Is Safety A Reach?

February 25th, 2018


Joe has sensed no hoof-beats that the Bucs want to draft a safety at No. 7, but who knows?

Safeties, like guards, are rarely drafted early. In fact, only five safeties have been drafted in the top seven in since 2007. They are LeRon Landry at No. 6 by the Redskins in 2007, Eric Berry, No. 5 by the Chiefs in 2010, Mark Barron by the Bucs at No. 7 im 2012 and Jamal Adams at No. 6 last year by the Jets.

Is Derwin Jameis out of Florida State that good? Joe isn’t sure. But Mike Tanier of Bleacher Report seems to think James is good enough for the Bucs at No. 7 in April.

The Buccaneers recorded a league-worst 22 sacks last season and could earn an A-plus draft grade by just selecting seven edge-rushers. But Bradley Chubb is off our board, and the next-best pass-rusher (Marcus Davenport) is the kind of raw prospect who only achieves his potential after the coach, GM and defensive coordinator who drafted him are fired. …

Derwin James is an all-purpose safety who is at his best when attacking the line of scrimmage from the box. He can upgrade the run defense and provide a blitz threat. He can also upgrade pass coverage which ranked 22rd against tight ends, 26th against running backs and 27th against third to fourth receivers, per Football Outsiders. It’s hard to sack a quarterback who can dump the ball to his slot receiver at the first sign of trouble.

The Buccaneers safety corps currently consists of Chris Conte (fine in deep center field, useless elsewhere), T.J. Ward (an undersized Sam linebacker who is also a free agent), Justin Evans (solid prospect who plays a lot of slot corner) and Keith Tandy (the fourth safety on a 5-11 team). James and Evans give the Bucs an interchangeable pair of do-it-all safeties, allowing them to jettison the veterans and use the extra cap space …

Joe is spooked by James. If we were talking the Derwin James before he blew out his knee in 2016, then yeah. Was his bounceback season just a fluke or is that permanent? That’s a helluva gamble to take at No. 7.

Joe has never had the sense the Bucs are desperate at safety. The Bucs are not nearly as down on fan favorite Chris Conte as many Bucs followers are. Whatever happened to Keith Tandy, that’s a question for defensive coordinator Mike Smith. The Bucs had high hopes for him entering 2017 and he, like Vernon Hargreaves, fell off the map.

Joe is still of the mind if the Bucs cannot get Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb, then trade down with a quarterback- hungry team.

93 Responses to “Is Safety A Reach?”

  1. Jdr Says:

    Minkah Fitzpatrick such a better all over all Player Locker Room player football IQ recognized by the NCAA as a better player two national championships write an article about a good football player from a good football program that was well-coached

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Fitzpatrick is an in the box safety that cant cover- ala Mark Barron.

    Bucs should trade with Bills, who want a QB.
    Our 7, for their 2 picks in the 20’s
    Arden Key and Derwin James
    No that would improve Defense. Draft RB in 2nd( Nick Chubb), and CB in 3rd( LSU -Jackson).
    That would work.

    Buuut, we wont.

    Rushing the QB is biggest Key, After QB, to winning in todays NFL.
    We were the absolute worse last year.
    So of course- We’ll Draft a Guard.

    Another good offensive player, to sit on the bench, and watch our defense get ragdolled up and down to field for 60 minutes.

    Yup. That would be my bet.

  3. NFLNut Says:


    ^ Minkah can’t cover? WHAT??????????????????

    The kid’s true position is CB, he merely played wherever Saban needed him, much like Jalen Ramsey did for FSU.

    Minkah gave up like a 10.0 passer rating when targeted I believe … the kid can ABSOLUTELY COVER … in fact he can LOCK PEOPLE DOWN!

    I LOVE Minkah and while I started the #7 for #21 and #22 idea and I LOVE the idea of Arden Key + Derwin James even more than I love the idea of Minkah alone, there is a good chance that Key and especially Derwin could be off the board by the #21 and #22 picks.

    So, trading Minkah for #21 and #22 might end up in getting guys like Sam Hubbard and Ronnie Harrison instead of Arden Key and Derwin James … and I’m not sure I’d rather have that duo than Minkah alone …


  4. Joeypoppems Says:

    7 is a reach for Derwin James imo. However, there is a good chance they are going to have to reach for somebody at 7.

  5. Joeypoppems Says:

    And yea, “Minkah cant cover” is one of the oddest draft takes Ive heard so far. But, a SS that can play in the box (Derwin James) fits what we need more at Safety anyway.

  6. Jdr Says:

    Mark Barron was almost rookie defensive MVP his first year then he was missed used then it goes to the Rams becomes a hybrid and is the team leading leading tackler.. go watch the film out there tell me Mark Barron can’t cover..
    Chris Conte sucks Fitzpatrick would be an upgrade if drafted as a true safety if that’s not with the Bucs should draft him for he should be drafted and used like Ronde Barber was

  7. Jdr Says:

    Fitzpatrick higher football IQ than Saban, the Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s best defensive back… Bednarik Award for the nation’s top overall defensive player. Has played in 3 national championships and 1/2 you don’t pass that kind of player up what he can bring to the locker room and field

  8. Marc Says:


    There’s no point in drafting a DB until the DL is addressed.

