Cornerback May Not Be A Need

April 7th, 2017

Grooming to start?

Joe sometimes comes across folks who believe the Bucs should draft a cornerback at No. 19. 

You can never have enough good corners, true, but a corner at No. 19 this year might not be the way to go.

The first thing Joe hears in response is the age and contract status of Brent Grimes. He will be 34 this summer and is in the final year of his current pact. Just on that fact alone, the Bucs should be looking for his replacement. As much as Joe likes Grimes and despite how well he played last year, Father Time is an undefeated SOB.

However, if the Bucs were to draft a cornerback at No. 19, you’d want him on the field. Well, on the other side of the field from Grimes is Vernon Hargreaves, last year’s No. 11 overall pick. He’s not coming off the field. Pretty safe guess, and the Bucs don’t want a No. 19 pick to be a part-time player, or worse, sitting the pine. That’s not getting good value.

One reason Joe is thinking the Bucs won’t draft a corner at No. 19 is the team may have Grimes’ successor already on the roster. It’s also definitely possible Grimes could get an extension if he plays anywhere close to how well he played last year.

As Joe mentioned while making an appearance on the “Pat and Aaron Show” this week, heard locally on WDAE-AM 620, Joe heard whispers from a Bucs type that when the Bucs decided to abandon the experiment of playing rookie Ryan Smith at safety, he improved and shined in practices at corner.

Yeah, that’s practice, Joe understands.

So last night, going through Joe’s recording of a private but on-the-record conversation winning Bucs coach Dirk Koetter had with Tampa Bay reporters at the NFL combine last month, Joe found Koetter talking about safeties. At the time, both Bradley McDougald and fan favorite Chris Conte were free agents; Conte re-signed with the Bucs and McDougald with Seattle.

While discussing safeties, Koetter interjected Smith’s name.

“We’re going to keep Ryan Smith at corner,” Koetter said, without any prodding. “And I’m excited to see Ryan Smith at corner.”

So why would Koetter be “excited” about a backup? Well, if what Joe had previously heard about Smith is to be believed, then, yeah, Joe can understand why.

Throw in the fact Smith worked primarily at safety from rookie minicamp through the first half of the season or so last year. If Smith really did open eyes as a corner in practice late in the season, then a full year to hone his craft at corner could prove the Bucs have a hidden gem with Smith.

Joe remembers what respected NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah said about Smith when the Bucs drafted him out of North Carolina Central. “Small school player; big school talent.”

30 Responses to “Cornerback May Not Be A Need”

  1. BigHogHaynes Says:

    DRAFT MIXON, well maybe not at 19, but get him, HE’S THAT DAMN GOOD!

  2. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Miko keeps Grimes young by taking charge of his diet and training. What could go wrong?

  3. TheBucsAnthem Says:


    The way VHG played last year as “so-so”…..he really didn’t play up to his draft status.

    They bucs need to pic the best overall player in the 1st…….regardless of position and also to not make the mistake of selecting a RB in such a deep draft class for that position.

  4. BigHogHaynes Says:

    Staying on subject; my hope that R SMITH is the answer to our problem at corner, I like the fact that the coaching staff had enough flexibility to move him back to corner and let him compete!

  5. Brandon Says:

    Dream scenario… we trade down in the 1st and grab TE Njoku… then in round 2 we grab WR/RB Curtis Samuel. With our additional 2nd rounder or early 3rd for trading down we get Mixon.

    Mixon IS the best RB in the the draft… it’s not even close. He’s faster than McCaffrey, he catches the ball as well as McCaffrey, he runs with power almost as well as Fournette. And no, Dalvin Cook isn’t as fast as McCaffrey or catch as well as him nor does he run with nearly as much power as Fournette.

    Alternate dream scenario… we trade down in round 1…maybe even into round 2 and grab a safety…possibly Budda Baker. Then we grab Samuels in round 2, TE Bucky Hodges in round 3…and BPA with whatever picks we get for moving down…maybe Mixon…maybe Marlon Mack.

  6. BigHogHaynes Says:

    As a young 17 year old he crossed a line that most white men consider worst than sin, but he owned up to it apologized to everyone he needed to and went out and started to get counseling and continues to do so! This guy is no L Philips as suggested by one poster! DRAFT MIXON, HE’S THAT DAMN GOOD!!

