Draft Logic

April 15th, 2017

It’s Gil Arcia’s Saturday column! His 10th since joining the team.


Running back. Tight end. Wide receiver. Safety?

Everyone is up in arms about who the Bucs should take in the first round of the NFL Draft. With 12 days to go, the Bucs – along with the other teams – are piecing together strategies and gathering final intel.

Names are being served up because said player is a fan’s favorite or a guy who can play a position that doesn’t really need to be addressed. Perhaps it’s even a player that merely has a hot name.

There’s no exact science, unless you are in the scouting department.

All we do is debate, often times in a very illogical manner. So with the draft being here before you know it, let’s make a logical attempt at looking at who the Bucs should draft – or what offensive/defensive position they really need to hit on.


The Bucs had an up and down year in 2016. Jameis Winston and Mike Evans were undoubtedly the best and most consistent things their offense had going for it. But there were other guys like Cameron Brate and Jacquizz Rodgers who impressed. And collectively, the offensive linemen were not as bad as fans make them out to be.

The addition of veteran receiver DeSean Jackson will make the passing game as impressive as ever. His presence on the field will clearly make others around him much better. Without a doubt, their 16th ranked passing offense will see an improvement on their 245.4 yards-per-game average.

The running game was the biggest issue of 2016. Doug Martin failed his team and teammates and instantly became unreliable moving forward. His 2.9 yards per carry contributed to the team’s 24th ranked running game. If it weren’t for Rodgers’ 4.3 yards-per-carry average, we could have witnessed a running game that was astronomically worse.


It was hard to make anything out of what the team did on defense last season. If you look at their overall numbers, you’d think that they weren’t doing much of anything.

After giving up 29 points per game during the first half of the season, they tightened up down the stretch to end the season giving up 23.1 points per game. Same can be said in yardage, as the Bucs finished allowed nearly 368 yards per game after a rough first half of averaging 398.9 yards per game.

Inside those stats was an improved pass defense with the emergence of safety Keith Tandy and the development of Vernon Hargreaves III, and the expected shut-down-style play from veteran cornerback Brent Grimes.

However, the trouble spot was stopping the run – especially up the middle. Opposing running backs averaged 117 yards a game. But the signing of defensive tackle Chris Baker should help bring that down a bit.

That leaves the pass rush, where the Bucs finished with the third fewest quarterback hurries in the entire league. Oddly enough, the team was ninth in total sacks with 38 – making them the eighth best team in the league with a sack percentage of 6.5.

The Verdict

Looking at just the previously mentioned statistics, as well as the good ol’ eye test, you cannot ignore how the team needs the most help in the running game on both sides of the ball.

Interestingly enough, the Bucs attempted to address that in free agency with the signing of Baker and bringing back Rodgers. But the difference needed is a running game that also helps the passing game, while better run stuffing plays a crucial role for a secondary making up for a less than stellar pass rush.

That’s why there is no doubt that the Buccaneers need to find their running back in the draft – quickly.

It’s imperative they draft that guy who can be an immediate impact to the offense. Even if that means getting him in the first round.

39 Responses to “Draft Logic”

  1. Tampabayucfan Says:

    Joe is selling the running back position hard…..very hard. And, while I don’t disagree we need to draft a running back, I am not convinced it needs to be in the first round.
    There are countless examples of RBs drafted in later rounds that produce very well for their teams.
    For me, it all depends on who is available at 19 and if there are suitable players available at that position later in the draft.
    I’d like to see us pick up a WR or TE there. I am convinced that adding weapons for Winston in the first 2-3 rounds is key.

  2. NIck Says:

    I like your argument. If one of the top three backs is still there at 19, I think they take them. If not, they have to look really hard at that second awve of RBs in the second or third round.

  3. MadMax Says:

    Heres the deal…

    Zay Jones

    dont tell me its not possible….with moving and shaking with some trades, those four can occur!