    -Concerned Bucs fan

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    I laugh every time you do this Joe … ‘Chumming’ at its’ best. Bait the water & let’s see what pops to the surface. No one (except Mike Tanier) ever mentioned Derwin James and #7 in the same sentence. Minkah? Definitely a #7 prospect (and Capt Tim, if you watched all of the Bama games like I have you’d know that Minkah can cover with the best of them AND he’s got awesome LEADERSHIP skills that makes everyone around him better to boot).

    Like Joeypoppems I’m convinced that the Bucs will most likely need to reach a little bit for someone at #7. If that’s the case, would much rather see us go for DTs Vea or Payne to anchor our DLine for years to come (assuming Chubb or Fitzpatrick are already taken when we pick).

  10. DoSomething Says:

    Don’t forget about Q Nelson, Joe. I think he would be the best player for us that would *realistically* fall to 7

  11. old time buc Says:

    At #7 I think we need to fortify our glaringly bad lines. Q Nelson if he is still there or if not Vita Vea and no one else comes close. If you can’t protect and block you will always have bad teams.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    He suggested we sign Tank Lawrence to solve our pass rushing issues???? ROFL!

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Defense Rules Says
    “I laugh every time you do this Joe … ‘Chumming’ at its’ best.”

    I think you are misjudging Joe. Do you have the time to scour the Internet for every mention of the Bucs? I don’t. Joe has made it his job to gather things for us here. And he does a fine job.

    Just because he mentions those stories here, that doesn’t mean he agrees. He’s just giving his loyal reader the chance to decide for themselves. Its what makes this website so good.

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    On topic…Safety? No. lol

  15. Pickgrin Says:

    You forgot to list Barron as a top 7 safety pick Joe. (Thanks Dom!)

    If we stay at #7 this year – Chubb or Nelson better be the selection…

    The Bucs high picks this year need to be all about the trenches!

  16. AlteredEgo Says:

    Not much mention of the CB Ward… of the fastest players EVER…..tough…sticky…a year playing with Grimes would be wonderful for him….I have not seen mention of Ward as a returner

  17. AlteredEgo Says:

    BTW… Joes…..I don’t know if you WWW software allows for editing….a sailing www I visit has a timed editing feature which is nice for corrections and additional thoughts..I think it is only active for 15-20 minutes then goes away…..sure would be nice for folks like me that pop off rather than taking their posts so seriously they compose on MSFT Word then cut and paste here…

  18. AlteredEgo Says:

    see….^^^ that would be your rather than you in my first line 🙂

  19. Ocala Says:


    Wait til you see what Derwin does at the combine. That should mitigate your concerns.
    I think he will break the record for DB’s on the bench and will be top five of all time in the broad jump.

  20. tnew Says:

    Minkah might have the best cover corner skills in this draft. Every time he was asked to lock someone down, he did. He looks more natural in and out of breaks than Jackson from Iowa. His coverage skills on film are really pretty special. Combine drills will verify if what he shows on film are accurate. His 40 time is big time too. Saban wanted him to be closer to the football so he could be more involved in every play. MInkah was an impact player. Saban didn’t want Minkah to be out on an island where teams just put an x on that side of the field.

    I’m higher on James than I had been after some study. This was a very good analysis by Tanier of how he could complement with Evans; however, he needs to show some top end speed to get pulled at 7. One thing the back end of our defense needs is speed. James was hand timed at 4.49 out of high school, so I’m hoping he puts up a 4.45 (combine is half hand timed, half lasered), which at his size and length would make him very viable at 7. His ability to step down into the box to play linebacker on passing downs, leaving Evans as the single high safety could allow Lavonte to slip into a rush linebacker position from time to time.

    With Chubb likely off the board this team needs impact defensive players at what ever position they can find.

    Tremain Edmunds is another intriguing prospect. I really wish he would’ve been asked to rush the QB in college. At 6’5″ 250, I like him as a 3-4 OLB. He is projecting a 4.6 ish 40 but this could dip into the 4.5’s based on what team mates have said in interviews. A 6’5″, 250 pound, 4.5ish, rush linebacker, that can cover is freakish. Only 19 he could easily handle another 25 pounds on his frame.

    Really wish he would’ve rushed the passer more from the edge so that could be evaluated.

  21. Dylan Says:

    This is the pick boys. And all you guys pouting saying he sucks and minkah is better just showcases your ignorance. Clearly you don’t understand football in and out if you don’t see the DNA of a super star written all over Derwin James. You are the same clowns who said don’t move up for Jalen Ramsey he only has 2 interceptions he’s so over rated blah blah. Derwin James is better then Jalen Ramsey. Ask Jalen Ramsey please! Ask anyone on the FSU campus whos the best athlete ever and this mofo is him. Not only is he alpha, not only does he live- eat-sleep- football, he bechnes 450, runs a 4.31, has a 11″5 broad jump, has a 45″ vert. He can blitz, cover TE, cover Slot, cover #1 WR, and will lock down each position. Ultimate ace card for a defensive coordinator, and imo he’s a NO BRAINER pick at 7. Yes he is Sean Taylor 2.0. And watch him tear up the combine and slowly people will start to smell the coffee.

