A Hint Why It May Be A Corner

April 5th, 2016
Does an NFL trend spill the beans on Jason Licht's draft plans?

Does an NFL trend spill the beans on Jason Licht’s draft plans?

Only fools who don’t watch games are brain dead enough to suggest the biggest hole on the roster of the Bucs is not at edge rusher.

However, that doesn’t mean the Bucs will draft an edge rusher at No. 9 later this month.

The draft is deep with edge rushers, but Joe easily can see the Bucs going in a different direction if they don’t like how the first eight picks shake out.

So many folks think it is a lock the Bucs draft Florida corner Vernon Hargreaves. Joe is not sold. But, yeah, Joe could see a corner being selected.

This notion of the Bucs drafting a corner is further reinforced for Joe after reading the typed words from Yogi Berra-worshiping, urinal picture-taking, video game-playing, Taylor Swift-listening, pickpocket-thwarting, Bucs-uniform-frowning, Allie-LaForce-smitten, Big-Ten-Network-hating, pedestrian-bumping, olive oil-lapping, popcorn-munching, coffee-slurping, fried-chicken-eating, oatmeal-loving, circle-jerking, beer-chugging, cricket-watching, scone-loathing, college football-naïve, baseball-box-score-reading, NPR-honk, filthy-hotel-staying, fight-instigating, barista-training Peter King, of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports fame.

King, using data shoveled his way by the PFF tribe, suggests the NFL is in the midst of a trend to use five or more defensive backs more and more.

The 2015 season was the seventh straight year for an increase in the number of defensive snaps in the NFL on which five or more defensive back were on the field. Per Pro Football Focus, here is the percentage of plays in NFL games with five DBs or more on the field in every season since 2008:

2008: 43.4%
2009: 45.1%
2010: 48.8%
2011: 52.5%
2012: 54.4%
2013: 58.3%
2014: 60.3%
2015: 63.4%

This is revolutionary, really, and something we don’t talk about nearly enough. Five years ago about half the defensive snaps in the league occurred with four defensive backs on the field; last season it was almost two-thirds of the snaps with five or more defensive backs on the field per snap.

This, King believes, tips the hand of Tennessee general manager Jon Robinson, in that the Titans will draft Jalen Ramsey with the No. 1 overall pick.

But it also adds fuel to the fire for Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht drafting a corner at No. 9.

No, corner is not a critical need. Not now. But remember, Brent Grimes will be 33 when training camp opens. Alterraun Verner, if he doesn’t turn things around, is a prime candidate to get cut because he is due $6.5 million for 2017, per Rotoworld.com.

Again, the Bucs don’t have a crying need for a corner, but they may in the very near future.

43 Responses to “A Hint Why It May Be A Corner”

  1. Capt. Tim Says:

    Hard to believe
    A) the idiots in charge of the team, at the time, let The best Cornerback in football walk away from this team.
    B) some idiots who post here, cheered the move.
    Our secondary has sucked, ever since we let Revis leave.
    For being that damn stupid- we deserve it

  2. d-roca Says:

    Yeah dumb move to let revis go. Time to move on tho. Its always about this next year, even if we kept revis and won a sb last year. That is some very interesting data. I hope they dont go corner at 9. I even prefer a damn good DT if they dont go DE, over corner. We gota get back to winning the line of scrimmage, and asap!

  3. canadian bucsfan Says:

    I don’t really know if I want them to pick Hargraves but I see similarities in him and Brent Grimes game, who better for Hargraves to play with.

  4. Espo Says:

    Dumb move to let Revis go, only because we already WASTED a 1st on him. Might as well get some cut our losses (the picks) and hopefully get something for our investment aside from rehabbing the guy for the Pats and Jets.

  5. Espo Says:

    Please exclude “get some” from my above statement. Been awake too long.

  6. Kevin Says:

    It just depends how good these corners and devensive ends are to others in past and future drafts. I believe licht is going to lean more toward VPA rather than need. We have a disciplined GM and he will build this team.up

  7. Waly Says:

    Good defensive backs are necessary, but a good defensive line makes the defensive backfield better by pressuring the quarterback.

