The first day of the draft has passed, and to the surprise of virtually no one, Gerald McCoy is now a Buccaneer. Tampa Bay addressed their huge weakness at DT and obtain a player who is projected as the disruptive force the Bucs have been missing in the middle of the front line since the departure of Warren Sapp.
Unfortunately Jerry Hughes was snatched up by the Colts at #31, five picks before I had him going to the Bucs. Time to adjust.
Here is my top 10 available for the Bucs at the top of R2 (if anyone is paying attention, this won’t match my overall rankings since they are not Buc-specific):
1) Sergio Kindle (DE/LB, Texas) – One of top 5 favorites in this draft, at worst, Kindle would be a situational pass rusher in this defense. I think it’s worth noting that the Eagles traded way up to #12 in order to draft Brandon Graham, a guy I like, but someone they themselves described as a situational pass rusher. Well, if you can take a situational pass rusher at #12, I think #35 would be acceptable value-wise. More on Kindle later.
2) Arrelious Benn (WR, Illinois) – This shouldn't be a surprise. Given that Benn, Golden Tate, and Taylor Price are all still on the board, there’s a tremendous chance that they could sit tight at #42 and still get one of those three (although I do expect to see somewhat of a run on WR once we get near that area, 40-45).
3) Rodger Saffold (OL, Indiana) – With Jerry Hughes and Kareem Jackson gone and the remaining depth at WR, Saffold jumps up my list. I admittedly don’t know a lot about this guy other than what I’ve read, but he looks a heck of a lot like what the Bucs need on the offensive line, skill and character-wise. (See the detailed write up here.) The biggest question on our offensive line is the LG position, and Saffold would seemingly be right in the mix there for a starting job. If things don’t work out with Penn, maybe Saffold becomes the eventual successor at LT. He would give us options, and teams in situations like ours need options. I’m really starting to like this idea if they don’t go with Kindle.
4) Taylor Price (WR, Ohio) – He’s a high-riser with a very appealing all-round game. I love his projection as a pro.
5) Nate Allen (S, USF) – He’s not the biggest need at the moment, but one more flub by Tanard Jackson has us exposed at FS. Allen could step in there day one and is also physical/big enough to play SS in Tampa’s scheme.
6) Toby Gerhart (RB, Stanford) – The first word that comes to mind when I think about our RB sitiation is “old”. Cadillac has seen his best days IMO, and Derrick Ward (his fault or not) was an expensive disappointment in his first year as a Buc. Earnest Graham looks relegated to FB with BJ Askew, and I’m not counting on Clifton Smith or Kareem Huggins in the backfield. We need production out of the backfield and getting a powerful runner with great vision would be a fine addition.
7) Golden Tate (WR, Notre Dame) – I still like him, but with the way the draft board has shaken out, I’d prefer Benn or Price as our pick at WR in this round.
8) Everson Griffen (DE, USC) – I like him, but reportedly the Bucs don’t. I’d list him higher if I thought he had a serious shot at being a Buccaneer.
9) Charles Brown (T, USC) – He’s an athletic tackle who is going to need some time. Unlike Saffold, he doesn’t provide versatility at guard.
10) Chris Cook (DB, Virginia) – I list Cook over Brandon Ghee due to his versatility. He’s a corner with the possibility of FS, and see above for why I like that skill.
For what it’s worth, Brian Price should be one of the first few players off the board in R2, but given that we drafted McCoy, I can’t see the Bucs spending back-to-back picks on defensive tackles.
What I think the Bucs will do:
#35 – Corey Wootton (DE, Connecticut)
#42 – Nate Allen (S, USF)
According to Pewter Report, the Bucs are high on both of these guys, so if I had to guess what Tampa will (not should) do, I think they take Wootton as a pass rusher and Allen as safety depth/insurance. I wouldn’t complain about Allen, but I’m not in love with Wootton as a Buccaneer. I think he’s a fine player who is going to be a bargain for someone since his 2009 season was basically a rehab year. I simply feel that he’s best as either an end on the left side of a 4-3 or as a end in a 3-4. I think playing on the right side in a 4-3, which is what we need badly, would be the worst spot for him.
Back to Sergio Kindle. Here’s what I said back on November 18
If I’m still looking at LB, the guy at the top of my list would be Sergio Kindle (6-4, 255) from Texas. Regardless of the scheme, I think he can come in and be a big time producer. He’s a SLB with tremendous blitzing ability and a knack for making plays in the backfield. His versatility would be a huge asset here in Tampa where he would have the opportunity to line up as a DE on passing downs and give the defense another capable pass rusher. He’s what the Bucs were hoping Quincy Black would be. He’s quick and decisive, closes well, and has the strength to make open field solo stops. Last year Kindle averaged just under 1 TFL per game (12.5 in 13 games), totaled 10 sacks, had 5 QB hurries, and recovered 2 fumbles. Playing at DE this season, he’s accrued another 14 TFL and 3 sacks. Aggression is his game, and I’d love to pair him with Suh as our first two picks in the draft. I have a feeling opposing defenses would feel a bit more pressure by adding those two.
Well, I’ve convinced myself.
#35 – Sergio Kindle (alt – Rodger Saffold)
#42 – Arrelious Benn (alt – Taylor Price or Toby Gerhart if they don’t go WR)
We miss on Hughes, but with Kindle they get their pass rusher as well as someone I feel can provide help as a playmaking linebacker. Again, worst case scenario has him as a situational pass rusher, and I can handle that at #35. Benn is still my pick at #42 as the first answer to our problems at WR.
Quickly, with our R3 pick, I still like Amari Spievey (CB, Iowa), but that may need to be adjusted depending on what happens in R2.