Bucs Won’t Reach To Draft Luke Kuechly

April 25th, 2012

There is one word to describe the linebacker play of the Bucs last year.


So it’s no shock to believe that Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik will add a linebacker or two to try to beef up this unit that is already down a starter now that Geno Hayes has moved on to Chicago.

Some, such as Joe’s good friend Justin Pawlowski of WQYK-AM 1010, believe Dominik would be wise to reach for the tackling machine known as Boston College middle linebacker Luke Kuechly.

Woody Cummings of the Tampa Tribune, however, doesn’t believe Kuechly is a reach. In fact, he suggested it wouldn’t be a shock if Dominik has Kuechly graded out as a top-five player.

And it would be an immediate fix. Kuechly is one the few linebackers in this draft who scouts believe is ready to step in and immediately run his new team’s defense as its starting middle linebacker.

“He’s one of the 10 best players in this draft,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said of Kuechly, who is ranked 6th overall on Mayock’s list of the top 100 2012 NFL draft prospects.

“I think he’s the best pure zone drop pass linebacker I’ve ever seen on tape. What usually knocks inside linebackers down is their inability to stay on the field for three plays. It’s the opposite with Kuechly.’’

Well. There was a sentence in Cummings’ write-up that sort of caused Joe to pause. So Kuechly would be calling plays for the defense in the New Schiano Order?

No one knows with certainty what defense Greg Schiano plans to run, though it’s a good guess it will be somewhat like the Giants’ scheme. Schiano has even hinted at a 34-defensive front.

But if Kuechly is to be calling plays, Joe is confused. Isn’t this why the Bucs drafted Mason Foster last year and started him out of position to call defensive plays?

34 Responses to “Bucs Won’t Reach To Draft Luke Kuechly”

  1. Orlandobucfan Says:

    The old bucs except “wanna be rockstar” drafted foster to call the plays I think kuechly will be great at calling the plays IF we don’t have TR or Claiborne available we try and trade down to 8 or 9 with someone who wants tannehill ( who knows by the way its going his stock could be so high teams will want him for anything) after the bucs missed on Asante for a 6th round pick we need all the picks we can get.

  2. Bucfish Says:

    Even though I love TR, I think the reality is that he’ll be gone by our pick. Since this reality has hit home in the last week, I have started to warm up to Kuechly. Kuechly makes a whole lotta sense given that we have “Cover 2 Fundamentalists” running our D again. I just hope Doug Martin is still around when we pick in the 2nd!

  3. Oahubuc Says:

    I don’t think he’ll look like a reach when he gets rolling. Would Jason Pierre-Paul have been a reach at #3? Not equating the two, but I had a similar feeling and wouldn’t have cried about him at #3- certainly not now.

  4. bucfanjeff Says:

    27 1/2 hours….yes, obviously I’m counting down.

  5. Jonny 3.3 Says:

    So it is Cummings that thinks Kuechly is a top-5 player and not Dominik, phew

  6. the buc realist Says:

    Watch out, the Pop-star GM is king of drafting for need!

  7. thomas 2.2 Says:

    Compared to who we ended up with at #3 – NO JPP would not have been a reach.

    It is tough to choke down taking a primarily cover 2 linebacker at #5 – but this kid is a good player – real smarf, good instincts – hard working.

    He is exactly the type of person we want – he is the polar opposite of the players rahrah and dom celebrated.

  8. Bobby Says:

    It always kills me when Dom gets accused of failing to get someone, even though all the other teams were passing too. How long has it been known that Asante is on trading block and how many teams have been beating down the door to get him?? Really??? Just one??!? Hmmm. Could it be because he’s 31 years old and the Bucs already have a 30+ DB on the roster? We’re building a team here people, not a Geriatrics ward. We will get our DB’s a little younger and build for the future.

  9. Camby Says:

    So Rock Roadie Marcus Domen-nick can’t whiff on this draft, but it’s not a reach to take a guy rated about 12-15 on every board I’ve seen at #5?

    That amounts to saying I can’t afford to eat greasy fatty foods this year, but I feel like Arby’s is a healthy choice.