  8. martinii Says:

    The one year (2013) that Revis was a Buc we went 4 and 12, paid him a fortune and Fired Schiano. I think this lovefest with Revis has run its course and it is time to move on. On the positive side I thought the King article was interesting as it showed the growing need for a stable of good DB’s as the nature of the game evolves. For that reason I agree that drafting a CB is not a bad idea if a good pass rusher is not available. I am not High on Hargreaves and totally convinced that Ramsey will be gone at 9. I like William Jackson due to his speed and size in our division although most analyst are picking Hargreaves.

  9. d-roca Says:

    Yessir amen. Lets get that d-line playing well and suddenly the corners will be alot better. Gota pressure the qb. Great corners cant cover too long

  10. bucs4life86 Says:

    Interesting article, it makes sense because more and.more every year we are turning in to,a passing league so u gotta defend the pass if u wanna be successful on defense.

    Joe also makes a good point, may not need a corner right now but we sure we’ll in the next couple of seasons and there probably isn’t gonna be a VH3 available when we pick.

    And as far as Verner go’s I’m not betting my lunch money that he suddenly returns to his pro bowl form. I am optimistic about Banks tho. But other than Banks who else are we gonna have when Grimes is gone? That’s the question you gotta ask yourself if your Licht.

  11. Capt. Tim Says:

    With Ayers, Smith, English, Gholsten, etc
    Think we need CBs worse than DE

    Although we are in desperate need of both

  12. DallasBuc Says:

    Licht loves AC/DC. Good to know

  13. MadMax Says:

    Id rather trade back, grab josh doctson, then go after kendall fuller if alexander is gone. But as much as we need DE’s I just cant see us going for a CB with our first. WR or DE yes, but not CB.

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “The draft is deep with edge rushers.” I just don’t see it Joe. The draft is deep in DTs, but not true edge-rushing DEs. Buckner, Bosa, Dodd and Lawson will all most-likely be solid DEs, but none of them fit look like they’ll be difference-makers when coming off the edge in the NFL.

    The strength of the Panthers’ DLine last year looked to be on the inside with their DTs. Short had 11 sacks, and the other 3 DTs added 5 sacks for a total by their DTs of 16 sacks. Their 6 DEs contributed another 17.5 and their LBs/CBs/Safeties added another 10.5 … for 44 total sacks.

    The Bucs had 38 sacks on the year (6 less than the Panthers) but got less production out of their DLine. GMC had 8.5 sacks and the other 4 DTs added 4 sacks for a total of 12.5 sacks (3.5 less than the Panthers DTs). Our DEs added another 15 sacks (2.5 sacks less than the Panthers) thanks mostly to Smith (7 sacks) and Jones (5 sacks). Our LBs/CBs/Safeties added 10.5 sacks, same as the Panthers backs.

    What I see is that, yes, the Bucs desperately need edge rushers, but improving the pressure in the middle of the DLine can be just as valuable for now. Draft another stud DT to take on some double teams and free up GMC, and he’ll probably get the same results that Short did last year (11 or more sacks). Plus pressure in the middle should help our DEs get better results coming off the edge, like it appears to have helped the Panthers. Lots of good DTs available this year.

  15. 813bucboi Says:

    with the uncertainties of banks and verner combined with the age of grimes I say cb is on the same level as de as far as needs go…there is some great talent in the second round but after that it dries up pretty quickly…you could grab a second round dt/de talent in the 3rd or 4th round…GO BUCS!!!

  16. Supersam Says:

    It makes to much sense not to draft Hargreaves, would any of us be ok with Johnthan Banks and Verner as our starters next year if heaven forbid Grimes gets hurt early in the year? Go get him Licht.

