Ronde Barber Has Bucs Draft Advice

March 7th, 2018


Fans learned two years ago, from Bucs icon Ronde Barber himself, that he was very much on the inside of Tampa Bay’s college scouting efforts.

And yes, Barber remains extremely close to the organization. His opinion is valued and heard.

Therefore, Barber’s comments this week are worth noting.

Speaking on WDAE-AM 620, Barber expressed his appreciation for the man who might be the greatest story in college football this decade, one-handed linebacker Shaquem Griffin out of the University of Central Florida. The inspirational pride of St. Petersburg was the 2018 Peach Bowl Defensive MVP and is the former player of the year in the 2016 American Athletic Conference.

Griffin, in many ways, was introduced to the world over the weekend when he showed as the fastest linebacker at the NFL Scouting Combine, and he was strong on the bench press with a prosthetic hand. (If you’re not familiar with his story, Google him.)

Barber said he would draft Griffin and “absolutely” want him in his locker room.

“He’s a baller. That’s all you want. And then he goes to the Combine and does what he’s done,” Barber said. “I’ve seen enough. You have to take a chance on him, not only because he’s a good player, he’s a great story. I’m rooting for him.”

Griffin was coached at UCF by former Barber teammate and Bucs middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, and Barber talked about spending time with Scott Frost this week, Griffin’s UCF head coach (at least the one who decided to give him a legit chance to play).

Joe could see the Bucs drafting Griffin. He seems like a tailor-made special teams animal, and he maybe he can even get to the passer at the next level. Heck, Lavonte David and Kwon Alexaner combined for zero sacks last season.

The Bucs certainly could use more guys with Griffin’s drive. Joe has seen Griffin projected to be a fourth-round draft pick.

59 Responses to “Ronde Barber Has Bucs Draft Advice”

  1. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Yes! I love his mindset and work ethic. He can be a mid round steal and start that culture change with Jameis that weve been talking about for so many years.

  2. OrlandoJoe Says:

    He’s better off in New England playing in a 3-4 with a coach who would actually know how to use him well. Same could be said for Minkah Fitzpatrick.

  3. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    If the bucs defense was set up different and more multiple fronts, this guy would be a similar player to the honey bdager in Arizona, a versatile player who can play all over, off the edge and cover the TE and the RB out of the backfield, I just dont have confidence that smitty is that advanced on his defensive style. I think the Rams, Eagles, Lions, Falcons, Seahawks and Pats have the defensive staff to use him in a way that will make him very successful

  4. Patrick in VA Says:

    @OrlandoJoe – If we do end up shipping McCoy off to somewhere and potentially pick up Vea in the 1st to be our NT, I don’t know that we don’t have a solid setup for a 3-4 type defense. We’re deep at LB and our edge rushers aren’t even good at a 4-3 so why not try them in a 3-4?

  5. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Got LUV for the kid – I wouldn’t have a problem with us draft this kid at all.
    We could probably use him at ROLB, LEO, BNB – the way Baltimore used Adalius Thomas.

  6. teacherman777 Says:

    I guarantee he would get 1 sack in every 4th quarter of every game.

    HIs spin move is Freeney-esque.

    He is a hybrid nickel, WLB, SS, DE, and special teamer.

    Hell, if you told him to play FB, I guarantee he would blow people up!!

    I want him in the 3rd round! He’s a LOCK to contribute on every level of this defense!

    Draft him!!!

  7. Tbbucs3 Says:

    ^^ Its about the quality of the player, not how well they fit in a specific scheme. Is the player good or not is what we should be asking. If he is take him, its not the scheme that wins games its the players. The quality of the player is the big thing, scheme fits are something to look at but its not worth passing up on a player if the team thinks hes good.

  8. Patrick in VA Says:

    If nothing else, the guy brings the kind of attitude to the team that I think has been missing. Maybe it’ll start giving a pride check to some of the prima donas that we’ve had on the team that don’t have the grit and drive that this kid does. Maybe after people start seeing him go out there and outwork them and outplay them at practices with one hand, maybe they’ll look in the mirror and finally ask if they’re trying as hard as they could. Maybe it’ll put an end to the rhetoric and platitudes that come out of 1BP and cause them to start producing.

    I mean, nothing else has worked yet….

  9. Tbbucs3 Says:


  10. Pickgrin Says:

    4.38 – 40 is eye popping for a LBer. Talk about raising your draft stock at the combine – geez.

