Is The Draft Direction Really Obvious?

December 24th, 2010

Now Joe’s not one to be talking NFL draft when his team could be playing a virtual playoff game in New Orleans in nine days.

But, since eye-Rah! Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune brought it up, Joe will go there. Kaufman penned a piece stating he’s sure the Bucs will make drafting a top young defensive end their priority in the 2011 draft.

When the 2011 draft rolls around, the Buccaneers will be looking for an edge.Even if a lockout takes place this spring, the NFL has already announced the draft will proceed as scheduled in April. One year after addressing the interior of their defensive line, the Buccaneers will undoubtedly focus on upgrades at defensive end. … 

Unlike last year, the Bucs won’t be picking No. 3 in the draft. They figure to be sitting near the middle of the opening round, meaning some of the top-rated defensive ends could already be off the board by the time they turn in their selection.

There are other pressing needs—linebacker, offensive line—but landing an impact defensive end is the top priority for a young, hungry club on the rise.

Joe’s wouldn’t be so sure about the Bucs snatching a defensive end high in the draft. The Bucs might be much better off investing in a pair of established ends in free agency and grabbing a hard-hitting linebacker or safety early.

So much will ride on Ronde Barber’s decision to return and whether the Bucs take the mindset of trying to make a Super Bowl run coming off a winning season, or just being content to take one more step on their perceived “lasting contender” ladder.

40 Responses to “Is The Draft Direction Really Obvious?”

  1. McBuc Says:

    I am with you on this one Joe. A hard hitting line backer should be our first pick IMO. Safety may be another pressing issue. If GMC keeps moving forward and Price comes on strong, the ends will start to look better. I hope they pick at least on up in FA though.

  2. d-money Says:

    I can see Dom moving up if he sees a player that he likes early in the first round.

  3. d-money Says:

    “The Bucs might be much better off investing in a pair of established ends in free agency and grabbing a hard-hitting linebacker or safety early.”

    That is what everyone wanted last year but do we even know who is going to be available?

  4. d-money Says:

    As far as DE’s in free agency I mean.

  5. mikeck Says:

    Well if you guys want a LB to replace Ruud, you should look to free agency. you want a guy who understands defenses and can make the right call. We dont have 3 years for a rookie to learn. Grab a Free Agent LB and get a DE through the draft.

  6. McBuc Says:

    I was thinking more of a replacement for Black or Geno, but you make a good point mikeck. D-Money also has a good point, who will be out there to pick up?

  7. TJ Says:

    What about the DE from the Gaints # 72 he is a free agent next year. and I think Bailey from Mami is a real Possiblity

  8. Buc You Says:

    Rather than replacing those three, draft a LB in the first (we haven’t done that since Brooks for F’s sakes… he is the best player we have EVER had, better than Leroy Selmon.)… then draft another LB or 2 in rounds 3-5.

    Then make it a competition among all of those backers… afterall, we also need depth and Geno and Black would make excellent backups if they can’t hold down a starting position.

  9. BamBamBuc Says:

    For those asking who will be available as FA’s this year…. Right now…. NO ONE. There are a LOT of players in the last year of their contract, but none are FAs yet. Every single player that is playing for a team right now is under contract to that team and could be re-signed by that team. It is ridiculous to even speculate which players will be available and which not. It’s about like speculating on whether Junior’s in college that are not projected top 10 picks will be there in the draft. They may go back for a Senior year, players in their last year may be re-signed. Give it a few weeks, then it’ll be a topic worth discussing.

  10. Not A Rocket Surgeon Says:

    This draft is going to be deep in DE’s. I wouldnt be surprised if we go with either a DE, LB or OL in the first round.

    What picks do we currently have?

  11. 2 Buc Bill Says:

    i wish dom would sign ray edwards from minny and take a stud corner in the first round (janoris jenkins maybe) to play opposite talib, then go LB in round 2…it’s clear the focus of the off season will be getting some talent on the defensive side of the ball.

  12. bucx01 Says:

    BamBamBuc Says:

    Every single player that is playing for a team right now is under contract to that team and could be re-signed by that team. It is ridiculous to even speculate which players will be available and which not
    All you can do at this point is speculate about the future. It is what drives the NFL in the off-season.

