Minkah Meets The Bucs

April 14th, 2018

Visits One Buc Palace.

This will wake some folks up quicker than their morning ration of caffeine.

It seems Alabama stud safety Minkah Fitzpatrick has visited the Bucs as one of their allotted 30 team-facility visits. Where is this coming from? From Fitzpatrick himself, by way of the “Paul Finebaum Show” on the SEC Network.

Joe wouldn’t light candles if the Bucs drafted a safety — not the way Joe would (will?) if the Bucs draft a corner at No. 7. Still, a safety at No. 7 seems a reach.

Once again, Joe is of the mind if the Bucs can’t get Saquon Barkley or cannot get Bradley Chubb, then find a quarterback-hungry team to trade down with and load up on picks.

49 Responses to “Minkah Meets The Bucs”

  1. Easy Says:

    We have more pressing needs than a safety

  2. Bob in Valrico Says:

    With his return ability and knack for getting to the QB and punts, he is an upgrade to pretty much any DB on the team IMO. HYe has the potential to be a player like Ronde who did many things well.

  3. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    I like him better than James imo

  4. Etzel Says:

    NO NO NO NO. My least favorite scenario. He’s best a nickel corner and using the #7 pick on a nickel is INSANE. Especially when we have no outside corners…..

  5. Destinjohnny Says:

    Guys minkah can play outside
    He can truly play every postion in the backfield at an elite level

  6. mog2010 Says:

    Great player, jack of all trades…. dont think he fits with us, much rather have James

  7. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Too many DB’s come out of college and they need to be developed before they are ready to play in the NFL. Believe this kid is ready. He also is a good tackler,
    a trait McGinnest pointed out as one of our weaknesses in an earlier thread.

  8. Bird Says:

    It’s pretty funny how the Joe’s don’t want a corner back drafted this year. One Joe doesn’t; one Joe does. Part of being a fan. –Joe

    And since there is no free agent cornerbacks left(maybe a guy gets cut soon ) , it means we start the season with Ryan smith outside who the Joe’s make fun of all the time.

    Cornerback is probably more important then running back as we had guys run for over 100 yards last year (and added Ryan Jensen and possible guard in this draft )

    Cornerback is probably more important then dline just because bucs brought in 4 new guys that are gonna get paid 28 mil. Trust me I know we need another dlineman or even 2

    What happens if grimes goes down? He is 35

    Joe’s -please stop with the bucs shouldn’t draft a corner talk. It’s not really funny anymore. They should draft 2 if anything . Maybe a sleeper from small school in later round

  9. Kobe Faker Says:

    The curse of Milli Vanilli

    Vh3 cant play the outside and now is getting in the way of drafting Fitz nor DJames because we are hiding VH3 in the slot from being exposed

    **the Bucs know we have a huge problem because our Justin Evans CANT TACKLE!!!!!

  10. Thegregwitul Says:

    If he is to be the guy in the first round, and the same can be said for James, please trade down and get an extra pick or two, even if it’s to replace the 3rd round pick given up for JPP.

  11. BeeBucs Says:

    Minkah Fitzpatrick will play outside CB for the Bucs not Safety

  12. REdtop5588 Says:

    I like Minkah his hips are so fluid he’s natural f top 3 are gone An we can’t trade down an we draft minkah I’d be ok with it looks like a really great player but I want one of top 3 if there gone I want to trade back if we can’t I’d take minkah

  13. Guzzie Says:

    Seems like no one is worthy of the 7th pick, we can’t take a CB, S,LB, G, Via, Davenport, RB, if we can’t trade down which I’m sure they will try and the big 3 are gone gotta pick someone, might as well take the best player from our most pressing need, otherwise who should we pick Joe

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Wow, more love here for Minkah than I was expecting. Agree with DestinJohnny: he can play outside … plus nickel & safety & come up in the box when needed also. Great versatility, strong tackler, good leadership skills & LOVES FOOTBALL. Kinda sounds like someone the Bucs could use. Several others I’d rather see us pick up at #7, but if they’re gone & we stay at #7, wouldn’t have any hesitation about drafting Minkah at that spot. Folks seem to be much too worried about us ‘getting our money’s worth’ at a given position (BPA regardless) instead of who’s gonna best help our team win now & in the future. Not always the same IMO.

  15. Casual Observer Says:

    You are right, imo. Trade down a few slots in round one. Pick up at least a third rounder.