  22. Easy Says:

    Fitzpatrick will be a Safety in the NFL and he’s better overall that Derwin James.

  23. Dylan Says:

    I can’t wait to watch him finess Julio jones. How many yards did he drop in both games? Regardless how good your DEs are, like the guy in the post said, you can’t stop a QB dumping down and getting positive plays at will.

  24. Dylan Says:

    Tnew, Derwin James ran a 4.41 coming out of high school. And has been clocked multiple times in the 4.3 range at FSU. Do more research on that 4.5. also minkah cannot cover downfield he alllws multiple catches over 20 yards, he’s just good at rebounding with an interception kinda like aqib!

  25. Ndog Says:

    Huge FSU fan here and I want no part of James at 7. Seen him beat to many times and do nothing in big games to many times to think he is special which the number 7 overall pick must be. No thanks.

  26. AlteredEgo Says:

    and why is it a universal truth that all the players the Bucs really want/need are taken before they pick….. 🙂

  27. BFFL Says:

    I hopeful for a trade diwn senario. Two guys Bucs should target are Arden Key and Tim Settle.

  28. AlteredEgo Says:

    I’m in the trade down bunch if the obvious big names/needs are gone
    Key while talented…simply is too risky for the Bucs….pass on him….
    would anyone consider trading Mike Evans as part of a draft day deal ?….I would

  29. Mike Johnson Says:

    Safety, CB;s are not immediate needs for a couple of coaches desparately trying to win to keep their jobs. bucs gotta address their trenches on Defense. And Smitty has to coach better..much better. Bucs truly need to trade down and get more players. But i WON’T HOLD MY BREATHE.

  30. darin Says:

    Ive been saying that for months too buddy. Corners and saefties are wasted picks until they can somehow manufacture enough of a rush to get the qb off his spot. I would go all D and O line and RB. Only way you waste a pick or money signing DBs is if you have multiple DEs and DTs on the way.

  31. DanBucsFan Says:

    Vea reminds me of a guy Browns drafted few years ago Danny Shelton I think is his name. Anyway, lots of hype because of his size and athleticism but has not become the dominate force everyone predicted. I am of the mindset that Vea will be the same. If you look at his #’s he is not very impressive in college, So all the sudden he will dominate in the Nfl? Take best available at 7 not a gamble, and PLEASE dont trade to 21, 22 and hope we hit on said players. We can’t afford to miss out on a building block player at 7. If any trade , trade up !!!

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    Dylan says:
    “he benches 450, runs a 4.31, has a 11″5 broad jump, has a 45″ vert.”

    Embellish much? LOL

  33. Maze Says:

    Fitzpatrick has barely played corner and saying so otherwise is foolish and a projected gamble at that position. Facts

  34. bigblock690 Says:

    I hear a lot of you trying to compare Fitzpatrick to James without looking at the whole picture sure Fitzpatrick won this and won that. Step back and look at the front seven he had in front of him. The same complaints we have about our secondary that the front has to help the back end is what has helped Fitzpatrick. Without a fierce pass rush and lack luster play from a linebacking core this year James played his asre off even when things got rough.He held his teammates accountable during a very down season and some bad defensive play calling and a head coach who had already checked out on the season. This the type of player that needs to infused in this Buccaneer locker room someone who plays with passion and fire another Kwon Alexander on the back end. Plus big bonus speed and can also play corner check out(Jalen Ramsey)played the exact safety/in the box/corner position for the Noles..

    Fitzpatrick 2017 52 Tackles 1 Int 7 Pass Def
    James 2017 81 Tackles 2 Int 11 Pass Def

  35. DanBucsFan Says:

    James will be a star ss in Nfl. That is all.

  36. Duke Says:


    The idea that you have to move a QB off his spot to be successful in coverage is flat out nonsense. Go watch the game vs (the wk 17) saints . Note that on multiple occasions Jameis stands like a statue in the pocket , seemingly for days.
    Any idea what the results were……incompletions and picks.

    How is that possible…..coverage by the secondary. Here’s the part that slams the door , a QB will always not sometimes ALWAYS have the advantage in the time it takes to throw a ball vs the time it takes a defender to sack him. Point blank period.


    Use your brains for 2 seconds and tell me at the d line other than Chubb who is a top 5 pick? Basically it’s Chubb, vea or trade down as the majority opinion. Along with build the trenches. Please take it from here ……If you don’t see how these two sides are completely in opposition then there’s nothing to do but right you off.

