Aaron Donald Better Be Smokescreen

May 6th, 2014
booger mcfarland

Former Bucs DT Booger McFarland said the Bucs better not draft Pitt DT Aaron Donald.

Lots of Bucs fans, maybe in a borderline panic mode because they think the Bucs may draft Johnny Football, are reaching into the wayback machine. They look to the early 2000s and see Warren Sapp and Booger McFarland manning the starting tackle spots on one of the game’s greatest defenses.

They see that Team Glazer reached into the wayback machine as well to hire Lovie Smith to build a defense that will have fans wrapping themselves in their favorite blanky at night with feel good memories.

So these same fans want to play along. Despite the Bucs already having the best three-technique tackle in the game in Gerald McCoy, and a big in vestment in Clinton McDonald at the other tackle position, they want Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who draftniks believe is the best three-technique available.

Why it would be just like the days with Booger and Sapp (somehow forgetting the Bucs signed McDonald), say these same Bucs fans. Well, one of those famous tackles, McFarland, would be outraged if the Bucs drafted Donald, so Booger Twittered yesterday.

@lsubooger: If the bucs drafted Aaron Donald i would be as upset as i’ve ever been. McCoy McDonald w/ McCoy new contract will have over 100 mil in DT’s

Exactly! (Though Booger is off with his financial projections. McDonald only earns $3 million per year and the No. 7 overall pick will make about $4 million. McCoy would probably command about $13 million per year.)

First, when fans were Twittering Joe about the Bucs drafting Donald, Joe asked if GMC had retired without Joe knowing about it. Why would you draft a defensive tackle who plays the same position as the best in the game? That just makes zero sense.

Now, yeah, if the Bucs had a need at the other tackle, Joe could sort of see that. But the thing is, the Bucs don’t have a hole there with the McDonald signing. You know, the same guy who played a lot for the defending Super Bowl champions.

This team has enough holes as it is. This is why Joe believes the theory of drafting “best player available” is a joke. You think the Colts are drafting a quarterback in the first or second round? You think the Stinking Panthers will be drafting a middle linebacker? Or the 49ers?

Hell, last week, Jimmy Johnson was on NFL Network and proclaimed the “best player available” theory was a farce. He said he wanted guys to fill holes in his team, not be part-time players. Bill Walsh always drafted for need. Those two guys mastered the draft like few others.

Besides, as Booger — a frequent personality on SiriusXM NFL Radio and the soon-to-launch SEC Television Network — suggested, drafting Donald means the Bucs will commit a crazy amount of money to two positions.

54 Responses to “Aaron Donald Better Be Smokescreen”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Probably not happening….relax.

  2. Eric Says:

    Totally agree with that!

    Even the Booger pick is questionable in retrospect as I think having him and Sapp led to Warren’s departure due to salary cap.

    Can’t put too many eggs in one basket.

    Plus the guy is undersized.

  3. Luther Says:

    I laugh when I hear “Draft the best player available”. We have HUGE holes on offense and can’t waste picks on players like Donald.

  4. finishers Says:

    don’t see them going DT at 7 !

  5. Bucfan#37 Says:

    “What goes up must come down, spinning wheel got to go round.” Anybody’s guess who the Bucs pick, I’ll be very surprised if it’s Donald. He seems to be the pick of the moment for many Buc fans.

  6. Jimbo Says:

    I can understand the rationale behind having good depth, and someone to step up if (heaven forbid) GMC gets injured.

    However, that does not equate to spending the 7th overall pick on a DT.

  7. Alexstotle Says:

    Aaron Donald Bandwagon here! I’m on it!

  8. Espo Says:

    Donald could easily play end with his speed. Can’t have too many good linemen. I doubt they’d go this route but I’d be very happy.

  9. Robert Says:

    Every player talked about before the draft is a smoke screen. That includes the likes of Manziel, Evans and Donald. There’s no talk about either of the OT’s, Watkins, or Mack being “loved” by the Bucs.

  10. Eric Says:

    One would think uniform lying would diminish the smokescreen effect.

