Picking A Defensive Tackle At No. 13 A Shocker

March 2nd, 2013


There are so many positions the Bucs could pick at No. 13, Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik could barely go wrong.

Defensive end, offensive tackle, cornerback, safety, inside linebacker, tight end, outside linebacker, Joe could make an argument for either of those positions in the first round. But drafting a defensive tackle would not be one of them.

That didn’t stop Russ Lande of National Football Post from predicting Dominik will nab Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei with their first pick.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah, Senior: Gerald McCoy is an elite talent on the verge of becoming a star, but with the Buccaneers seemingly ready to let fellow defensive tackle Roy Miller leave as a free agent opposing offenses would be able to focus on him. They decide to gamble that Lotulelei’s heart issue is not going to have a long term effect on his career and grab him to play next to McCoy.

Joe would fall flat on his back if Dominik picked a defensive tackle at No. 13. That’s not a need position. At all.

Yes, Roy Miller is a free agent. But what Miller is asked to do — and he does it well — is to eat up blockers, which enable both Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David to run free.

There are not a lot of 43 defenses that ask a defensive tackle to do what the Bucs ask of Miller. So his services are extremely limited on the free agent market.

If Dominik drafts a tackle at No. 13, that tells Joe Greg Schiano is completely overhauling his defense and Joe frankly doesn’t expect him to do that. Find some cornerbacks, you know, just a couple of average cornerbacks, and you have a solid defense.

There are far more uncertainties at defensive end than at defensive tackle. Will Michael Bennett be back? Can Da’Quan Bowers stay healthy for a year? Can Bowers stay out of a New York cage? Can Adrian Clayborn rebound from an ugly knee injury?

That is why Joe would expect a shivering Rachel Watson to show up at his door tonight in search of warmth and comforting before Dominik drafts a defensive tackle with the thirteenth pick.

52 Responses to “Picking A Defensive Tackle At No. 13 A Shocker”

  1. mike Says:

    i wouldnt be suprised if we drafted the best dlineman availible… i don’t know why joe would be sooo surprised.

  2. MarineBucsFan Says:

    I dont know joe….i rarely disagree with u guys but if a guy like star drops to 13 i dont see how he wouldnt be the pick. He would easily be the BPA. He would make a huge impact, average DEs would look like beasts out there with mcoy n star!! But he wont be there so my point is mute.

  3. MarineBucsFan Says:

    I could probably say the same for floyd as well.

  4. Pewter_Power Says:

    Depending on what happens in free agency and if Lotulelei’s medical condition checks out I would like this pick. I would rather take Lotulelei at 13 than Rhodes or Trufant. My ideal situation however is for the Bucs to trade back a few spots, pick up an extra pick than take Tyler Eifert.

  5. Fatmosh Says:

    Ha! I knew I wasn’t the only one Joe 😉

  6. Meh Says:

    Miller is a free agent and average at best. If his heart is ok, Star would be a huge, huge upgrade. I’d be all for this pick if his heart is ok.

  7. Meh Says:

    And Price was a bust, so we’ve already tried to upgrade Miller. Why not try again?

  8. 4everBucsFan Says:


    I’m glad you’re not the GM. Drafting a TE with our first pick is so asinine considering we have no secondary and there are other glaring needs.

    I notice that a lot of these gurus keep trying to pass off players with glaring problems to the Bucs with our first pick.

    First it was, Jarvis Jones with his spinal problem, then it was Manti Te’o and his terrible combine numbers, then the honey badger and all his baggage, now it’s Star Lotulelei and his heart condition.

    Why can’t we draft players who don’t have known issues in the beginning?
    There’s no Statue of Liberty on the Raymond James lawn.

  9. Architek Says:

    That’s why you pick value over need, remember Adrian Peterson?

  10. Patrick Says:

    “Will Michael Bennett be back? Can Da’Quan Bowers stay healthy for a year? Can Bowers stay out of a New York cage? Can Adrian Clayborn rebound from an ugly knee injury?”

