Bucs Should Eye Cameron Heyward

March 3rd, 2011

There’s no question the Bucs need a defensive end. Despite loading up on defensive tackles the past two seasons high in the draft, the Bucs pass rush was, for the most part, non-existent last year.

Hence the need for a defensive end.

But the problem is that thanks to a good season in 2010, the Bucs pick 20th. Also bad for the Bucs, it seems other teams need defensive ends as well. So Pat Kirwan, he of NFL.com, CBS Sports and Sirius NFL Radio, is cautioning Bucs fans to temper their expectations.

Kirwan has gone so far as to inform Bucs fans they should start looking at Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward, a sideline-to-sideline guy.

Paul, West Virginia
Hey Pat, Paul in WV here. Appreciate your kindness. Cameron Jordan, Robert Quinn to the Bucs in first round? DE or some are saying replacement for #20? I think Barbers eventual replacement is already on the roster. What say the GM?

Pat Kirwan, NFL.com
I see both Quinn and Jordan gone by the time the Bucs draft at #20. So you might have to be more creative and look deeper into the draft at guys like Clayborn and Heyward. You might even see Ryan Kerrigan gone. Unfortunately, many teams ahead of you need DEs. I see 5-6 DEs possibly going before you pick.

This year’s draft class is supposed to be very deep at defensive end. As a result, Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik could go several ways here. One would be to draft defensive ends with his first two picks like he did last year at defensive tackle with Gerald McCoy and Brian Price.

Or, Dominik could be bold and pick a linebacker in the first round and load up on defensive ends later in the draft.

38 Responses to “Bucs Should Eye Cameron Heyward”

  1. jesse j Says:

    or, trade up…

  2. WeNeedDefense Says:

    Or sign AJ Hawk and then go ahead and draft a DE in both the 1st and 2nd round.

  3. Feel Says:

    WeNeedDefense Says:
    March 3rd, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Or sign AJ Hawk and then go ahead and draft a DE in both the 1st and 2nd round.


    Hawk is already going back to GB. He never intended to leave.

    As for Hayward: do not want him. Why do these “experts” say things like that? In one sentence they will say our biggest need is pass rush, then suggest the solution is someone who is not a pass rusher. While we certainly could use DE help on both sides, there will be better options than a 2nd tier LDE at #20.

  4. Amar Says:

    This just reassures my garauntee that Dominik will be going LB in the first and DE’s in the rounds after.

  5. Gary Says:

    Man, looks like picking 20 is going to screw us in the end. Either we go DE and get some middle of the pack DE (for a 1st rounder) or reach and get a LB.

    I hope Dom has something up his sleeve, he needs to get creative here. If not, we need to hope someone slides down to us.

  6. Dave Says:

    I like Heyward but he just doesn’t seem to be the fit for the Bucs. He is not a speed rusher, he is a big power guy great against the run. He seems more like a 3-4 DE, but then again so does JJ Watt and I like him alot too.

    They could definately use him as long as they also get a speed guy in the next couple rounds OR, dare I say, sign Edwards or Kiwanuka

  7. Dave Says:


    Hawk and half the Free Agents are not really free agents. they list 450 of them because of last years class being pushed to this year, but half are like Barber – no intention of signing anywhere but with their current team and the team does not intend to let them go. Hawk is one of them. Just like DE Charles Johnson.

    Regardless, unless they trade up and have something specific they are thinking about, I think they go DE or maybe LB if Houston is there because he is looking like a guy who could add 10 lbs and be a DE speed rusher.

    Nothing is set in stone yet. It all depends on who is available; either a stud DE they like or a LB, but they should not have to reach for either.

  8. Matt Says:

    I would be happy with Ironhead II…in the 2nd round.

  9. Matt Says:

    P.S. Hawk already re-signed with GB.

  10. aldo Says:

    why all u guys think we are gonna pick a DE??? with so many DE picked, i will not be shocked if we get a LB or OG, look at akeem ayers or mike pouncey at this pick

  11. Pete Dutcher Says:


    Look at it this way…if all the quality DEs are gone when we pick, should we STILL pick a mediocre DE?

    I’m all for taking hte best player available…off all the positions we need. We need LBs too. If the best player available means the remaining LBs are better than the remaining DEs, take the DEs.

    Free Agency won’t take place till after the draft this year, so there will be guys out there if we do not fill a role.

  12. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Love how people are jumping on the LB bandwagon though, considering I brought it up at the end of last season 😉

  13. gotbbucs Says:

    Dominik has said over and over again that he’s going to follow his draft board and stay true to his rankings. if that’s truely the case, and i beleive it is, then Heyward isn’t the guy.

  14. Pete Dutcher Says:

    You are assuming you know hwhat’s on his draft board. None of use actually ever do.