  11. Snook Says:

    And people forget that giving McFarland his 2nd contract in Tampa meant that we couldn’t also keep Sapp.

    Dumb idea.

  12. Captain Stagger Says:

    This pick makes a lot of sense. I disagree with it, but it’s a total Lovie move. Donald is the best pass rusher not named Clowney or Mack and they will both be gone. The Tampa 2 all starts with the 3 tech, so you better have insurance.

  13. ToesOnTheLine Says:

    Only a couple more days until we (probably) hear the words with the seventh pick in the 2014 draft the Tampa Bay Buccneers select Mike Evans wide receiver out of Texas A&M

  14. Patrick Says:

    I don’t think Houston, St Louis, Oakland or ATL (obviously) will take Manziel. The only teams fighting with us for Manziel that pick before are Cleveland and Jax.

  15. Jim Walker Says:

    We’ll see how the draft goes, but the Buc’s have too many holes to be competitive this year. The entire offense besides running back has no depth. The defensive back field and line has no depth either.

  16. BucsQcCity Says:

    Donald is a playmaker. There isn’t much playmakers in first round: watkins, mack, manziel, donald. Clowney don’t have the motor to match its incredible potential. It makes me laugh when i hear a player asking for a coach to develop him in a great player. Donald has that it factor so I’m comfortable if we draft him

  17. Brian D. Says:

    I love Aaron Donald…I think he’s as much of a can’t-miss pick as any player in this draft. Lovie isn’t afraid to play two “three-techniques”/”undertackles” next to each other…he drafted Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson back to back in rounds 1 and 2 one year and they were both in the 285-295 lb range…and I don’t have to dig back into the archives to see what kind of a mess their offense was heading into that draft. Lovie’s offenses pretty much always sucked in Chicago and that didn’t stop him from investing a 1st round pick in the defense in Round 1.

    I agree that the “best player available” philosophy is a bunch of crap unless you’re the Jaguars or Raiders and could stand to improve across the board…but I think Donald is a rare prospect, he looks like he could be every that McCoy has become if he works hard for it…and it’s really tempting to think about two violent, disruptive defensive tackles (probably Lovie’s prized position and most important in this defense) playing next to eachother…they’d be unblockable.

    Donald probably wouldn’t be my first pick…I’d rather have Bortles, Watkins, and probably Manziel…but if it’s between taking Donald or Mike Evans or a freaking offensive tackle, I’ll take Donald all day.

  18. Eric Says:

    I have my doubts about Evans.

    People say he made JF, but I suspect it’s the other way around.

    Lacks speed.

    I don’t get the allure.

  19. bucrightoff Says:

    Lovie and Licht had no interest in paying Revis $16 million a year. If McCoy wants a salary that they are not willing to pay, they’ve shown they’re willing to walk away. Drafting Donald would be an insurance policy. But he is still really, really good and no offense to Spence and McDonald but Donald and McCoy would be awesome. QB will never be able to step up and ideally the edge rushers will do their thing. Much rather have a DT than a QB at 7.

  20. SailorJerry Says:

    Would rather see Mike Evans or an OT. Not party boy Johnny “Fragile”. This is the NFL where there is talent and speed from top to bottom. Manzels little scramble around game at his size won’t work in the NFL. He will be crushed in this league. Hopefully, L&L don’t make the same mistake as Coach “Rah” and waste a first round pick on someone who should not be picked in the first thirty two.

  21. Nate Says:

    MCdonald had 5 sacks last year hes not a BEAST……and when the n.y giants had two or 3 top d lineman and won the superbowl with a above avg not great qb ….eeh arron murray it stregthens your team more BOTH SIDES

    and undersized ??when your short and quick your harder to block as a tackle on d…..thats why sapp was dominant
    low man wins!!!

    most never played some college and my cousin had a td in the superbowl…all im sayin i know why they think tha way….and why did booger single out donald and not JF!!!ol cause there IS validity……when YALL HAVE FLASHBACKS OF QB’S SAYING THEY CANT EVEN SET UP AND THROW LIKE VICK IN THE SUPERBOWL VIDEO YOU WONT BE COMPLAINING THEN….SMH

  22. Nate Says:

    and the advantage of him in the 1st is a 5 year rookie contract …..wouldnt need to renew it till mccoys 2nd so the money excuse is a lame one but in all…..

