Three Drafts A Charm

April 22nd, 2011

Don Banks is convinced the Bucs are on the cusp of greatness.

The former Bucs beat writer and current Sports Illustrated NFL writer has busted out a huge story on Mark Dominik and his drafts and philosophy. It’s long, and reasonably interesting.

“It’s not too much different for us, because we’re still really young,” said Dominik, himself only 40, but a 16-year veteran of the Bucs organization. “If I could steal (Packers general manager) Ted Thompson’s words, you’ve got to put three or maybe even four draft classes together to really get the team you want to be at this level. I do feel like we’ve got two good draft classes now back to back, and I’m excited about the way we handle the draft. But I want to continue that, obviously because (Josh) Freeman is so young, and there’s a big window here that I hope is just starting to open up.

“When you have the right quarterback, you want to keep that window open as long as possible, like the Patriots and Colts have done. But this draft class is again very pivotal for us because we have some question marks on this roster that still need to be answered, and I feel like this draft has to do that.”

The Bucs’ need list starts with a search for pass rush, where they were ranked 31st in the league last season with 26 sacks. Having taken defensive tackles McCoy and Price in the first two rounds last year, Tampa Bay is desperate for a defensive end who can generate some edge rush. In another recent example of Buc Luck (which has been the fortuitous kind of late), this year’s draft is rich with quality pass-rushing defensive ends.

The premise of Banks’ story is that the Bucs have had two great draft classes in a row and three in a row usually means a team will achieve greatness.

Joe loves reading all this stuff, and Joe is hopeful but is still grounded in reality. The Bucs struggle against the run, especially without Cody Grimm on the field, and the pass rush is among the league’s worst. Yes, Joe re-watched a couple of 2010 games this week.

As far as Joe’s concerned, the jury is still out on the Bucs’ last four draft picks along the defensive line over the past two years, guys taken in Rounds 1, 2, 3 and 4. Some of these guys will have to step up in a huge way, especially if Barrett Ruud returns at middle linebacker, before Joe truly puts the “great” label on the 2009 and 2010 draft classes. 

Yes, the Bucs won 10 games with a subpar pass rush and getting gashed against the run. Amazing, really. But that’s not a good formula for success.

Joe’s got a feeling Keith Millard will have a huge say on the final grades for the Bucs’ last two draft classes.

40 Responses to “Three Drafts A Charm”

  1. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Bottom line: if u elimimate freeman, what has been great about these 2 drafts? Yes, freeman appears to be, possibly williams and grimm, but the rest is a lot of mediocre, questions and apparent busts.

    If u want to argue that any draft that includes a franchise qb is great, i can accept that, but to act like the remainder has been great is a fanatical stretch – summed up by 3 letters “gmc.” unless he turns into a different player he should never have been 3 overall.

  2. Matt Says:

    Man, Thomas. Let’s set aside your GMC hate and look at the rest:

    Josh Freeman QB – Obvious
    Roy Miller DT – Likely rotational DT in 2011, okay starter, great backup
    Kyle Moore DE – Borderline bust
    Xavier Fulton OT – Released, bust
    EJ Biggers CB – Nickel CB at worst this year, likely future starter
    Sammie Stroughter WR – 3rd-4th WR

    5/6 still on team, ~2 starters, 4 of which will get regular playing time in 2011 (I’m excluding Moore).

    Gerald McCoy DT – Exempt, as noted above
    Brian Price DT – Worst case, rotates with Miller at UT
    Arrelious Benn WR – Likely #2 WR going forward
    Myron Lewis CB – Currently #4 on depth, likely to play a lot of nickel this year
    Mike Williams WR – Obvious #1 WR, legit ROY candidate
    Brent Bowden P – Bust
    Cody Grimm S – Played very well in 2010, likely starter in 2011
    Dekoda Watson – Great special teams player, may get some starting playing time in 2011 (depending on who is re-signed/drafted)
    Erik Lorig DE Moved to FB, likely bust

    8/9 still on team, ~4 starters, 6 of which will get regular playing time in 2011.

