The Miserable 2011 Draft (So Far)June 7th, 2014
When people asked Joe about the recent Bucs draft, the first of the Lovie Smith era, Joe often responded to get back with Joe in three years. It is often a crapshoot to judge a draft before a training camp practice has even been held.
So, Joe thinks it is fair to ask about the 2011 draft. Looking back, with three seasons of history, it was a miserable draft, even though Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, who should never be allowed to do a mock draft (his record is abysmal) thinks the Bucs drafted OK. He game them a C-grade, in fact.
The Buccaneers have struggled stringing together strong drafts in succession. Although the team has certainly accumulated some talent on the roster, the holes at defensive end have remained a sore spot for a franchise that won a Super Bowl title on the strength of a ferocious defense and pass rush. In 2011, the Buccaneers attempted to address the void with Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers to no avail. While Clayborn has been steady, the team has gotten nothing from Bowers. Mason Foster helped upgrade the defense between the tackles, but his production couldn’t mask the woes of a defense that needed some more juice at the point of attack.
Sorry, Joe has to give that grade, as we stand, a “D,” which could change to a D- in a few months.
Thus far, the only reliable player the Bucs got in that draft is middle linebacker Mason Foster, who Joe has been high on for a couple of years and may be on the cusp of eating pineapple.
The rest of the draft is a big ol’ “Meh!”
Adrian Clayborn hasn’t had a decent year since his rookie year. Of course, he was injured his second year and played in a chaotic scheme last year while not quite recovered from his knee surgery.
Da’Quan Bowers’ shortcomings are well documented. He has made a bigger name for himself with a gun hassle in New York than anything he has done of the field of play, which hasn’t been much. Now his assistant coach is trying to light a fire under him. In June!
Luke Stocker is on the verge of being cut; he’s likely the fourth of four tight ends on the roster, and Joe would be shocked if Lovie kept four tight ends on the final 53-man roster.
It is awfully suspicious how Ahmad Black, who played quite a bit even under former Bucs commander Greg Schiano, hasn’t yet sniffed another team’s locker room since he was unexpectedly cut from the Bucs after the fourth game of the season last year. It wasn’t like the Bucs were stocked with safeties. You mean another team couldn’t use an experienced safety, even for camp meat, not even in Canada?
Allen Bradford lasted about as long as a cold beer on a hot summer weekend afternoon, and Anthony Gaitor was recently waved goodbye after seeing little playing time and being oft-injured.
There is no polite way of saying it. It is pretty bad out of a whole draft when only one reliable starter is left three years later. Joe’s grade for this draft could go way up or way down depending on what Clayborn and Bowers do this year.