April 5th, 2018

Can do it all.

Joe is of the belief that if this guard Quenton Nelson is on the board when the Bucs select at No. 7 in the draft later this month, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht will pull the lever on the Notre Dame product.

Joe, however, would not.

Now Joe is not being told by anyone that the Bucs will pick Nelson. It is just Joe reading the tea leaves. Why would Joe pass on Nelson? Simply put, Joe has never seen a guard in his life that can change a game.

If Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb and Nelson are all gone when the Bucs are on the clock, then Licht should find a quarterback-hungry team to trade down with and ensure that the Bucs grab running back Sony Michel. Joe has spent weeks campaigning for this.

Why? Because he is Michel game-changer.

Brett Sobleski of Bleacher Report agrees. He has a list of the top game-changers in the draft and he lists Michel at No. 3 behind quarterback Lamar Jackson and Barkley.

Don’t blink, because Georgia product Sony Michel will rip through a defense in a heartbeat on his way to a long touchdown run. Michel finished first among running backs in this draft class with 7.9 yards per carry last season. The 220-pounder also registered a run of 20 or more yards in eight of his 14 games and averaged 28.4 yards on his 16 rushing touchdowns.

Surprisingly, Michel didn’t test as well as expected at the combine with a 4.54-second 40-yard-dash. Yet defensive backs, even those in the SEC, never caught him from behind. His production wasn’t necessarily a byproduct of raw speed. Instead, Michel is a decisive one-cut runner with a noticeable burst through the hole.

Michel’s game is better suited to the NFL because he’s a better third-down back, with 64 career catches for 621 yards and six touchdowns. The Bulldogs staff didn’t use the Florida native nearly as much in the passing game this past year, but his contributions in protection were vital to the offense’s success. Big, physical backs aren’t in vogue anymore. Organizations want those who contribute on all three downs, and Michel can.

Imagine. If the Bucs trade down, in theory, they could get Marcus Davenport, Will Hernandez and Michel. That would be a freaking haul.

No, Joe doesn’t know if Michel can pass block.

70 Responses to “Game-changer”

  1. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    So you never seen a bad O line change a game? Interesting

  2. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    I do agree with the trade down for two first-round picks plus. but I’ve seen plenty of bad line Play Change games

  3. Bucs_in_Spain Says:

    The last team to win a SuperBowl with a first round running back on the roster was the 2010 Saints (who had two).
    Running backs don’t win you superbowls any more, having a great defence and a great QB do. Therefore keeping that QB upright is pretty important. Chubb, Nelson or James please.

  4. Roadwarrior Says:

    I’m sure plenty of guards have changed lots of games. Just because you don’t see them score a touchdown doesn’t mean that there not game changes. What about when a guard shuts down a teams best D lineman and or is opening up huge holes for a running back. Without good linemen there are no game changers. There’s more to a game then just watching the ball.

  5. Buc_Down_Under Says:

    Is no one reading “Hernandez” in Joe’s list?

    The incremental value of Nelson compared to Hernandez is not greater than an additional 1at round talent. In this case Davenport.

    Also, Joe’s assuming Davenport and Hernandez are 1st’s and Bucs get Michel in 2nd.

    Don’t worry Joe. I got ya.

  6. Clw JB Says:

    If a ten year starter and all pro level talent is staring us in the face at 7 we better take him – any position but Qb or WR – so yes take the OG if he’s there and own the middle of every D we face

    I’d like that

  7. TBChucky Says:

    If the big 3 are gone, they should definitely try to trade down. But they shouldn’t pass on Chubb, Barkley, or Nelson, IMO..

  8. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Just as the Joe who wrote this article was trying to assert earlier in this off season that the Bucs don’t value an edge.

    I would say it is equally obvious that this Joe doesn’t value Interior offensive line play. Nelson is easily worth a top 10 pick and would go a long way towards having a truly dominant O-line.