    Right now we have gotten 6 starters easy out of the past two drafts. It could easily be up to 8 by the end of this year.

    They’re not all Pro Bowlers, but at worst we’re looking at two possible Pro Bowlers (Freeman and Williams), with at least 2-3 others who have that potential.

    And I’m not even including the undrafted FAs.

    I challenge you to find another team in the league with that success over two years. No, really, I’ll wait.

    We get it, you’re not on board. But if you’re going to try and tell me that if you look at our draft history from 2000-2008 vs. these past two drafts and say that they haven’t been FAR AND AWAY BETTER, then you are obviously a complete idiot.

  3. Matt Says:

    BTW, here is a nice graph showing our terrible drafting in the 2000s:

  4. Gary Says:


    Dont even try proving your points with logic and facts… he doesnt like things like that.

  5. Gary Says:


    I must say one thing I admire about you is your self confidence. I mean you are so sure about your beliefs nothing else matters.

    When 90% of people on this site disagree with you, that didnt matter.

    When experts disagree with you, that didnt matter.

    When you have been proven wrong again and again, that didnt matter.

    I would not be able to do that. Eventually I would have to wonder if its really true that I’m the only one who is smart and everyone else is stupid.

  6. Leighroy Says:


    One other thing I took away from that article was all this talk about how Dominik and the scouts look at next year’s draft strengths. It might be a good idea to have Justin take a look at this for us and break it down as part of his coverage? If it informs this year’s decisions so much, like it did last year, then I think it would be highly relevant! Perhaps this is planned already, or maybe you have before, and I missed it, but either way, a refresher at least would be nice!

  7. BigMacAttack Says:

    You know what I admire most about Thomas?

    Not a damn thing.

  8. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    I disagree on miller, mccoy is horrible, price us unknown, lewis was a disappointment. Change your biased opinion to include the aforementioned and it isnt so rosy.

  9. kyle Says:


    How can you call someone horrible when they barely played half a year? Sapp had 3 sacks and 1 pick does that make him horrible too? Ngata had one sack in his rookie year so he must suck too…Facestomper only had one sack in his rookie year too he sucks. Kyle Williams had zero man he must suck too. Your argument is invalid and you know absolutely nothing about grading talent because if you did you would probably be a draft scout. BTW GMC had in 13 games 3 sacks and 2 FF when all the rest of these guys played in 16 games but oh man GMC just sucks I totally have to agree with you…

  10. gotbbucs Says:

    it’s still way too early to judge these last two draft classes. for the most part signs are pointing up for a good portion of these guys. just keep bitching though thomas, it really seems to be working well for you.

  11. Posey99 Says:

    “Joe’s got a feeling Keith Millard will have a huge say on the final grades for the Bucs’ last two draft classes.”

    This will be the key. No more excuses about player coaching on the DL. if McCoy, Price, Miller, Kyle Moore, Stylz, etc. Ain’t got it by the end of the season then we know. I have a feeling we have a star on our roster and Millard will find him.

  12. Leighroy Says:

    Thomas isn’t 100% wrong. McCoy did suck out loud for the first 4-6 games. But that wasn’t unexpected, so I don’t think you can hold it against him.

    After that though, assuming you actually watched the games, he was getting more consistent penetration into the backfield even if the stats don’t show it. I think that was right around the time where that article on JBF came out about how he “stopped trying to think and just started playing football.”

    Then the stats started coming in and he got his FF and a double digit sack game before he got injured.

    Thomas, Warren Sapp didn’t disagree with you either at the start of the season. But he did change his tune by about half-way through. And I don’t know you from Adam, but I’m trusting his judgment over yours 100 times out of 100.

    If you look at just numbers, then sure, he didn’t light up the league like Suh did. But anyone with a good football eye could see he was starting to figure it out.