  7. Destinjohnny Says:

    The. Issue is every draft is crazy deep at something. You can get top 15 talent in the 2nd round at Db in this draft. Last year it was d live. We drafted only 1 with it being the biggest hole on the team. Vh3 would be a 2nd round pick in this draft. Jason wasn’t reading the tea leaves. He should have gone mad on d line last year and d backfield this year

  8. BigHogHaynes Says:

    @ Brandon; I LIKE THE WAY YOU DREAM!!

  9. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    You and your part time player bullspit kills me! One injury away from picking up Cb’s off the street…..

  10. Wausa Says:

    Bucs need to not make the mistake of not selecting one of the top three running backs in the draft.

    The Bucs have arguably the worst group of running backs in the NFL.
    The smart thing is to correct this mess with one of the top talented backs in the draft.

  11. Erik w/ Clean Athletics 'The Kwon Alexander of Bucs Fans' Says:

    Ryan Smith is an elite athlete with elite speed and good ball skills.

    I think he will end up being our Franchise CB on the other side of Hargreaves and I think he has a higher ceiling than Hargreaves as well.

  12. Bob in valrico Says:

    Love to see Ryan Smith get his chance at corner.Barimah certainly seems replaceable.
    While VH3 has not come up with the interceptions,he is a willing tackler and does a good job defending his area on runs and screens.This area of his game reminds me a little of Ronde.

  13. Lord Corn Says:

    Drafting a CB that plays nickle as the 3rd best CB = more play time than a DE we draft in r1. It’s not like hey Jude and Elliot are studs exactly.

    Excited for Ryan Smith tho

  14. Mojiska Says:

    I would love to see ryan smith turn into a solid starting corner. But to pass up on a guy like lattimore if he is there would be a boneheaded move. Having no backupbplans for positions of need are what hurt us last year, and expecting a 2nd year late roind pick who is on his 2nd position in 2 years is not an adequate backup plan.

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    Erik says:
    ” Ryan Smith…I think he has a higher ceiling than Hargreaves”

    Based on what exactly? VH3 was touted by many as the best pure CB in the draft and was picked #11 in the 1st round. Hargreaves started from day 1 and played about 97% of all defensive snaps in his rookie year. Ryan Smith was drafted almost 100 picks later at #108 in the 4th round. He only has 2 years of CB experience in College and couldn’t get on the field for even 1 play as a nickle CB towards the end of the season after the decision to switch from safety was made.

    I’m not saying Ryan Smith can’t become a good NFL CB in time – but to date – there is 0 evidence he can even play the position in the NFL other than you hearing the coaches say they liked his speed at safety early in the season. Dude was basically invisible last year aside from being the kickoff returner which he statistically was not good at and making a couple plays on ST as a gunner.

    If Ryan Smith wins the nickle job this year and gets some playing time and experience – then maybe we can talk about his ability to possibly work his way into a starting CB role in a year or 2. Meanwhile, Hargreaves will be playing every snap on defense once again this year and every year he is healthy and is expected to make a big jump in his 2nd season and have a major impact on the field.

    Time will tell what kind of ceiling Ryan Smith has – but to say at this point he has a higher ceiling than Hargreaves is just silly talk based on no evidence whatsoever…

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Pickgrin, everything I’ve read agrees with your assessment of Ryan Smith right on the nose. If he’s going to get playing time this year, it’ll almost certainly have to be at nickel. He’s got good size (Bucs list him as 6’0″ & 190 lbs), is supposedly reasonably fast (4.47 in the 40), and is apparently a great ball-hawk. With a decent pre-season, wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him earn a spot as our nickel CB.

  17. 813bucboi Says:

    ryan smith will succeed at cb…his college film suggested he would be a good cb prospect…don’t know why they tried to convert him….he’ll do good…GO BUCS!!!

