Not Everyone Drinking Bucs Draft Kool-Aid

May 14th, 2011

Most football observers rose in unison and applauded Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik for yet another savvy draft.

But not everyone leapt from their seats.

Seems as though Adam Caplan of was very much underwhelmed with the Bucs draft, specifically Dominik’s first two selections, Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers. Many Bucs fans believe these two will be bookends for a number of years.

Not Caplan, who explains why he’s not buying Dominik’s draft in a mailbag.

Question: If you consider Tampa’s draft only a C, you need to step back and re-examine. Picking up the top two ends (Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn) with only minor concerns was brilliant. Then picking up the top tackler in the draft (Mason Foster) with their next pick only added to the genius. — Mike A.

Answer: Mike, I hear you, but you need to look at why Bowers slipped way down and why Clayborn wasn’t selected any higher.

In Bowers’ case, it’s hard to argue with the belief that he should have been a top-10 pick based on talent alone. But his knee surgery, which some teams believed was microfracture or close to it, caused his drop. And many of those teams questioned whether he’ll be able to have a long enough career to warrant selecting him in the first round. Medical issues come down to risk. Thirty-one teams believed the risk was too high in the first round. The Buccaneers waited until they thought the risk was worth it in the second round. Time will tell if he turns out to be a steal or not.

As for Clayborn, I had him pegged there, I believe, in all four of my mock draft updates. And the reason is I had a strong feeling that based on his medical issue (Erb’s palsy), he wouldn’t be selected within the first half of the first round. The interesting thing is that on tape, you really can’t tell there was an issue. But that condition affects one side of his body, and sources said you could see that with his shirt off, the affected side wasn’t as developed as the other side. Many teams were concerned that he could play on only one side of the defensive line. It will be interesting to see how he does in the NFL.

As for Foster, he’s an intriguing player. He could play middle or strong-side linebacker in Tampa’s 4-3 defense. He’ll bring a physical presence. And there could be jobs open at both positions depending on the rules of free agency.

Joe’s not so sure Dominik is dodging Bowers’ issues, but Dominik has gone on record he’s comfortable in picking Bowers.

Clearly, only time will tell and picking Bowers very much was a roll of the dice. But it’s not a huge roll where he was selected. Three years from now when people start getting a full read on whether a draft class was good or not, how Bowers is playing will go a long way to determine Dominik’s final grade of this year’s draft.

32 Responses to “Not Everyone Drinking Bucs Draft Kool-Aid”

  1. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    hate to be “that guy” Joe but you spelled Adam’s name both with a “k” and a “c”.

    so which is it?

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    I have faith in Mark Dominick’s ability to evaluate Talent. He’s earned it!Adam Kaplan is another Nobody. Just a talking head, trying to be controversial in the hope that everyone stops ignoring him.

    By the way, none of my comments will post on your very positive James Lee article- what gives?

  3. Joe Says:

    It’s a Saturday morning. Joe was working until 3 a.m. last night.

    Thanks for the catch.


    In the case of Bowers, the Bucs lucked out by being in the position to NEED 2 DE’s. No other team, to my knowledge (correct me if I’m wrong), needed 2 DE’s. No one wanted to take the risk on Bowers in the first round. By the time teams had a second chance on him in round 2, they already fulfilled that spot (6 DE’s taken in 1st round, not counting Clayborn).

    He’s still a risk, no doubt. But a risk I and many Bucs faithful were more-than-willing to take…

  5. BucFan941 Says:

    some mocks had us picking Bowers at #20 on nfl network so idk understand why anyone would think it was a bad pick

  6. McBuc Says:

    This cat does not really give an argument against the Bucs draft…He is also paid to do “mock” drafts and write articles, Dom is paid to draft NFL players. he even says that on film you do not see the issue, and that teams did not want to take a risk in the first round on Bowers…Duh…The bucs did not want that risk either. the second round was worth the risk. Basically he said he had Clyborn pegged for the Bucs due to their position in the draft, and 31 teams passed on Bowers in the first round…not so, 32 teams passed on him in the first round…He has no argument against foster at all. He just gave them a C with nothing to back it up, but who cares anyway.

  7. Macabee Says:

    Fact: 1st round picks are inherently risky. Nfl history books are littered with perfect physical specimens that did not work out – most recently Vernon Gholston. Clayborn has a codition that he’s played with for his entire career and has tape that says he can play at a high level. Bowers has had a relatively insignificant surgery for a meniscus tear where it was discovered that he has degenerative arthritis, which may at some point in his career require microfracture surgery. Marques Colston has had microfracture surgery on both knees and has led the Saints in receiving for 4 straight years with 4 1000 yd seasons in 5 years. So, is there risk? Yes! Is it risk worth taking? Absolutely!