    There is three ways you can go…best qb manziel / best wr (evans is 1b) murray or carr or best Defense with donald and a above average qb…..cant control it so i’d be happy either of the three…cause they would be DOMINANT either way…

  23. Meh Says:

    If we trade down a bit Donald might be BPA, and I’d be ok with that pick. At #7 though? I can list 8 guys I’d rather have off the top of my head.

  24. Snook Says:

    “Lovie and Licht had no interest in paying Revis $16 million a year. If McCoy wants a salary that they are not willing to pay, they’ve shown they’re willing to walk away.”


    Not even close to being the same thing. McCoy will get market rate for a DT ($11-12M per season) which is a crucial position in the Tampa 2.

    Revis was getting WAY above market rate in pay for a position that doesn’t get paid a premium in the Tampa 2.

    Not the same situation. No one is “walking away” from McCoy. He’s a beast and his position is what drives the Tampa 2.

  25. Jordan Says:

    Aaron Donald is as athletically freakish as Jadeveon Clowney. Are the Texans allowed to draft Clowney even though they have the best DE in football?

  26. Captain Stagger Says:

    Meh….I can name 6 guys I’d rather have…but they will be gone.

    Evans doesn’t fit speed in space at all, and Barr is a LB not at DE. So who’s left?

  27. Jeagan1999 Says:

    I’ve noticed the last few days more chatter about the Lions possibly looking to trade N. Suh, to move up to take Mike Evans in round 1…personally I don’t think they will, and even if they did, we couldn’t afford both McCoy and Suh….but if you want a beastly D-Line, imagine these two guys side by side! Donald seems like a good player, but McCoy/Suh would be a nightmare for opposing offenses! Just a dream I know, but it’d be pretty cool to see!

  28. Max Says:

    We need someone like Alshon Jeffery so McCown can emulate the success he had last season!

    I don’t think Mike Evans is that guy!

    My dream scenario is to trade back and draft a receiver like Brandin Cooks or Marquise Lee who are both Biletnikoff winners and would be better compliments to VJAX and have a higher ceiling than Evans (maybe?).

  29. Aaron Says:

    If, Clowney, Mack, Watkins, G. Robinson, J. Matthews are gone – then it comes down to –

    QB – (do the Bucs value any of the top 4 QBs with the #7 pick)
    T Lewan
    Evans (not a scheme fit and the Bucs can get better value later in the draft – IMO)

    Donald is probably considered a luxury pick – hopefully teams have Evans highly ranked and we can get a trade partner to trade down.

  30. Filmdontlie Says:

    Donald is a stud

  31. Gt40bear Says:

    They do need depth @DT but you don’t use 7 for depth. I would not be opposed to taking Easley in the 3rd if they address needs in 1st & 2nd rounds. Hopefully, they can trade back and get additional pick(s) so they can have the luxury of getting that DT depth.

  32. Filmdontlie Says:

    But Joe is right, we should trade down if hes available.

  33. Architek Says:

    I get the spirit of the approach here but the reality is if we lose McCoy we start over again and there is little depth there so drafting Donald would not be a waste.

    Booger is not the GM and doesn’t have to answer for losing – all he is just am opinion.

  34. Architek Says:

    Joe on the Blitz on Sirius NFL yesterday Pat Kirwan opened up the segment talking a lot about the Bucs – can you retrieve the audio and write on it as there was a caller that brought some great points and Pat Kirwan spoke in depth on how a Glennon deal would unfold.