  16. Etzel Says:

    If you guys want to draft an in-the-box safety/nickel type and try to move him to outside corner, Derwin has the better frame/athleticism to make the transition.

  17. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    F that! Get Nelson and if he’s not there move back and get Hernandez. It starts in the trenches! Sweezy to be a bench warmer or out the door is better in my mind. I know this team is all about respect for their guys but when the person has done nothing to help this team you need to give up on him. Protect Jameis!!! End of story.. Go Bucs!!!

  18. Chris K Says:

    If D.James college film looked like this some of you guys would be saying to trade up to get him! Fitzpatrick definitely had a better college career than James. Does that translate to a better NFL career? Not always, but I would rather gamble on the guy who has shown the splash play over and over again on film vs gambling on the potential.

  19. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    I will be among those here disappointed if we select any DB with that 7th pick.
    There are several with talent but I do believe any of them are “generational”. If I saw a true shutdown corner in the draft…and there may be one in there somewhere I’m certainly no talent scout….but while I respect some of the DB’s on the board…none of them excite me anymore than a second round draft choice.

    So I’m still in the big three or trade down crowd.

    Drafts and DB’s are funny things. Richard Sherman was selected in the 5th round while Patrick Peterson was the 5th OVERALL pick.

    It’s because of their measurables and college careers. Peterson at the NFL factory LSU…Sherman at Stanford…Peterson with a blazing 4.34 40 Sherman with a pedestrian 4.56. Sherman had been a freshman All American WR…hurt his knee in his junior year and asked the Cardinal to let him play defense. Only a year worth of tape on him. I’m sure they/we were all saying he’s too slow…only a year at the position yadda yadda and so Sherman became the hidden gem while Peterson was the OBVIOUS pick for Arizona.

    I would take either player of course…lol…one is clearly faster..the other more physical…both are just excellent players.

    So if I saw a Patrick Peterson…the Saquon Barkley of DB’s…generational talent…in this draft I’d be fine with the 7th pick. But then Peterson went 5th.
    We won’t have a shot at a generational talent at CB…a true shutdown corner…so again for me…it’s the big three or trade down and hope you discover a hidden gem like Richard Sherman in the 5th round.

  20. Pickgrin Says:

    Good player.

    Minkah needs to stay at FS and will do really well there I believe – but James is a better fit for our needs since we just spent a 2nd last year on Justin Evans.

    Minkah can also probably do fine in a slot CB role – but we spent a #11 overall pick 2 years ago to get that spot covered apparently (VH3).

    I imagine Fitz would do fairly well also if you asked him to play SS – but why try to force a fit when you can just draft Derwin James and get a natural SS who was born to play that exact position and excels at it?

    Some saying – “he can play outside CB” – “He’s the next Jalen Ramsey”. I seriously doubt that. Ramsey made the transition to outside CB in the NFL look easy and is now one of the better CBs in the league. I believe Minkah would struggle if we drafted him and tried to have him make the same move.

    So Minkah is like a good utility tool that we don’t really have a need for because the position he is best suited to play is already “filled” with a young talented player in Justin Evans.

    Derwin James is much more likely to be the pick if the worst case draft scenario for the Bucs actually happens – meaning the big 3 are gone and no acceptable trade down offers are made.

    I hope that’s not the case – because using a #7 overall pick on a non-premium position like SS is a bit hard to swallow. We do have a “need” there though (unless you are a Conte lover – LOL) and I will say that if Derwin James IS the pick – then we are getting a DAMN good football player.

  21. Defense Rules Says:

    @StPete … “So I’m still in the big three or trade down crowd.”

    @DR … “Several others I’d rather see us pick up at #7, but if they’re gone & we stay at #7, wouldn’t have any hesitation about drafting Minkah at that spot.”

    We agree StPete, but I wasn’t very clear (often happens) … IF we stay at #7 I want us to take one of the Big-3. IF they’re all spoken for, it’d be preferable to trade down, but only IF we get good value for trading down and IF we can still get quality players in the top 2 Rnds who can start for us (DE/DT/RB/G/CB) … that’s where our biggest holes appear to be right now. But IF we can’t trade down (takes Two to Tango) & the Big-3 are gone, then I’d prefer to draft Vea, Ward, Hernandez before drafting Minkah with our #7 pick (we can get an RB in Rnd 2 in that case).

