No Unga for Tampa

Sorry Bucs' fans, you won't see Unga in Tampa anytime soon.
Sorry Bucs' fans, you won't see Unga in Tampa anytime soon. /

The NFL’s annual Supplemental Draft has come and gone – only seeing two players selected in the event. One of those players was Harvey Unga, who we all knew would find a team this past Thursday, but what we didn’t expect was the eventual round he would finally come off the board.

With many teams believed to have shown “strong interest” in the abilities of Unga, it was expected that he would fall off the board anywhere from round three to round five, and no further then that…but we were all wrong. The seventh round came, and still, no one had drafted the BYU running back. It’s hard to imagine as to why no one pulled the trigger before the seventh round, and in a previous post regarding the Supplemental Draft on The Pewter Plank, I believed the Bucs would be the one team who could afford to take him if he fell to them in the fifth round. Guess I was wrong.

Unga eventually fell to the Chicago Bears in the seventh round, which could be one of the best places for him to play in. Think about it. The Bears are a run first team – even with Jay Cutler – and when it gets late in the season, with the temperature dropping below the freezing point, the old ‘run it down their throats’ mentality will kick in for the Chicago offense. With Matt Forte carrying the load, the Bears could use Unga to be the “power” back for short yardage situations, and in a game of inches, it’s always great to have a bulldozer in your backfield.

So what does this all mean for Tampa? Well, the decision to NOT pick Unga isn’t going to affect them greatly, but it is interesting seeing that they didn’t feel the need to bring him on board considering that seven rounds had passed without any team selecting him. Selecting Unga in the seventh round would have been a win-win situation for Tampa, in my opinion. Hear me out.

Say Tampa picked up Unga in the seventh round (or even the sixth round). The Bucs would then, in turn, surrender their seventh (or sixth) round pick in the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft. But Unga isn’t a seventh round talent by any means. Had he stayed at BYU and entered the 2011 NFL Draft, he would have gone in the fourth round, at least from my viewpoint. So giving up a seventh round pick for a fourth round talent would be a win-win for Tampa, but I guess they have other plans.

Since Unga won’t be wearing the red and pewter uniform anytime soon, the Bucs will be left with Earnest Graham at the full back position, as well as being the short yardage back. Hopefully he can handle his new duties, and let’s hope that Derrick Ward can supply Tampa with a few breakout plays in the 2010 season.