History Is Not On Eric Berry’s Side

March 4th, 2010

Many Bucs fans — including a former Bucs defensive lineman Steve White (who Joe is humbled to have write a weekly “Bull Rush” column for Joe) are banging the drum to draft Tennessee super safety Eric Berry.

But history suggests the Bucs, with the No. 3 pick overall, will not draft Berry, no matter how good he is. Anwar Richardson of the Tampa Tribune details why.

During the last 18 years, no safety has been selected in the top three. The last safety drafted within the top three was Eric Turner, who was the No.2 overall selection by Cleveland in 1991.

When it comes to safeties, only four others have been top 10 picks since 1991.

Laron Landry, Redskins – #6 overall (2007)
Michael Huff, Raiders – #7 overall (2006)
Sean Taylor, Redskins – #5 overall (2004)
Roy Williams, Cowboys – #8 overall (2002)

Richardson also points out that the two current elite safeties in the game Berry is often compared to, Baltimore’s Ed Reed and Pittsburgh’s Tasmanian devil Troy Polamalu, weren’t even selected in the top 10 when they were drafted.

Given the fact current Bucs standout safety Tanard Jackson will likely be wanting a payday in the near future, that’s a whole lot of cash to tie up in the same area.

Recently on Sirius NFL Radio, Derrick Brooks stated he didn’t think the Bucs would give up so quickly on their 2008 second round draft pick Sabby the Goat because they have so much money tied up in him.

Will the Bucs draft Berry? Perhaps. But Joe’s of the mind that if manbeast Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy are available at No. 3, Berry won’t be buying a home in the area any time soon.

14 Responses to “History Is Not On Eric Berry’s Side”

  1. sgwhiteinfla Says:

    Two things.

    1st I have never actually said the Bucs should pick Berry over Suh or McCoy although I’m not sure it would be a bad idea. I just don’t buy the Bradford talk and I don’t think we have a shot in hell of getting either of them. The Rams and Lions head coaches are both former D coordintors. If Suh and McCoy are the once in a generation talents some would have us believe then I just can’t see either guy allowing them to get away. We also aren’t going to trade up to get them, at least I would hope not because that would be silly IMHO. If one of them is available though the Bucs almost have no choice but to take them because they have the overwhelming majority of the buzz and anything else wouldn’t be received well by the fan base that is already revolting against them.

    2nd Notice that Anwar who I like has basically made the same argument, which isn’t really an argument, that everyone else has who said we shouldn’t pick Berry at 3. That it hasn’t been done before or recently is just not a viable argument against it IMHO.

    What I find most interesting is that Anwar says Berry had better be one of the all time greats, not just a pro bowler to justify the pick when there have been top 3 picks that didn’t last but a few years in the league let alone make a pro bowl or be one of the all time greats at their position. Charles Rogers? Offensive Tackle Mike Williams? Thats one helluva double standard don’t you think?

    PS If we don’t get Suh or McCoy I think we could get a steal in the 2nd with Geno Atkins. His production wasn’t the same as McCoy or Suh but he flashed big time at the Senior Bowl and his combine numbers trump both of theirs.

  2. bucfanjeff Says:

    Steve, how did you do at the combine and did it help or hurt your draft status? Also, is it a good indication of a players ability on the field?

  3. Sander Says:

    ‘Never been done before’ is a nonsense argument. Never before has a safety been as important as it is now, with the emphasis on the passing game. When you look at Reed and Polamalu, they are clearly worthy of being picked in the top three of any draft class. There’s no reason to believe that safeties bust at a higher rate than other positions (like DT, which is apparently hard to predict since a lot of high DT picks bust), and since great safeties can be gamechangers, why would Berry not be worthy?

    Add to that, that Berry has the capability of playing corner, too – making him even more valuable.

  4. sgwhiteinfla Says:


    I wasn’t invited to the combine. I did well at my pro day and it helped me but my height scared teams off. I think players play and film is the best arbiter of whether a guy is good or not. But there are some positions where being strong and or fast is critical. I think 40 times for defensive backs and wide receivers should be payed attention to and I think bench reps for Offensive lineman and to a lesser extent defensive linemen should be paid attention to as well. Maybe guys who played at a smaller school against what most folks would say is inferior competition should also have their numbers scrutinzed a bit more but on the whole Id pay a LOT more attention to what they did on film.