    This is why signing John Abraham makes perfect sense

  11. big007hed Says:

    With Star and McCoy who would get double teamed? They would wreak havoc along the dline and increase pressure on the QB. I think FA needs to play out way before any mock draft matters.

  12. MadMax Says:

    I would take Star if there, in. a. heart. beat. He’s the only DT I would take at that spot. But he wont be there at 13.

    And 4ever, need to remember, drafting Eifert not only gives our inaccurate Freeman a nice big target who could fit well in the slot, but also takes Eifert away from Atlanta who will most likely target him. So I wouldnt mind trading back with the Cowboys and land Eifert, if there, or Trufant if not.

  13. Pewter_Power Says:

    Tight end and corner back are both an area of need, so if Eifert is better than the available corners, then why is it so asinine? The only corner I would want at 13 is Milliner, and I think we all know that isn’t going to happen. Why would it be such a bad idea to trade back a few spots, maybe pick up an extra third or fourth round pick, get a big tight end who can stretch the seam deep (works pretty good for New Orleans don’t ya think?) and then trade back into the end of the first to nab a corner instead of reaching for him at 13?

  14. Lovethepewter Says:

    Ya, 100% disagree with Joe. Roy Miller was a huge reason why we had a great run defense but also why we generated no pressure, the guy can’t rush the passer at all. I would LOVE Star! We need more pass rush from our interior as well and give our corners a break and any corner back at 13 not named Milliner would be a reach, especially with the great CB depth in the mid rounds. I actually prefer DT at 13. The great part about star is he is just as much a run stuffer as he is a great pass rusher. He makes our entire dLine better and thus our defense. Please don’t reach and draft best available player who isn’t a WR or QB.

  15. Andrew 1 Says:

    I dont think it would be a shocker at all to take a DT. Infact if a guy like Star or Floyd just happened to fall to us, as I stated was a good chance of happening in a post last night, I would bank on us taking them. its not often you can get an impact DT who would be an immediate upgrade over Miller at the most important position on defense. Having 2 stud lineman would go a long way in making out defense great. that and of course a couple of good CBs. The only problem is that those top D lineman are better at there position then the top CBs are at that respective position. Therefore you gotta go with the DT.

  16. Andrew 1 Says:

    I mean its not like we have someone like Warren Sapp playing next to Gerald McCoy where there would be no need to make any changes. instead we have Roy Miller playing next McCoy. An upgrade is not farfetched at all.

  17. teacherman777 Says:

    There is a reason we are not resigning Miller now.

    We want to leave DT open for an upgrade.

    If a DT, like Star is available, Schiano and Dom would be GIDDY about drafting him.

    Dominant DT’s are the hardest players to find. Look at the Ravens, Pats, Texans, 49ers- all have great DT’s who mess things up in the middle. I think Miller did a good job for us.

    But if a great DT, who could compliment McCoy is there? Take him.


    Speculation before Free Agency begins is futile. We will know more after March 12th.

    Remember last year?


  18. Andrew 1 Says:

    It would also take double teams away from McCoy on passing downs thereby make him even more dominant. When you have 2 stud DT you cant just Double one and forget about the other, otherwise you would get killed. 2 great DTs would be a dream come true.

  19. teacherman777 Says:


    You are totally wrong about this.

    We are not rushing to sign Miller, our “starting DT”

    So, that means that we now also have a hole, in our starting lineup at DT!!!

    Holes: as in STARTERS needed at this moment

    OLB-Quincy Black is hurt. (Jah bess his neck)
    FS- We dont know what Ronde is doing yet
    CB- To replace Aqib Talib (Eric Wright is still on our roster guys)
    DT- Miller isn’t in our plans as a fulltime starter, now as depth maybe

    So there are our glaring needs at the moment.

    So, our priority at #13 is for an instant STARTER.

    However, we are also DYING for better depth EVERYWHERE.

    I hope Dom and Schiano can keep developing guys. That is KEY.

  20. BigMacAttack Says:

    Best available, stay true to the board.

