Polian Says It’s Aaron Donald At No.7May 3rd, 2014
The man who labeled the Bucs’ trade for Darrelle Revis the worst in NFL history, former Colts general manager Bill Polian, has made a confident call of the Bucs’ selection with the No. 7 overall pick next week.
Polian sees Lovie Smith and remembers working closely with Father Dungy on the great Colts teams of the last decade. Polian believes he knows where Lovie’s heart and mind lie.
In a recent behind-a-pay-wall article for BSPN.com yesterday, Polian spelled out his take on the first eight picks of the first round. He’s confident the Bucs go defensive line.
The odds are that the first three picks will be Clowney, Mack and Watkins, in some combination.
That brings us to the Browns at No. 4. Cleveland is a wild card; its GM has no track record to provide any clues. But this fan base clearly needs a shot in the arm, and there will be a player on the board who could provide just that. The franchise is sound in most areas, with one glaring need: quarterback. I think they’ll spring for Manziel. He has the hand size to overcome the cold and other weather conditions in the AFC North, and the Bengals, Ravens and Steelers are built to chase stationary QBs, not someone with Manziel’s elusiveness. Johnny Football makes sense at No. 4.
It’s possible the Raiders would like to trade down from No. 5, eager to add assets after several years with few draft picks to spend, but is there a can’t-miss player another team would trade up to obtain? I don’t see a match unless someone wanted to beat the Falcons to a particular offensive tackle, which is the position I believe Atlanta will address if it stays at No. 6. Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald is an ideal fit as a 3-technique in the Bucs’ new Tampa 2 defense, and I see that match at No. 7. The Vikings almost certainly will take the best QB on the board — possibly Blake Bortles — at No. 8.
Joe believes the Bucs only take Donald, the beastly Pittsburgh defensive tackle, if Lovie is thinking more long term and trying to recreate the Bucs’ dominant Tampa-2 defense of the glory years — and if he was serious about emulating Seattle, which collects pass rushers like Joe does empty candy wrappers.
Yes, the Bucs signed Super Bowl winner nose tackle/pass rusher Clinton McDonald this offseason. But did the Bucs need DT Booger McFarland when he was drafted in the first round in 1999? Absolutely not.
In fact, McFarland wasn’t a starter that season, and outside of one game, the ’99 Bucs defense was one of the greatest in NFL history. Brad Culpepper started the entire season at tackle alongside Warren Sapp and had six sacks.
Could Donald be the next “Booger” for Gerald McCoy? Possibly.
Interestingly, Lovie already has said McDonald (5.5 sacks last year) has the get-off and skills to rush off the left edge. That would make rotating in Donald that much easier. Also, as of now, the Bucs have no legitimate backup for Gerald McCoy. The man shouldn’t be asked to take nearly every snap like he did last season. It would be nice to keep him fresh for (gasp) the playoffs.