  13. Leighroy Says:

    A few errors, but hopefully you could figure out what I was trying to say 😉

  14. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Thomas has it out for McCoy. He hasn’t liked him since before he was drafted. He expects every rookie DT to be as good as Suh. His next post will almost definitely point to the lack of stats against Atlanta, even though he was extremely disruptive that game. No matter what, he will never admit he is wrong, even if GMC becomes a Hall of Famer. It’s really not even worth arguing with him about it. It’s like arguing with a woman – even though they are wrong, they will convince themselves otherwise, thus making you wrong.

  15. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    “But anyone with a GOOD FOOTBALL EYE could see he was starting to figure it out.”


    Here lies the problem with Thomas.

  16. Amar Says:

    Thomas is just looking for attention, he still hasn’t gotten back to Joe on who gets credit for last years success. His words hold no credibility therefore is the reason why I chose not to debate/argue with him. I don’t know why you all bother.

  17. Mr. Lucky Says:

    Guys ease up on the Pewter Punch will ya?

    Thomas isn’t wearing Pewter sunglasses like the rest of you all. The Super Star of the 2010 draft is hands down: Mike Williams. PERIOD. END OF DISCUSSION!

    Now Price – TOTAL BUST because of his injury and didn’t play.

    Benn – Sorry but the dude took 10 games to even understand the playbook. Sure he made 1-3 splash plays for highlight reels but I want a WR who plays and makes 4-5 catches A GAME! Then he goes down injuried – GRADE C-

    McCoy – The overall #3 pick for the Bucs did what exactly? Compared to Suh GMC sucked. On his own he showed glimpses of potential but that’s all it was POTENTIAL. Then he goes down injured for the season – guess he was tweeting too much and ripped that triceps. GRADE: B-

    Surprise draft pick: Cody Grimm: This kid gets on the field and has an IMMEDIATE impact stopping the run game – (hint, hint Barrett) without regard to his body he made plays and went down with an injury. GRADE C.

    Biggest find, i.e., Diamond in the Rough: LeGarrett Blount. Tough, hard, no-nonsense kid who is a game changer. Too bad that Olsen didn’t know enough on how to properly use this kids talents, maybe like having pulling guards and trap plays? GRADE: A

    Lewis and Watson – too early to grade them they need some more time but Thomas isn’t as far from the truth as some of you HOMERS

  18. m.wesley Says:

    Im sorry everyone cant be an all pro there first year, and im sure you guys doubting Mccoy had the same feeling for freeman,Mccoy may not have had many sacks but no one just sat in the pocket without him chasing them to the outside were the ends were non factors.I know you think benn is a bust but see what Denver got for there first round pick.Injuries happen,so why dont we wait three years and see what happens because if you rate them know most are ahead of schedule or right on.Second round reciever bust Dexter Jackson,Benn showed progress from one game to the next,as did most of the rookies.

  19. Bucnjim Says:

    Mr. Lucky,

    When comparing good draft classes vs failures it’s more about productiion than Superstar players. I would consider this a GREAT draft class because they’ve found a potential superstar in round 4; a diamond in the rough in the 7th; first and second round draft picks that even in the worse case senario will be productive starters in the NFL. The combination of ALL these players makes this a great draft.

  20. Amar Says:

    I like how Mr. Lucky says GMC sucked but then graded him a B- LOL

  21. Bucnjim Says:

    I would like to see a list of teams that you feel had a better draft class than the Bucs so we can all compare.

  22. mike Says:

    Everyone needs to stop comparing mccoy with suh. Suh had way more talent around him and was able to stay at one position. Mccoy had to play multilple positions and had crap around him as well as a bad dline coach. Mccoy will be better than suh give him time.

  23. BigMacAttack Says:

    The Bucs’ O line OWNED Suh. Suh had one good play in that entire game. One of the best things to come out of last year’s team was the development of young O linemen. Trueblood, Faine, and Joseph were ALL outplayed by their replacements. QB’s don’t put up Freeman’s numbers and RB’s don’t gain 1000 yards in less than a season unless someone is blocking up front. The whole thing is a team effort. It is difficult to single out any player on a unit when they are all so intertwined. The Bucs D line also improved as the season progressed with and without GMC.