    The Coaches need immediate help to stay employed. Help where? Pass coverage.
    Then draft picks to cover receivers. I admit it’s direct and simple. But that’s the point. A point you and Darin seem to be so confused on that you’ve missed the most direct solution. BTW, it’s also compatible with the draft picks the team has and the talent available.

    Simple, direct and doable…….either the team sees the light, or goes your way into the dark stinking nfl south abyss for yet another year.

    I have to say thanks for the idea of a new draft philosophy. It’s based on Eastern principles of health. Holistic.

    Building a NFL roster.
    The Holistic approach to player acquisition .

    It will be the next money ball…..thank you

  37. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:


    You make a very astute point about Fitzpatrick’s front seven at Bama providing him with perhaps better opportunities to make plays on the ball forced out through stress. However, stats between James vs. Fitzpatrick can be misleading, because FSU was behind so often in so many games in 2017 that James got more total opportunities to thus put up better/higher numbers.

    Overall, who on here would choose James and his DB coaching there at FSU, versus the caliber of the best DB coach in the country in Nick Saban day in and day out stewarding Fitzpatrick’s self through his career there?!…. pedigree and great measurables will together matter for Minkah. Take neither one of them at #7 though.

  38. Joe Says:

    Wait til you see what Derwin does at the combine.

    Meh. Combine isn’t football.


    Totally agree (DBs).

    Thanks for the Barron catch. Not sure how missed that.

  39. Ndog Says:

    Quentin Nelson will be the pick guys as he will be the best player available by far when we pick. It sucks its not dline but Licht showed last year he will go BPA vs need with the Howard pick over a runningback or dline. This year will be no different and I know guard is not nearly as big of need but man watch Nelsons tape and it would be hard to be disappointed in him if he is the pick.

  40. LakeLand Says:

    Derwin James is more than a Safety, he can play in the box, rush the passer. His best fit in the NFL is probably OLB. He’s big strong and fast , he has a high football IQ, he’s athletic. But he’s not a good fit for the Bucs, they wouldn’t know what to do with him. I think his best fit is with the Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans, Carolina or maybe the Oakland Raiders.

  41. LakeLand Says:

    I think CB Denzel Ward should be the Bucs pick at 7, if they don’t trade down. But I would try to trade out of pick 7. And try to pickup DT Maurice Hurst, DE Arden Key/Harold Landry if they are available…….just my two cents

  42. Buc50 Says:

    If we pick a DB at 7 my TV will need repair. Barkley or Chubb…trade up if needed

  43. Cover Deuce Says:

    This dude saying Evans plays slot corner like what? Did this guy even watch the games? Trevor Sikkema did a really great breakdown of what Evans’ athleticism allowed the D to start doing with their coverages once he became the full time starter. Evans was and is pretty much exclusively a center fielder type FS in Mike Smiths D last season because having him close to he LOS would expose his still-raw tackling ability. Evans is not a “do-it-all” guy yet, and he definitely wasn’t last year, though he did show off his playmaking ability with 3 picks.

  44. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    “Fan favorite Chris Conte” Gets me everytime 😂.

    Seriously though, Nelson, Barkley, Chubb or trade down.

  45. LakeLand Says:

    When you’re ranked dead last in pass defense. And teams are completing 67.6% of passes against you. They should consider drafting a CB with every pick.

  46. LakeLand Says:

    But I guess CBs are not important to a team that’s last in pass defense. I doubt Brent Grimes will be back. Who are the Bucs current CBs on their roster? Vernon Hargreaves, Ryan Smith, Josh Robinson. This is the reality of the situation. The WORST pass defense will probably lose their best CB. They current have two young CBs ( who haven’t developed) and a special teams ace as their CBs. And I wouldn’t expect much from the pass rush. They also were the WORST team in sacks and pressures. And there’s not any quality pass rushers in free agency. Even if they are able to land Bradley Chubb. Can he come in and dominate these experienced Left Tackles in the NFL? Who will man the back end? There’s a thousand questions that need to be answered. And you can’t answer them all, because there isn’t a quick answer. If the Bucs go with Barkley or Nelson, the defense will still suck. You won’t be able to out score anyone with your offense on the sidelines. Teams will control the ball, clock, and score at will on this defense. I hate to be the one to burst the bubble. I’m just facing the reality of the situation.

  47. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    AlteredEgo Says
    “…would anyone consider trading Mike Evans as part of a draft day deal ?….I would”

    No way would I agree to that. Mike Evans is young and a key part of the offense. Too big a part. Now Jackson? I would trade him in a heartbeat.

    Seems to me, the best player to trade away that would get us good picks is Gerald McCoy. Would hate to see him go, but he is considered a top DT in the league. He could get us a first and some other great picks. We’d have to replace him quickly though. Heck…we could trade him to move up to the Browns second pick, so we get two top ten picks, get Chubb and maybe get a third and forth out of it too.

    But Mike Evans is too important to Winston.

