Lance Zierlein released his first mock draft for NFL.com and has a peculiar pick heading to the Buccaneers at pick nineteen.
Last week, Bucky Brooks released his first mock draft and had the Buccaneers taking Derek Barnett, the record setting defensive end out of Tennessee. Today Lance Zierlein, NFL.com draft analyst, also had the Buccaneers addressing the defensive line – but in a bit of a head scratcher.
With the nineteenth pick he had the Bucs select Malik McDowell, the defensive tackle out of Michigan State. He explains;
"McDowell has Pro Bowl potential, but there is some bust potential as well. He often plaed on the nose at MSU but can play anywhere along the defensive line”"
Okay – a few things that aren’t kosher here.
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For starters, not many teams want to take a guy in the first round with even the slightest hint of “bust potential”. Your first round pick has to be – in your mind – a slam dunk. The first round is not the time to take a risk. Save that for rounds three and later. Whoever you take with your first pick has to be a guy who can come in and contribute immediately and he better make an impact from day one.
Next, this is the second mock for NFL.com in a row where we see the Bucs go defensive line in a somewhat questionable fashion while both Dalvin Cook and Corey Davis are sitting there. Both of those guys are immediate impact players that give Jameis Winston a weapon to use on offense outside of Mike Evans or Cameron Brate. In addition to Cook or Davis, you still had the likes of John Ross, Forrest Lamp, Obi Melifonwu, and Marcus Williams all still available. Any of those six players fill bigger needs – with less “bust potential” – than McDowell.
McDowell is 6’6″, 275-lbs and finished his MSU career with 24.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and a touchdown. He has an injury history – most recently an ankle issue – causing him to only play in nine games two out of his three seasons at Michigan State, and has been knocked for lack of consistency. According to Mel Kiper, McDowell should be “top-five based on talent,” but is falling due to “lack of production and lack of consistency.”
The kid may have raw talent, but should the Buccaneers take a guy with injury problems, apparent lack of motivation, and “bust potential”?
No thanks. I’ll pass.