  17. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    It’s starting to feel more and more like the Bucs are going to draft VHIII. As a Gator fan I’m not thrilled with the idea of taking him at 9 but I do believe he’s a good football player. He plays with a lot of intensity and appears to be pretty intelligent. Whether or not he pans out as a top ten pick, to me, will depend on how well he receives coaching. Even playing with a guy like Grimes could help as Vern take his game to the next level.

  18. godzilla13 Says:

    The wild card at CB is the former Viking Josh Robinson. He played well in 2014 (3 INT and had 8 passes defended) before going out for 11 games in 2015 with an partially torn pectoral muscle injury. In 14′ Robinson had a 50-percent completion rate (seventh lowest) and 65.2 quarterback rating (12th lowest). I will take those numbers all day long and there is no reason he can’t play that way this year. Robinson missed 6 games in 2013 because of a fractured sternum. He played in all 16 games in 2012 and 2014. Robinson made 3 INT and had 8 passes defended. He struggled in 2013 playing in the nickle defense. Once he returned to the outside his play improved dramatically. Paired with Brent Grimes and Alterraun Verner in the slot our CB group can prove to be very good. Now we need a Safety who can cover more now than ever.

  19. Joe Says:

    Defense Rules:

    You don’t see the depth because you are only looking at the four or five well-known guys who will likely go in the first round.

  20. R.O. Says:

    It’s called Nickle.. Don’t think that’s some revolutionary scheme and is based on the offensive personnel and how they want to play it.

  21. William Walls Says:

    I agree that we could surely use some help at corner; but nothing trumps our much greater need for a reliable pass rush. Now, whether that means we draft a DE, a DT, a 3-4 LB, or even a blitzing safety to address that need, I couldn’t begin to say.

  22. Steve Says:

    Joe, did Hargreaves get exposed in UFs bowl game this past year vs Michigan? The last 3 games that D gave up 97 points. I know he is only 1 player but no way his man (WR) was completely shut down. I think he’s a bit small and overrated bc of the beloved SEC. Tough call for Licht at 9 if you ask me. Let 1-8 unfold I guess at the end of the month.

  23. Joe Says:

    It’s called Nickle.

    Um, may have missed the words “five defensive backs or more.”

    Key phrase “or more.”

  24. Joe Says:

    Joe, did Hargreaves get exposed in UFs bowl game this past year vs Michigan?

    Didn’t watch that game. Just not swallowing the hype that Hargreaves is head and shoulders better than Mack Alexander. Not saying Hargreaves is overhyped. Just suggesting people are overlooking Alexander (or others).

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    Could it be the reason for more DB’s in games is the general lack of pass rushers across the board in the NFL?

    Seems to me EVERY NFL team is paying massive cheese for pass rushers, all lamenting the lack of QB pressure for their defensive failures.

    Few are pining for DB’s. Fact is there are many, many more credible DB’s available than effective DE’s. Teams—including the Bucs—aren’t hurting for DB’s nearly as they are for DE’s who can pressure the QB.

    While Reavis was an excellent CB, even he didn’t have the skills to stop the two pass patterns that killed the Bucs under the Lovie regime with the ancient “Tampa 2” scheme: the quick slant and the deep sideline over the CB & under the support safety…

    I’m a believer that football is won or lost within 3 yards of the line of scrimmage. You dominate there and it doesn’t matter that much who you have at DB or RB…

    I’d be 100% happy with a nasty DL—whether DE or DT—or serious OL at #9…

  26. Tiny Tim Says:

    @ joe

    We do not know what our “needs” are going to be in the offseason, training camp and the season. What I mean by that is what is considered a strength right now can turn into a weakness real quick with injuries etc. That is why I like how Licht approached free agency. He addressed needs which left himself a lot of flexibility to draft the best player available based on their draft board at 9 (including WR). Whomever is the choice at 9 will definitely be a big contributor in 2016.

  27. tnew Says:

    Not a huge fan of Hargreaves or Alexander personally. I have tried to talk myself into Hargreaves due to his ball skills but he will get beat. The kid from Houston, William Jackson III may end up being the best corner in the draft. He does fight the ball but he looks really comfortable in tight coverage. Will be available late teens to early twenties.