  48. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    LakeLand Says
    “When you’re ranked dead last in pass defense…”

    Our defense was ranked last or near last in most areas. Focus on the line in the draft. Focus on other spots in free agency (like CB, RB and Kicker)

  49. AlteredEgo Says:

    I am talking about a trade that would result in something….not going to get much for McCoy or DJax…I really like Evans …but wonder if he has reached his ceiling …a young above average possession WR…we have Brate and OJ that do about the same thing ….

  50. tnew Says:

    I feel like I have to do this..


    First article… hand timed 4.49 at Nike Opening… the only verified timing on record, pre ACL

    4.52 as according to ESPN for recruiting… which projects 40’s estimate him as a low of 4.42 and a high of 4.62

    In this article the strength and conditioning coach from FSU estimates him at a 4.5

    Dylan, I’m open to any source you want to cite that he runs a 4.31 forty. If he, at his size weight combo tracks in at 4.3 anything forty, he won’t be on the board at 7. I have seen the bench press video, know his vertical is stunning and has amazing ball skills. The combine will show how he gets in and out of his breaks which will dictate where he will be projected.

    Lakeland.. I think you have a very good handle on Derwin James btw. If the Bucs drafted him, they would really have to get more creative defensively. has put on some film of him doing agility, he really moves more like a safety/OLB.

  51. Gambelero Says:

    A few Seminole fans have said that James was overrated. Add me to that group. Nevertheless, the coaching was so bad at FSU that we may be wrong about him. I hate the over emphasis on track star stuff at the combine, but the 40 time may be a key predictor for James. A 4.5ish time means top second, play making strong safety. A 4.35ish time makes him an 8-15 pick. If we can’t get value at 7, trade down 4-6 or 8 spots—at a steeeeeep price—and you’ll still get a Vea, Fitz, James or another really good player with our 1.

  52. denjoe Says:

    Only an idiot, would take a safety when we have so many other pressing needs.

  53. LakeLand Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai

    My point is, the Bucs badly need DEs and CBs. Bradley Chubb is the best DE in this draft. Denzel Ward is the best cover CB in this draft, and the top overall CB. Mike Mayock has him as his top CB. Bucky Brooks has him as his top CB in the draft. Daniel Jeremiah has him as his 8th prospect overall. Charles Davis mocked him to the Bucs.

  54. LakeLand Says:


    I agree,
    Every player on this roster should be trade bait
    To make this team better
    The Bucs are 22- 42 with Mike Evans

  55. Hodad Says:

    Outside of McCoy, who half the fans hate, we have NO D tackles! We used a second round pick on a safety last year, now you want to use a first rounder on another one? If we had been drafting D linemen the last four years under Licht in the second round alone instead of Berto, ASJ, we wouldn’t have the worst defense in the NFL. If we don’t get the defensive line right, Deon Sanders wouldn’t make a difference in the back end.

  56. tnew Says:

    There are three intriguing hybrids to me in the first round.. Just watched some more film so that I could get a handle on it..

    James.. Freak athlete that transitions between Safety and LB

    Minkah.. (I really am not sure he has the top end speed, I have seen it quoted in the 4.3’s but not sure that I see that on film, even tho he was verified at hand timed 4.39 by NFL scouts this summer) He transitions between CB and Safety

    Edmunds.. Any LB position but with size/frame could be an interesting rush linebacker or a passing down 4-3 DE at 6’5″ 250.. Rated as the #3 pre combine prospect by I don’t see this as the pick as I believe the Bucs are remaining a 4-3 team. This guy has 3-4 written all over him.

    The Bucs need playmakers on Defense. Still might be Vea too.

    There are a few really big holes so any must be filled.

  57. Defense Rules Says:

    @Lakeland … “Every player on this roster should be trade bait to make this team better.
    The Bucs are 22- 42 with Mike Evans.” The Bucs are also 22-42 with Jason Licht as our GM. Just saying …

    @Bonzai … “Seems to me, the best player to trade away that would get us good picks is Gerald McCoy.” Can tell that tmaxcon is getting to you Bonzai. Do you really think that a 30-year old DT costing roughly $16 mil per season could get us a first and some other great picks”? Our DLine is marginal right now. How does it make sense to trade away your best DLineman & expect to improve?

  58. TheDailyCoroner Says:

    And how did Mark Barron work out for the Bucs!

  59. LakeLand Says:


    That’s true, but there’s a short supply of D_Linemen in the draft and free agency. The fact is, the Bucs won’t improve with adding players on the D_Line. Because the talent is limited for the pickings. They will have to coach the players up on the D_line. But they need players on the back end.

    And this is coming from one of the best analyst in the NFL
    A former NFL player
    Former NFL Scout

    By Bucky Brooks

    The 2018 cornerback class is chock full of athletic defenders with ball-hawking skills and diverse games. Ward is a silky smooth cover corner with the speed, athleticism and quickness to step in as a lockdown corner from Day 1.