  24. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    The d line was better without mccoy. Dont even try to argue that Suh wasnt the best rookie d tackle in decades, maybe in history. He was a Pro Bowler, All-Pro, and received many votes for D Player of the Year.

    GMC was outplayed by Okam and Bennett at the position okay. Honestly, both those guys were better, more productive and disruptive than GMC – they are both young as well.

    GMC had basically 1 good game, and 1.5 decent games. He played poorly in the other 9.

  25. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Thomas, that’s quite simply a BS comment. The d-line was not better without McCoy, I don’t know what you were watching. To say he played poorly in 9 games is ignorant, but we’ve all come to expect that. Yes, they had a great game against Seattle, but come on, it was Seattle.

    Why do you always bring up Suh? Yes he’s great. So the flock what! He’s not on our team. Dry off your panties and get over him.

  26. BigMacAttack Says:

    The fact is that our our O line stuffed Suh on each and every play. So if Suh is the greatest thing since sliced bread, then what does it say about our young O line? Mike Williams deserved the ROY award over Suh by far. He was the best rookie by far. Blount was second and then Suh, IMO.

  27. BamBamBuc Says:

    Comparing McCoy to Suh is like comparing Dexter Jackson to DeSean Jackson. Suh was GONE when our turn to draft came up. So was DeSean Jackson. I would say McCoy was a better choice than Dexter was. Anyone comparing McCoy to Suh needs to get over it, the fact is there was no way we could draft Suh. He wasn’t our player to get. If you wanna compare McCoy to Tyson Alualu, who was drafter after McCoy, then I’d understand that. We could have gotten Alualu. If you’re still pissed because we took GMC instead of Eric Berry, Joe Haden or some other position… well, get over that too. We found a decent run-stuffing Safety in the 7th round in Cody Grimm. EJ Biggers filled in decently for Talib during his suspension and injury (another 7th round pick). Not as good as Berry or Haden, but it’s not like we needed the help at DB. Our secondary was definitely the best part of the defense last year. Maybe you think we should have taken Ryan Mathews at #3??? I’d rather have GMC AND pick up Blount off the waiver wire.
    Compare GMC to anyone you want… except Sam Bradford and Suh… because they were gone before we had the opportunity to draft (not that we’d have drafted Bradford, just that he falls into the same category).

  28. Ravelston Says:

    For a less jaundiced view of GMC try

  29. Joe Says:


    Didn’t Chucky actually trade down in order to set the team up to draft the bad Dexter Jackson, in the process passing on DeSean Jackson?

  30. Joe Says:

    Thomas 2.2:

    Would you knock it off with Suh. He wasn’t available. The Rams and Lions were not trading their picks. This is just an asinine argument.

    Sometimes you make relevant points but bullsh!t like this destroys everything you write.

    There are two questions you refuse to answer and it just may get you bounced someday.

    1) How was Dominik supposed to get Suh? (If you suggest Dominik should have drafted someone other than McCoy, then quit bringing up Suh.)

    2) Who gets the credit for the Bucs winning 10 games last year? You always b!tch about how Rah was to blame for the Bucs winning but three games in 2009. That’s fair. Then who gets the credit for last year?

  31. Joe Says:

    That’s very fair Mr. Lucky.

    Joe would be hesitant to call a guy a bust right away who, because of school couldn’t work in OTAs and then got injured right away.

    Certainly an incomplete grade.

  32. Joe Says:

    The d line was better without mccoy

    Hhhmm. Seems the best outing by the Bucs defensive line was at San Francisco and McCoy started. Silly Joe.

  33. Joe Says:

    Hawaiian Buc:

    There are three people walking the face of the earth that make Thomas 2.2 get up in the middle of the night and chug Mylanta:

    Mark Dominik
    Raheem Morris
    Gerald McCoy

  34. BigMacAttack Says:

    Sorry Joe, but his mom tells him to get up at night too, so he doesn’t wet the bed.

  35. BigMacAttack Says:

    Go Lightning! 8-2 Yeah!

  36. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Joe: I have said repeatedly that I have no problem with Dominik. He has done, overall, a good job. I don’t like the b.s. statements made publicly but I understand who he works for.

