by Douglas O’Connor follow me on Twitter by clicking HERE
Here at Real Buc Talk we pride ourselves on reader interaction. Most of this comes on Twitter but we also reply to any and all comments posted on our articles. Sometimes going back and forth with the Real Buc Talk community on social media isn’t enough. Let’s face it, 140 characters is a tight restraint to squeeze in all of our Bucs passion. So we came up with a Mailbag. Just tweet your questions using the #RBTMB and we will try to answer as many as we can.
This weeks Mailbag was flushed with draft prospect questions and since I want to give our readers the best answer I can. I’ve decided to wait until after the combine to tackle those. I hope you aren’t disappointed I just feel that I owe you the most informed opinion I can give.
So without further delay…
If You Were Jason Licht, Who Would You Draft In The 1st Round?
Glad this question came in. Playing GM during the off season is one of the only ways to get your football fix during the months of February through April. Although I do not proclaim to be a draft “expert”, I do enjoy projecting who the Bucs will select in the first few rounds. So here is my best guess.
First you have to identify the teams biggest needs. My list in no particular order is as follows. Wide receiver, safety, running back, tight end, defensive tackle, edge rusher and finally corner back. Now using my projections on what the Bucs will do in free agency DE, DT and CB come off the list as real needs on draft day.
The TE position is a little more tricky. If the Bucs bring in a veteran during free agency that moves the need to the rounds 4-7 spot for me. If they stand pat then look for a TE in the 1st three rounds and yes maybe even round 1.
So with the TE position in limbo that leaves us with WR, RB, and S.
Wide receiver has a very deep draft class in 2017. The two players that stand out among the rest are Corey Davis and Mike Williams who probably won’t be around by the time the Bucs pick at 19. After that it becomes whomever each team likes more. I REALLY like ArDarius Stewart and think he could still be there in round 3. So WR is a pass for me.
Running back, as luck would have it is another deep class this year. Once again two names dominate the “who’s best” discussion. And as previously Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette should be off the board when it’s the Bucs turn to select. I loved Doug Martin when he first came to the Bucs in 2012 and there is a RB out of Wyoming, Brian Hill that reminds me a lot of Martin. I think the Bucs don’t pull the trigger until the 4th round on a RB and get a steal with Hill.
So that leaves safety. “But Douglas” you say “Hooker and Adams will surely have been drafted when it’s the Buccaneers turn to hand in their card”. To this I reply, “you are absolutely correct”.
Obi Melifonwu is 6’4″ 220 lbs and can cover. His combine workout will put him in the “guys that most improved their stock” conversations. Making him a distant memory by the time the Bucs pick in the second round. Now there are some other good safeties out there but none with this guys ceiling.
Obi… Obi Melifonwu you are my only 1st round hope!
Which Released Players Should The Bucs Pursue?
As of time of post…none.
I say this for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a pretty short list and second it’s a pretty underwhelming list.
Most of the NFL players that have been released by their teams and joined the ranks of the unrestricted free agents have been role or depth players. The only problem is that they don’t play positions where the Bucs need depth but there are two exceptions.
WR Victor Cruz best years were between 2011-2013 where he racked up over 3,500 yards and 23 touchdowns. Since then he has only appeared in 21 of a possible 48 games and his yards and TD’s have suffered, less than 900 and 2 respectively. There are plenty of better free agent wide receivers on the market.
C Nick Mangold has been to 7 Pro Bowls as the center for the New York Jets. Now 33 he has become too old and expensive for their rebuilding plan. Most believe that Mangold has a few years left to give an NFL team.
No question that Mangold would be an upgrade at center for the Bucs. I just think that the long anticipated move of guard Ali Marpet to center is finally going to happen. The three best Buc linemen all play guard. Marpet, Sweezy, and Pamphile all need to be on the field for the Bucs to get their best five out there. The easiest way to make this happen is to move Marpet to center, place Sweezy in Ali’s vacant right guard spot and leave Pamphile in the left guard position.
It’s not that I don’t like Mangold as a center. It’s just as of now there is no room for an All Pro veteran center on the Bucs roster.
What Do You Make Of Jameis Winston’s Comments?
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve seen a topic that has raised the ire of Bucs fans faster than the article written by Tampa Bay Times sports writer Tom Jones. Now I’m not going to go into what Jameis said or what tone Jones chose for his article, which can be found in it’s entirety HERE. I will simply say this.
I do not believe Jameis Winston is a bad person.
I do not believe that Jameis Winston has a personal agenda to try and subservient girls or women.
I do believe that it is important to Jameis Winston that he is a good role model for young boys.
I do believe that it is important to Jameis Winston to be a good role model for everyone.
I also believe that Jameis makes an effort to better himself everyday.
I believe that this effort is used to improve the ones around him, as much as it is to improve himself.
I think that he strives to give more than what is asked of him.
I believe that he believes, being a leader is about sacrifice.
I believe that for the rest of his days as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer he will strive to make his team and his city better than he found it.
Finally, I believe that this is more than any of us can ask of him.
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