    I agree with Bucky Brooks,there’s some talented CBs in this draft
    And the Bucs should get their share
    The Bucs desperately need help on the defensive front
    But the talented there is not as strong as the talent at CB

  60. AlteredEgo Says:

    “TheDailyCoroner Says:
    February 25th, 2018 at 12:59 pm
    And how did Mark Barron work out for the Bucs”

    err….how’d Lovie Smurf work out for the Bucs ?

  61. LakeLand Says:

    Defense Rules

    Jason Licht job is on the line and it should be.

  62. AlteredEgo Says:

    LL…the more I think about Ward the more I like it….he is a football player first…not just a speedster that played CB in college…starter from day 1

  63. Pickgrin Says:

    DR – GMC makes $12.75M – not $16M. A more than fair price if you look at what other top 5 DTs in the league make.

    Would you prefer to be in Miami’s shoes owing Suh $26M this year and $28M in ’19 with a $22M dead cap hit if they cut him??? – LOL.

  64. Defense Rules Says:

    @Pickgrin … “GMC makes $12.75M – not $16M.” I’m sure you’re right Pickgrin. Took that off of Spotrac which shows GMC’s contract being up in 2022 at an average of $15,866,667 (so I rounded up). Not sure where they got that number though.

  65. Pickgrin Says:

    GMC’s deal was somewhat front loaded. Got a nice chunk up front and more salary the 1st couple years with lesser yearly salaries on the back end. It all averages to $15.whatever M over the life of the deal – but GMC is not making more than $13M in any of his remaining years with the Bucs.

  66. Tony from Los Angeles Says:

    Yes. Bad teams draft safeties that early. Fix the real problem.


  67. LakeLand Says:

    It goes both ways,

    A good pass rush will help the DBs on the back end by putting pressure on the QB. To eat the ball, throw it away or force a bad pass. Good solid CBs who plays tight coverage on the WRs. Will help the D_Line up front by forcing the QB to hold the ball longer. Also forcing the QB to eat the ball, throw it away, bad pass etc.

    They can help each other
    Both are needed for a successful pass defense

  68. Duke Says:


    Lol…..break it down as if they are small child. Small child with learning disabilities

  69. Duke Says:


    If you have a headache, which would you think about first aspirin or amputation of a foot?

    Need to improve your pass coverage, draft guys who are actually covering receivers or vea?

    Lol…….I bet amputation and vea top answers

  70. NFLNut Says:


    I have no idea what some of you are talking about with Minkah … the kid can be a SHUT DOWN CORNER BACK in the NFL or one of the BEST SAFETIES … he’s versatile like Ronnie Lott and I could literally see him getting an all-Pro nod at multiple positions like Lott did.

    Here is an article about how Minkah gave up just a 37.8 passer rating against him when he played CB:

    There was another one I saw that said on deep passes (20 yards or more) that passer rating dropped to just 10.0 which means Minkah is dynamite covering all the way down the field!

    As for his 40 time … he was clocked by NFL Scouts at 3.39 which can be verified here:

    If Minkah is really Jalen Ramsay, and some scouts seem to think he’s better than Ramsay was coming out of college, we would be INSANE to pass on him even for Bradley Chubb … but if Chubb and Saquon and Nelson are all off the board and Minkah is the only elite prospect on the board at #7, other than trading down to grab the #21 and #22 I think he’s a no-brainer.


  71. LakeLand Says:


    1. Asprin
    2. CB who can cover

  72. NFLNut Says:

    Joe, pass my long post through the moderation … the links are articles verifying Minkah’s 40 time and his passer rating against stat …

  73. Rod Munch Says:

    Since the year 2000 there’s been 3 guards selected in the top 10 – and all 3 were busts for the teams that drafted them.

    Taking a G is a much larger risk than taking a S.

    Now with that said general rule of thumb is if you take a corner or S in the top 10 they have to be special, meaning not just the play has to be special they need to put up top 10 numbers at the combine. If there isn’t anyone like that, you take the defensive lineman, even if it’s a reach as you can find corners and S in the 2nd all day long. Even better in this situation is to trade down if you can get anything of value. I absolutely do not think that Buffalo deal of two 1st is on the table, but if it was, then great, take it, but it might be more like later 1st and a 2nd and maybe a 4th, and I’d take that too if there is no one of value there.

  74. NFLNut Says:


    I have no idea what some of you are talking about with Minkah … the kid can be a SHUT DOWN CORNER BACK in the NFL or one of the BEST SAFETIES … he’s versatile like Ronnie Lott and I could literally see him getting an all-Pro nod at multiple positions like Lott did.

    Here is an article about how Minkah gave up just a 37.8 passer rating against him when he played CB.

    There was another one I saw that said on deep passes (20 yards or more) that passer rating dropped to just 10.0 which means Minkah is dynamite covering all the way down the field!

    As for his 40 time … he was clocked by NFL Scouts at 4.39 which can be verified here:

    If Minkah is really Jalen Ramsay, and some scouts seem to think he’s better than Ramsay was coming out of college, we would be INSANE to pass on him even for Bradley Chubb … but if Chubb and Saquon and Nelson are all off the board and Minkah is the only elite prospect on the board at #7, other than trading down to grab the #21 and #22 I think he’s a no-brainer.