  8. Coburn Says:

    The idiot shouldn’t just take people’s word for it when they say you can see if when his shirt is off. There are plenty of pictures of people out on the internet these days. I have looked at a few photos of him myself and you would never know. The muscles on his right side are far more developed than you or I and look like they should for a d-lineman. The dude obviously hasn’t put any effort into looking at things that are easily accessible. Lazy

  9. Bucnjim Says:

    Since the late 90’s the Bucs have been on a role drafting bust’s in early rounds. Why not take a chance on a first round talent with a second round pick. I think they’ve gotten away from reaching for players! Sit back and take what you are given no matter what the position. It’s just a big crap shoot anyway; so why not go big or go home. If he gets on the field for one year he’ll beat out D. Jackson one of the biggest flops ever.

  10. HIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    BucnJim +1

    You can add Gaines Adams to that D. Jackson comment as well.

    I can only imagine what the Rah-Dom Haters would say if we would’ve passed on Bowers in the 2nd round.

  11. OB Says:

    I think this is another case of Josh Freeman, Mike williams, Tom Brady, and…and….and… If they were better they would have been drafted higher, well what about all of those that were drafted higher and should not have been when there were better, after playing of course.

    I don’t know how they do it, but our guys are doing it and we haven’t even got to indrafted fee agents, released free agents, and practice squads (which to the Bucs are a extemely high talented draft pool with us having almost all of the picks).

    So please let’s get on with the game and see what happens to Matty Ice when the Red Tide is rolling in, bet he melts as will the rest of them. Sure we will lose some but the most important game is your last one in the playoffs and we will win that.

    Your thoughts Joe, you should be up by now.

  12. HIRE GREG OLSON! Says:

    Here’s some mighty strong words on Yasinkas’ blog from Cam “It’s not gonna be free this time” Newton on NFC South competition:

    Newton said he used to ask himself if he could do the things Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Josh Freeman do. But he said he’s changed his approach.

    “But now to flip that, to keep me motivated, I ask myself now can Drew Brees do what I can do?’’ Newton said. “Can Josh Freeman do the things that I can do? Can Matt Ryan do the things that I can do? So, I’m motivated to be what those guys are, which is be an excellent pocket passer. I think I have the attributes to do that.’’ – Cam Newton

    This guy is such a joke. I CAN’T WAIT!!!

  13. BigMacAttack Says:

    All excellent comments. I’m sure Thomas will wake up off his parents’ couch and break the trend.

  14. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Sounds exactly like what i have said.

  15. marcus Says:

    selecting a guy in the second round that can be a ” potential ” game changer and a guy who undoubtedly will play with a massive chip on his shoulder? Yea i’ll take that risk

  16. CharlieB Says:

    “The interesting thing is that on tape, you really can’t tell there was an issue”

    I like how in the article he basically disproves that it’s an issue. On tape you can see he still has good use of the arm. It’s not like suddenly playing in a different uniform at a different level will make his arm stop working.

    People draft based on what they feel on a risk-reward system. Just because teams differ in their risk assessment, doesn’t mean they don’t agree with the reward. The reason Sapp was the second DT taken (12 overall) in 1995 was because teams viewed his risk higher than the Bucs did. I’m pretty certain every team knew he was a higher reward than the first DT (Derrick Alexander).

  17. CannuckBuc Says:

    I am so sick of our second round pick Bashing!!!! I can’t wait till these guys gel and realy kick ass!!! Then I hope Joe has been taking names to publicly call out each one of the haters . Go JOE !

  18. Dferg77 Says:

    Wow, what a coincidence…I just read that article of jis mock draft and was soo pissed off I snapped at my much apologizing I also saw that he gave Atlanta an A+…Really? They gave up most of their draft for one player!



  20. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Many of you sheep were screaming at me to tell you how the Erb’s affects Clayborn: In addition to my prior posts, please see:

    “But that condition affects one side of his body, and sources said you could see that with his shirt off, the affected side wasn’t as developed as the other side.” Adam Caplan

    THe reason the bucs get a C draft grade is that there first two picks were very risky – more so than the average first or second rounder due to concerns about longevity. Foster, Stocker, Bradford etc – they are roster filles, special teamers, maybe more later but your 1 and 2 have real health issues.

  21. Espo Says:

    I can’t wait to find out if Caplan is right or not.