  18. bucNation Says:

    yes i have high hopes on this guy when we drafted him i saw 3 or 4 analysts say we got a big time steak and that he and vh3 were the starters of the future well hopefully this becomes true i fully expect javien elliot to win the nickel job this year but here’s a scenario i just thought of what if this guy during camp and preseason proves he’s a ball hawk or just better than we all thought what if he actually ended up locking up the no 2 corner spot and hargreaves moved in the slot that would be heaven for me just cause i’d like to know what the plan is if grimes struggles or goes down this guy could be it

  19. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Why do we expect players to come inn at certain positions and look like pro bowlers in year one. Revis wasn’t Revis Island after his first season. Go look it up that nick name came around year three. Gawwdd can a player get some experience before we label them so so. LUV just showed us all the short comings of Prime time his first few years. Geesh. VH3 is a future stud.. IN THE MAKING!!!

  20. SOEbuc Says:

    I was really excited when we got Ryan Smith last year. After we did, I watched his highlights and I also was thinking “small school player with big school skills.” I’m so excited to see what he looks like at CB. Size, speed, tackling ballhawk. LET’S DO IT BIG R.SMITH!!!

  21. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Ryan Smith is the Grimes successor. I’ll never forget him saying draft day that “my entire family is depending on”. Now that’s good pressure. I said then he will the Kwon of the secondary. Paying his dues on ST. When his number is called he’ll be good and ready.

  22. Kalind Says:

    Ok joe, thanks for coming around. I don’t ever wanna read about us drafting a DE again then. At least not in the first 4 rounds. Part time player indeed. You think a DE is going to beat out Ayers, Spence or Gholston for playing time? Or Jacquies? No way Jose.

    So if it’s bad policy for a CB cause they’ll be part time. It’s the same logic for a DE.

    Your witness.

  23. Lord Cornelius Says:

    @Kalind – exactly

    A 3rd CB will play way more snaps than a 4th DE if we’re going to make the part time player argument. THe 4th or 5th DE may be in on like 1/4 of all snaps (just passing downs and not all of them) while the nickle CB will be in on more than 1/2. I’m still fine with DE though

  24. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    For a five week stretch we lead the entire league in turnovers, sacks and points allowed.

  25. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    How bout we do what we said we would. And get some WeaponsforFameis. This defense will explode playing most of the tinge with a lead.

  26. Bill Says:

    The 3rd CB is basically a starter in todays game. I’m not sure why Joe is suggesting the nickel back just rides the pine. No, they don’t see the same action as the top 2 CB’s, but they do generally see more time than the 3rd LB, and most defensive lineman. But comparing back 7 players to D-lineman really isn’t fair, all D-lineman rotate these days with the exception of maybe 10 guys who standout from the crowd.

  27. bucs_365 Says:

    Finally, Joe is catching on. Ryan Smith is the heir apparent unless they draft Adoree Jackson or magically come up with a mid-late round gem.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    Some folks act like having 3 studs at any one position is all you need. DE seems to be a classic example of that. Sure the Bucs have Ayers, Spence, Gholston & Jack Smith. Last yr Smith missed almost all of the season, and Ayers missed several games too. This team needs better depth because … it’s the NFL; injuries happen. Plus players at positions like DE need to stay fresh to be effective, and a nice rotation certainly helps.

    Same thing with CB though. Folks talk about 2 starters and also needing a (part-time) nickel CB. But there are lots of times when the Bucs have had 4 CBs on the field at the same time (and yes, even 5 CBs infrequently). Plus injuries happen there too. Bucs need better depth, not only to make a play for the NFC South crown, but also to set ourselves up for the future.

  29. Joe Says:

    You think a DE is going to beat out Ayers, Spence or Gholston for playing time? Or Jacquies?

    Hell yeah!

    Gholston is a below average pass rusher. Jacquies Smith can’t stay on the field. What’s the over/under of games he will play this year, six? And that’s giving him the benefit of the doubt he fully returns from major knee surgery in less than a year. Whole lot of hope and prayer there.

  30. g720 Says:

    Corner back would be a need definitely but not in the first round. Hargreaves started the season as one of the worst tacklers on the team, got better during the year and regressed later in the year. His one on one covering skills were average last year and to me was a wrong pick where he was selected last year. Neal from Florida, Joseph at SS and better yet, Tunsil would all have been better picks to help this team.