  75. Capt.Tim Says:

    I love people that never learn from history.
    Not ling after we drafted Barron- I was posting that the guy was a horrible safety, but would make a great Lber. Looong befor we cut him.
    Barron couldnt cover. Anyone.

    Fitzgerald is a little bit better. But not much.
    He Rarely played CB. He was a run support Safety- althought he did play coverage far more than Barron.
    Its not hard to play Coverage at Alabama. You ALWAYS have a dominant DLine.
    Half the time, you are playing some drastically less talented team.

    Fitzgearld doesnt have a prayer of playing CB. He probably has the cover skills, to play an in the box safety. NOT a free safety.

    Derwin James is a better fit, and much cheaper..
    Again, I think the best move is to trade with Buffalo. Let them get their QB. We take thei two first round picks. Draft a DE(Arden Key), and a CB.
    Then a Rb in 2, S in 3. Center in 4, DT in 5.
    That would work.

  76. Owlykat Says:

    Tandy has filled in at Safety over the years and impressed, and unlike many of his teammates back there he studies film and can be a playmaker as good as Justin Evans, but don’t forget he was a CB at WVa and got converted to Safety here. So if Grimes leaves on us, move Tandy to take his place at CB. He can do it. Pick up the other Corner in Free Agency, and find a hard hitting Safety in the latter rounds who can also contribute to Special Teams to be a backup Safety for us while he is developed. Hargraves can and should play nickel corner covering the slot. Then if Chub is not at 7 trade down and take Buffalo’s two first picks and fix our trenches first—That is our top priority and Licht has to get this right this time or walk the plank!!!

  77. ManzielMadness Says:

    ID rather the Bucs take Minkah if we went the DB route round 1. My question is could he play CB full time or would you want him to play various positions ala S, nickel, Cb?

  78. NFLNut Says:



    You literally have NO IDEA what you’re talking about when it comes to Minkah FITZPATRICK (not Fitzgerald).

    Derwin Jameis is projected as a STRONG safety that cannot play corner.

    Minkah is projected as either a CORNER BACK or a FREE SAFETY and definitely NOT a “strong” safety. The kid was the #1 rated pure CORNERBACK coming out of high school I believe, gave up a 37.8 passer rating against when he played CB at Bama and that dropped to just a 10.0 passer rating on 20+ yard passes according to reports I read … that is SHUT DOWN #1 CORNER numbers.

    As for anyone being able to play CB at Bama because of their talent … that’s just stupid. Tony Brown played CB there and he’s projected as a 4th-5th rounder while Minkah is projected as possibly going #4 overall. Lots of teams have talent, heck Ohio State routinely has way, way, way more talent than any other Big Ten team but that doesn’t mean Denzel Ward is going to be a bust.

    I get the feeling you literally no next to nothing about Minkah and have NEVER really watched him play, just seen some highlights and watched some Bama games for something to do, not to specifically watch Minkah … the kid is a star and many scouts think he will be a defensive captain right from the start and has “zero bust potential”.

    Again, if Minkah is Jalen Ramsey 2.0, we’d be crazy to even take Saquon or Bradley Chubb ahead of him, but, at the very least if Saquon and Chubb and Quenton Nelson are all off the board in the first 6 picks, we should all be thrilled to get Minkah at #7 imho.


  79. NFLNut Says:



    Minkah can play CB, SS, FS and OLB … you could start him at CB and leave him there and if Justin Evans gets hurt, move him to FS for a couple games while Hargreaves mans the CB spot instead of sitting on the bench … then if the SS goes down, you could move Monkah there for a game or two … and if the OLB goes down, you could move Minkah there … the kid is a swiss-army knife with ALL-PRO potential at CB or either safety position while being an average OLB I believe ala Ronnie Lott.

    That’s my two cents on Minkah.


  80. LakeLand Says:


    I agree, I would go Bradley Chubb, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Denzel Ward. It would have to be one of them with the 7th pick.

  81. LakeLand Says:

    I would trade down if possible. If not, then one of them will be my pick, in that order.

  82. NFLNut Says:


    I wouldn’t really argue with that order … I am high on Quenton Nelson and Joshua Jackson as well though … I love a trade down though!

  83. Duke Says:


    Correct……….and that’s why you have a firm grasp of the situation. I wonder how the “Don’t draft a safety” crowd can argue the merits of drafting Derwin vs Minkah but when it’s drafting the D line the conversation is about a single player and they can’t grasp the basic principles of supply v demand.

    There’s one d line pick worthy of a top ten pick. Chubb.
    If Chubb was part of a different draft class would He be the do or die #1 Defensive player……….? No.
    If you take Derwin and Minkah and do the same comparison they stay top 10.

    I know you get it Lakeland, add NFL Nut and that’s about it. If PFF ranked team’s fan bases, I think the fan rankings would be as good as the team’s defensive rankings.