  21. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ BigMacAttack

    That is a good plan, but just for sh!ts and giggles lets say hypothetically speaking that the bucs have a player like Star rated only 1 higher spot better than a player like Milliner on their board and they both happen to be there when we are picking. what would you do then? just for a little fun.

  22. Capt. Tim Says:

    Fundamental principle- it is never a mistake to draft a great DT, DE, or LT.
    They are all three such incredibly hard positions to fill, that I can’t recall any team ever complaining about having enough talent at that spot. And we haven’t tied up too much money at any spot to prohibit drafting there( o -Line is getting close)

    This draft has great CBs all the way into late 3rd round. While I like trufant- I expect Shiano to take Logan Ryans( Rutgers) in 2nd round- and he’s a great CB, by the way.

    If he clears Medical, and we drafted Star, we could look forward to watching QBs live in fear every time they played the Bucs.
    It would be incredible. Most experts are already recognizing McCoy as the leagues best DT(he is). Adding Star would be beyond belief!

    I absolutely believe that Clayborn and Bowers will dominant, with even a mediocre secondary behind them.

    Throw Bennett in there( and I would still sign Miller- dude is a rock!!)

    With Foster and David- we would soon be the best front 7 in football!!

    Just thinking about it incredible!

  23. TampaBayTay Says:

    Dont get why it would be such a shocker. Instead of reaching for a need. If Star or Sharrif fell to Tampa, the value of those guys are much greater than any corner sitting there. I would prefer Sharrif, pairing him with McCoy would provide tremendous inside rush which in part will allow our ends some much needed one-on-ones. Our corner issues can be resolved without using our 1st round pick on CB’s not considered to be top tier.

  24. Mike J Says:

    I will chime in & say I agree w/ the folks here & disagree w/ Joe on this. If Lotulelei’s heart condition checks out OK, I think this would be an excellent selection, assuming Milliner is gone.

  25. Bucfan4life7 Says:

    Joe I must say that I completely disagree with you. I think Star Lotulelei would be the best pick the Bucs could possibly make in the first round and I wish the Bucs can get him without trading up because that would do wonders for this defense. Gerald McCoy commands double teams and so does Star Lotulelei so with the addition of Star not only will or Defensive Ends get one on one match ups which I will take any day of the week and twice on Sunday with Adrian Clayborn and Michael Bennett/Da’Quan Bowers but no team will be able to run up the middle against us and the pass rush will be greatly improved. With Gerald and Star getting double teamed the opposing offense will almost be forced to keep a running back or TE to block instead of being a receiver on pass plays. With a much better pass rush the pass defense will only improve and also the CB class is deep this year.

    In fact I rather the Bucs get DB’s in FA. If we can get Keenan Lewis, Brent Grimes and a Glover Quinn at FS our Defensive backfield will be set. Then we can start drafting a TE and a slot WR. I would target Tyler Eifert in a trade back in the first and a Robert Woods/Stedman Bailey/Quinton Patton in the third. Then if we can get a Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Lattimore in the 4th that would just top off my dream Off-season scenario. If we could get those five players in the draft and the three DB’s I mentioned in FA there is no doubt in my mind that the Bucs make the playoffs and probably a bye also.

  26. Paul Says:

    I’d be more disappointed if we drafted a DE round 1 than DT. We have 3 DE’s that could start on most teams. We got 1 DT that could say the same.

    Letting Bennett walk and draft a DE with our 1st round pick and put Bowers or Clayborn on the bench, then I’d lose all faith in the front office.

  27. Paul Says:

    That said, I’d like to see Kenny Vaccaro as our 1st round pick.

  28. 4everBucsFan Says:

    Well at least we all agree for the most part, that we should draft a defensive player with our first pick.