    If drafted – this “LB” would easily be the fastest player on our entire defense and could probably give DJax all he could handle in a foot race as well…

    More of a defensive utility weapon that you have to get creative with most likely but his speed is dazzling and his will to succeed is right in line with what we are looking for. I’d for sure grab him in the 5th rd if he’s still on the board

  11. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Im so tired of all this 3-4 talk. Some of you guys act like if we ran a 3-4, we would be a top 10 defense. Theres plenty of bad 3-4 defenses out there, if we ran a 3-4, we would be the same exact bad defense. We need a pass rusher, no matter what defense we align in.

  12. SB Says:

    I agree with Patrick. If a one handed man out works you then maybe you will take a look at yourself and try harder

  13. JimmyJack Says:

    Tbbucs3 hahaha…….You may want to quit the site then. Bucs fans have been peddling 3-4 for years now. I mentioned the 3-4 a little bit after the season but it seems like a waste of time at this point.

    Our new DL coach said we were staying 4-3. Not sure what the point of discussing 3-4 still is.

  14. Tom Edrington Says:

    This kid has always had to do it better than everyone around him, has overcome major odds……type of guy you want on your side.

  15. JimmyJack Says:

    It would be a cool draft pick. Think it depends on where his value is. Pretty sure Licht will be selecting a RB before he gets a LB

  16. Patrick in VA Says:

    @TBB3 – I agree that there are plenty of bad ones. You’re definitely right there. I’m not even saying that if the Bucs switched over that they’d be particularly good at it. What I’m saying is that you play the hand you’re dealt. What are we? We’re a team that can’t find an edge rusher to save our lives. Correct? We’re also a team that has great LB talent and, when turned loose, both star LBs we have proved that they can get to the QB effectively. Correct? If we have all of that on the team already, why are we banging our heads on the wall trying to say that we should be something that we aren’t? Why not adapt the defense to the talent on the team already rather than hoping for a miracle to happen and we find a stud DE that nobody else knew about. May as well cross your fingers and hope that they’ll also find a RB in the late rounds that will catapult our offense, ya know, like the team has shown they do a lot.

  17. Brian Says:

    Joe, Griffin is more than a special teams player, Griffin is an elite pass rusher. I attended all the UCF Knights home football games last year including the Peach Bowl and Griffin was exceptional in every game, especially against top talent teams like Auburn, USF, and Memphis. Griffin is extremely fast and CONSTANTLY pressures the QB!

    I wish the Bucs would convert to a 3-4 defense and blitz Griffin off the edge!

    Bottom line, the Bucs need to draft Griffin!! He will not disappoint, I guarantee it!

  18. Mr. Ed Says:

    I bet Ronde doesn’t believe Licht would let Gerald McCoy go the the Raiders for the stale box of Crackerjacks some nitwits were reporting.

  19. JJBucFan Says:

    Tbbucs3- I respectfully disagree. All players have strengths and all players have flaws. For example, if you have a CB that has played bump and run his entire career, but your scheme calls for him to play 15 yards off the line, more than likely that CB will not be successful and will be shamed, benched and will ultimately be run out town. Also if your scheme calls for you to run the ball on first and second down once you cross midfield and then throw it deep on 3rd down, more than likely the running back, offensive line and the QB will be hung out to dry because after the first half of your first game, the opposing coaches will easily figure this out and make their adjustments (and must be like WTF? are you kidding me with this Pee Wee sh*t?)

    I get we may not have had the horses last year but they were certainly made to look like donkeys from our coaching staff and their inability to adjust game plans (not only mid-game, but we ran the same sh*t for 16 games)

  20. Frank Pillow Says:

    Griffin is a rabid dog that never lets up. The kid plays with passion, loves the game and produces results all over the field. He was flat out unstoppable at times. Limiting him to special teams is a disability cop-out. The kid can get after the passer, runner and receiver. He is seek/destroy. He will not be overmatched- it’s not in his make-up. He never loafs. Never-ever.
    He will be one hell of a story and a significant contributor right out of the gate.

    Honestly, I don’t think we have more than 3-4 guys on our team that match this description, so why the hell do any of us think that our dolt GM or HC even have him on their board? Prove me wrong Jason. Target lock this kid for all of the right reasons- he’s a FOOTBALL PLAYER!

  21. Bobby M. Says:

    Yeah….lets draft more depth at linebacker when we have zero starting caliber DEs, CBs, and could use another safety. That’s worked so well for us, we should probably grab another WR and TE as well…..then we can debate how much talent this team has and how puzzling it is that we were 5-11….our third losing season in the last four.

  22. Pickgrin Says:

    Bobby – you aren’t seeing the bigger picture. This guy is not just a standard LBer. He can be used all over the field. LB – Edge rusher – SS – slot CB

    4.38 40 and a playmaker. You don’t overdraft him but if the value is there – you grab him and find spots for him to help this defense with his incredible speed.

