Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Final 2018 NFL mock draft recap and reaction
BLEACHER REPORT – Published: 23 April – Drafter: Doug Farrar
An all-not-too-uncommon pick attached to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers these days is Florida State safety Derwin James.
B/R’s mock here is another example of this.
Here’s how Farrar addressed this,
"“To put it bluntly, the Buccaneers’ safety situation is a mess.”"
Well, I don’t know if I’d say mess, but it could certainly use some polish.
Justin Evans proved a worthy second-round selection in his rookie year and will have a lot of eyes on him hoping to see even further development.
Chris Conte and Keith Tandy aren’t Pro Bowl players, but they’re serviceable. Neither warrants a desperation pick for a safety in round one. But is James a desperation pick?
I have him graded out as a mid-round first day guy. Meaning pick twelve or so is the first spot I’d be comfortable taking him.
Now, if a team believes his on-field presence and leadership bring a bit extra to the table, then I could see him squeezing into the Top-10 at pick nine or so. But not seven.
First of all, he isn’t even thought of as the best safety in this class depending on who you talk to. While I’ve made my thoughts on Fitzpatrick very clear, James is the better of the two for the Bucs. Still, taking him after a trade-back would be much easier to swallow than picking him outright at number seven.
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While it may seem like I’m wholly disagreeing with the selection of James, it’s who was still on the board which really got my head scratcher going.
Saquon Barkley went second to the New York Giants in Farrar’s mock and Quenton Nelson was on his way to Cleveland long before the Bucs came on the clock.
However, in a surprise move of their own, the Indianapolis Colts selected Ohio State’s Denzel Ward at number six. Placing Bradley Chubb squarely in the lap of Jason Licht and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Even the best cornerback can’t cover all-day with no pass rush. The Colts have no pass rush.
Tampa at least went out and traded for Jason Pierre-Paul and got in some new guys to help push the middle of offensive lines. The return of Noah Spence from a shoulder injury should help as well.
Still, Chubb is the best defensive end in this class and immediately makes your secondary better because quarterbacks won’t be as comfortable for as long. He’s an easy choice for the Colts at six and just as easy at seven.
Another surprise in this draft is the Baltimore Ravens selection of tight end Mike Gesicki out of Penn State.
The Ravens have never really looked to be a team trying to make the tight end a focal point of their offense, and I don’t see why they’d start now. Picking Gesicki at 16 is strange. He’s certainly not better than the Bucs’ own O.J. Howard who went 19th just a year ago.
So, yeah, that’s pretty much all I got to say about that.