  9. Joeypoppems Says:

    OMG… Its almost like a top 10 pick shouldnt be used on a RB…

  10. Bird Says:

    Sony and guice are 2 favorite backs not named Barkley

    It seems the bills , Dolphins and cardinals are all interested in a qb. Rumor is the patriots may be the 4 th team looking for that last guy so a trade down is possible. Patriots have 2 1st rounders. Josh Rosen , the forgotten qb is getting some late love from teams

    We need picks. We need players. My ideal scenario would be trade back and somehow still get Derwin James or Denzel ward & either guice or Sony

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    @Buc_Down_Under … “Joe’s assuming Davenport and Hernandez are 1st’s and Bucs get Michel in 2nd. Don’t worry Joe. I got ya.” Down_Under, Joe woke up delusional this morning; it’ll wear off, don’t feed him. There are optimistic scenarios, then there are not-a-chance-in-hell scenarios. Only 2 teams below us with 2 picks in 1st Rnd … Bills (#12 & 22) and Patriots (#23 & 31). IF (and that’s a BIG IF) we traded with either, odds of us landing Davenport, Hernandez AND Michel with those picks is about as close to 0 as you can get9picks are just too far down). Two out of 3? Yes, but we could have that without trading down. Besides, it’s much more likely IMO that trading partners will try to package in at least 1 pick from next year’s draft.

  12. Bird Says:

    Bills have two first rounders as well

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    Nelson, Chubb or Trade down.

    I like Sony Michel best of the non-Barkley RBs too Joe. But only if he can be had for decent value (outside the top 20).

    Davenport, Michel and Hernandez are all likely to go in the 15>30 range – so that seems an unlikely “Haul” unless we were to spend most of our draft resources strictly on obtaining those 3 players (which I wouldn’t be opposed to).

  14. LostinPA Says:

    Totally agree. But if Nelson is there that most likely means 4 QBs have been taken ahead of us. No one is trading us for Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph. In that case a 10 year all pro that will make our interior O-Line one of the best in the league is not a bad conciliation prize.

  15. El_Buc941 Says:

    Sorry Joe but a good OLine is everything it you wanna score. And if you fan score that changes games.just ask the Dallas cowboys how important their OLine has been for them the past few years.and Sony Michel?!please….Guice over Michel ANYDAY OF THE WEEK.

  16. macabee Says:


    Draft Strategy – Bucs trade down
    *Hold on to your trade hats, this could happen on draft night.
    *Giants trade the #2 pick to the Bills for their #12 and #22 picks and a 2019 1st round pick. (Got the idea from a USA Today Mock).
    *Bucs trade the #7 pick to the Giants for their #12 and #22 picks with OG Nelson on the board. Throw the trade book out the window, if you want him you gotta pay for him! Don’t look at me Kiper and McShay passed on Nelson too! Lol.
    *Giants get OG Quenton Nelson at #7 and Bucs get two 1st round picks.

    RD1 DE Marcus Davenport 6-5 264 4.58 (pick #12)
    *Signing JPP in FA is reassuring, but Tom Coughlin says you can never have enough pass rushers. Marcus Davenport is raw and a development project, but at every point he’s been tested he passed with flying colors, Senior Bowl, Combine. If you want an elite edge rusher in today’s NFL that doesn’t cost a fortune, you’ll have to develop your own. Look no further than Ezekiel Ansah and Demarcus Lawrence, even JPP. This should be a defensive player. SS Derwin James or DT Vita Vea could be in play.

    RD1 OG Will Hernandez/UTEP 6-3 327 5.15 (pick #22)
    *Trading OG Quenton Nelson, the Bucs still need a trophy left guard to complete their desire for a mauler-style O-Line. Hernandez is no Nelson, but he’s the next best OG in the draft. The Bucs could opt for a shutdown CB here too – Josh Jackson or Isaiah Oliver.

