The Buccaneers received a high grade for their draft haul from NFL.com’s Chad Reuter.
Time to see what the world thinks of our Buccaneers. Remember before the draft, we talked about all of the speculation going on around the map? Mock drafts were coming in from all corners of the world, at least it seemed. Everyone had an opinion on how this past weekend would go. Then, as always, moves are made that turn the whole weekend on its ear, guys slip, and it goes nothing like anybody expected.
So we made it through, and have met the Bucs 2017 draft class. There were surprises, such as O.J. Howard slipping all the way to number 19. I saw a lot of elation when Chris Godwin’s name was called in the third round. There was some confusion, followed by acceptance of the second round pick. Now that it’s over, the expert turn from predicting to reacting. What do they think of the Bucs haul? Instead of mock drafts, it’s grades coming in from all over the map.
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Many of you likely read the work of Chad Reuter, college football expert at NFL.com. Right after the draft, he came up with some quick grades for each team.
Here is what Reuter had to say about the Bucs:
"Day 1 grade: ADay 2 grade: B+Day 3 grade: BOverall grade: B+The skinny: The fact that O.J. Howard was on the board for the Buccaneers was ridiculous. He’s a future Pro Bowler, and will make life much easier for quarterback Jameis Winston as a great safety valve. He and Cameron Brate will be a tough duo. Safety Justin Evans made a big splash early in his senior year, then fell off with some missed tackles. He could be a good player, but I think it’s a round early for him. Adding Chris Godwin to the receiving corps was nice, but other needs should have taken precedence. Selecting LSU’s Kendell Beckwith helped out the linebacker group. He should be a fit on the strong side. They only gave up a sixth-round pick to get him, and would have paid more if waiting until Saturday morning to make that move at the start of the fourth round.The Buccaneers addressed their running back need with Boise State’s Jeremy McNichols, a potential Jordan Howard-type impact player. There was no help for the offensive line or pass rush, though, which was a bit surprising."
So, what do we think of this evaluation? Some of what he said was fair. Licht should have probably brought in at a least one body to compete for time along the offensive line. The group wasn’t great last year. Personally, I don’t fault him as much for not taking a pass rusher. Noah Spence was solid in his first year, and putting trust in him made sense.
On players they did add, I agree on Evans but completely disagree on Godwin. Some graded Godwin as second round talent, so they had to jump on him in round three. Combine that with the fact that they needed depth at the position, and Licht made an excellent move here. But, he may be right about Evans. Second round might be a bit high for a guy that missed 38 tackles last year. They are banking on Mike Smith being able to correct his technique. Hopefully that will work out.
All in all, “B+” isn’t an unfair evaluation.
Do you guys agree? Is Reuter totally off base? Let us know in the comments and on social media.