  10. MR. PATRICK Says:

    So who wouldnt want to draft a future all-pro MLB to run and be the voice of your defense and occaisonally lead the league in tackles for the next 8-10 years?

  11. jvato24 Says:

    Put Kuechly at WILL !!!!!
    He would be Derrick Brooks Vanilla edition

  12. SteveK Says:


    Asante Samuel for a 6th round pick (ours is better then the falcons), and @ 3 yrs $18 million. What a deal.

    Or, could it have been our traded 4th rounder, forwarded to the Texans from the Eagles in exchange for Demeco Ryans..

    Those 2 situations could’ve played better for us.

  13. Bucnnole Says:

    I hope they look at FSU’s Nigel Bradham in the third round. This guy is a beast. He brings the kind of tenacity this team needs day in and day out.

  14. Larry Says:

    I like Kuechly at #5 and as far as Foster’s situation – he was kind of a failed experiment and might be going back to his natural outside linebacker position under the new regime.

  15. Bobby Says:

    Obviously not SteveK….we didn’t take either one of those guys. If we would have wanted them we could have gotten them. We didn’t….and neither did anyone else. If it’s such a great deal then why didn’t anyone besides the Falcons jump???

  16. RastaMon Says:

    It would not be a reach…..free one self from programed media…..draft a “keeper” when your turn comes….this ranking needs to take a back seat to common sense….I’d be happy with Richardson,Kalil,MoClair,Kuechly…

  17. Colorado Buc Says:

    I heard a lot, yesterday in particular, of red flags if TR was passed up on by the Browns, and nobody traded up. I see the possibility of an even bigger red flag. If Claiborne makes it to the Bucs, and they decide to go with Kuechly, or the more recently mentioned Barron. I wouldn’t consider TR or Claiborne a lock at this point. Way to much tom foolery going on in the rumor pool these days!

  18. BigMacAttack Says:

    I like Mark Barron who also fills a need.

  19. GenocideD Says:

    You wouldn’t have cried if we took JPP at #3?! That is total BS! You would’ve been the only one in the world who’s mouth wouldn’t have dropped open gasping after dropping their beer.

    Hindsight is 20/20 people. To make up things like you wouldn’t have been upset with JPP at 3 (***right after the draft) is just a bold face exaggeration of the utmost. Pffffft. Please.

  20. The Duther Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    David Wilson is a good option in the second if Doug is gone. Personally, I am hoping Hightower drops to us in the second and we take Claiborne in the first…

    …or we trade down a couple slots and take Kuekly (sp) in the first and pick up another second. We HAVE to get a CB before the third round though.

  21. Colorado Buc Says:

    Claiborne, Barron, Kuechly…not necessarily in that order, I would be a happy fan. All needs and immediate upgrades. Foster can go back to the outside if we take Kuechly. Whoever it is I http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7KSkZxt_zo

  22. eric Says:

    It did not appear to me that we called any defensive plays except the ole look in wonderment while the other team lights us up like s pinball machine.

    Or “nobody tackle on three”

  23. Brain Says:


    Agree 100%. Kuechly fits best at WILL and Foster fits best at MIKE. The only reason we’re having this discussion is because Tampa Bay beat reporters don’t understand the game and so they don’t know where these players’ skillsets translate to. Foster is the more powerful and physical player while Kuechly is better on the edge and in space when he’s free from blockers.

  24. The Duther Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Here’s something I didn’t realize:

    (Pat; ESPN)
    One other thing to keep in mind about Kuechly — he spent most of his offseason working out at IMG Academies in nearby Bradenton. Several of the Bucs were down there working out and Kuechly made some new friends. They might be in Schiano’s ear about Kuechly.


    Now that is an interesting observation.

  25. Thomas2.2 Says:

    Oahu just told:

    Todd McShay projected JPP to the bucs at 3, so not everyone’s mouth would have dropped. Today, everyone’s mouth has dropped at how useless Gerald has been for a 60 mil 3rd overall pick.

    Compare value today: McShay and Oahu were correct.