  84. Duke Says:

    Capt Tim,

    Because of talent level at Bama, it is easier to play in coverage. But that’s kinda missing the obvious but most overlooked aspect of the issue.

    Playing for Alabama is the hardest team to play for In the nation. Everyone on the team is a 3,4 or 5 star recruit and each position is loaded with the best talent in the nation. Yeah, Bama is a mismatch for most teams, because of the talent. Talent across the board and 3 to 4 deep at every position. So the starters are the best of the best because to be a starter you have to beat 2 starters at minimum to play. Ohio state is the only comparison.

  85. LakeLand Says:


    I’m looking at the Bucs 2018 schedule, these are some of the WRs, they will be facing.

    Julio Jones (twice)
    Michael Thomas (twice)
    A J Green
    Antonio Brown
    Alshon Jeffrey
    Dez Bryant
    Odell Beckham

    These are the WRs on the teams roster now, teams will be adding more
    Also these are just the #1 WRs
    They better get some CBs in Tampa

  86. NFLNut Says:

    Duke … calling the Bucs fan base the 32nd ranked fan-base had me laughing as it seems so true, at least in terms of pure football IQ.

  87. Duke Says:


    Dang that’s not a walk in the park. Great info. BTW, if there’s anyone who has any lingering doubts about the team’s priorities for the draft that information should be the tipping point.

    I know that there is a majority opinion that says resigning Grimes is a must, but I look at list and think, is there a single player listed who starts to sweat when they see Grimes as on their schedule? I think they salivate instead of sweat that match up. Which really clarifies the necessity of resigning Grimes from top priority to only if it’s a bargain.

  88. Duke Says:


    The 32nd ranking is only because there’s no 34th.

  89. NFLNut Says:

    Grimes is very good but he’s OLD and I for one is hoping he is REPLACED by someone just as good but younger … Malcolm Butler, Trumaine Johnson, EJ Gaines … even Talib … I don’t understand the “resigning Grimes is a must club” AT ALL …

  90. Duke Says:


    Agree %100.
    The DB’ s you list would bring more flexibility in coverage calls and alignment and that is not a small or insignificant improvement. I don’t see where Grimes has any negotiating leverage on the team. I understand it if the team is in panic mode and if that’s true……..We’ve got bigger issues.

  91. I'm a Tandyman Bucs Fan Says:

    OwlyKat…..You make a lot of sense with your post. Tandy did play Corner at WVA and was quite effective. I know how he is wrapped and he could handle the Corner position. The problem here is they have the same Defensive Coordinator and for some reason Smith does not like Tandy even after what he did for the Bucs in 2016!!! My hope is he gets traded to a contender and gets out of all that mess in Tampa. With Koetter and Smith in Leadership Roles there and Licht pulling the trigger on choosing talent, the Bucs are in trouble again in 18….

  92. Capt.Tim Says:

    Nflnut, Duke.
    I know fitzgerald looks great at Alabama. Hes definitely a 5 star athelete.
    He is just not an NFL corner. He will be a good strong safety.
    But the Bucs use their Strong safety extensively in coverage.
    And our rankings, in coverage against TEs and Backs in the flat, is horrible.
    Covering those type of routes is not Fitzgeralds strength.

    I know you disagree. Its ok. I respect you opinions.
    But I heard the same arguments after we drafted Barron. “The next Eric Berry”
    I was right about Barron. And I will be about Fitzgerald.
    Alsbama has a huge “”bust rate” in the NFL.
    Its their style, and their coach.
    Take the 11 most superior atheletes, and unleash them.
    If Fitzgerald cant cover a great WR, it wont matter..10 other guys are winning their battles. That works great in College.

    In the Pros, the talent level is very close. The lack of positionsl skill is exposed in the NFL. Thats why so many Alabama stud players are NFL dud players.

    Our Strong safety needs to be able to play run support. But it is far more important that he can cover TEs and RBs.
    Tons of those safeties in this draft.,
    Just not Fitzgerald

  93. godzilla13 Says:

    Derwin James could being a true “center fielder” to the defense. He can play all over the field and even rush the passer. The problem is is that the seventh pick is not a luxury pick. There are just to many other needs on this team. The defense has to draft a DT/DE and possibly two CB’s. Then on offense we need a RB and OG. That is six starters. There are numerous players available at the CB position, just need to know how many FA’s would be willing to re-locate to Tampa? Here is the problem..if Brent Grimes does not re-sign, then the Bucs need to draft a CB in round one or two and then sign the best FA CB available willing to move to Tampa. Signing a quality OG in FA is also a must, which could prove more difficult than it sounds. If Andrew Norwell and Josh Sitton go somewhere else, then we need to spend a first or second round pick on an OG. This all leads to trading with Buffalo is such a priority. Our GM should be working around the clock on making this trade happen.

    R1) OG Will Hernandez
    R1) CB Joshua Johnson
    R2) DE Rasheem Green or DT Tim Settle
    R3) RB Nick Chubb or RB Royce Freeman