  22. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree with Buckball. An outstanding guard would be fine in round one. Trading down and still getting Hernandez would be most satisfactory. Nelson at no. 7 would be OK too. Trenches.

  23. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Just because we picked Evans doesn’t mean we have to stand pat. There is
    something to Kobe’s point on Evans tackling. I have seen him take bad angles in coverage and run support and be forced to circle back to get a better angle after contact.

  24. BigBucFan11 Says:

    Ok, having watched almost every game in Minkah’s college career, I’m a little biased here. I was born in Tampa but my whole family is from Tuscaloosa so, they’re all Saints fans. The only thing we agree on is rooting for Bama.

    Anyway, having watched every game, he started out as a corner. He played outside as a freshman in Saban’s defense. Playing outside corner. Really. The guy is special. When Clinton-Dix and Landon Collins graduated and later Eddie Jackson was hurt/graduated they moved him to safety almost out of necessity. From that role rose his nickel/star cornerback role when they decided to sometimes roll technically 3 “safeties” into the defensive backfield. So, his position was honestly, never truly defined. The guys does it all. He’s a sure tackler. He’s fast. He has range. He actually looks for the ball in coverage which for some reason, no cornerback for the Bucs in the last decade besides Grimes has. He’s got all the tools. I wouldn’t count him out for any position.

  25. Kobe Faker Says:

    Hey Pick

    thats what scares me!!!

    Forrest gump is going to change Fitz to outside corner because he thinks it will be just as easy similar to Jalen Ramsey…..WRONG!!!

    its going to be like putting lamarcus joiner in the outside vs #1 corner

    Fits and Djames needs to play the slot/ TE/ near the LOS

    Last year was the “Curse of Sweeney” changing the off lineup to fit the bust Sweeney so Gump wont look bad…

    this year is the “Curse of Milli Vanilli” and fitz beinging drafted and not playing his natural position because of VH3

    This is Forrest Gump trying to be Cute

    “Im not a smart man, but I know what Bust is”

  26. bkyrdbob77 Says:

    finish the offense. Its better to have an elite offense or an elite defense rather than a good offense and a mediocre defense. Other than Chubb, i dont see any defensive player that will raise our defense to the next level. Our defense needs help, and we need help in the back field but wile james and fitzpatrick could improve our defense some, they are not going to take us to the next defensive lvl. Get the O line done and get a good rb to pair with barber. At least make one side of the ball strong enough to overpower other teams. Then draft a cb to develop (wish we still had Raheem coaching the db’s), so we have someone to take grimes spot in another year. our defense sucks to much for james or fitzpatrick to make a big difference. they would make us better, but just getting better isn’t enough. we need to win.A stronger O line and a rb would tack us up to a new offensive lvl. We would have an elite offense able to overpower other teams.

  27. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    Seriously though… I hear ppl say oh go get Saquon Barkley if he’s available and Nelson is available. What’s the sense of having a talent like his when you got sweezy or a mediocre talent blocking for him? Also what’s the sense of having sweezy or a mediocre player blocking for Jameis? Jameis would have more time in the pocket and wouldn’t have to scramble as much as he does which leads to all his fumbles! If you don’t have a dominant offensive line then what happens… you end up with a injured QB or an injured RB. So what would be the sense to draft Barkley to end up having him injured and not playing??? It would also allow the running game to work much better on our team with whoever our back would be. The defensive line they put together will give the defensive backfield more leeway and more time so I’d be fine if they didn’t draft for the defense till late in the draft. Plenty of safeties and cornerbacks still available in free agency that could be bridge guys till the 2019 draft where they could worry about fixing the defense.

  28. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    So pickgrin is clearly of the mind that you draft for need rather than a BPA. It is weird how many guys always so to go BPA but really don’t mean it. IMO Minkah is clearly the most dynamic athlete who is lightning quick and makes splash plays. I would take that guy and figure out the best way to utilize him. So far Hargreaves is a complete bust and I am not going to pass on a stud safety/slot corner just because we blew a first rounder on a guy a couple of years ago and he is a bust. You just have to accept some of these mistakes and move on.

  29. NFLNut Says:

    I believe Minkah can be a #1 CB in the NFL just like Jalen Ramsay, who also played safety in college.

    Imho Minkah can be a Pro Bowler at any defensive backfield position and played #1 CB, #2 CB, Nickel, OLB, SS and FS at Bama … Saban used him as the ultimate chess piece, but his true position is CB and he has stated as much.

