A Man Behind The Curtain

April 25th, 2013

Mark Dominik will be joined by a new guy in the Bucs’ draft war room, director of college scouting Eric Stokes, who comes from a team with a solid rep for finding studs in the middle- to late-rounds.

Now Joe knows that despite recent additions the past couple of years to the Bucs roster by Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik, there are still Dominik detractors out there.

One bone of criticism is that Dominik, being a draft-first guy, has a poor batting average of picks in the middle-to-late rounds. That’s a fair rebuke. But that may soon change.

This year, joining Team Glazer, Dominik, Bucs coach Greg Schiano, trainers, director of player personnel Dennis Hickey and Bucs scouts in the draft war room at One Buc Palace will be a guy by the name of Eric Stokes. While many Bucs fans may immediately ask “Who?” Stokes may be Dominik’s biggest selection since Gerald McCoy.

Stokes, Bucs director of college scouting, was groomed in the Seahawks organization, a scouting department once tutored by current Packers general manager Ted Thompson, perhaps the best general manager in the NFL. Thompson avoids free agents like the Ebola virus yet because of solid scouting, the Packers are an annual playoff contender, if not a Super Bowl contender, because the Packers are able to succeed in the draft.

Consider some of the draft picks Stokes helped oversee while in Seattle: running back Robert Turbin, a fourth-round pick; cornerback Richard Sherman, a fifth-round pick; safety Kam Chancellor, a fifth-round pick; and running back Justin Forsett, a seventh-round pick, now with Jacksonville, who rushed for over four yards a carry in two seasons with the Seahawks.

If Stokes can help mine talent for the Bucs like he did in Seattle, he may prove to be almost as valuable a free agent signing as Dashon Goldson.

13 Responses to “A Man Behind The Curtain”

  1. Oldguy Says:

    You may be right about Stokes. With such a good middle/late round record, he may indeed prove invaluable. Picking wisely seems to be an art. Hard to know who will turn out well. Part of the fun and mystery of the game. I do believe there will be several gems out there in the late rounds. But which ones are they?

  2. Zack Says:

    At least Dom’s willing to admit that this is an area in which he could use some help. He should be commended for his first three picks last year but the last four have uphill battles for roster spots in need positions.

  3. lightningbuc Says:

    Wonder if the alleged “rock star” has Stokes looking for any hidden gem punters in the late rounds.

  4. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Lord knows he needs the help

  5. Vic66 Says:

    Shows the wisdom of Dominik to recognize his personal needs. Only beef I have with him is how cold a business man he is.

  6. Mike J Says:

    Lord knows Stokes couldn’t do any worse.

  7. rrsrq Says:

    The question is will all the mid round picks come from the Big East, either Rutgers players or those Rutgers played against, mmmm?

  8. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Yeah with guys like Dakoda Watson, Erik Lorig, Sammie Stroughter, E.J. Biggers, Mike Williams, etc. lord knows Dom is totally inept at the back half of the draft. (Sorry if the sarcasm didn’t come through, it was there.)

    Guys, there is usually, at the most, ONE GUY in the entire draft that turns into a super star after the third round. Dom has done fairly well in the back half up to this point. To expect guys in the fourth round and back to become major contributors is a little ridiculous. He hasn’t been amazing but he is far from inept.

  9. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    The only problem with this article is that now all the Dom haters can point to Stokes for any good picks after the third round. (Of course Dom will still get the blame for any players that don’t turn out to be good picks.)

  10. Mike J Says:

    WestCoastBucsFan , those are really your idea of great picks??

  11. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    No, not “great picks”. But what are your expectations of guys drafted past the fourth round? If he doesn’t appear in a pro bowl is he a “bust”?

    I would say all the above were solid picks and did all that you could ask of a bottom half draft pick. (With the exception of Williams who exceeded expectations.)

    Each draft pick comes with a certain level of expectation. Erik Lorig was a seventh round DE that has turned into a solid starting fullback. Mike Williams obviously turned out great. Dakoda Watson has been nothing short of a DOMINANT special teamer. Sammie Stroughter became a starting receiver for a short amount of time and was fairly productive for awhile. He also contributed in the return game. Cody Grimm was a solid starter for us until he broke his leg. Seems like he hasn’t been the same since though, unfortunately.

    Relative to where these guys were picked, yes, I think they were very solid choices at the time.

  12. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    Biggers also was a solid nickel back. (Very rare to get legitimate number one and two corners past the third round.)

  13. Max Says:

    I think dominiks problem is not first round or late round picks but 2nd round picks. Almost all of our 2nd rounders have been huge disappointments