  28. Joe Says:

    best player available

    This is a nonsensical notion pushed by draftniks.

    Jimmy Johnson and Bill Walsh — two of the very best at working the draft — also thought this was nonsense.

    If anyone thinks Licht will draft a quarterback at No. 9 because the guy is the best player available, Joe can assure you Team Glazer will have him drug tested in no short order. No one is going to draft a guy at No. 9 who will be sitting on the bench.

    So, cross off quarterback, outside linebacker, left tackle and running back from your list. Therefore, “best player available” theory is already out the window.

    Steelers went with the “best player available” in 1983 passing on Dan Marino. They regretted that move for 20 years.

    “Best player available” may work later in the draft, to a degree. Surely not at No. 9.

  29. Joe Says:

    I have tried to talk myself into Hargreaves due to his ball skills but he will get beat.

    All cornerbacks get beat. Not sure there is a perfect cornerback, just like there’s not a perfect quarterback or a perfect wide receiver.

    Instead of looking for a perfect cornerback, try to look for a guy who limits the times he gets beat. Hell, even Deion Sanders got beat from time to time in college (Michael Irvin).

  30. The Buc Realist Says:

    Joe Says:
    “All cornerbacks get beat.”
    “Instead of looking for a perfect cornerback, try to look for a guy who limits the times he gets beat.”

    Sounds like a great pass rush to me!!!! Must draft 3 DL ( 2 de and 1 dt ) !!!

  31. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, I admit I was only looking at what to do with our #9 pick. There’s excellent DT talent through about the 2nd round (probably even into the 3rd), but I’m still not sure there are any DEs in this year’s draft who’ll end up being game-changers in the mold of say a JJ Watt or an Ezekiel Ansah.

  32. 813bucboi Says:

    the reality is that no matter which cb we pick they will get beat…its the nfl…no matter if ramsey falls to us or we pick vhg or grab fuller in the second round, they will all get beat at some point this year…with that said, the thing that seperates vhg from the others is his ball skills and technique…2 things a cb must have in order to be successful…alexander lacks ball skills(0 ints at clemson) and can get lazy with his technique…jackson is a little raw with his technique and isnt as fluid in the hips as some coaches would like…vhg is the best pure cover cb prospect coming out including ramsey…GO BUCS!!!

  33. Tiny Tim Says:

    Best player available according to their draft board. This means they will either go CB, safety, DE, TE, OL, WR, etc. They are not pigeon holed into a position as you are suggesting. They have flexibility. They are not going to draft a DE just because joe thinks its the biggest need if they feel the OT out of Notre Dame is better or if they feel a wide receiver is better. Hence best player available. I’m sorry this notion confuses joe

  34. Greg Says:

    I think Alexander is being overlooked because he was hurt at the end of the last season. Even hurt, he was a force against Oklahoma.

  35. tnew Says:

    My point is that Hargreaves will get beat more than others. He also really doesn’t like to tackle or take on blocks. Not looking for perfect at all. Watching tape and the combine he didn’t present himself like I would expect a top 10 corner would. I’m not as concerned with this 40 as I was some of the quick change of direction drills. His feet weren’t as clean as expected. 4.5 speed isn’t a deal breaker in the top 10 at all, but the other traits should be exceptional, and I wanted to see him do the drills in an exceptional manner. He didn’t match up against Treadwell versus Ole Miss. I would’ve like to have seen that. He looks great every time he plays a ball in the air. Best ball skills of any DB in the draft by a far margin. Looked better than most of the WR’s in the gauntlet. Really attacks the ball in the air. Watching film, it is surprising when he doesn’t come up with balls in his direction. Not looking for perfection, just looking at the best value/player/fit at 9. Hargreaves will shine on a team that produces a pass rush because he will punish QB’s mistakes.