    RD2 RB Rashaad Penny/SDSU 5-11 220 4.46
    *Penny is an electric back that can do it all – from inside running to catching passes from the backfield. His ST play is excellent. His pass blocking needs work but will improve in time. This pick makes a lot of sense if RB Charles Sims is not re-signed. The Bucs have a private visit scheduled with Penny in Tampa. RBs Derrius Guice, Sony Michel, or Nick Chubb may still be there as alternatives. I like Penny for his added PR/KR value.

    RD3 Traded to Giants for JPP.

    RD4 CB/S Dane Cruikshank/Arizona 6-2 209 4.41 (pick #102 from Giants)
    *Dane is another Combine phenom. He is a converted Arizona Safety that came out as a CB. Even though he has CB speed, I still think he is a safety and has the size to play in the box and the speed to play deep. He could be the eventual replacement for Chris Conte.

    RD5 DE Ade Aruna/Tulane 6-5 262 4.60
    *Aruna is my “sleeper” pick in this draft. He is late to big league football and has been under the radar until his explosive Combine performance. This guy can play – go watch his tape.

    RD6 RB Ito Smith/So. Mississippi 5-9 201 4.50
    *Ito Smith is the Tarik Cohen/Bears of 2018. He could be the second coming of Darren Sproles. He is not OJ Simpson, but he could be Judge Ito. I can hear Buc fans chanting “here come da judge” lol.

    RD6 CB Michael Joseph/Dubuque 6-1 190 4.49
    *As a senior, Joseph totaled 56 tackles with 8 INTs and 8 PBUs. Joseph made 4 picks as a junior and 3 as a sophomore. So why the 6th round? Joseph has the talent to work with but because he is a D-III player and hasn’t faced the kind of competition he would have seen at the D-1 level, his transition to the NFL will likely require some time and development.

    RD7 WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling/USF 6-5 206 4.37
    *Why is a WR in this mock when the Bucs currently have 8 WRs on the roster? For one that’s 4 too many and Scantling is 6-5 206 that has Mike Evans measurables and RAC ability – something the Bucs are missing. Scantling had a blistering 4.37/40 with a good Combine performance. At this size and speed he might be gone!

  17. lambchop Says:

    Guice is not going to be there in the 2nd round.

  18. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:


    Get 6-8 TRADE UP scenarios ready between now and 8pm April 26th. Saquon Barkley.

    🙂 (Brett Sobleski of Bleacher Report)…uh-huh.

    Go Bucs! Go Bold! Go Barkley! Go Primetime!

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree totally with Joe on Sony…..after Barkley, he would be my choice.

    It would present an interesting dilemma if we had a choice of Nelson or trading down…..I suspect that would make Licht more likely to require a treasure for the trade.

    As the days go by, we seem to be in a good spot at 7.

  20. Guzzie Says:

    Assuming Browns take Barkley, Washington at 13 is looking at Guice, still have to worry about Giants, Colts, Broncos and Jets picking in front of us interested in RBs, Michel and Guice will not make it to our 2nd pick, so realistically I’m hoping we get Nick Chubb

  21. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Guice, Michel or Chubb for the RBs if they cannot get Barkley……..another guy if they go later is the guy from Tennessee JOhn Kelly, he is a great 2 way threat at RB or Bo Scarborough who has fresh legs, after splitting carries

  22. El_Buc941 Says:

    Our best chances are to trade down with the Bills and get their two picks (#12 &#22 ) and get Guice at #12 and THEN at #22 pick a guy for the secondary or the the OLine. Also I’m sure the bills might package in a 2nd in this draft and next year’s first. that would help us greatly in this draft with 4 picks and 2 in next year’s first.

  23. Buc50 Says:

    I’m with you Joe. Guards don’t have that kind of impact. I wish I knew how or why RBs became taboo in the first round. Yes they get injured and yes you get duds, but if you hit on one, it instantly makes you a playoff team.

  24. Bucsfanman Says:

    Michel and Guice are on my “short list” behind Barkley. However, is Michel the next Reggie Bush?

