Mayock Talks Defensive Ends

January 22nd, 2018

Can talent trump baggage?

If you ever run into Joe at a watering hole, a word of caution: Please don’t mention the Bucs and defensive ends in the same sentence

Joe’s liable to fastball a beer bottle against the wall and Joe doesn’t want to anger the innkeeper of any proud establishment that allows him to walk through the door.

Nothing enrages Joe like the abject ineptitude of this franchise at finding and developing an edge rusher since Simeon Rice was here. And the one time the Bucs did find a threatening edge rusher, they let him go for no good reason.

The fact someone in this organization slammed their right palm on a meeting room table demanding Michael Bennett walk away should have prompted the entire staff (employed at the time) at One Buc Palace to have a mental health evaluation.

No one had the foresight/common sense/balls to tell whoever pulled the lever of the trap door to let Bennett escape he was batsh!t crazy and should have been wrapped in a straight jacket??

The way the Bucs urinate in the wind trying to find an edge rusher year after excruciating year has now reached crisis mode. If the Bucs don’t find an edge rusher now, for 2018, it very well may cost quite a few people their jobs this time next year.

Rookies, as we know, rarely blow up at defensive end. For every Joey Bosa there are 20 Da’Quan Bowers. Those are bad odds, especially with jobs hanging by a thread. So last week, when the great Mike Mayock talked to Joe during the East-West Shrine Game practices in St. Petersburg, Joe asked him briefly about two DEs that seem to have talent: Bradley Chubb of North Carolina State and Arden Key of LSU.

“Key is an underclassmen and I haven’t done as much [film study] on them as I have on Chubb,” Mayock said. “Chubb, I love. It is hard to pick him apart.

“Key looks like a really naturally gifted pass rusher. Outside of that, I haven’t seen enough.”

Yeah, Key seems to have all sorts of baggage off the field. But it reminds Joe of what an NFL scout once told Joe about defensive ends. “It’s a convict position,” Joe was told. And you know what, that’s about right. Every decent defensive end either has some baggage in his past, or is off just a little bit.

Shoot, even Reggie White used to bless quarterbacks after he sacked them.

The last stud defensive end who was a normal human being, that Joe can think of, was Lee Roy Selmon.

Joe can say this with a great deal of confidence; whatever book Bucs scouts have been using the past decade to gauge defensive end talent needs to be burned.

45 Responses to “Mayock Talks Defensive Ends”

  1. tmaxcon Says:

    key also has injury concerns. no one loses more gambles on injury prone players than the bucs organization. hell a few years back bucs had more gambles on the roster than actual reliable football players. pass on key

  2. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    There is baggage and then there’s Baggage!

    Simeon Rice was/is flaky…a little out there. I never considered that baggage.

    Greg Hardy/Richie the scumbag Incongnito have killed several locker rooms…THEY have BAGGAGE.

    Noah Spence’s “baggage” was handled in a terrific manner. After the drug bust he left OSU and went to purgatory…Richmond KY to rehabilitate his image. And he sent the NFL GM’s his drug tests on HIS dime. He did everything right and lo and behold if his shoulder would only hold up he’s an excellent draft pick. Remember how even Jag players were raving about him during the joint summer practices?

    Again while I realize sometimes you are forced to draft for need in the first round at least it’s time to go for the BPA. Last year that was OJ for a position that was not needed but could upgrade the team for years to come.

    OL IS a need for this team so just go ahead and pick Nelson. He’s called generational by almost every scout…Key…at his best is NOT generational.
    If it’s between Key and Nelson go for the surest thing…save the gambles for at least round two or later.

    Would you rather have an all pro guard protecting our franchise QB or a DE who can possibly contribute?

  3. LakeLand Says:

    This crop of pass rushers are average at best. You will find a lot of value in Rounds 2-4.

  4. DB55 Says:

    If the guy is the 5th or 6th best player in the round then mark him down as Jason Licht’s pick.

  5. Joe Says:

    OL IS a need for this team

    Everything Joe has been told by several folks at One Buc is the team does not believe this. And as Joe has written several times, he tends to agree.

