When Barkley’s Gone, Then What?

April 23rd, 2018


If you’re looking for a 7-round mock draft, you’ve come to the wrong place.

That’s a foolish exercise, primarily because you have no idea who is still going to be on the board. Alright, I admit it — I haven’t watched much film of the left guard at Colorado State or the punter at Northwestern.

But what I can do with some authority is analyze the top of the selection process Thursday night and how it might impact the Bucs.

The first rumor that needs to be sacked is the crazy speculation that the Browns might take quarterbacks at No. 1 and No. 4. Although that’s a move worthy of the NFL’s most comical franchise, not even the Browns can be that dumb.

Why dumb? Because you are basically acknowledging that at least one of your two premium picks won’t contribute in 2018.

Even if Cleveland lands a franchise quarterback in that scenario, the other pick will be left holding a clipboard … if he even makes the team.

What the Browns should do is grab Saquon Barkley to kick off the draft, then follow with a quarterback at No. 4. If Cleveland instead takes a quarterback first, the odds are good that Barkley will be gone within the next two picks.

If the Browns go quarterback at No. 1, I can’t see the Giants passing on Barkley. That would add another dynamic player to an offense still led by Eli Manning for the foreseeable future.

“There are a lot of good running backs in this class,” says ESPN’s Todd McShay, “but Barkley’s different.”

Guessing Games

If the Browns grab Barkley first, I can see the Giants entertaining offers to trade back. The Bills may try to move all the way up to No. 2 and get their quarterback of choice.

I’m not sure the Jets know what they’re doing. Hey, they’re the Jets. They paid a king’s ransom to the Colts to move up three spots to No. 3, theoretically to ensure they can grab a dynamic quarterback.

But which one?

For the exorbitant price they paid, the Jets needed to guarantee they could select the guy under center they covet most. That may happen, but there’s a decent chance two quarterbacks will already be off the board by the time the Jets turn in their card.

The Browns have a chance to build some real momentum if they come away with Barkley and a quarterback. Last year’s No. 1 overall selection, Myles Garrett, is the real deal, a pass-rushing defensive end slowed by injuries as a rookie.

Should the Browns pick the right quarterback, they have a real chance to turn things around.

Heartbreaker Colts

The Broncos need a pass rusher to take some pressure off Von Miller, so Bradley Chubb looks like a smart pick at No. 5. Denver’s defense is in transition and Chubb is widely considered the premier defensive lineman in the draft.

At No. 6, the Colts can go in a lot of different ways. If the Broncos pass on Chubb, Indy won’t hesitate to grab him. The Colts could trade back — or they could break Jason Licht’s heart by choosing Quenton Nelson.

Should the Bucs end up with Nelson, he looks like a natural at No. 7.

What’s not to like? He’s one of the best guard prospects in a generation, a mauler who could transform Tampa Bay’s offensive line into a dominant unit.

Listen up as Nelson describes his approach. Cue the goose bumps.

“What I want to do is keep my head down, work very hard, learn from the older guys and earn their respect by how I carry myself,” Nelson says. “As a blocker, my mindset is to dominate my opponents and take away their will to play the game. Yes, I would consider myself a nasty player.”

I’ve heard enough. I’ve seen enough. Nelson passes both the eye test and the ear test. Nelson’s so special, the Bears could try to vault the Bucs and grab him by moving up from No. 8 to No. 6.

That possibility is keeping Licht up at night.

Buc fans should be delirious if Barkley, Chubb or Nelson sports pewter this fall.

They will wear it well.

All-you-can-eat buffet available starting at 6 p.m. and runs all night long. Be there!! Joe and Ira Kaufman will be in the house with the Stick Carriers and The Commish. Raw energy and Bucs love everywhere.

34 Responses to “When Barkley’s Gone, Then What?”

  1. Tom Edrington Says:

    All reasonable scenairios….

  2. AlteredEgo Says:

    Godwin’s TD catch nixed any realistic hope of Nelson @ 7…sure there is a chance….but not a good one…that said I don’t regret Godwin’s TD

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    Nelson is the most likely of “the big 3” to fall to the Bucs.

    I hope for Winston and our offense’s sake that is exactly what happens.

    If Chubb, Nelson and Barkley are all off the board at #7 – GM Licht needs to find a trade down partner.

  4. Broy34 Says:

    That is all I want. I want one of the big three and I’m happy because a running back is the second round pick if we don’t get Barkley or they use our 2nd and a pick next year to move up late in round one. I do not want Derwin James or Minkah for punishment of dealing with last season. Nothing against them but when it’s been logical all offsesson we’d get one of those three talents I don’t want anything less. The ONLY scenario I would b okay with is 2 firsts from Buffalo

  5. teacherman777 Says:

    Trade down 3 or 4 times! Hell, we grabbed the best TE in year at #19.

    Aguayo and ASJ were wasted 2nd round picks. Noah Spence might not work out either. That could be 3 lost 2nd rounders in 3 years!

    Sounds like Dominik!

    Charles Sims was a wasted 3rd round pick and we traded a 3rd to get JPP.

