“With The Seventh Pick… “April 1st, 2014
It’s the Season of Smoke right now. It’s hard to gauge just what an NFL team will do leading up to the NFL Draft. Who will a team take? Will a team trade up? Will a team trade down?
With the Bucs, one could answer all questions, “yes.” The Bucs could draft a quarterback, could draft a tackle, could draft a wide receiver, could draft a tight end, maybe even draft a defensive end at No. 7. The Bucs could easily trade up with the Rams for Johnny Football, for example, and they could easily trade down to stock up on draft picks in a deep draft.
That leads Joe to an NFL analyst for Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports Network, former Bucs quarterback Shaun King. Sadly, too many jealous Bucs fans forget King is but one of three quarterbacks in franchise history to lead the Bucs to an NFC championship game. Today, King offered his NFL acumen to explain who the Bucs will pick in his latest mock draft.
That would be UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Needs: DE, TE and OT The pick: Anthony Barr (LB, UCLA) – In a close call, Tampa takes Barr over Khalil Mack. The Bucs need another third-down, hand-in-the-ground rusher opposite Michael Johnson. Barr profiles better long-term with that transition.
Now Joe understands King’s logic of getting a hand-in-the-dirt rusher. Thing is, Joe believes the Bucs may just have enough. Yes, Joe had to read that last sentence again to make sure he was sober. Nope, Joe hasn’t had a drop of alcohol (today). With the addition of Clinton McDonald and Michael Johnson, along with the current pass rushers on the Bucs’ roster, a pass rusher is not a great need any longer.
Besides, Barr would also play outside linebacker, where he would play roughly 40 percent of the time because the Bucs will otherwise be in nickel coverage. Hard to justify drafting a guy at No. 7 to play less than half the defensive snaps.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht often talks about “value.” Drafting Barr at No. 7 and potentially watching him sit most of a game isn’t exactly the best way to get value out of such a high pick.