  6. The Buc Realist Says:

    i thought joe was talking about Stylez G. White there for a moment!!!!!!!! I find it interesting how every free-agency how the Bucs chase and were in the hunt for many DE, but its like no one wants to play next to GMC!!!!!!!!!!

    joe needs to to a poll and see if the so called fans would be alright if they were told that the regime were given 2 years, and are going to fix the trenches, trade gmc for picks, and select Mount VEA in the first round to switch to a true 3-4!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!

  7. The Buc Realist Says:


    My sources have said the same thing, But they will not turn down a Guard upgrade if they can find one in FA!!!!

  8. Bucsfanman Says:

    @Joe- I agree with StPete. Marpet’s move to center was not exactly a smooth transition, Sweezy was a mess, and Pamphile is eh. Dotson had his best year but how long can he play at that level at his age and being injury plagued?
    There was nothing about this o-line last year that made me say WE ARE THERE! The run-blocking was horrific and pass protection was suspect in many games.
    I whole-heartedly agree about pass-rushers but we can’t ignore the o-line.


  9. tmaxcon Says:

    The Buc Realist

    please show me an example of an overpaid, 30 yr old, injury prone, currently injured, declining DT was traded for PICKS… there have been hall of fame type players traded recently for late round picks. maybe a 6th or conditional 5th but no gm in his right mind would give up picks for a me first career loser. 93 is a fraud with zero trade value outside of a single late rounder. once again too many bucfans can not tell the difference between popularity and greatness. being the best player on a horrible team for 8 years does not make one great either.

  10. tmaxcon Says:


    Dotson was average at best who is nothing more than a part time player at best thus can not be counted on. it’s been time to upgrade rt for years. dotson is also a card carrying member of cancer93 led losing culture just like martin. clean house of those career losers who have no idea what it takes to win.

  11. Pickgrin Says:

    Anyone who thinks the Bucs don’t need an upgrade at Guard (both spots if Marpet stays at Center) has no idea what they are looking at.

    And if the Bucs draft Arden Key with the 7th overall pick I will probably be throwing a beer bottle or 2 myself.

    Chubb is our pick at #7 if he’s still on the booard (unlikely IMO). If not Nelson should be the #7 pick for the Buccaneers.

    A trade down would be nice…

  12. Tackleblockwin Says:

    It’s fun talking about draft, but free agency always comes first. As of right now I’m fine with drafting best available DL, OL, RB, or CB in 1st rd.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Marpet and Sweezy were working out fine toward the end of the season. People just had to grasp that it takes time for an OL to gel. The real need is RT…again.

  14. Joe Says:

    My sources have said the same thing, But they will not turn down a Guard upgrade if they can find one in FA!!!!

    That Joe can see, knowing Evan Smith is likely gone and Pamphile is a free agent. But a guard at No. 7 when this team is bawling out loud for a defensive end and a running back?

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Two things:

    Does Joe know something about the Bennett exit that he’s not telling….like someone forcing Dominick to let him go?….because that’s what he seems to be implying. The last time I looked, Mark Dominick was the GM and he made those decisions.

    And, as far as DE….We simply cannot reach in the draft….we can’t make a mistake with our #1 or even #2 pick…..even if we choose Nelson, at least we know we are likely getting a 10 year starter.

    I’d rather see us overpay in FA for a year or even 2 for a DE……better to overpay a good DE than to get two mediocre ones.

  16. Joe Says:

    I’d rather see us overpay in FA for a year or even 2 for a DE……better to overpay a good DE than to get two mediocre ones.

    Not sure there is anyone to overpay for, unless it is Julius Peppers.

    Last year was the year to overpay for someone (Calais Campbell, Julius Peppers, Chris Long).

  17. C eh N eh D eh Says:

    Lawler from SMU looked good in the Shrine…mid-round consideration…

  18. Dooshlarue Says:

    Have you ever thought about seeking professional help for your alcohol and anger issues ?

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    no to a.key….reminds me of dion Jordan/randy Gregory……plus our locker room aint strong enough for players with character issues

    I disagree with being satisfied along the oline as well….we don’t have a pro bowler or all pro along the line…..we should be looking to upgrade at any and every opportunity we have….that’s what good teams do….that’s how you build depth and a competitive winning culture…..

    you don’t wait until a hole is made and then reach for a player weather it being in the draft or FA…..the only position that we should’ve be drafting high are QB and LB…..everyone else need quality competition….GO BUCS!!!!