  29. morgan1672 Says:

    Taken CB Dee Milliner or DE Bjoern Werner at the #13 spot. If he is not there (and he won’t be), trade back into the late teens, pick up an extra 3rd or 4th rounder and draft FS Kenny Vaccaro, DE Datone Jones or WR Tavon Austin. If we don’t address DE or CB in the first, trade up in the second for DE Tank Carradine (we like DE with bad knees). And address CB (x2),OT, FS in 3rd/3rd/4th/4th. Resign DE Micheal Bennett, DT Roy Miller and FS Ronde Barber. The first person I would go after in free agency is TE Martellus Bennett. If we can sign him, I believe Micheal will come at a cheaper price to play football with his brother. I would also sign 1 solid corner like Sean Smith/Derek Cox, restructure Eric Wrights contract and sign a veteran corner that has been released like Charles Woodson or Sheldon Brown. I would sign the veteran CB for 2-3 years to allow this years rookie class of CB to develop.

  30. Mike J Says:

    Paul, there seems to some opinion that Ansah & Jordan could play LB, even in a 43.If the scouting staff & the coaches agree, I would take either, because you’d still get your third-down pass rusher. But in the event, likely the point is moot because they will be gone.But think about matching them up against one of these TE’s like Graham who give our D fits!

  31. BigMacAttack Says:

    @Andrew 1, with only a 1 place difference, I would look at how close on value the 2 players are and which one has the most potential. If all things are equal, I draft for need and take the CB. Then again if it is a very deep DB class, I take the DT because impact DT’s are few and far in between. Pick the CB in round 2 and 3.

  32. Joe Says:

    Remember last year?


    Well, at least safety was a need last year (and is this year).

  33. Joe Says:

    That’s why you pick value over need, remember Adrian Peterson?

    Is J.P. Peterson still trying to peddle this nonsense? That is revisionist history at its finest.

  34. Que589 Says:

    As long as he’s 100% cleared medically, drafting Star would be a great pick. Reaching for a DB or TE would not be a prudent move. There are no elite DBs or TEs in this draft. You don’t reach for non-elite players

  35. Capt. Tim Says:

    Still think drafting Barron, at that spot, was a big mistake. His coverage was terrible. And he hit the “rookie wall” at about game 6.

    Will he become a good safety, and improve . Yeah- I bet he does. But worth that pick, when we could have had Claubourne- nah, terrible

    But Martin and David still made it a great draft.and I think we will see Goode and Tandy on the field this year.

    But Barron was not the best player we could have had with that pick

  36. 4everBucsFan Says:

    @Capt. Tim

    What are you talking about? Us trading back to pick Barron gave us an additional pick to move back into the first round to get Martin.
    Does it really matter that Barron was #1 and Martin was #2? Here if it makes you feel better, just pretend we took Martin first and then selected Barron.

  37. Captain Stagger Says:

    Joe’s been having two many cold ones at his favorite watering hole and his mind must be wandering to thoughts of Rachel Watson.,,,,

    Star should be sitting in pole position on the Bucs big board. His talent level is so far ahead of any DE and CB in this draft makes your comments comical Joe. Outside of maybe Jones there isn’t one player in this draft as dominant.

  38. warrenfb12 Says:

    Wouldn’t be “shocked” by this pick. A team can never have too many good defensive lineman. I would say that I would be satisfied with this pick. I just don’t want to see us reach for one of these worthless CBs. I don’t believe we will pick DT. But I would take that over CB in rd 1.

  39. the_buc_realist Says:

    The real shocker is that Joe thinks that Miller is a real NFL starter

  40. @MikeInTampa2 Says:

    If the Rock Star was smart…he’d take care of all NEEDS in Free Agency…then Draft the best player available: Star Lotulelei <—– if he is there.

  41. Capt. Tim Says:

    4everBucsfan- yup, looking at it that way- I’m good

  42. jarrett Says:

    joe on our roster, we have gibson, mccoy, some guy named corey irvin. I am in shock that you say this is not a need. You follow the bucs right, almost a laughable statement, and shocking it came from you. If star is there he has to be the pick.