  25. Patrick in VA Says:

    Joe, I feel like this take that I’ve read and heard you offer up a number of times seems awfully short sighted. Yeah, a guard hasn’t won a game by himself. Of course. But a guard can be a cog in a solid offensive line and that will change the complexion of a team. It can open up both the running game and the passing game. It can allow us to grind the ball and keep our defense off the field. It can do all of those things that we watched Dallas doing when they were covering up the warts that Dak Prescott showed us this year.

    I’m not saying that he’ll be the cure all, but I think it would be a great pick if it’s available and they choose to go that route. Either way, we’re set up to land a game changer no matter what falls to us. That’s not a bad place to be.

  26. AlteredEgo Says:

    Football come playoff time was/is/will always/ be about running the ball and stopping the run…….Nelson would go along way towards the running the ball half of the puzzle…..and buy time of Jameis throwing the ball and being able to STEP UP into the pocket instead of scramble

  27. BringBucsBack Says:

    Yeah Joe, I agree with most here, you’re nuts about Nelson and the importance of an outstanding guard. That kid is a monster!

    I like Sony but, to me he is a little difficult to evaluate. I admittedly have not seen many of his games but, in his highlights, he is running through gaping holes. No doubt he’s good but, huge holes in the NFL are rare as we know. He can take it to the house which, we haven’t had since Warrick Dunn.

    Chubb is probably a bit more realistic for us in the second round. I would not be upset with either of them.

  28. I Bleed Pewter and Red Says:

    Now to entice that call …who wants to dance?

  29. Tnew Says:

    All of those traits and stats are interesting but the most important thing is can he pass pro? Otherwise don’t draft him. Pass protection is the singular most important factor for koetter’s approval. Running, for yards, is just so cliché. Anyone can do that.

  30. AlteredEgo Says:

    I’m cracking the whip on the RB Chubb bandwagon…..

  31. Dubcity06 Says:

    Good OLs dont change games? Its not about the 1 players, its about building a top 10 OL to run and pass behind. And imagine still getting Michel in the 2nd

  32. Eric Says:

    Bart Star over right guard in the ice bowl.

    Only the most famous play in NFL history.

    A guard can’t change a game? Silly.

  33. Stu Says:

    Who Joe pick at #7 if there was not a trade down opportunity worthy of moving?

  34. Not there yet Says:

    The draft is a fail if they go running back with the first pick, this draft is to deep at that position for it to be necessary and they production is always up and down. Guard doesn’t have to be first pick either. Corner, safety or d line.

  35. Bird Says:

    Pretty sure the game has changed since the days of the ice bowl

    Most offenses ran the ball and ran the ball again and again and again Offensive line and running back was the offense

    The qb handed the ball off.

  36. 813bucboi Says:

    I like guice over sony but guice may be gone before we pick in the second round…..hell sony could be gone early second round…..

    as long as we add 1 starting OG and RB to the offense and add dline and CB depth to the defense im fine…..

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

  37. AlabamaBucFan Says:

    Too often General Managers have place all their chips on one player. I would think it would be a safer bet to trade down and spread the deck to multiple picks.

  38. Destinjohnny Says:

    Joe you are 100% spot on.
    I don’t say that often haha

  39. Eric Says:

    Boyd Dowler strongly disagrees.

  40. Joe Says:

    Boyd Dowler strongly disagrees.

    Ha! There’s a blast from the past.

  41. Bucsfan Says:

    How does this guy Joe have his own site. What a moron. Offensive line and defensive line change everything and are the most important part of every team. You think any RB outside of Barry Sanders is going to have long term success without a good line? Come on man. You know this!

  42. Joe Says:

    Joe you are 100% spot on.
    I don’t say that often haha

    Uh, oh! 🙂

  43. Joe Says:

    Come on man. You know this!