  30. Pickgrin Says:

    TDTB Says:
    “So pickgrin is clearly of the mind that you draft for need rather than a BPA”

    Hardly – I’m constantly advocating for BPA over “need” as the proper drafting strategy to follow for long term success. 1st rd picks especially.

    BPA is in the eye of the beholder though. “Need” obviously creeps in because when you have a position “covered” – you are not going to spend a high draft pick on another player at that position while blindly chanting the BPA, BPA mantra.

    The Bucs are not drafting a QB, TE, WR nor a LB in the 1st rd this year. Of that you can be pretty damn sure.

    Teams set their big boards up taking need, relative need and non-needs into consideration.

    Some teams may well have Fitz rated higher on their boards than the Bucs do. Some teams may well have Fitz rated higher than Derwin James.

    I could be wrong – but I’d be willing to bet (a small amount) that if I could get an actual peek at Licht’s big board – I would see Derwin James sitting at #4 – right behind Barkley, Nelson, Chubb and probably in that order.

    Which is why I keep saying that if the “big 3” are gone – and no good trade down offers materialize – that Derwin James is our most likely selection. He’ll be the best fit (thus the BPA) for our relative need at SS and will likely be the highest rated player on the Bucs board at the time if that unfortunate scenario were to play out.

    The down side is that you are using a premium pick on a non-premium position. The up side is that you are getting one HELL of a player to fill that relative need. Bucs defense needs DB help – right? Drafting James will certainly be a positive step in that direction.

    Having 2 dynamic young safeties to build this secondary around sounds good to me…

  31. DR FEELGOOD Says:

    Only Fitzpatrick, Patrick Peterson, and Charles Woodson have won the Bednarik and Thorpe awards in the same year. Nickel corner my ass!! If he plays safety, our corners can play more press. If he’s corner, He will play press. If the big three are gone, HE is the obvious choice, IMHO.

  32. Pickgrin Says:

    NFLNut Says:
    “his true position is CB”

    Where’s the proof of that? Not on College tape. That’s just a projection that could backfire in your face if you try it (see Ryan Smith trying to do the opposite as a real world example we are all painfully familiar with).

    You can’t spend a #7 overall pick based on a projection.

  33. NFLNut Says:

    ^ WRONG.

    Minkah was a #1 CB in high school and that’s what he was recruited by Saban as and that’s what he played at Bama UNTIL INJURIES HAPPENED and they need him to switch to safety … later they switched him to OLB when another injury happened … and then back to safety and on and on … Minkah can excel at any defensive backfield position but he has publicly stated that his true position and the position he prefers to play is CB. It was the EXACT SAME with Jalen Ramsay …

  34. bucs_365 Says:

    A “reach” as Joe calls it, Fitzpatrick is not… Based on the valuations we’ve been seeing for the last few months, picking him at 7 would not be unreasonable. That’s not to advocate the pick, but rather to point out that it’s in line with the range in which he’s expected to be picked. A reach is when you pick a player much higher than he ought to be chosen because you’re trying to fill a need, or you’ve overvalued a player for athletic upside and drafted him unreasonably high.

  35. feelthepewterpower Says:

    THIS is why you take Minkah Fitzpatrick at seven if (Barkley, Chubb, Nelson are off the board): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHmdoPB3SN4

    Buccs fans will try and tell you we have Justin Evans at free safety. Yes, we have Evans, who played well last season, but in today’s NFL you need more than one safety. Just as in today’s NFL you need more than one tight end which is why we drafted Howard (stud) evem though we have Brate.

    Fitzpatrick is a game changer…see the video analysis above. Fitz has better ballskills than James, and unlike James, can play any spot in the secondary (including strong safety in the box). Imagine if we get Fitz to play free safety…who will be elite in the nfl, and isaiah oliver (a top ten cb talent) as a steal in the second round….the Buccs will instantly start locking down passing offenses on the routine!!!

  36. cgmaster Says:

    Heck no to Fitzpatrick. He will be playing safety in the NFl, not corner. While I like his versatility , let’s not forget, he played behind the best front seven in college football so his job is a whole heck of a lot easier than most.
    If the BUcs want to play him at Corner, I could justify it a bit more, but if they want him at safety, I would take Derwin over him all day. And on a side note, somebody tell me the last DB to come out of bama and do anything at the pro level? Like I said, playing behind the best front 7 in college football inflates some thing.