  23. 813bucboi Says:



    #NOEXCUSESIN2018!!!!!!…..GO BUCS!!!!!

  24. MadMax Says:

    Dude is a freak! And a fast one too. People can say what they want but he’s proven he’s VERY fast, has instinct, can wrap up and tackle, awesome attitude. Probably going in the 2nd or 3rd to an LB needy team.

  25. Bird Says:

    Bucs season ticket holder from Orlando and graduate from ucf. This kid is amazing. Was wondering how bucs could use him since linebacker a strength.

    They could use as hybrid linebacker / strong safety who gets after the ball. Think he is 225 lbs but ran 4.38 so strong safety could be possibility. Play him near line of scrimmage and have rush qb as well.

  26. ruggyup Says:

    Rule #1 Do the right thing! And Bucs, show some leadership, draft and sign Griffin in an early round.

  27. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    If I were GM Griffin would be the priority of the draft. Get him at all costs, then build around him.

  28. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    Lavonte David and Kwon Alexaner combined for zero sacks last season.

    ^^^Cause they have no idea how to shed a block. Worst LB corp in the business.

  29. Hodad Says:

    Big UCF fan, this kids the real deal. When he blitzed off the edge he rarely missed getting a sack. That 4.38 speed is no fluke, he closes on Q.B.’s and ball carriers with a quick burst. Also has a good lean getting under O.T.’s when rushing. All I know is when UCF needed a stop, he’d usually be the one to make it. No way the Knights go undefeated without him.

  30. derrickbrooksforGM Says:

    Trade Kwon (overrated AF) and David start Bullough (he knows how to fill a gap), put Griffin at strong (liability on 3rd down) and put Bond at weak.

    Your defense will get 100% better against the run.

  31. stanglassman Says:

    I always look forward to the combine and have a list of later round players like Shaquem I hope the Bucs draft. It’s bittersweet watching these guys climb the board because they’re no longer a late round steal but do get more what they deserve. He may have moved up more than any player at the combine.

  32. bculaw Says:

    Put him at LB. Let him play safety near the LOS. Let him rush off the edge. Let him play special teams. I don’t care where he plays. Just get him in the locker room and hope that some of his desire and determination rub off on the rest of the team.

    This kid is as impressive as they come. He’s fought for every chance he’s gotten, and he’s excelled every time he was given a chance.

  33. Bucsfanman Says:

    The kid is hungry, that’s what I like. I don’t know how a 227 lb., one-handed LB overcomes NFL level talent but I would be the first to pull up a chair to watch.
    He would be a fantastic later round pick for many, many reasons. Most of all, the kid is HUNGRY!

  34. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Were not on the same page when it comes to what I mean by scheme. I think what your thinking of is “bad coaching” which yes can be detrimental to a teams success. Ex. The Bucs suffered from poor offensive play calling which was bad coaching by the offensive staff but it wasnt the “Scheme” that was the issue. Dirk Koetters scheme has had plenty of success in the past but it was his vanilla play calling that was the issue.

  35. JJBucFan Says:

    ^Gotcha^- no disrespect meant, just different opinion.

    tougher on offense than defense to evaluate- I look at scheme as everything- play calls, pass routes, blocking schemes etc. Based on all those things, my opinion is Koetter is terrible, sorry. I’m not a hater, I just think he has regressed. He has been successful in the past, but defenses have caught up with him, hence the predicability. Please don’t get me started on Mike Smith. I thought he was a great signing initially. After one year, I saw his scheme and wanted him outta here, unless he changed. After last year, he should never coach in the NFL again, IMO. How does he not go demand his DB coaches get fired? Just sayin’

  36. OneBucPerson Says:

    I wouldn’t be opposed to the move but he’d have to go to SS. He’s too light to play LB in the pros.

  37. thespiritof1976 Says:

    Drafting Shaq Griffin would at least bring a national champion presence and leadership to the Bucs.

    And yes, UCF would have beat either Alabama or Georgia by at least 10 points.

  38. Frank Pillow Says:

    If we only had vision- this kid plays all over the field, but excels at the LOS. Imagine if we could implement a hybrid 3-4 like Wade Phillips has used where Griff is maximized and given one simple task…attack the ball-anywhere-everywhere. And for anyone out there believing our LBs are anything but marginal- boy, turn on the tape. They regularly get mauled in the running game (yes that’s an indictment of the scheme and the talent on the DL too) and can’t ever seem to get in the right blitzing lane. Making the play 6-10 yds down field ain’t my idea of superstar.