    Rah is a very good D Backs coach and should not be anything more in the NFL, the only reason he is, here, is because he accepted the job for pennies on the dollar. As for the answers above let me start with #(2): You are correct that I give Rah Rah very little credit for the 10 wins, that goes to Freeman, Williams, Blount and Olson, and the easy schedule with good fortune of getting 2nd 3rd or rookie qbs in roughly 3/4 of the schedule.

    Now for #(1): I am not arguing that the team made a mistake for not drafting Suh (I have made this clear) , the mistake was drafting McCoy at all at #3 (if you cant see the difference then you are closing your eyes). They convinced themselves that he was comparable to Suh b/c it was a need and marquee position in the Tampa 2. McCoy was/is about 1/3 of the player as Suh in the Big 12 against the same competition, even less so in 2010. McCoy should have been a 3rd or 4th round pick, with a grade comparable to Roy Miller. In fact, I thought that the McCoy and Miller were very similar players in 2008 (which is fine for Miller a marginal NFL player and 3rd rounder, but not for McCoy at number 3 overall). The sales pitch of McCoy as the co-face of the franchise was absurd. This mistake was magnified by drafting a virtually identical player in Price, who I actually liked more than McCoy and Miller pre-draft and before injury.

    This doesnt mean, of course, that McCoy will never be productive (he is capable of having a good game (followed by two bad ones)). I believe that he will in time improve into a legit starter, but based on what I have seen he was not #3 overall material and not first round material. I predict that he will have a less stellar career than a Booger Macfarland, he will certainly never be anything close to a Sapp.

    Much of what happened in 2010 is debatable. I believe that we saw the emergence of a very good qb (especially late in the game). I believe that we saw some big play potential at wr and rb. This is exciting and capable of keeping them in most games.

    I also believe we saw a very bad defense (the points allowed stats are skewed by how bad they are against the run which shortens the game by keeping the clock running like the Skins game). They are horrible in run stopping and pass rushing, arguably the 2 most important facets of defense – Who is responsible for that Joe? I am sure you sheep will blame everyone but the baby HC? It is cute how you defend him – albeit usually by arguing how the offense improved and trying to stretch credit to him that way. The fact is: the defense stunk again – he fired assistants like he habitually does so the public assumes that someone other than he must be the problem. I bet:

    Jags, Bates, Rich B (who thanked Dungy and Gruden but left someone out), the O line coach, the D Line coach etc. If they step back in 2011 – I am sure he will can some more assistants. At some point maybe we will ALL realize that the problem isnt the assistants.

  37. Joe Says:

    Thomas 2.2:

    I am not arguing that the team made a mistake for not drafting Suh (I have made this clear) , the mistake was drafting McCoy at all at #3

    OK, that’s fair.

    You are correct that I give Rah Rah very little credit for the 10 wins, that goes to Freeman, Williams, Blount and Olson, and the easy schedule with good fortune of getting 2nd 3rd or rookie qbs in roughly 3/4 of the schedule.

    OK. Fair again. We’re cool Thomas.

    Thanks for (finally) answering the 2010 question. 🙂

  38. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    3 guys that Thomas wants to put their underwear on his face:

    1. Ndamukong Suh
    2. Jon Gruden
    3. Bill Cowher

  39. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    Funny how all the experts and scouts had McCoy as a top 5 pick, but you have some amazing taken evaluation so they are all wrong. Besides, who did you want to draft Mr. GM? I will now cheer even harder for McCoy just to stick in your face.

    As for Raheem, it’s amazing that he can NEVER be anymore than a DB coach. So much for growth and development! I wish you would take your head out of your arse long enough to realize how stupid you sound. It’s also crazy that a DB coach was second in coach of the year, but that was all because of Josh Freeman right? I really wish you played sports growing up, because them you would actually understand how it works. Unfortunately, playing lead clarinet in the band doesn’t prepare you to discuss sports with any accuracy. Sorry!

  40. Hawaiian Buc Says:

    Should be “talent evaluation”. Stupid iPhone.