    As far as Alexander goes, he gets beat to the inside a bunch. He looked very good versus Shepard at Oklahoma but Clemson got after the QB in that game. Regardless of the stat sheet, his showing versus Fuller (Notre Dame, possible second round buc pick too) was not great. Fuller was open and missed all day long in the wind and heavy rain at Clemson. The NFL network took his traits and compared him to Verner. I like Verner, but I’m not going to draft him at 9. Maybe in the second. I honestly haven’t watched as much on Alexander but I’ve still seen enough. What was released from his pro day was fine, but revealed a 4.5 40 with good feet and not elite ball skills. He’s a late first early second guy.

    I’m of the opinion that pulling the trigger on him at 9 with all of our pass rush holes is tough. If he is picked then you maybe can trade back in to pick up Spence, that might work. Or pick up Rankins and then William Houston III in a trade back, trade up scenario would be really good.

  36. Joe Says:

    Tiny Tim:

    Under your description, that is not best player available.

  37. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    How can anyone contemplate drafting a corner – in the top 10 ten.
    When we don’t have a dominate front 7?

    My bad this was the same TRADE UP and draft Morris Claiborne crowd.

  38. salish_seamonster Says:

    It’s only a CB if they trade down. VH3 is not a top 10 player. I think they may be done with smallish CBs.

  39. 813bucboi Says:

    @tnew…what makes you so sure he will get beat more than others?…vhg wasnt asked to shadow treadwell because the d.coor. didnt fear treadwell…uf has another 1st round cb in jalon tabor that shut him down….during the combine and his pro thats all scouts raved about was his footwork…after the top 6 players(tunsil, ramsey,bosa,jack,stanley,and buckner) who else is better than vhg and would also fill a need?…even if we trade down vhg is still better than spence,dodd or ogbah…we would still be reaching for a de if we trade down and grab one…GO BUCS!!!

  40. Brent bull/buc Says:

    I wanna de. Revis is barely above average now he’s grimes age now. We were gonna suck last 2 years anyway with or without him. Mistake was hiring lovie not letting rebid go. Hey licht: Get a wr for jw please. Not some garbage 5th rd type..,

  41. Tiny Tim Says:

    @ joe

    Maybe this will help…….

    Who is to say the bucs won’t draft a Qb because they have Winston in the third round, especially if they trade Glennon as you have been crying for for the past year? The bucs may not have a 1st round grade on any of these QBs just like they did not have a first round grade on any of the QBs two years ago when you were crying for Manziel. If one of those fall to lets say the third round and they feel he is the best player at that time in the draft, then they will pull the trigger. Hence the best player available according to their draft board. Your perception of who is the best player may not align with what the brain trust of the bucs think or any other team for that matter. I hope this is helping you Joe with the concept of best player available according to their board.

  42. Delson Says:

    I agree william jackson is the best cb in this draft. Alexander was beat constantly on inside slants. William jackson lookin at stats had 23 pass breakups and 5 interceptions. He breaks on routes quicker than hargreaves. I agree hargreave is quicker and explosive but he is not top end speed fast. He relies on his quickness to make plays and so is better suited as a zone coverage cb. William jackson is fast and can run hip to hip with the fastest of wrs. He doesnt lose height battles very often being 6’0 189 lbs. Not only that he will come down and make a SOLO tackle unlike hargreaves and alexander who will dive or half heartedly pursue the ball carrier unless they are parallel to the runner. Jackson isnt afraid to pursue in a perpindicular or a heads up angle. Only 3 things that bother me with williams but are less bothersome than the things i’ve seen from hargreaves and alexander are that he lowers his head when tackling and doesnt wrap up as often as he should. Also he is a bit scrawny. With a nfl strength and conditioning coach he could put on some weight and fix his tackling issues. Alexander is a product of the pass rush and isnt worth a 1st round pick imo. I want my fellow buc fans to watch some game tape of jackson. Type in “william jackson vs” on youtube watch any 2015 season games. I watched about 4 and in two games he takes over completely ya’ll gotta see it for yourself.

  43. Delson Says:

    If we take a wr please let it be josh doctson or michael thomas