  43. Brandon Says:

    It might shock you, Joe, but great defenses are built on the backs of the front 4. Star would be a great 3 down NT, Sheldon Richardson, and Shariff Floyd would be fantastic additions. Though I prefer an edge rusher that can hit the corner and force the QBs to step up in the pocket, into the faces of all the bull rushers the Bucs have, having an elite DT would be the second best thing.

  44. the_buc_realist Says:

    i think Joe is confusing what miller’s job is and what he does. His job is to take on the double team. Mostly he is single blocked and gets manhandled. His really only penetration thru an offensive line is when they zone block. also he only play 1st and 2nd when under 10 yards

  45. Mike J Says:

    Capt. Tim , Barron’s coverage improved the last 2-3 games I thought. He was just a rookie after all, & was not getting good coaching.

  46. Bobby Says:

    Would love to see a dominant DT drafted. Someone near McCoy’s talent would make both of the DT’s on our team much more dangerous as well as free up the pass rush from the outside. I think we had the right idea when we drafted Price but since he didn’t pan out we need to go after another DT. If we had Bowers, Clayborn, McCoy, and Star or Floyd on the front line our DB’s would be instantly upgraded because they wouldn’t have to cover for nearly as long. The QB would have to get rid of the ball QUICKLY!

  47. PRBucFan Says:

    This simple question proves otherwise Joe

    What happens if McCoy gets hurt???

    If we don’t have the slightest solution right now it means we have a definite need at the position..

    Sorry Joe seems your a little off on this one.

  48. BamBamBuc Says:

    Pretty simple. Would you rather see Star and GMC start with Miller (or whoever) as backup? Or Miller/GMC start with Gibson (or whoever) backup. While Miller did well against the run last year, he was well known the year before for “playing on skates”. He was getting pushed around all over the place. Also, look at which teams run the 4-3 and might take Miller. Several have already franchise tagged a DT and won’t be in the market to add another. Possibly the Cowboys, who are switching to a 4-3, but the job Miller does is similar to a NT in a 3-4 so the Cowboys should have a man already to handle that spot. They’ll look more to getting a 3-tech type DT or pass rush DE.

    Drafting Star would mean a couple things happen. First, we probably got at least one CB in free agency. Maybe kept Wright, or brought back Biggers as well. I’m thinking we’d also have Bennett back in the fold at DE. One serious problem the past couple years has been depth. With injuries to Bowers & Clayborn, DE depth has been minimal. Beyond Miller/GMC we’ve only really had Gibson (or Bennett moving inside). This would allow rotation at both inside and outside DL spots.

    Another thought process here is drafting in the later rounds a CB/S hybrid type player. If we get a CB in round 2, we can get someone like Wilcox of Georgia Southern or Cyprien of Florida Int’l who seem to have excellent cover skills from the FS spot. Or maybe a CB that can transition to FS like Tanard Jackson had done (although, please, without the headaches). That allows us to keep to more of a base 4-3 set more of the time. When most teams switch to nickel, we could keep our base 4-3 with the FS helping out in coverage, Barron as the single high SS or drop a LB.

    Fact is, there are plenty of ways NFL teams can adjust their defenses to use the players they have. Star is a top tier prospect for a reason. You don’t let those guys slip away (if healthy with the heart issue). I’ve even seen mocks have us taking OT with pick 13. Nobody EVER takes a RT at 13, but if the intent is to start him at right, then move him to left in a year or two, I can see the logic and not be upset for “wasting” a pick.

  49. CT Bucs Says:

    I love the idea of DT. There is never good free agent DT out there. DT or DE is the way to go with our pick

  50. teacherman777 Says:

    Good to hear that you guys are making some sense!

    DT or DE would be awesome.

    CB and FS in Round 2.

    Move Ronde to nickle.

  51. truth Says:

    Would be a very good selection.

  52. Nate Says:

    I think we should take him at 13 if available.. Id still rather trade down maybe pick up another teams 3rd pick or 2nd pick… would be nice and just draft Corner late 1st and early 2nd.. then with the 3rd round pick draft a linebacker and Right tackle after that..