  5. aldo Says:

    im tired to listen about “too early to pick a safety”, i don’t know about any freaking rule about “u select in 3rd overall that kind of player…”, i stand in my position, we need eric berry and later in the second round we can pick a DT and a WR……

    now, i guess the best thing that can happen to us is than suh and mccoy were taken with the first 2 picks, thats because much more teams want to trade with us the position to take sam bradford over the redskins, can u imagine for example seattle giving us their two first rounders just for move up and take bradford?? is just thoughts of what can happen, and please guys, the prospect is just that, a prospect, that not means that he will be a stud in the NFL, look at gaines adams, maybe a stud in clemson, and a big bust in the NFL, and there are much more cases!!!!!

    i wanna see eric berry in pewter and red!!!!

  6. aldo Says:

    BTW, sorry for my English, im not American and obviously i can make a lot of mistakes

  7. tampa2 Says:

    1st, if Suh or McCoy are there at the 3rd pick Berry is a moot point. (Suh preferrably). But if Suh and McCoy are gone then Berry should be the pick for sure. Who cares if “it’s never been done before”. We need an “impact” player, and Berry is an impact player that will start “somewhere” in his 1st year. I like Steve’s 2nd round pick too. Geno Atkins. This is a very deep draft pool this year. I only hope that the Bucs will be committed enough (to trying to win) to take advantage of it.

  8. JoeBucsSteveCampbell Says:

    Steve-Did you play at UT with Shane Bonham? My buddy, who was a 3 year starter at UF when I was there, swears bonham was one of the toughest guys he went against. Right up there with John Copeland.

  9. sgwhiteinfla Says:


    Yep, I was there with Shane and its true that he was a monster in college. His stats didn’t necessarily show it but he was relentless and had a motor like you wouldn’t believe. He transferred from Air Force and his first year he couldn’t play so they had him on the scout team with us true freshman. Im not exaggerating when I say he made our starting O Line’s life hell every day at practice and when he finally got the chance to play he did the same to all of the SEC offensive linemen he faced. He actually played for quite awhile for the Lions and was pretty productive there as well.

  10. JoeBucsSteveCampbell Says:

    That’s the words he used, relentless and motor, he said Bonham was an absolute bitch to block on EVERY play.

  11. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Guys the reason a safety hasn’t been picked as the #3 overall is simple: MONEY…MONEY…MONEY

    Look at the past several drafts and look at what they’ve been paying these kids – absolutely outrageous dollars.

    Look I’m not against people making what they’re worth but the amount of dough a #3 overall pick is going to be awarded make it too costly to draft Eric Berry.

    As for Suh/McCoy being available – I’m confident one of them will still be on board. St. Louis is going to pass on these guys…

  12. Radio Mushmouth Says:

    For a position that is supposedly SOOOO unimportant , Bucs fans sure do find a way to blame Sabby for EVERYTHING….

  13. Mr. Lucky Says:

    The reason Sabby gets blamed so much is because the current D-line had so many holes in it that every team running got their RB into the Bucs linebackers untouched.

    John Lynch would have had a great season in 2009 but Sabby got burned more than my wife’s toast!

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    If you use the “Best Player on the Board” approach, does it matter which position he plays? I don’t understand how any one defensive position can be more important than another. It takes all 11 guys and if a Safety is not as valuable as a DT, then how many big plays were attributed to Sabby vs how many were attributed to Hovan or Miller? If the Safety, either one, is not one of the most important positions on the field (defense) then who is? In construction there is a saying “Safety is Number 1” also “Safety Pays”. I would pick Berry before Suh or McCoy, because I think he is the best defensive player in the draft. I would also be happy if they took Russel Okung, instead of Suh or McCoy.

    Trade Ward for Cromartie. Trade Bears pick for Marshall. Trade 3’rd round pick for Boldin. Draft Berry at #3. Draft Tebow in the 2’nd round as H/full back/TE/Backup QB. Trade Josh Johnson to Rams for 4’th round pick. Lock Barrett Ruud in the weight room.