Leap Year

February 13th, 2017

Expect a jump, BSPN says.

Bucs fans should have no worries about the team’s corners.

At least, that is what Matt Bowen of BSPN is suggesting.

In a piece for the four-letter, Bowen lists several rookies who should make a big jump in play in 2017. Among them is corner Vernon Hargreaves.

Hargreaves doesn’t have the top-tier size (5-10, 204 pounds) or speed (4.50-second 40-yard dash), but I would want this guy in my secondary because he competes. Just look at his ability to close on the route, play the ball and finish. In 2016, Hargreaves posted 76 combined tackles, one interception and eight passes broken up, but I expect those numbers to jump in Year 2. Like Apple, the Bucs cornerback will have to continue developing his technique, but the overall skill set? It’s there. And he’s tough.

The thing that Joe likes about Hargreaves is he is smart. If he cannot make an immediate impact on a play, then he tries to put himself into position to help a teammate make a play. The tipped interception at the Stinking Panthers on a Monday night springs to mind.

Late in the season, Joe received Twitters that Hargreaves was horrible. No, he didn’t play like a Pro Bowler but he was a 21-year-old rookie. With rare exceptions do rookie corners dominate.

Hargreaves is among the least worriies for the Bucs.

14 Responses to “Leap Year”

  1. Joeypoppems Says:

    The CB questions will come up again once Grimes is gone. Unless they go after a CB in free agency, which I dont see happening, or they draft a CB early as his replacement, which is unlikely but possible.

  2. Defense Rules Says:

    Before it’s all over, Ryan Smith is going to surprise a lot of people and become a starting corner. Good size for a CB, fast & excellent instincts. Tad more development then some game time.

  3. Americas QB Says:

    See I think we need to add a corner back via the draft or f.a. we need depth everywhere but grimes isn’t young and injuries are bound to happen. We need 2 wr…at least 1 corner…a g/c…and def line. These are areas the bucs must address to be a team that can compete for a super bowl!

  4. ndog Says:

    It is not difficult, this team needs speed and better line play on both sides. Take care of that and we are greatly improved. Don’t and we are around a .500 team. 2 WR’s, 1 RB, then both lines as depth and speed is what we need on the d-line and power and aggressiveness is what we need on the o-line.

  5. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Yup like Joey mentioned, The only concern I have is a potential age related decline to Grimes. Other then that we’re pretty well set at corner.

  6. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Once we kick Alteraun Verner to the curb any way.

  7. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree with your take. Smith comes from a tiny school and it’s probably taken him a year to get up to NFL game speed. Plus didn’t they experiment with him at safety? That would have also slowed his progress as a corner. But he has the skill set and if he has the want to he’s going to emerge as the sleeper in the group of DB’s.

    Koetter and Licht see this kid everyday in practice…if they do not draft a CB high then they believe he’s the heir apparent to Grimes as well.

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete, there’ve been several articles written on other sites praising Smith big time. Apparently in practice he intercepts Jameis more than anyone else. And yes they did draft him as a safety (still can’t figure out why given his college history) but read that towards the latter part of last year they gave up on that experiment and let him focus on CB. I’m excited about the potential that he’s shown and would really like to see him get some game time this year, to see if he’s a potential replacement for Brent Grimes when he retires.

  9. Bucsfanman Says:

    @ndog- Agreed on the line play. Improvement there will help with any deficiencies on the back-end. With Grimes age though, we may want to consider his replacement soon.
    Time will tell with Smith. He hasn’t shown anything yet. Maybe he’ll break out.

  10. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Again agree…hope to see him some more this year. I suspect that’s the Buc’s plan. If he doesn’t measure up they can draft a CB next year but like you I think he’s going to work out.

    As for VHG…I normally loathe all the comparisons…especially the gazillion made about #3 to Bret Favre…Big Ben…trying to pigeon hole #3…I think he’s an original. Having said that I can’t help but see some Ronde Barber in VHG. Ronde is an HOFer in my book so I’m not suggesting VHG is at that level…a long way to go…but he has similar skill sets…and size and speed challenges.

    Like Ronde…VHG is smart and has a ton of heart and isn’t afraid to stick his head in their and make a tackle. And so I’m left wondering if Smitty might consider letting him occasionally blitz ala Ronde?

  11. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Playing in the NFC South, we will be facing some High Octane Offenses 6 times this season. Then you throw in New England, Green Bay, New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Detroit, Minnesota. If Carolina drafts Leonard Fournette or Dalvin Cook, it make it even tougher. I believe Cam Newton will be back to his old form after a full off-season to recover from his shoulder injury. This draft is overloaded with Defensive Studs and we should draft our share of them. We should also go after Studs like Calais Campbell and Dontari Poe in Free Agency to bolster our D-Line. One thing is for sure, if we make the playoffs with this schedule. Then we have arrived and should be a force in the future.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    We are in good shape at CB. Not great shape but good shape. For now.

    Its nice to have options and we have a # of them. I am very comfortable with Grimes and Haregreaves as our starting corners this year.

    Father time will eventually catch up to Grimes of course – but I don’t think its going to be this year. He strikes me as one of those athletes that knows how to take care of himself and probably has good genes also – which may well allow him to have a more extended career than most NFL players – ala Darrell Green, Jerry Rice, James Harrison. Older players are probably more prone to injury – so we’ll see on that front – but Grimes will likely be a good player for at least 2-3 more years. He’s on the 2nd year of a 2 year deal with the Bucs so we’ll have to see if they want him back after this year. My guess is yes on another 1 or 2 year deal – but we have to wait to see how 2017 plays out for Brent and others.

    Hargreaves? I am very happy we have him and expect very good play from that young man for years to come. I’m so glad he played so many snaps in 2016 – gives him so much to see of himself and work on this off-season. To my eye he played damn solid for a rookie and I expect his “stats” – Ints, passes defended, TFLs etc. to make a big jump in 2017. Especially if the coaches do as I hope which is slide VH3 into the slot coverage position anytime a 3rd CB comes on the field. Put VH3 in that same role that Ronde played so well for so many years – and watch him shine with sacks – TFLs in run support – more INTs – more big plays period. Make it so Mike Smith.

    Alterraun Verner? – I’m not sure what is going to happen there. He’s due $6.5M in the last year of a 4 year deal. Verner has clearly not played up to his contract. But with $ seemingly not being a problem this year – and Verner showing over the last 3 years that he can play at a reasonably solid level when called upon – I think its possible the Bucs bring him back for this year. A lot will depend on his play through camp and preseason – and also on the play of all the younger guys…

    Which brings us to the intriguing part of our CB group. The young uns… Ahhh potential – can’t you just smell it?

    Ryan Smith, Hey Jude and Javien Elliot. I’m almost positive that the Bucs really like the potential of all these guys…

    Smith needs playing time – but the other 2 both got some experience last year in real games.

    Odds are good IMO that one of these 3 will break through and earn a starting outside CB role within 1-2 years. Grimes is the bridge (a solid one at that) and one of these 3 is the eventual replacement.

    Like I said – I think we are currently in pretty good shape at CB.

    Now – lets do something about that Safety position @JasonLicht

  13. Destinjohnny Says:

    Like him but still would have taken Sheldon rankins

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    @Defense Rules

    I’ve wanted that to happen since the first time I watched Smith’s tape. I was very glad they decided to move him back to his natural CB position and I would love to see him bust out at some point soon.