  22. dan Says:

    the thing with clayborn is not how the erbs effected him or does effect him, the thing with measurables (like arm length) is they show where your talent ceiling is, no matter how talented you are if your 5’4 your only gonna get this good, it still can be pretty good and nfl tallent but few players ever reach 100 percent of their ceiling. His right arm is shorter. doesnt effect his play but it might effect how far he will be able to improve in the nfl (on that side) which is why you play to his strength as the buccaneers are putting him on the correct side of the defense and have other guys that need to be covered so he cant be doubled. i think it is a real issue that the bucs are ok with addressing properly.

    and regarding Bowers :
    I have talked to several rehabilitation minded physical therapists regarding Bower’s knee (my father being one of them) and have personally torn a meniscus. I have gleaned 2 things from my inquiries to be most likely true.

    1. his injury and the deterioration of his knee even if (which i doubt) that there is actually any ‘bone on bone’ is dependent upon the period which he is in now, where he is rebuilding the muscle strength. bone on bone (according to physical therapists not my ‘opinion’) is not a deal breaker or even mean the bone is ‘touching’ if he builds the correct muscles during rehab. Meaning the stability of his knee most probably is dependent solely on his desire and drive (which as far as i can see has never been questioned)

    2. the arthritis word that is thrown around is not the arthritis that we think of in regards to old people’s knobby hands, it is a swelling issue, which means the length of time his knee lasts depends on how much he is willing to listen to reason and NOT play/practice when it is swollen. (which may not really be that often if he builds the support muscles mentioned above properly.) Sometimes we like to hear of a guy who will be determined to play through pain, but i believe in this case a kellen winslow approach, is necessary, we dont want to win one game and lose his impact on us for years to come.

    so i think his knee boils down to 2 issues, is he willing to continue to work to be the best and prove people wrong? and is he willing to manage his knee early and not wait for it become a weekly problem… leading to his being cut

  23. dan Says:

    sorry if any of that comes across confusingly, im recovering from a pretty drastic concussion (have been for a couple months)

  24. strech9681 Says:

    What a….. Seriously? Pick 51! Does he realize how little money or commitment that entails? Average NFL career is 3 years. Can’t lose. If they would have picked him at 20, that’s a C. Most people had Mason Foster going late 2nd early 3rd. To get him there was a steal! And the rest of the draft speaks for its self!

  25. MOBucs Says:

    Draft grades really are rediculous. Until these guys play, NOBODY knows who will have success. Rah/Dom have had 2 successful drafts, so I have some faith that they did extensive homework on all of their picks. Dom had Clayborn and Jordan staring at him at 20 (I personally wanted Jordan) and picked his guy. We’ll see plenty of Jordan in NO and will be able to compare these guys. Looking at clips of Clay, he has a nonstop motor and he absolutely does not look hindered by his condition. As for Bowers, all I can say is wow! This guy looks unbelievable! Totally worth the risk with a late 2nd round pick.

  26. BKNYfootballhead Says:

    thomas 2.2 is a wether sheep.

  27. Pete Dutcher Says:

    The problem I have with articles like this is that people like Adam Caplan are never held accountable in three years when they are proven wrong. Caplan will either avoid discussing his comments, or complete ignore all references to them.

  28. Thomas 2.2 Says:

    Just bc experts who arent fans opine that things arent as wonderful as you try to believe doesnt make them anything but sharing their honest belief.

    It really isnt debatable – these guys took major risks at positions of need – it will payoff or not- it seems that the analysts are split.

  29. McBuc Says:

    Most of the experts are praising the pics Thomas, there are only a hand full that are grading them poorly. Also, he never really gives a compelling argument for the C grade…not to mentuion, like we all likre to point oput, these guys have not even played a down yet, so you cannot grade this draft for 2 or 3 years from now. On the surface it looks like an A, but we will all have to wait and see. The tape does not lie, and both these guys look great on tape. I am assuming you do not watch Big Ten football, or you would know that Clayborne was a beast even with his stat drop off. There were also several other things going on with his team, scheme and coaching changes. You call people “sheep” for being happy with the picks, but what does that make you? You are not enlightened becasuse you a negative about everything. You really are a piss poor excuse for a fan.

  30. HIRE GREG OLSON! Says:


    You have a poor definition of the word “debatable”….

    Especially since you ARE DEBATING the topic…

  31. CannuckBuc Says:

    Great comment McBuc !!!!! well said.

  32. BigMacAttack Says:

    “You really are a piss poor excuse for a fan.” LOL

    You are even a piss poor excuse for piss.