    Joe has never seen the following in the hundreds (thousands?) of football games he has watched:

    A guard intercept a pass and seal a win with a pick-six.

    A guard throw a touchdown pass to turn a game around.

    A guard sack a quarterback to kill a drive.

    A guard break a tackle and run 30 yards for a game-winning score.

    A guard lead a team on a 90-yard drive with no timeouts with two minutes left to win a game.

    If you have witnessed a guard do any of the above, can you provide a link to the video?

  44. Tony from L.A. Says:


    2018 is the offseason of trench warfare.
    Nelson at 7
    Young DE in round 2


  45. Mike Johnson Says:

    Macabee..I like your thinking there pal!!

  46. Jeffbuc Says:

    I was reading an article the other day. I wish I could remember where it was from. It was talking about are need at running back. Are running backs gained the 2nd fewest yards before contact. But it said are offensive line was ranked 10 in run blocking using that same metric as how many yards before the running back got contact. They were basically saying are offensive line was opening holes. Just are running backs weren’t hitting the right lanes and were slow going through the holes and lacked burst. So if this info is common knowledge to the coaches I would think we would pass on Nelson. And try to trade back to get are pick at the second best runningback.

  47. Daniel Says:

    You all clearly didn’t watch Sweezy and Evan Smith nearly get Jameis and our RBs killed for a majority of last season if you don’t think a guard can change a game.

    The issue is ultimately this roster has way too many holes still (RB, G, CB, S) and they still should continue to draft/develop on the lines.

  48. ndog Says:

    I am just proud of this Joe for finally writing a article that doesn’t say the Bucs cant develop a cornerback. But then again he did say not to draft Nelson which is the other thing he says pretty much daily.

  49. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Football is still a team sport. It’s a lot easier to break open a game with a TD pass or a 30 yard run if someone was there to block for you and give you the time and space to “break open the game”.

    I get nervous in sports discussions about football or hockey…big team sports…where we focus too much on how much an INDIVIDUAL is going to change things.

    In hockey you MUST have a great goalie and in football it’s the QB. But after that you need an entire Team to play in front of these guys.

    The greatest goalie in the NHL is not that good if his team consistently leaves guys unguarded in front of the net or give up bunches of odd man rushes.

    Same in football. Without a good OL in front of him even great talents at QB become mere mortals and may turn in some game breaking plays but can’t do enough consistently to produce enough wins. Can you say Jameis Winston?
    Andrew Luck?

    Jameis is a game changer..remember out last game? But he can’t do it all by himself and some “stud’ DB can’t stand out with zero pass rush and very little run defense.

    So which is more important? DJAX is a game breaker…say he gets two TD passes and “breaks the game open”. But it’s the NFL and the other teams have game breakers as well. We get to the 4th quarter and crunch time…if we’re losing yeah we want that game breaker…but if we’re winning we’d simply like to control the ball with a stout OL and decent RB.

  50. Joe Says:

    But then again he did say not to draft Nelson which is the other thing he says pretty much daily.

    Joe is not anti-Quenton Nelson. In fact Joe had stated in a previous Ira Kaufman Podcast that if the Bucs somehow got Le’Veon Bell, then Joe would be all in on drafting Nelson.

    Joe just thinks at No. 7, given the holes on the roster, you need to draft a game-changer there. Hopefully, we won’t see the Bucs draft in the top ten for a long, long time.

    Besides, Joe also thinks Will Hernandez and Isiah Wynn are fine guards as well.

  51. NFLNut Says:


    Sony could do it all in college too … except start ahead of Nick Chubb … just saying.


  52. Cobraboy Says:

    Kerry Jenkins sure changed the Bucs O-Line in that Super Bowl run.

    If Nelson is there, take him. He is a rare talent to put with Marpet & Jensen. Would there be a better interior line than those three?

  53. BucFanFromOhio Says:

    Joe Says:
    April 5th, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Joe just thinks at No. 7, given the holes on the roster, you need to draft a game-changer there.

