Was The 2009 Draft A “Failure?”October 4th, 2013
“Failure” is a such a harsh word. No wiggle room there. No gray area.
According to ESPN NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas, rockstar general manager Mark Dominik’s 2009 draft was just that — “a failure.”
But Joe thinks that’s an unfair grade. Let’s look at the picks.
1st round: Josh Freeman – Joe can’t call Freeman a complete bust of a first-round pick. He played pretty well for a 21-year-old rookie thrust into the starting lineup midseason. That year Freeman had very little training camp and preseason reps, and was without a dedicated quarterbacks coach for much of the season. Freeman moved on to a tremendous season in 2010, before becoming inconsistent. The Bucs made an organizational decision to draft a QB, and Freeman was the best available. Yes, first-round picks have to become impact, good players. Pick grade: D+
2nd round: Traded pick for Kellen Winslow – DJ Toes On The Line Winslow played well for two Tampa Bay seasons and declined in his third but was still productive. He didn’t miss a game in three years, which is more than Joe can say for the Bucs’ current crop of tight ends. Winslow also aided greatly in the development of Freeman before dragging Freeman down in 2011. Winslow, overall, didn’t equal what you’d want from a solid second-round pick. Pick grade: D.
3rd round: Roy Miller – Miller gave the Bucs three lost seasons before playing excellent ball in 2012. Early in his career, Miller battled weight issues — some team inflicted by the Jim Bates fatten-them-up order — and he had various injuries. The Bucs gave up on Miller and he went on to get a new contract. For a third-round pick, Miller wasn’t what the Bucs hoped, but he wasn’t a total loss: Pick Grade: D+.
4th round: Kyle Moore – Sackless Kyle Moore never got a sack during his regular-season time in Tampa, despite being gifted the starting left defensive end job. That’s hard to do when you play in 16 games. Moore also battled weight issues and was a napper in meetings. He moved on to Buffalo and finally got some sacks, but he’s out of football now. Pick grade: F.
5th round: Xavier Fulton – The offensive lineman didn’t make the roster. Pick grade: F
7th round: Sammie Stroughter – Stroughter was a contributor immediately, catching 55 balls over his first two seasons before injuries cut him down. Stroughter also was a strong returner and won the New Schiano Order punt return job last season before a serious September foot injury. For a 7th-rounder, the Bucs got a lot out of him. Pick grade: B-.
7th round: E.J. Biggers – A member of the 2012 fearsome foursome of Bucs cornerbacks, “E.J., Leonard, Danny and LeQuan,” Biggers drove many Bucs fans crazy for years. His debut was in 2010, after being on injured reserve for all of 2009. Biggers just wasn’t good enough, which wasn’t his fault. The guy played, well, like a decent seventh-round pick given too big of a role. He finished his Bucs career with three interceptions. Pick grade: C.
Giving more weight to the grades of the highest draft picks, of course, Joe’s going to put a final grade on the Bucs’ 2009 draft: D+.