No Predicting First-Round PickApril 23rd, 2011
Looking back at 2009, Joe and legions of other Bucs fans were praying Mark Dominik wouldn’t draft presumed bust-in-waiting Josh Freeman. Thank goodness Joe and the masses were wrong.
Last year, it was obvious Gerald McCoy was going to be the pick at No. 3 overall, unless manbeast-in-waiting Ndamakong Suh was somehow there.
This year, just about every pundit is calling a defensive end for the Bucs with the No. 20 pick. Frankly, Joe’s not taking any bets that will be the case. Joe keeps hearing about how Dominik “invested” heavily in defensive tackles last year, and to maximize that investment he’ll snag defensive ends this year.
That sounds nice, but Joe believes there are variables. What if Keith Millard, the new pass rush specialist/D-line coach, has poured over tape and believes he has untapped gems in youngsters Michael Bennett and Alex Magee? Joe has heard countless times it takes D-lineman a few years to blossom. Magee, a former third-round pick, turns 24 on draft day and Bennett is 25. Former Bucs DE Steve White often expressed high hopes for Bennett and raved of Bennett’s ability.
… If I could get that kid in the lab for a week or two I guarantee you I’d turn him into a monster. Basically I’d just teach him to unleash the beast that he already has shown he has in him and he would end up destroying people.
Maybe Millard thinks Kyle Moore was just poorly coached and that Tim Crowder has the motor and desire to be a top producer?
And remember Dominik’s comment about Brian Price and defensive end.
Joe believes the Bucs will draft a defensive end. But in the first round?
Dominik has stated his No. 2 priority in building a team is protecting the quarterback. And there sit the Bucs with an injured 30-year-old at starting center with a fat salary, and Davin Joseph and Jeremy Trueblood as unrestricted free agents. There’s absolutely no guarantee those guys return.
What if Mike Pouncey is there for the Bucs at No. 20? What if Dominik is confident he can trade down a handful of slots and still grab Goliath Gabe Carimi out of Wisconsin to play right tackle for the next 10 years?
If you tune to Justin “The Commish” Pawlowski’s exclusive interview with Dominik at 7 p.m. on WDAE-AM on Tuesday, you’ll hear Dominik talk about the great strength of this offensive tackle class.
Ferocious linebacker anyone?
It’s a crap shoot this year more than ever, especially with free agency a mystery. Good luck calling the Bucs’ first-round pick, if they even draft in the first round.