    I have a question for you Joe. Say the big three are gone, and we can’t find a partner to trade back with. Who do you think a “game changer” is that is worthy of a pick at #7? There is not wrong answer here, you are just around the Bucs more than most and I value your opinion. Personally I like James a lot, but a lot of people seem to think SS @ 7 is insane.

  54. Cobraboy Says:

    Football is won with large, angry men fighting for inches of turf. The pretty boys just get the credit,

  55. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    So Joe, the 1990’s Cowboys didn’t win 3 Super Bowls by having the most dominant O-line of that Era?

    What about the difference between the 2015 Bucs running game versus 2016 when the only major difference was Logan Mankins? That sure did change our team.

    Maybe lay off the Jim Beam for a while and you’re memory would improve.

  56. NFLNut Says:



    If the big 3 areal gone AND no trade-down is available, I’d rank the “game-changing prospects” as:

    1a – 1c. Denzel Ward/Minkah Fitzpatrick/Derwin James
    4. Viti Vea
    5. Marcus Davenport

    That’s it … and I’d be fine with Ward/Minkah/Derwin at #7 if that’s the best we can do … I’d be very disappointed with Vea or Davenport though.


  57. BucFanFromOhio Says:

    Thx NFLNut. I agree in the disappointment if Vea is the pick. Even watching his highlights I don’t see what all the hype is about.

  58. John meeks Says:

    If Nelson is on the board at number7,run Roger Goodell ‘s ass over and turn the card in!!!starts in the trenches,running back class is deep again this year so you will still get one in rounds 2to3!

  59. Dubcity06 Says:

    Joe cmon man, bringing up wynn and Hernandez who are late 1st rounders. Thats where the bucs shpuld get their RB after they get Nelson.

  60. NFLNut Says:



    Personally, I think the Giants stay at #2 and draft a QB though … I think the Bills move up to #4 as Saquon isn’t worth the massive package of picks Buffalo will give Cleveland for that 4th pick.

    I still have it:

    Picks 1-4: QB
    Broncos #5: Chubb or Nelson
    Colts #6: Nelson or Chubb or Saquon
    Bucs #7: Saquon or Chubb or Nelson


  61. JimmyJack Says:

    So Joe doesn’t think physically dominating players are important to football games.

    Whatever dude it’s your site. Just hope the front office disagrees.

  62. JimmyJack Says:

    But to Joes point if we walk away from the draft with Davenport, Michael and Hernandez I’ll be ecstatic.

    But it’s very confusing to say you will pass on Nelson. Sure if you got this trade down offer I’m game. But to pass on Nelson cause you don’t think physically dominating players change games is just something I will never ever agree with…….IMO the big guys up do the most to impact games.

  63. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Joe- regarding your requesting video of a guard being a game changer:

  64. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Joe #2 doesn’t value Interior Offensive line play. Despite it being one of the most important aspects of the game.

  65. NFLNut Says:

    Like I said yesterday … ask Emmitt Smith if guards can be game-changers … they can!

  66. NFLNut Says:


  67. NFLNut Says:


  68. JimmyJack Says:

    Alan nice video. Larry Allen gets all the credit from the announcers, deservedly so. But you can rewatch that drive and if you focus on the RG he is blasting his guy off the ball and throwing his body around.

    You can then rewatch it and focus on the Center.

    The clip is an example of interior lineman changing a game. Maybe Joe can watch and see it for the first time in his life. Or maybe he will say that it was only Emmit Smith making the difference…….It can be an opinion thing but in this case I will take John Maddens opinion that a Guard can change a game.

  69. Mark Says:

    Looking forward to in the near future.

  70. Dylan Says:

    miht not alwaya agree with joe but i here forsure… guards are easy to find. All pro guards hit FA all the time haha… ever see a safety in his prime hit free agency on the regular? Seahawks want 2 first for earl thomas and he is 29! Hello Derwin James 🙂