. And while Aaron Donald is certainly an incredibly disruptive force that would be an instant upgrade for 29 of the NFL’s 32 teams, the Buccaneers (along with the Lions and Bengals) already have franchise players at the 3-tech tackle position.

Many fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would love to see Aaron Donald in red and pewter, as he’s developed a buzz among the fanbase this offseason (possibly due to playing in the ACC, which many Floridians follow very closely). But there are serious questions about how he fits in Tampa.

Lovie Smith loves players who can get after the passer, but Donald seems like a perfect fit to play the position already filled by Gerald McCoy. Smith’s defense never featured two 3-tech style tackles in Chicago (he primarily used Anthony Adams and Stephen Paea next to a 3-tech), and Donald seems like more of a disruptor than a space eater.

I like Aaron Donald, and the more I watched him, the more I appreciated him. But in every draft class, there are good players that just simply don’t fit on the roster of your favorite team. Drafting Aaron Donald to move him away from the 3-tech seems quite foolish to me, especially when there will be so many other excellent options in this class.

But no matter your opinion on Aaron Donald, it’s clear that he’s not a better “Warren Sapp” than Gerald McCoy, who is one of the true superstars at his position and is only just entering his prime.

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft NFL Draft Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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