Defensive back was obviously a focal point for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers entering the 2018 NFL Draft. They came away with three players to help boost their struggling secondary.
With recent news of an intriguing talent applying for entrance into the supplementary draft, Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ general manager Jason Licht might not be done yet.
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The player is cornerback Adonis Alexander from Virginia Tech. You may have gleaned that from the title, I know, but how much do you really know about him?
First of all, he’s 6’3” and listed at 207 lbs. according to Virginia Tech’s athletics page. He was scheduled to be a senior this year in Blacksburg but has been ruled academically ineligible which will lead to his applying for the supplemental draft.
According to the NFL.com story reporting the development, Alexander said this about his off-field issues,
"“I can honestly say the past year, maturity has been my biggest thing. I have been improving on discipline. Discipline is a big thing for me now, because nothing can really be done without discipline. And I understand that now.”"
The piece goes on to say Alexander had a very good grade coming out of the 2017 season. This leads me to believe in some circles at least, he was likely viewed as a day two talent.
Obviously, Alexander did not participate in any of the off-season evaluation events, so there isn’t a whole lot to find on him just yet.
In the coming days and weeks, he’ll schedule some workouts and hold a Pro Day event to give scouts and decision makers a look at what he can do. Beyond this, and more importantly, it’ll give him a chance to speak directly to these people and convince them he’s learned from his past mistakes.
But could the Tampa Bay Buccaneers actually be interested? Well, in short, yes. Of course they could be.
Cornerback is an area of inexperience at the bottom and age at the top. The fact so much excitement is surrounding Carlton Davis these days is a prime example of how starved the position group is for talent.
Brent Grimes deserves top billing in this group and he gets it. But how long will he be around to take it? My prediction is one year. This year.
But will the Bucs have a reasonable chance? For those who don’t know how this works, here’s a short version of how supplementary draft order is determined.
All of the 32 NFL teams is broken up into three groups. Then each group is put into their own lottery to determine the order they will have the right to bid on supplementary draft eligible players. It works the same as the NBA lottery in the sense the team with the worst record has the highest probability of landing the first pick, and so on.
For the Bucs, this means they’ll be in the first group of teams having not won six or more games in 2017. Having five, they won’t have the highest chance of landing the first pick in the supplementary draft, but they will have one of the first seven.
Once all of this is determined, teams then have the opportunity to express interest in a player and attach a pick to that player with a specific round designation.
So, if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers attach – say – a third round pick to Alexander in the supplementary draft and no team ahead of them attaches the same or higher round, then Licht will add another corner to the group.
However, if a team behind them were to attach a second-round pick to him then they would get him even though Tampa has the earlier crack at him.
If the Bucs win the bidding war, they give up the pick from the 2019 NFL Draft which they use now to get Alexander.
Well, don’t worry if it doesn’t, as we get closer to the actual event and get any insight into whether or not Jason Licht is even looking in his direction we’ll help clarify things as much as possible.
Before anyone scoffs at the idea though, there are two things to remember. One is the fact talent can be found here.
Josh Gordon, Terrelle Pryor and Ahmad Brooks are guys who were all taken in the supplemental draft. Granted, Gordon has yet to fully kick his demons, but the other two have built pretty respectable careers and stayed out of trouble for the most part.
Not all off-field issues are created equal and bad grades don’t likely measure up to drug use and other unsavory or illegal acts. The young man has talent, now he just needs to deliver on his quote.
The second thing to remember is the presumed hot-seat on which Licht currently sits. Many have speculated about whether or not the general manager is in a win now situation.
If he truly is, or feels he might be, then using a future pick in the supplemental draft isn’t a bad idea. If it works, then he has a job next year and we all know he can use some masterful trade manipulation to get the pick back if so desired.
Let’s say they get Alexander and the team does nothing to get better in 2018 from 2017. Well, then, according to some Licht is out of Tampa anyway. So honestly, what does he care if the new guy doesn’t have a third-round pick in 2019?
"The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are holding a big fund raiser, and Locked on Bucs answers your questions!"
Obviously, we care. Because we’ll be here to cheer on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019 regardless. Right?
Should Licht and the Bucs give Alexander serious consideration? I for one am intrigued, now we wait and see if the franchise is.