    Yes every player can be resigned, but doesn’t mean they will. Also there are many player who know they will be testing the market. So here is a list of DE that may be a free agent this year. Everyone but Debbie Downer please read:

    Ray Edwards
    Richard Seymour
    Mathias Kiwanuka
    Tamba Hali
    Marcus Spears
    Shaun Ellis

    Trevor Pryce, BAL
    Chris Kelsay, BUF
    Charles Johnson, CAR
    Mark Anderson, CHI
    Matt Roth, CLE
    Jason Hatcher, DAL
    Stephen Bowen, DAL
    Cliff Avril, DET
    Reggie Hayward, JAC
    Brian Robison, MIN
    Derrick Burgess, NE
    Victor Abiamiri, PHI
    Ryon Bingham, SD
    Jacques Cesaire, SD
    Victor Adeyanju, STL
    Stylez White, TB
    Dave Ball, TEN
    Jacob Ford

  13. BamBamBuc Says:

    It’s what drives the NFL in the off-season. Yeah, but it’s not the off-season. It’s the regular season with two games to go, then the playoffs. When the Bucs season is over (whenever that may be), we’ll get a look at who the team re-signs of it’s own players set to be free agents, and we’ll see which players around the league are not getting deals done. As players become availabe, it will be a good time to speculate on whether or not the Bucs will go after them.

    Saying we should get Ray Edwards or Chad Greenway is kinda pointless when they may not even be available. That’s like saying we should sign Tom Brady, Roddy White, Adrian Peterson, DeSean Jackson, Patrick Willis, Troy Polamalu, and Darrelle Revis. Wow, we’d be really good then. Sorry, this isn’t fantasy football.

    I understand wanting to look at who might be out there in the off-season, but it’s too early to speculate. Thanks for the list of “potential” free agents, it will be interesting in the off-season to see which are available and which aren’t.

  14. Bucfanjeff Says:

    Take a DE. Even if they address the position with FA, take a DE. Find one that grades out well and has good hip movement and coachable.

    Take. A. DE.

  15. bucx01 Says:

    A: To meditate on or ponder a subject.
    B: To review something idly or casually and often inconclusively.

    As you have said no one is a free agent yet. We can only speculate that they will be at this point. Now it may not be realistic to assume any of these players will become Buccaneers. But we can speculate, imagine, presume, suppose, surmise, suspect, hypothecate, hypothesize, theorize, who we may have a shot at!

  16. Blackmagic00 Says:

    Bet we take 2 DE 2 LB an OL and a RB. Just thinking about the last draft. We took 2 DT 2 WR and used the picks for a few other positions and that seemed to work real well.

  17. d-money Says:

    You can bet that Dom has a list of potential free agents and is already “speculating” as to who he would be interested in.

  18. Rican Says:

    I would say so. Suh is successful cause he has help, without help from the ends driving the QB to the center McCoy/Miller/Price will always be ineffective.

  19. Patrick Says:

    I agree that we need a proven star out of free agency. Chances are if we get a rookie DE high in the first round, our line still will not be effective because realisticaly we all know that rookie D lineman don’t do crap during their rookie seasons. And next year we really need to start making a serious push for the playoffs and try to go far. I couldn’t stand going through another year of seeing our line get SHREDDED up the middle. I don’t like the idea of surrounding our line with more rookies when it’s already ugly enough to watch.

    To the person who mentioned Osi Umenyiora, if we can get him that would be awesome. And I’m not against getting a DE in the draft, I just don’t want it to be a high pick in the draft and the only option we have next year.

  20. eric Says:

    I vote for Super Bowl run.

  21. Blackmagic00 Says:

    I vote for lasting contender Super Bowl run for at least the next decade. I want this team to be the first with three or more back to back championships.

  22. Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Considering Tampa’s last 2 drafts, I feel confident Mark is already on top of our draft needs.

  23. eric Says:

    Never have so many bragged so hard about accomplishing so little.

  24. RustyRhino Says:

    @ BUC YOU

    “he is the best player we have EVER had, better than Leroy Selmon”

    I am and have been a Brooks fan since he was drafted, but there is no way he is as good as Leroy Slemon. 63 was the team when he played Brooks had help in Sapp and Lynch, Nickerson, Culpepper… You probably do not know because you didn’t see Selmon play live. I have seen both Brooks and Selmon play in Tampa. There is no comparison in my book. No disrespect Brooks has changed his position with his play for sure. Selmon was a beast!!

  25. gitarlvr Says:

    This is exactly what I said the other day. The league moving to the 3-4 defense is partly predicated on personnel. It is simply much easier to bust on a first round 4-3 defensive end than any other position on defense. Drafting a linebacker in the first round is a much safer proposition. Defensive End Ray Edwards from the Minnesota Vikings WILL be available in free agency. He is only 25 and has 19 sacks in the last two years counting the playoffs. The Vikings cannot afford to resign him. He is up for grabs and the Bucs have the cap space to sign him or any other free agent they wish. Other guys will also be available but Edwards is the prize young DE. If the Carolina Panthers DE Charles Johnson(9.5 sacks so far this year)ends up being available, he too would fit the youth movement at only 24 years old.