  4. DallasBuc Says:

    Arcia toeing the company line when it comes to the oline. Or at least that’s what the good ol eye test tells me…

  5. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Be your own man Gil… For all those “we need a RB in the first” crowd, why not Blount? He did lead the league in TDs. Pair him with J.R. for some smash mouth football.
    Let’s grab a DE like Barnett or Harris and play more 34 defense.
    O tackle

  6. Fred E. Buc Says:

    One can make the case the Bucs got torched in points for half the season was because they couldn’t stop opposing offenses, especially the passing game. First rounders are typcially instant starters, though DBs and DEs can take awhile to get adjusted. So I still think they need a S in first round, and can take a RB and WR, in no order…in Rounds 2 and 3. The good thing is we’ve seen Jason wheel and deal to trade back into the 1st round. So a question in my mind is would it be worth giving up the 2nd and 3rd round picks this year to get trade back into the first round and get to first round picks and go straight to fourth round? Or consider actually trading DOWN five or six spots to get Cook (who in my opinion is risky due to being damaged) and getting perhaps another third round pick out of it. That is, one first, one second and two thirds to still MAYBE get your man in the first round?

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

    Salute My G well stated. Why its so hard to comprehend,well like I always say is beyond me..

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

    Ion care what none of these what Joe called them “dorm room wanna bees”😂say. You hit this one out the park homie.

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

    The s@$! Is well stated and simply put. Best one to date Gil.

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

    And gotsuc and f@$! @$$ dallas it shouldn’t place you in your feelings considering he didn’t even mention a certain players name. F@$!boys.

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

    I’ll check back on y’all draft night.

  12. gotbbucs Says:

    Your eyes aren’t great at watching the o-line. There was constant pressure right up the middle. Hawley sucks, Pamphile should be a backup, Sweezy is a question mark, Dotson is average, Marpet is good and could be great, D. Smith is solid but still loses to speed rushers, E. Smith should be a cap casualty, everybody else is developmental backups.

    Two 2nd round picks and nothing else invested. I’ve say it every year, this team will go as far as the o-line will take them. Jameis has the ability to pull a couple rabbits out of hats a year, but they have to continue to work on that line. Licht has to know that.

    …..but, carry on with this ridiculous notion that this team is a running back away from domination.
    Cadillac Williams and Doug Martin????

  13. Steven007 Says:

    NOS, and I ask this in all seriousness because I’ve seen you write it before, but what does “Ion care” mean? Is it a disinfectant? Hair care product? Anyway, even I agree that we need a RB. It’s self evident. However unlike Joe’s suggestion in The Cook Post of the Day, we do NOT need to “go get him”. If one of the elites are there at 19 you strongly consider it. If not you get him in RD’s 2-4. Easy.

  14. Buc1987 Says:

    Steven007 …lol something tells me you could copy and paste your paragraph to tomorrow’s “Dalvin Watch” article and it would fit there too.

    lol You should save that, and use it every day.

  15. Steven007 Says:

    Ha, thanks Buc1987, that’s actually a great idea; I just might do that. Minus the disinfectant part of course…

  16. Not there yet Says:

    We have multiple needs so best player available is the way to go. If we can draft a small corner as high as we did last year then getting one at 19 if it’s one of the top 3 shouldn’t be a big deal. Best player on the board, immediate impact player in the first two rounds is what I want no matter what the position. Make up for that second round fiasco from last year Licht and get us over the Hump

  17. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    People he is going to be there. Google is your friend and in 10 minutes you can view 20 or so recent mocks. Nearly all have Cook going late in the first round and nearly none have him gone when we pick at 19

  18. DallasBuc Says:

    Ion care is what nosbos slathers on to Cook’s balls before he slides them down his air hole

  19. rayjay1122 Says:

    I agree with the logic of it all coming down to who is available when we pick. I do not want a trade up for a RB but would not fly off the deep end if we traded up for WR, DE, or even TE. If we could get Corey Davis and get V-Jax back on the active roster, all of a sudden our WR group would become a strength. We do need another RB to split carries with Rodgers and that very well could be accomplished in the 2nd round. Who knows what will happen. It has been a while since we have drafted this far back in the 1st which makes it even more unpredictable. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

  20. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I just don’t see us drafting a WR in the 1st round. We’ve got our two outside guys and Koetter loves Hump. There is no need to draft a guy who won’t play much next season in the the 1st. Maybe round 2 if a guy they really like is still there. DE is a position I could see us going because they need a year to get going and there are more rotations on the DL than at WR. I’ve thought out multiple scenarios and I think our 1st round pick will be a RB or DE. There are more RBs that could help us in round 2 than DEs, so I’ll predict a DE in round 1 if Cook is gone, but if Cook is still there at 19, he’ll probably be the pick.