  20. Bucsfanman Says:

    tmax- Your love of GMC is unbearable!!!
    Yea, before last year Dotson was always average, sometimes below-average at best. He’s 30+ and they had to have been thinking of his replacement. Then again, this is the Bucs!
    It’s going to be a long season if the Bucs don’t address their lines.

  21. GhostofSchiano Says:

    @JOE –

    Have you seen anyone on the practice squad that might make the transition to the next level and fill a need along the O or the D line? Anyone even look promising?

  22. NFLNut Says:



    In regards to the O-Line … are you saying the Bucs plan to hold onto Sweezy and re-sign Pamphile? Because those two moves would need to be done for you or the Bucs to say the O-Line isn’t an issue as if either Sweezy is let go or the team merely doesn’t re-sign Pamphile, they will have TWO STARTING GUARD SPOTS EMPTY …

    I would think Quenton Nelson in the first round, a guy like Frank Ragnow in the 4th round and a project RT like Desmond Harrison in the 6th round (he’d have to slip due to character concerns which is possible ala La’el Collins) would be great for the team’s O-Line now and in the future … they could still add a DE (2nd), SS (3rd), CB (5th) and DT (6th – we have two 6th rounders) …


  23. tmaxcon Says:


    majority of bucs defense is practice squad material

  24. Defense Rules Says:

    @Bonzai … “The real need is RT…again.” Lots of folks don’t seem to agree with that Bonzai. Our weakest positions on the OLine this year were (1) RG (Sweezy); and (2) LG (Pamphile). Marpet was OK at Center – I don’t see him being an All-Pro selection there, but he could be All-Pro at RG, his best position. D. Smith is functional at LT, as is Dotson at RT. Put Hawley at Center (draft a backup or re-sign E. Smith as his backup). Sign a LG in FA like Norwell or draft a LG (only at #7 IF there’s not quality DE, DT or CB on the board IMO). We have to fix the DLine, as well as the Secondary. No more of this BPA with our top picks … that’s how we got into this mess in the first place. PRIORITY NEEDS must take preference for once, and there are other ways we can fix our LG issue.

  25. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Pill the Scab off

    • Gerald McCoy

    • Muhammad Wilkerson
    • Bennie Logan
    • Denico Autry
    • Will Clarke

    • Duke Ejiofor
    • R.J. McIntosh
    • Kendrick Norton

    Projected Line-Up
    LDE Michael Bennett | Duke Ejiofor | Noah Spence
    LDT Muhammad Wilkerson | R.J. McIntosh
    RDT Bennie Logan | Kendrick Norton
    RDE Denico Autry | Will Clarke

    Note: Minnesota Vikings have the cap space – and desire to make a splash move.
    Adding Gerald McCoy to their defensive line up will be second none,

    LDE Danielle Hunter
    LDT Gerald McCoy
    RDT Linval Joseph
    RDE Everson Griffen

  26. BucsFanRioDeJaneiro Says:

    IMO, there´re 5 good options for the Bucs at #7:

    1) Bradley Chubb (fills #1 need + week 1 starter + high ceiling)
    2) Saquon Barkley (fills a huge need + week 1 starter + generational talent)
    3) Minkah Fitzpatrick (fills a huge need + week 1 starter + high ceiling)
    4) Quenton Nelson (huge upgrade at trenches + week 1 starter + generational talent)
    5) Trade down.

    If options 1 to 4 are all gone and Licht can´t find a good bidder, Arden Key would be a terrible choice. A little bit undersized to pair with Noah Spence, off-field concerns and injury prone. Our beloved Bucs can´t afford such a gamble in the 1st round.
    In this unlikely nightmare scenario, I would consider Joshua Jackson (CB/Iowa), Derwin James (S/FSU) or Vita Vea (NT/Washington).

    Marcus Davenport (DE/Texas-San Antonio), right now, is another gamble. His numbers are huge and his speed is impressive. But he faced very weak competition, so it´s unsure that he is NFL material. Perhaps, if he has an amazing Senior Bowl and a very solid Combine, Davenport could be in the mix.