  26. Camby Says:

    We will have to agree to disagree. Yes they will need to address linebacker and safety, but like we saw this past year when McCoy went ahead of a “sure thing” in Eric Berry, even when presented with a better player, teams will opt to take players in the draft that command a greater salary in FA. The Bucs will have to pay out the nose to land even a mediocre DE, something they have not been want to do the past…ever. Linebackers and safeties can be had at a much more reasonable price on the open market. So if one presents himself, yes I see the Bucs addressing DE early, and attempting to develop their own franchise DE at a reasonable cost, and address LB/S in FA or later on in the draft.

  27. Buc You Says:

    Brooks > Any Buc to ever play in Tampa (Steve Young doesn’t really count)

  28. BigMacAttack Says:

    At the risk of being politically incorrect, which I love to do, Merry CHRISTmas everybody. God loves you ALL. Uncle Joe does too.

    I agree with Apple for once. I think Dominick is all over this thing and will do an awesome job as before. I have complete faith in him.

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    Brook is my favorite Buc of all time and in my eyes the best too. No doubt the others are some of the best ever, but Brooks was great 24/7/365.

  30. BigMacAttack Says:

    Josh Freeman is my hero now. I love that kid. He is fearless, cool, and always thinks he can win against anybody.

  31. gitarlvr Says:

    Camby what are you talking about? Gerald McCoy was considered a sure thing every bit as much as Ndamukong Suh with some draft pundits putting him ahead of Suh. Either way both guys were rightly considered more valuable than Eric Berry.

  32. RustyRhino Says:

    Yeah I like Freeman’s Cool head and leadership to get in any offensive players face and let him know he did not like his effort. Always 110% effort from him and all the younger players. Or he demands an answer as to why not.
    I too like the idea of going with a few young vet DE and drafting one. Edwards and Johnson and a Rookie DE would be nice. They are Good FA types in my book have played had some success and are young. As is most everyone else’s. I like the idea of taking Johnson from the Panthers anyway.

  33. RustyRhino Says:

    I would love to see Selmon in our 3-3-5 & 3-4 we would have pass rush every down then. No problem.

  34. Lucas Jackson Says:

    Food for thought:

    During his prime years, Selmon often had nearly as many tackles as Brooks while also having more sacks than Sapp. For example, in 1977 Selmon had 110 tackles AND 13 sacks.

  35. Buc You Says:

    Brooks carried this defense year in and year out to many winning seasons, and many top 10 defensive rankings. Derrick Brooks was the heart and soul of that decade long vaunting defense. If it wasn’t for Brooks, Monte and Co would have never been what they were, and that was Great, for at least a decade.

    Thanks for the memories Derrick, my favorite pro bowl Buc.

  36. Buc You Says:

    Heading to a Christmas party so I don’t have the time to really break down mr Brooks stats, but chew on this:

    6× First-team All-Pro (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
    3× Second-team All-Pro (1997, 1998, 2001)
    9× First-team All-NFC (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
    11× Pro Bowl selection (1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008)
    Co-Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (2000)
    “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year Award (2003)
    Bart Starr Man of the Year Award (2003)
    AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year (2002)
    Super Bowl champion (XXXVII)
    Pro Bowl MVP (2005)

  37. Buc You Says:

    And here are Leroys career stats

    1976 24
    1977 110
    1978 92
    1979 117
    1980 97
    1981 73
    1982 58
    1983 71
    1984 100
    Total 742
    1976 5.0
    1977 13.0
    1978 11.0
    1979 11.0
    1980 9.0
    1981 6.5
    1982 4.0
    1983 11.0
    1984 8.0
    Total 78.5

    Wow, big deal. I bet Simeon Rice had better stats than that.

  38. Buc You Says:

    Simeon was a beast with Tampa…

  39. gotbbucs Says:

    Yes Buc You, let’s argue about who was better between LeRoy Selmon and Derrick Brooks. They played in completely different era’s, so it’s pretty hard to argue against either one. They were both amazing and meant the world to thier respective teams. There, that’s settled.

  40. gotbbucs Says:

    Now as far as the draft goes. I’m not a very big fan of drafting DE’s very high because the bust factor is high and they rarely meet expectations, i.e. Gaines Adams. Like some people have already said, I would either go the FA route or I would even be for trading for a proven player seeing as though we seem to be ahead of schedule with the rebuilding project. I also don’t think this is a great draft for DE’s, with most of the guys falling in the 4 star or 3 star range, which is fine, they could be good players, but it’s not what I would settle for picking in the teens. CB is fairly deep with the top 3 or 4 guys all potential top 20 picks. LB’s seem pretty shallow to me too but I like Travis Lewis from Oklahoma and he’ll probably come of the board somewhere around where the Bucs will be picking. Pouncey from Florida is an option to maybe take over for Faine at Center if he gets released. Overall this just isn’t going to be a very deep draft I’m afraid.