  39. I Bleed Pewter and Red Says:

    If he excels at rushing the passer then by all means draft a LB, but this team needs to insure they draft DE/DT edge rushers. Another middle linebacker would just be a luxury when there are so many holes on the defensive line. I think Barber was just referring to Griffin metaphorically that he would have no reservations drafting him.

  40. SB Says:

    derrickbrooksforGM Says:
    March 7th, 2018 at 11:37 am
    Lavonte David and Kwon Alexaner combined for zero sacks last season.

    ^^^Cause they have no idea how to shed a block. Worst LB corp in the business.
    I don’t generally engage in name calling but dude, you’re an Idiot!

  41. Getaclue Says:

    Need to draft him… as a SS

  42. Clw JB Says:

    Kid has a heart of a champion- take him in round 3 or 4 – so versitale- we need more players with heart!!!!!

  43. Radman Says:

    3rd round would be good. He has more heart than the Bucs entire team.

  44. Mr. Ed Says:

    Ronde would know something about CBs. Get Richard Sherman, now. Put your best rumor mill on it.

  45. DPewter Says:

    I’m a UCF fan and watch every game, this kid just doesn’t know what give up or slow down means. very play 100% and then some.

    Even if you only put him in for special teams and situational Def. plays his effort and heart will become contagious. If you ask me its been the relentless effort we lacked on the defense side of the ball last year; Griffin has “IT”!

  46. unbelievable Says:

    I would LOVE to see him as a Buc!

    Non stop motor. Amazing work ethic. Freakish speed and relentless drive to get in the backfield.

  47. Horse Liver Says:

    The draft strategy depends a lot on how many picks the Bucs have. It sure seems like they value picks more than veteran players, witnessing the Quinn and Bennett trades, and the strong rumor I read about here, that McCoy will be a Raider for their 2nd round pick. Wow! A 2nd round pick for McCoy!!!! So considering all of that, It’s possible the Bucs end up with the Lakewood High guy.

    Go Jason Licht go! Go Bucs!!!

  48. Rod Munch Says:

    Nice story, but I don’t know where you play the guy. He’s too small to be a LB and while he has the speed to be a safety you’d have to teach him the position – and then there is the whole one handed thing, can he catch the ball? I really don’t know since I didn’t see much of him, but it does seem like it would be an issue. I wouldn’t mind seeing what he can do, but a 4th rounder seems a bit high for a project player without a position and without two hands. If he slipped into the 5th I think it makes a lot more sense, that’s where you get guys that are projects. I do like the drive and the story – but you can’t expect him to play early I don’t think.

  49. MadMax Says:

    @Rod, his brother is a corner and pretty decent. He’s 6’2 and even though one hand is missing, I think he could still be a great contributor as a corner/safety and especially in packages where those positions are blitzing. I doubt he’d be there in the 4th but if so I would LOVE it if we got him. He would def set a good example to his teammates where ever he goes….and i think our locker room, especially on D could use a great infusion of someone like him just to make them better. He’s that kind of guy that will just make others want to try harder.

  50. Duke Says:


    Derrick Brooks and Ray Lewis were about the same size. Now Ray Lewis put on a lot of weight in the NFL but that’s what the position called for. Outside He might have to add 10 but that’s easy. 4.3 isn’t that easy to find.

  51. USFBUC Says:

    @Rod – this kid made plays all over the field and was in on plays all game long against Auburn. Kid is a baller and his missing hand hasn’t slowed him down yet.

  52. NoFlyZone27 Says:

    Draft him please!!!

    You can’t teach heart, resilience, and determination. This young man has the ability to change culture and be a daily reminder of accountability. I would want him on my team because he is going to give me everything he has whenever called on.

  53. Crockett69 Says:

    I would enjoy seeing him in a Bucs uniform during gameday. He would be a quality player and give 110% no doubt.

  54. USFBUC Says:

    He could be a fit at SS too, I was just watching a video about him and he was originally a S when he first joined the UCF team. Somebody asked about him defending passes too and in the same video he picked two passes this season that they showed so he can do that too.

  55. Duke Says:


    That’s a possibility when the kid has the speed He has. I like, no love the idea.
    That would open up a lot of options and provides a great deal of flexibility.

  56. Greecosuave Says:

    This team needs more draft picks, talent, and positive feedback nfluencsc. I luv Shaw G. Get this dude!

  57. Matt Says:

    He could play Strong Safety, LB , and CB

  58. John meeks Says:

    Derrickbrooksforgm,start bullough?trade kwon?You are a true fool!that has to be the most ignorant statement I have ever heard on this website,and I have heard some bad ones!congratulations on having the most ignorant statement of the year,as it will not be topped!

  59. GhostofSchiano Says:

    you can’t coach hunger, draft him.