  15. JDouble Says:

    ”Or, Dominik could be bold and pick a linebacker in the first round and load up on defensive ends later in the draft.”

    I’m just curious what LB you would take in the first round? Von Miller will obviously be long gone, so what other LB fits our scheme and is worth a first round pick? The correct answer is nobody, but since you made that suggestion I’d love to here your train of thought Joe.

  16. Dave Says:

    “You are assuming you know hwhat’s on his draft board. None of use actually ever do.”

    True AND none of us know who exactly will be available.

    It seems obvious to me, they take the top rated DE or LB they have on their board.

    OG? Not a chance. They are going to address defensive front 7. They made their offer to Davin Joseph and have capable backups AND a backup center (Zuttah) who can play OG. As long as Joseph comes back, OG is one of the deepest positions on the team. I can see them taking an OT later in the draft though.


    I don’t see it as anyone jumping on a LB bandwagon. It is just as the year went on, what they though could be a strength (LB) proved to be just adequate. Now they have 4 of the 6 LBs as free agents so they are in a position to upgrade and really choose who they think should stay long term.

  17. Macabee Says:

    Beware of ” Spoofing” by NFL analyst because some of them are in cahoots with NFL agents to talk-up or talk-down potential draftees for financial benefit. It’s synonymous to Payola in the music business. This is meant to throw-off draft boards or low-ball trade-up or trade-down values. The Bucs need a slow, 3-4 exclusive LDE like a hole in the head. To be clear, I’m not accusing Kirwan, he just may be stupid!

  18. Dave Says:


    Good point.

    I don’t mind Heyward, but a big, power rush guy who is good against the run is someone not for round 1 usually. He woould be an improvement over the BUcs current crop of DEs but I see him as a reach in round 1.

  19. McBuc Says:

    I have to agree with JDouble, I don’t see any great LBs in this draft…not 1st round guys anyway.

  20. Dave Says:

    Let me know your thoughts on this:

    1. Raheem and Tomlin are tight
    2. Steelers want Pouncy
    3. KC & Philly & some other team who picks after the Bucs are rumored to want him as well

    Do you think the Bucs would trade DOWN to 31 and give the Steelers pick 20?
    If they do they would also get the Steelers 2nd OR their 3rd & 4th.

    I think it is a possibility, but it all depends on who is left at pick 20. I know most of you would rather have them trade up, but you have to look at all possibilities. Trading up might not be an option.

  21. Feel Says:

    It is March 3rd, and everyone just ASSUMES all of the good DE are ALREADY picked and we are screwed. I am willing to bet there will be a couple of legitimate options at #20 for a pass rusher. I think either Aldon Smith, Kerrigan or Houston have a good shot to still be there.

  22. Dave Says:


    I agree. I think many of those ahead of the Bucs will go after some bigger DEs like Watt. I think Kerrigan and Houston will be there. Don’t know about Aldon, but what I have heard is he is more of a project.
    The Bucs need someone who can rush the edge and give 120% every play and play right away.

  23. jvato24 Says:

    The LB in the 1st round talk to me would imply a reach … I dont see Dominik reaching in the first round

    Who is this mystery LB that is going to fly up draft boards at the last minute by the way ???

    Also I keep hearing DE in rounds 1 and 2 … Take a look at the top 100 players on cbssports.com .. The cupboard is pretty bare after the RD 1 DE class gets drafted ..

    Romeus should be a 4th round pick due to health issues and Jabaal Sheard got arrested for a beating a dude senseless and throwing him through a store window after the police tried to break it up ..

    Last year the Bucs drafted the strengths of one of the best drafts in a long time … I beleive Dominik will go BPA and try to get his guy in RD 1 by trading up 3-5 spots.

  24. gotbbucs Says:

    Pete Dutcher, aren’t message boards all about assuming things and speculating?
    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Cameron Heyward isn’t one of the top 20 players in this draft. That’s basically all I’m saying.
    Also, I’d like to know what everybody is considering a LB to mean exactly. Are we talking about 3-4 Rush Linebackers or pure 4-3 Linebackers? Because if it’s the later then I think it’s out of the question, but if you’re talking about Justin Houston then of course he’s in the conversation. I consider Houston a 4-3 DE that could POSSIBLY transition to OLB/DE.

  25. gotbbucs Says:

    jvato, that is my exact thought. i think they’ll try to leapfrog the Jaguars if the Jaguars are still sitting where they started. I half expect the Jaguars to try to trade up too though.

  26. Theodore Says:

    Joe – Why would drafting a LB in the first round be “bold”? Do we have any good ones?