  35. Buc The World Says:

    If Tampa selected Donald I believe they will convert him to DE and trade either Bowers or Clayborn, which ever fetches the most in return. With that possible D line lineup, this defense could be legendary

  36. Bruce Says:

    Joe, you know Booger’s financial analysis is referring to total contract value. 5 years of $13m is $65, 5 years of $4m is $20 ($85 million) and 4 years at $3m of McDonald is $12. Total of $97 million.

    Was he really off?

    Off is off. So yes, he was off. Also, what really counts in the NFL is guaranteed money, which would be about half the $100 million Booger referenced. –Joe

  37. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Says:

    Aaron Donald is a stud who is quietly creeping up many draft boards around the NFL.
    He may not be there, if we trade down.
    I would not be surprised, or upset, if we take him at number 7.

  38. REDDMAN Says:

    A. Donald also played left DE for Pittsburgh when they went to the 3-4 Defense. Looked like a bigger version of D. Freeney. Donald will be the pick.

  39. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    It’s funny how you guys come up with all these rationalizations as to why a certain player will or won’t be drafted, as if your reasoning has any influence over the Bucs front office or you have any insight whatsoever into what they’re planning. Puh-lease.

    The Bucs will draft who they feel will help their team the most, regardless of these delusional reasonings about salary cap allocations per position, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. Keep telling yourselves that your favorite player will be drafted, or your least favorite one won’t be, and the Bucs brass will keep laughing at your amateurish predictions. LOL!

  40. Patrickbucs Says:

    I do not understand how people hate on Mike Evans? Slow? Ran a 4.53, if that’s slow what is Doug Martin? Have you seen him tear up Bama the past two years? He’s only played football for 5 years, he was a stud basketball player who is athletic as hell with tons of upside. Other then Watkins or Clowney I can’t think of a better player for the Bucs to start and dominate day 1.

  41. Maze Says:

    Drafting a rotational player in the top ten in arguably the deepest draft in a decade is just plain STUPID

  42. Couch Fan Says:

    I see nothing wrong with Pairing McCoy with Donald. A dominant D-Line would be a bad thing? C’mon. The Bucs can go so many ways and I’d be happy with any one of them.

  43. Couch Fan Says:

    Donald with McCoy*

  44. phil Says:

    Any pick by the Bucs in the first round not named Johnny Football will be a major disappointment. Of course as Buccaneer fans we have all been disappointed before.

  45. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Aaron Donald is a highly productive and active player as a 3-technique. He has a terrific blend of athleticism and power. Consistently gains penetration against the run and pass with his outstanding quickness and chases down plays with great burst for a small guy. Scouts praise him for playing with great pad level, which makes his relatively light frame a non-factor when engaging with centers and guards. He’s got a strong base and quick feet, part of which makes him such an elite pass-rusher

    -Mayock said. “He’s too good a football player, too good a kid, but it has to be the right fit.” Like his 29.5 sacks, including 11 last season and also in 2011. And those 66 tackles for losses, including 28.5 to lead the NCAA last season.

    “He did everything you could do to become a Top 10 or 15 pick. Great college career. Tremendous Senior Bowl week, where he dominated. Ran like crazy at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, he not only worked out, Donald put up impressive numbers: 4.62 seconds in the 40-yard dash, the fastest among the defensive tackles; 35 reps with 225 pounds in the bench press; and a 32-inch vertical leap. And his interviews with the media, as well as those with teams, were punctuated with “yes sir” and “no sir.”

    Vs Gerald McCoy (Combine Stats)

    -Height: 6’4 1/8
    -Weight: 295lbs
    -Arms: 33 3/4 inch arms

    • 40 Yard Dash: 5.04 seconds
    • 20 Yard Dash: 2.85 seconds
    • 10 Yard Dash: 1.68 seconds
    • Bench Press: 23 reps (225 lb)
    • Vertical Leap: 30.5 inches
    • Broad Jump: 114 inches
    • 20 Yd Shuttle: 4.48 seconds
    • Three Cone: 7.32 seconds

    An interior rotation of Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald, and Aaron Donald. Will have no peers-And will be key factor to our defense destroying the opposing quarterback; no matter who we face.