  21. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Really enjoying your pieces and today’s was excellent. You nailed what I”ve been trying to state simply. It’s the running game!!! ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL.

    I’m really tired of us getting gashed like a bunch of sissies up the middle by power running teams like the Cowgirls. I’m hoping Gil is right and Baker will help that area significantly and I wouldn’t be surprised if we draft some beef.

    But we must have an RB. Since I want the best we can get at EVERY position and I certainly consider RB for example far more impactful on a game than the average safety…20 touches a game! I would like one of the top three but if we can’t get them it won’t be the end of the world unless we’re counting on Doug Martin. I prefer one of the best RB’s but I’ll be OK as long as we draft a servicable RB…hopefully one that won’t get hauled down from behind over and over again.

  22. martinii Says:


    Slow day so I checked out my 24 references. I was amazed how Cook has dropped to mid to late 20’s so fast. Hell there were a few where his name didn’t show up in the first round. FSU fans must me happy.

  23. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Yeah. It is pretty amazing and I some of those 2nd round projections as well. While most mocks miss quite a bit as far as pure accuracy, but they do very well in guessing ranges of where guys will be taken. I actually think if the Bucs want Cook they my trade and maneuver back a few spots to somewhere in the mid 20s and take him there.

  24. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Try not trade

  25. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Holy moly Dallas, that was the epitome of savagery dude. Keep up the good work.

  26. JameisDungy Says:

    I did a Fanspeak mock draft that resulted in

    Corey Davis
    Cam Robinson
    Joe Mixon
    Jordan Leggett

    as my top 4 picks. The dream offensive draft.

  27. LifeOfABucFan Says:


    I would love to see the Bucs never again draft anyone from FSU..I’ve become such an anti-fan since all the homers..

    Is it so damn hard to understand that you do NOT need to waste a 1st pick on a RB!!!?????????? Come on People, or sheeple!! Come on!! We need a S, TE or DE before RB!!!

    I need to read more on Cook and his off field issues..if he abused any animal, I will put a curse on the mf-er…I’ll read on it later on..

    I’m really wanting Howard for our !st Rd pick..

  28. Capt.Tim Says:

    Sorry buddy, but if this site has proven ONE GREAT TRUTH over its years of

    Its that not one single poster here, has any idea what they are talking about- when it comes to offensive line play
    Not one
    Well, meybe me

    Werent you one of the . . People . . REJOICING when Donald Penn was released?

    You guys have no idea what you are looking at, or talking about- when it comes to line play

    Our line is above average, and improving on almost a game to game basis.
    Could it be better? Yes. Love Dotson, but Right Tackle is the weakest link.
    Hes decent. But could be improved on.
    If Marpet stays at center( a waste),
    The your line will probably be
    Smith-Lt, Sweezy-Lg,Marpet-Center,Pamphile-LG, and I believe Benenoch, RT

    That, of course, depends on Sweezy. Hes young, should be ok.
    That is a good line.
    Plus Smith/Marpet/Pamphile have extensive time playing together- which is the most important factor.

    Can we upgrade RT. You bet.
    But we arent desperate to do so. Our lone now would do very well.
    I like what they’ve been doing.
    Draft a raw talent, give’em to Warhop for a year- boom!- start’em

    Only problem with that, is posters here talk badly about them, mo matter how well they play. I think its because most posters dont know enough to correct them-so it makes them look knowing

  29. rayjay1122 Says:

    I am not an FSU fan. I am a Gator and Bulls fan. However, when we have drafted players out of FSU other than Robertohhhh, we have had pretty good results. DB55, Dunn, Winston, Dexter Jackson (Super Bowl MVP), Geno Hayes, Lawrence Dawsey and Dekoda Watson were all solid starters if not franchise players like Brooks and Winston. So 7 of 13 FSU players drafted by the Bucs were solid starters and above. I believe if Cook becomes the 14th FSU player selected by the Bucs that he will be one of the ones that we do well with.