  27. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    Gee Pete, I thought I was the lone voice banging the LB drum. No LB in the first round. Not even a chance. No Lbs to draft that high, plus still good DEs available. Heywood in not a rush DE. Still options into 2nd round. Brooks Reed ( I think that’s his name) from Arizona would be a great rush end, probably in the second round. Ryan Winterswyk is a rush end- probably 3rd or 4th round.
    Please, stop the pain and anxiety! We will get a pass rush DE in this draft. They may trade up and get one. They may stay put. Either way. They will get one.the same thing will happen that always happens. Teams will draft over valued QBs. The boards show rank by talent. Teams will reach for QBs . They always have, they always will. Have faith in MarK Dominick. He will get our man
    And it will be Adrian Clayborn


  28. IMHO... Says:

    get Justin Houston if available. 4-3 DE, 3-4 OLB. Perfect size and speed 4 our defensive scheme

  29. Joe Says:


    Well, given the fact the Bucs most glaring need is for an edge rusher, to go elsewhere in the first round, Joe would say that is bold.

  30. Dave Says:

    Capt. Troll killer Tim

    I agreed with everything until you said “Adrian Clayborn”
    I don’t have a problem with that, I’ll put faith in them and assume they did their homework because there are a bunch of red flags on him. His upside, however, is tremendous.

    Personally, I have switched over and all for them grabbing Ryan Kerrigan.

    Either way, it sounds like people are panicking and thinking there will be no DEs left when, in fact, there are good ones avialble in the first 4 rounds more than likeley.

    Miller might be the only TRUE 1st round worthy LB, but there is alot of value in the lB spot in rounds 2-3.

    Hey, who knows. I have seen mocks with Ayers going in the 10 or 11 spot and then not until 32. Almost the same with Kerrigan and Clayborn. I have seen Cameron Jordan go in the top 10 and in the bottom 20’s.

    Basically it is all pure specualtion and in the end a roll of the dice.

  31. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    It really is Speculation at this point, but it has to be a DE in the first. Personally, I expect them to trade their first and second to move up. But that’s just a guess on my part

  32. Theodore Says:

    Well, Joe. I disagree. If the only way a GM knows how to fill a ‘gapping hole’ is with a first round pick, I say he shouldn’t be a GM. Dominik did just fine filling the WR gapping hole last year without using his first round pick.

    LB is a need too. The run defense is a sh*tty as can be. Taking a LB in the first is far from bold. Fairly pedestrian if I say so.

  33. gotbbucs Says:

    theodore, two things. 1st, last years draft was freakishly deep so dont compare that one to other draft classes. 2nd, you really need to understand positional value and where you can and cant get starters at certain positions in conjuction to the round

  34. Theodore Says:

    I understand how the draft works gotbbucs. I don’t need a primer on teams needs vs player value vs postion depth.

    But thank you for making my point. If Dominik takes a LB in the first round, I’d hardly call that bold. DEs may fly off the board, a good LB might fall because of that, and the team needs a LB. How is that bold?

  35. Patrick Says:

    I’m really not sure about taking a DE in the first round. If 5 or 6 DE’s are possibly taken by the time we pick, I think we should go to free agency and get someone like Ray Edwards who’s still young. If all the good one’s are taken off the board, we shouldn’t draft a DE just because we NEED one. If this is the case, I say go LB or O line in the first and maybe get a DE in the 2nd or even 3rd round. Btw, if we brought Ray Edwards in here, he would make an immediate impact on our line and we’d for sure have an effective pass rush next year. Next year we have a much tougher schedule and our goal should be to make the playoffs and even go further. If we take a DE in the first round, he likely won’t do crap his rookie year (like most D lineman) and we’ll have no pass rush next year. Add that to the uncertainty about whether McCoy and Price will pan out or not, and you might want to play it safe and go to FA

    The owners and the players association will come to an agreement eventually. It’s just a matter of when. Once that happens, free agency begins. I don’t think it’ll be too long, but most likely not before the deadline.

    Bottomline: if the D line doesn’t improve drastically from last year, we will not see the playoffs in 2011. That’s going to be the key.

  36. gotbbucs Says:

    Theodore, tell me how a LB is going to fall when there are none that are worth taking at the 20th pick, and by LB, I’m assuming that you’re talking about 4-3 LB’s.
    4-3 LB’s just DO NOT represent good value in the 1st round, especially when there are none worth taking when the Bucs pick. That is just the nature of how this draft class is playing out.
    Now if you’re refering to Justin Houston as a LB, then of course your approach is good.

    Not quite sure how I made your point for you in my post though? I’m pretty sure I contradicted your point.

  37. Theodore Says:

    Sorry gotbbucs, I didn’t consult with my Mel Kiper decoder ring before posting. My point is simple – Not drafting a DE in the first round is not exactly “bold”.

    And yes, you did make my point. If DE value is not there when the Bucs pick, drafting another position isn’t bold. It’s good drafting.

  38. Capt. Troll killer Tim Says:

    GotBucs- “positional value” nice! I don’t know if it’s a word, but I like it!