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    When he’s motivated – and doesn’t have a problem w/Upper Management

    #39: Muhammad Wilkerson (DE, Jets) | Top 100 NFL Players of 2016

  28. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Number #1 target on the Defensive Line

    Bennie Logan

    One of the Best Interior RunStuffers In the League.
    Plus he can play the “0,1 or 2” in any front


  29. LakeLand Says:

    The Bucs D-Line will be a top unit, if Jay Hayes could develop the free agency trash, UDFAs that Jason Licht send him.

  30. Wausa Says:

    I just don’t think free agency is the way to help the Bucs at DE this year unless there is an unexpected release.

    They can get help at running back(Carlos Hyde San Francisco)
    defensive tackle(Star Lotulelei Carolina)
    Center/OG (Ryan Jensen Baltimore)
    Corner (Malcom Butler New England)
    Safety(Lamarcus Joyner Rams)

    If the Bucs signed the above five free agents then the Bucs can then focus on getting help at defensive end in the draft and not just in the 1st round:

    2nd round options:
    Duke Ejiofor Wake Forest
    Rasheem Green USC

    3rd round options:
    Jaylon Holmes Ohio State
    Chad Thomas Miami

    4th round options:
    Josh Sweat Florida State
    Dorance Armstrong Kansas

  31. SammyRebel Says:

    Guys Gerald McCoy is not the problem he’s just laid back chill dude who gets doubled and tripled team every snap he’s ever had and he’s been a top 5 DT in the NFL for years now. That being said it’s not his fault he had half ass GM Mark Dominick not keep Bennett or Clayborn, bucs did have good pass rush with those two DE, too bad Clayborn just was injury struck for years, we should definitely add this spring, Ziggy Ansah, Michael Bennett, hell go back after Adrian Clayborn for Jason Lichts sake, best case scenario is I’m hoping the Cowboys can’t afford the Franchise Tag for Demarcus Lawrence, dude is a stud, Joe what’s your input on that? Think we have a shot for Lawrence?

  32. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The 2017 offensive line had Ali Marpet (newly moved to center), JR Sweezy (only one year at guard and then almost two years injured), Kevin Pamphile (mostly new to guard; developing), Donovan Smith (a 3rd year player who has been improving year to year) and Demar Dotson (an often injured Right Tackle).

    Of them all, Demar Dotson IS the weak link. The best ability is AVAILability. He’s often injured and over the hill.

    Everyone else just needs time to gel. Good offensive lines become good over a period of years, not one year. Marpet had a couple bad snaps in the first half of the season, but got things together in the second half. Sweezy took time to settle in, but he got better as well. Smith is a lot better than people say. And Pamphile is at least acceptable.

    Dotson is the weak spot. Just as he was last year.

    As I said, the rest of the line just needs time to develop and come together as a unit. Their first step was pass protection…this year they’ll be better at that can get good at run blocking.

    It takes time, especially with a new offensive line.

  33. SammyRebel Says:

    Another thing, the Bucs were so needy off DLine help all year, what ever happened to Jared Odrik? Dude could play ball too, very versatile in what Mike Smith uses

  34. SammyRebel Says:

    Lol @ Bonzai, Dotson was a top 5 tackle this year per PFF, get you’re facts straight

  35. Gambelero Says:

    Since oline was brought up a lot, My econometrics professor, Barry Hirsch (who some of you probably had as well), had a background in labor Econ. He pointed out that the free agency studies in sports found that the elite players were way underpaid, while teams way overpaid for mediocre players. Our SOP is to get bottom half free agents, the Gosder Cherilus, Bruce Carter, floppy hat Sweezy, Swaggy Bakers of the world. Sometimes we’ve gotten guys that paid off. Grimes took mediocre money because of his age and has played great. Joe Hawley and Evan Smith have shown great versatility and been well worth the investment. I’d even put Ayers in that category.

    Still you get the idea. If the average left tackle is the 16th-17th best starting left tackle in the league, then our MO is to get less than average players for mediocre free agent money and hope we end up with an above average team. That’s why I was really excited about DJax last year. We stopped playing not to lose. It seemed like every time we got into the red zone, we’d run Martin twice for 3 yards total and hope Jameis could save us on third and long. In free agency we keep bringing in well below the curve players hoping they can make it to average.