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    Capt. Tim
    Penn was getting fat and sloppy playing for Tampa. Players sometimes need change to wake up and smell the roses.

    If you’re happy with Joe Hawley in the middle then I really don’t know what else to say.

    But you’re the expert, so I’ll leave it your all knowing hands.

  31. 321BucFan Says:


    I like what your preaching but instead of Blount sign Adrian Peterson.

  32. Capt.Tim Says:

    If Marpet were still at Guard- I’d agree with you, that Center was an area of need.
    With the move.center isnt a need anymore.
    Although its still a waste moving a dominate guard to center!!

  33. Capt.Tim Says:

    And No.
    you ate. Etter than that weak ass cope out.
    Penn is exactly the same player there, that he was here.

    Just smarter fans- that know a great Left tackle when they see one.

    Penn is the Best Left Tackle in team history. Much better then the Highly acclaimed Paul Gruber- who was a great Tackle.

    The only reason Fans thought Penn wasnt great, was vecause he wasnt drafted in the first round.
    There was no other problem.

    The Raider nation goes to bed every night, laughing at our stupidity.
    And if Some of the Clueless posters here had their way. They would Have Donavan, to replace Penn when he gets old.

    The ONLY REASON the uninformed here dont like Smith, is some stupid nonsense they read in some predraft rag magazine.
    You can tell, vecause they repeat the critiques nearly Verbatim.

    When you have had a player in your lineup, for two years- and are still basing you opinions on a 3 year old magazine . . .
    You should chop your hands off, to keep from posting

  34. Capt.Tim Says:

    “You are better than that . . .”
    Damn lil phone!!

  35. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Hey Life ever heard of drafting the BPA???? For what its worth, i believe you are being the sheep when you follow some rule that you never draft a RB in the first. There are a few RBs taken every year in the first round. You know why, because real GMs don’t make up ridiculous rules like this. A bell cow RB touches the ball a minimum of 20 times a game. You think that is not an essential role on a team? We have a a stud QB, two stud recievers and you don’t think a stud RB would help balance the Bucs offensive attack. It is imperative that defenses have to respect both the pass and the run. They compliment each other and make both of them more effective. The Bucs took a guy early in the 3rd round a couple years ago. is he a game changer? No! You know why, because there were 80 or so players drafted before him that were graded out higher. Always take the BPA if there is a need and I for one hope we take an extremely talented one vs some random RB in the 4th round that probably wont pan out.

  36. RawBucFan Says:

    I think the RB situation has been narrowed down to either Cook in the 1st, Foreman in the 2nd or Hunt/Mixon in the 3rd depending on how the draft plays out. I think whoever we get will contribute immediately. Until those 1st 18 picks are made we just need to be patient. Question for all Bucs fans would you rather have a draft combo of S Peppers & RB Foreman or RB Cook & S Baker?I think both scenarios would be a major talent upgrade. Joe I always wanna here your thoughts…

  37. USFBUC Says:

    @rawbuc – I would much rather cook and baker vs Peppers and Foreman. Better still would be trading back to get an extra second and third round pick, still getting a player who fits a need in the first, Brantley and Melifonwu in he second, Godwin and Mixon in the third.

  38. BringBucsBack Says:

    Penn better than Gruber? I’m having trouble seeing that one, friend. Gruber may have been a HOFer on a good team; Penn was good for much of the time.

  39. Crockett69 Says:

    I saw my first game at the ol’ sombrero the year we drafted Vinny “Interceptiverde” back in the 80’s. I still rooted for them in the garbage years because they were the hometown team. I truly hope that Dalvin Cook will be drafted by the Bucs on draft Thursday. A Winston/Cook tandem would bode well for us in the very near future. Best of all he’s from in-state.