    Per NFL Network analyst and former NFL linebacker WILLIE MCGINEST

    “It’s important to have an interior rush,”. “It collapses the pocket and it doesn’t allow the quarterbacks to step into their throws, which makes them inaccurate. As anoutside rusher, when you’re coming around the edge you want the quarterback to stay in that pocket.

    If there is no interior rush, it allows the quarterback to escape, to step into his throw or step up to avoid the outside pressure.”

    Houston defensive end- J.J. WATT- knows from experience how inside pressure from the defensive front can wreak havoc in the passing game.

    “You can disrupt the quarterback just by causing pressure up the middle,” says Watt. “Whereas on the outside you really have to get to the quarterback to disrupt him.”

  46. Que589 Says:

    Aaron Donald is one of the dominant pro prospects in the draft, there’s only a few. You don’t pass on potential dominance for potential good. The QB’s are projects, WR’s are just good pro prospects (but not dominant), the O-linemen are just good (Robinson will be gone at 7), and there will not be a dominant DE available at 7.

    Passing on Donald because we have McDonald is like passing on Adrian Peterson because have Cadillac

  47. The_Buc_Realist Says:

    maybe they are using ” Joe’s evaluation tool ” the one he used on MG8 that says he is a terrible player because he led the 32nd ranked offense. Well McCoy has led the 32nd D-line in the NFL for the past 4 years!!!!

  48. tiny tim Says:

    @ Nate…………

    That was the most classic line on the whole Superbowl DVD….”I can’t even set up, I can’t even set up” I am always down for the bucs picking a defensive guy. A DL is much better!!! Any player picked at number 7 will be a good move because the bucs need many things and strengthen the DL will also help this team. Outside of McCoy, who do you truly have faith in? A player who has had only one double digit sack season? A player who only has 5 career sacks to his name whom by the way came in a contract year? DL is defintely an option.

  49. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Aaron Donald Comparable (GENO ATKINS)

    Height: 6′ 1″ (1.85 m)

    • 2× All-Pro (2011, 2012)
    • 2× Pro Bowl (2011, 2012)

    Career Stats

    • Tackles (136)
    • Quarterback sacks (29.0)*
    • Forced fumbles (6)*

    GENO ATKINS, has been an integral part of the Bengals’ pass rush.

    Since 2012, the Bengals have registered 69 sacks, tied for the most in the
    NFL during that span (DENVER, 69)


    “This guy has some power rushes where he just takes linemen back and it just looks like they’re on roller skates,” says “He just walks them, literally, right back into the quarterback. He’s very quick. He can get the edge. Then when they try to take those quick moves away from him, he can turn those into power moves and
    collapse the pocket. He can ruin a game, there’s no question the guy can ruin a game by himself. He’s a factor in the running game, he’s a factor in the passing game.”

  50. tiny tim Says:

    @ Que589

    Passing on Donald because we have McDonald is like passing on Adrian Peterson because have Cadillac

    Thats too funny!!!

  51. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Per Current NFL Network Draft analyst

    Former National Scout for the Cleveland Browns
    Former West Coast Area Scout for the Philadelphia Eagles
    Former West Coast Area Scout for the Baltimore Ravens.

    -Daniel Jeremiah


  52. tha truth is... Says:

    Warren Sapp 2.0

    Yeah he might be a lil undersized but u can’t block what u can’t touch

  53. tha truth is... Says:

    still can’t believe we let Sapp go 4 a Crusty Booger.

  54. Mike10 Says:

    Joe I agree w drafting upon best available, but it’s not a blind formula. Of course you don’t see the colts lookin QB first rd, bc they have a very high quality player there already. Just like it would be a waste now to consider a RB, or WLB. But I don’t think we should rule out a MLB just bc Foster is there, or a S bc Barron or Goldson (just as example). If best available matches w a position where u need/could have an upgrade, u could pull the trigger. But it’s where u purely draft based upon need and put the blinders on to positions your “stable” at, is where u get in trouble…
    Especially at QB Joe