Back To Lovieball In The Third Round?May 3rd, 2014
One player who fascinates Joe in this NFL Draft is Jackson Jeffcoat. College football’s 2013 sacks leader out of the University of Texas has the pedigree and production but not the love from scouts.
The Big XII defensive player of the year and Ted Hendricks Award winner (best DE in the nation) is widely projected as a third- or fourth-round draft pick. And that’s where he appears as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer in the latest mock draft from NFL Network draft guru and former NFL player Bucky Brooks.
No. 69 overall: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas
Lovie Smith prefers to use a deep defensive end rotation to wear opponents down late in games. Jeffcoat is a natural edge rusher with a non-stop motor.
70. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tre Mason, RB, Auburn
Gus Bradley could add Mason to a lineup that features Toby Gerhart to give the Jaguars a formidable 1-2 punch in the backfield.
71. Cleveland Browns: Terrance West, RB, Towson
Kyle Shanahan’s zone-based running game is ideally suited for an efficient, hard-nosed runner like West. He can spell Ben Tate early in his career before taking over as the Browns’ feature runner in a year or so.
72. Minnesota Vikings: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
After watching Mettenberger improve dramatically under one of Norv Turner’s protégés (Cam Cameron), theVikings could peg the LSU standout to be the quarterback of the future.
73. Buffalo Bills: Ja’Wuan James, OT, Tennessee
With Erik Pears entering the last year of his deal, GM Doug Whaley could bring in an eventual successor at this point.
74. New York Giants: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
The G-Men need to become bigger, stronger and more athletic on the interior. Jackson is a mauler who will add toughness to the Giants’ front line.
75. St. Louis Rams: Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
Jeff Fisher knows good teams can never have enough quality cover corners.
Yes, the Bucs have Michael Johnson, Adrian Clayborn, Will Gholston, Steven Means, Scott Solomon, and Da’Quan Bowers on the roster, but are they enough to form a defensive ends rotation that would satisfy Lovie Smith, or Bucs fans coveting a savage pass rush?
If Bowers and Clayborn play pretty well, even in part-time duty, then they’ll be in demand for strong paydays this offseason as unrestricted free agents. Pass rushers always find cash. And Joe suspects both would want out of Tampa if Gholston wins the starting job.
Joe would not be surprised if Lovie Smith wants a talented rookie edge pass rusher in the mix — for now and for the future.
A knock on Jeffcoat is he’s too lean at 6-3, 250. Joe doesn’t think that will be an issue for Lovie, who prefers speed over size with his defenders. Jeffcoat is the son of former star DE Jim Jeffcoat, who’s also a pro D-line coach, can only be considered a plus for his son.