    Let’s get a few really good players when the March dinner bell rings, but wait till later to get your filler guys. If we miss a spot in the draft, we can add free agents later or try to find some UDFAs (which, to give credit where credit is due, we’ve been very good at) for depth later on.

  36. Mike Johnson Says:

    Leroy Selmon. Now that was a Monster, A beast, a complete player. I met him when I was going into 10th grade. He was the..Greatest player who ever wore a Tampa Bay Bucs Uniform!!

  37. Pickgrin Says:

    Dot was our best Oline player in 2017 Bonzai. Not sure whose games you were watching last year but it apparently wasn’t the Buccaneers.

    Yes the “availability” thing was somewhat true as Dot missed 5 games (so did youngster Marpet) as is the “aging thing” (Dotson turns 33 in Oct). But we have glaring holes at DE, OG, CB and RB that need to be filled so we can actually compete well in 2018. We are not going to find anyone better than Dot in this year’s free agency crop and there is no OT worthy of our #7 pick this year either. So guess who stays and plays for the Bucs at RT this year.

    Now if you would like to argue that we should have drafted Tunsil instead of Hargreaves in 2016 and would thus be somewhat set at OT for quite awhile – that would be a very valid position. But saying that Dotson was our worst Oline player and that RT is the spot most in need of upgrading on the Oline – especially the idea that Pamphile and Sweezy “just need time to gel” – well you are out on quite a limb there dude. A long one and there’s few if any willing to keep you company while you sit there.

  38. BigHogHaynes Says:

    TrumpMaxCon: STAY ON THE BLACK! TAKE A KNEE! MAKE AMERICA “WHITE”AGAIN! BURN MAR-A-LARGO BURN!! I agree with Trying to get VITA but he is not a #3 Tech D-Tackle…..but combined with THE GREAT GMC…..Oooooooo what a rush!! Those two could rule the inside for at least 4 years!!

  39. tnew Says:

    We can discuss the Oline on the “banking on Benenoch” article.

    But as far as Key goes. He needs to play at 245. So the only way that the justification could be made to draft him is that the Bucs are transitioning to a 3-4.

    For the life of me, I will never understand why not have GMC take more snaps at DE in the 4-3. He has the ball get off and the necessary moves to be effective there. Especially this year. Watch how Jax uses Cambell. Early downs he plays at the DE spot. This would reduce the wear and tear on GMC’s body. The DT’s could play more straight up and allow the LB’s to make more plays vs getting gouged with the crazy line stunts. I would MUCH rather see GMC coming off the edge than Ayers on early downs. Bring Spence in off of GMC’s shoulder for passing downs.

  40. Hodad Says:

    If Key is an injury prone DE, who no one knows how well he’ll pan out as a pro he should fit right in with our other gems Licht has brought in.

  41. Bucnjim Says:

    First comparing McCoy to Cambell is a joke! Second (count them) four coaches have had a chance to line McCoy up at end and NOT ONE thought it was a good idea! Hey you might ask? Because they would knock his D!CK in the dirt!! Not strong enough, fast enough or physical enough to play backup at that position never mind even in rotation.

  42. Rrsrq Says:

    Here is the issue with Bucs scouting: Chad Thomas at the Shrine game was talked about during practice and after the game with a good showing, Bucs were interviewing receivers and LBs

  43. Rrsrq Says:

    Chad Thomas, DE from Miami

  44. godzilla13 Says:

    Arden Key suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery, then had a broken finger. I heard his weight is up to 260 (6-6 260)? With this weight he would fit nicely in a 4-3. Two injuries in one season does not make you injury prone. FA for a DE does not look good. No way the Cowboys let Lawrence hit the open market and Ansah will be a ton of money and have to want to play here. Either Chubb or Barkley or Fitzpatrick or Nelson should be there at seven.

  45. Joe Says:

    Have you seen anyone on the practice squad that might make the transition to the next level and fill a need along the O or the D line? Anyone even look promising?

    Only first 20 minutes of practices are open to watch and that is mostly warmups.