  26. BigMacAttack Says:

    To me the question mark comes in at 4 with Cleveland. The Boneheads all say they’ll draft T Rich or Blackmon because they need both. The fact the Colt McCoy absolutely sux is not playing into their equations. The Browns had Hillis running over everybody and they still lost. Without a franchise QB, the Browns can’t win with Colt “Deer in the headlights” McCoy. I think the Browns have to be considering Weeden or Tannehill, because Colt McCoy??? Really?

    Bucs may get a shot a T Rich.

  27. thibs5599 Says:

    I think teams have Kuechly rated a lot higher than everybody thinks. Just because the analysts say a guy is not that high means nothing. Plus the guy who knows more than anybody out their, Mike Mayock, has Kuechly number 6 on his draft board. Not only is he the second best defensive player in the draft to Claiborne, he fits the need. Drafting solely on need is not a good thing and often times bites teams in the butt. However when the guy you are drafting is also an elite talent then it makes sense. As for JPP the guy played one year of football and the Giants had the luxury of taking a chance on the kid, and hey it worked out for them. We took a chance on Sapp when he fell and it worked out for us back in the day, We would have been hounded if we drafted JPP at number 3.

  28. Oahubuc Says:

    Genocide: Actually I wanted JPP over McCoy. Stop projecting.

  29. Brandon Says:

    Brain Says:

    April 25th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Agree 100%. Kuechly fits best at WILL and Foster fits best at MIKE. The only reason we’re having this discussion is because Tampa Bay beat reporters don’t understand the game and so they don’t know where these players’ skillsets translate to.

    Right…. and you know where his skillset fits? The dude started at a BCS school and set national records for tackles as AN 18 year old! The dude isn’t even 21 yet, skipped his senior season and still only fell short of career tackles by 32. He still set the all-time record for average per game at 14.4. The dude was born to be a MLB. He will only get bigger, better, and smarter, especially considering the lack of skill position talent during his tenure at BC, the front 4 for the Bucs will help him flourish and likewise. This is a match made in heaven. Foster was a failure last season, he MIGHT be okay on the strongside, but he is no 3 down LB in his own right.

  30. Big Picture Guy Says:

    A lot of people forget that even though Brooks was nominally a WLB, he lined up on the strong side quite often and covered tight ends in coverage.

    Just saying “oh one guy fits at this position better than the other” is kind of pointless, especially when NO ONE KNOWS what our defensive scheme looks like.

    Kuechly and Foster in ANY combination, would work well. Also, no one is trading up 3 spots ahead of the only team who would draft Tannehill for a qb who has only played 2 years in college. Just take Kuechly at 5 and be happy as fans about it.

  31. The Dutcher Journal (Pete Dutcher) Says:

    Big Picture Guy
    Well said.

  32. Rickster Says:

    Manti te’o from norte dame comes out next year anyway…
    Nothing against luke, but te’o is a b e a s t!!
    All im saying is if we miss out on a top flight lb this year next year is still possible.

  33. gotbbucs Says:

    Kuechly will never be the fastest or hardest hitting LB in the NFL, What sets him apart from every other LB in this draft is what’s between his ears. His instincts are off the charts, he’s a gym rat, and he lives his life in the darkness of a film study room. Judging from what I’ve picked up so far, he is a Greg Schiano wet dream. I would draft him in a heartbeat, he’s the safest pick in this draft.

    I also think Mark Barron is probably alot higher on teams boards than what the pundits are saying. If Schiano and Dominik think he’s anything close to Sean Taylor then I would have no problem with him as the pick either.

    I’m not as high on Matt Kalil as alot of guys are, he’s not even close to being on the same plain as Joe Thomas or Jake Long.

    Claiborne is still the “no duh” pick.

    Richardson is a no go for me, but I won’t slit my wrist if they take him, although he better lead the league in rushing by his third year if they take him this early.

    Blackmon, eh, I don’t know about him. I think he’s going to slide. Can’t see many teams falling in love with him.

  34. rican Says:

    Right Joe but apparently Foster isnt fit to be that signal calling MLB and Kuechly is… Therein lies the difference