  37. Gambelero Says:

    I love Minkah at 11-13, 15 or 17. I honestly believe that Evans is more of a Mike-Smith-system corner, but there’ll be life after Smith.

    If you think “He can’t fall that far.” Remember, 8 to 10 is odds on to be the two linebackers, Smith and Edmunds, and McGlinchy. Ridley and a couple of workout wonder receivers might sneak into 11-15. And some teams will overlook the rest of the tape and get enamored of James’s (old school genitive) workout tape. Fitzpatrick could be the third or fourth DB off the board.

    Anyway, I applaud the Bucs for preparing for various scenarios

  38. Gambelero Says:

    You guys should read Nut’s post on the Jerry-grab thread

  39. John meeks Says:

    Pickgrin ,people forget that minkah went to safety because of an injury to a team mate and did a fantastic job.however his natural position coming out of high school was defensive back!yes you guys heard me correctly,his natural position is defensive back!so you guys saying he is a slot corner or safety are wrong including you joe!can anyone here give me one reason minkah can’t play on the outside?remember Richard Sherman had basically the same 40 time as minkah I do believe.so you will have to come up with something better than that.i like minkah alot,it just depends who is on the board at the time the bucs pick but you guys calling him a slot corner need to explain to me why he can’t play outside.

  40. John meeks Says:

    I may be wrong about minkah being able to play on the outside but I need someone to tell me why he cant.thanks guys!!

  41. John meeks Says:

    Gamberlero, minkah will not last until picks 11-17.you have lost your mind!

  42. John meeks Says:

    Joe,thanks for putting me back in moderation!the draft is close enough now that I definitely need to be monitored!you the man joe!

  43. feelthepewterpower Says:

    cgmaster Says:
    April 14th, 2018 at 1:57 pm
    Heck no to Fitzpatrick. He will be playing safety in the NFl, not corner. While I like his versatility , let’s not forget, he played behind the best front seven in college football so his job is a whole heck of a lot easier than most.
    If the BUcs want to play him at Corner, I could justify it a bit more, but if they want him at safety, I would take Derwin over him all day. And on a side note, somebody tell me the last DB to come out of bama and do anything at the pro level? Like I said, playing behind the best front 7 in college football inflates some thing.


    Safety (a position that plays half the field) is the second most critical spot on defense in today’s NFL….yes, even over corner (a position that plays a quarter of the field).

    Why would you take Derwin over Fitz? I am an FSU fan and still would take Fitz over James. Why? For one, Minkah can play anywhere in the secondary. While James is the better “athlete” and faster, Fitz is the better “football player”. See Samuel Gold’s analysis…on James’ slow reaction times at free safety, poor tackling and pursuit angles, and inconsistent effort level……..

    And the name an Alabama DB argument who has done anything is silly. Each player has a unique circumstance and skillsets coming into the nfl, along with a unique opportunity. You can’t compare Kijana Carter to Saquon Barkley and assume hes automatically going to be a bust just because he came from Penn St…..ugh!

  44. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Also…Fitz has really good leadership and has been on the big stage several times. He knows how to win and lead. Fitz likely ends up being an elite all-pro safety if he hits his ceiling.

  45. feelthepewterpower Says:

    BeeBucs Says:
    April 14th, 2018 at 8:12 am
    Minkah Fitzpatrick will play outside CB for the Bucs not Safety

    The Buccs haven’t ruled out Hargreaves playing on the outside still. Fitz can definitely play outside at a high level, but his highest ceiling is at free safety….

    To think of it as another way: safety is basically a second outside corner on that half of the field.

  46. USFBUC Says:

    @John Meeks – nice work on the research, if anyone cares to listen in some of his highlights the announcers are calling him a CB when he was a freshman. Don’t watch Alabama enough to know his full history but it’s right there in the highlights that he started at CB early in his career at Alabama. I think that he saw playing time as a freshman says a lot about his skills given the talent that Alabama stacks on their roster every year.

  47. USFBUC Says:

    Regardless of who the Bucs pick they will at least fill two needs on the team and they have enough value in picks to move up into the third if there is a guy who fills a need hanging around in the late third.

  48. JDR Says:

    29 should be the pick….

  49. ABCDGreg Says:

    I’m just curious why we haven’t given Tandy a chance to compete at corner. He played very well there in college I believe, and was certainly a game changer in 2016. I’m sure there is a reason,that’s why I’m asking.