    In addition, VHIII might be a BUST also.

    So, that’s 2 maybe 3, WASTED 2nd round picks.

    And 2 lost 3rd rounders.

    We need to trade down 2 or 3 times if possible and get as many picks as possible.

    Ideally, we need to get 2 more 2nd round picks and 1-2 3rd round picks.

    We must make up for lost picks. And now is the time to do it.

    Go Bucs!!

  6. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Glad to see that at least one of the 3 writers on this site actually knows what talent looks like. Keep it up Irv.

  7. macabee Says:

    Respected DraftAnalyst’s Tony Pauline reports QB Baker Mayfield being drafted by the Jets is a “done deal.” If true and QB Josh Rosen is taken in the top six, the math gets real easy. The NFL media suits who want high drama on draft night couldn’t have scripted it any better! Go Bucs!

  8. Broy34 Says:

    Well said Blake

  9. GrumpyBuc Says:

    Best Browns can do is grab RB #1 and then a QB. We should hope for one of the top 3 prospects in the draft (Nelson, Chubb, or Barkley), but Barkley should be gone. Let the rest take those QBs and hopefully Nelson falls. Chubb might still fall, but I’m guessing more likely not.

  10. Aaron Says:

    If the Big 3 are gone and 3 QBs are gone – should be some trade down opportunities with Rosen and L. Jackson still on the board. I think if the Browns don’t trade that 4th pick there is a good chance they draft a non-Big 3 player. The OT from ND, Fitz, or Ward.

    The Giants either draft a QB or trade out. Drafting one of the big 3 and turning down the Jets 3 #2 picks offer to move down 4 spots is crazy.

    I think the Bucs will draft James in the 1st and will need to trade down in the 2nd to recapture the 3rd…then they will draft a CB and RB in the 2nd.

    Go Bucs!

  11. Aaron Says:

    *draft CB and RB in 2nd / 3rd

  12. grafikdetail Says:

    wouldn’t be disappointed with Nelson but it would be the most boring draft night as a buc fan ever except for the year they gave a 1st round pick for revis 1 year rental

  13. Chris in WA Says:

    All I know is I go crazy when I see these mock draft “experts” having Quenton Nelson going to the Bears or even later in their mock drafts because they have the Bucs taking a secondary player (James, Ward, or Fitzpatrick) while one of the Big 3 are still on the board. The only way that happens is if : One – The Big 3 are all gone at 7 and Two – The Bucs can’t find a willing team to trade down with.

  14. Gambelero Says:

    Agreed. The Barkley at 1 scenario might not be as stupid as it looks at first glance. If they still haven’t decided, there must be a couple of guys that are really close. Hue’s on a very hot seat; he has to win now. Whichever QB sits behind Tyron Taylor is much less important than getting the one guy that can turn it around.

    I’m not sure how much influence Hue will have though. I still think the four QBs go top 4 with Cleveland trading down while the Giants take a Darnold or trade down to a QB needy team.

  15. Eric Says:

    If the big three are gone then why would anyone trade up?

  16. 813bucboi Says:

    imo, the browns should select chubb at #1 to pair him with garrett…..then get a kings ransom from buffalo for the #4 pick and select LJ @12….use LJ the same way HOU uses DW…..stout defense….great running game…..

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

  17. Blake_Bucsfan Says:


    For a Quarterback.

  18. DBrad67 Says:

    Ok ok here’s the best scenario if the Big3 are gone
    Rd 1 we Draft Guice
    Rd 1 move back up and grab Hernandez
    Rd 2 get Davenport: With the draft being stacked at all other positions we can focus on the best fits from then on because we just Crushed it with the hidden gems because they are all the positions the big 3 we’re going to fill and let not forget the luxury of Free Agency because there are still some good players out there with more to come after the draft trust and believe… mic drop!!!!

  19. Chris in WA Says:

    If the Big 3 are gone at pick number 7 then that logically means that only 3 QB’s at most have gone within the first 6 picks. There would still be teams, Arizona most notably, that would like a QB for the future (Assuming Browns, Jets, and Bills are the ones who grabbed a QB). The issue is the rest of the NFL knows the Bucs aren’t taking a QB so from the perspective of these other teams why not wait until the bears or 49ers are on the clock to trade up where the price will be less steep?

    Dolphins, Saints, Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, Chargers, Bengels are all teams that might be looking for a QB soon. Don’t be surprised at one team at least being interested in addition to Arizona.

  20. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If the Browns don’t grab Barkley at number one, no way he drops past the Giants at number 2.
    IMHO, the Browns need to grab him at number 1.

  21. Lord Cornelius Says:

    If the Browns take Barkley at #1 they might as well say they have no idea how to evaluate the QB position or have any plan for it. It’s an insane premise to me and extremely odd to me that people suggest it as the “smart” thing to do on more than one website.

    When in reality they can pick the QB they want at #1 and take whatever falls between Chubb & Barkley. It’s like people think the Browns can’t take a RB at the top of round 2 or something or forgot they signed Carlos Hyde.

  22. GrumpyBuc Says:

    More than likely, the QBs in this draft aren’t going to pan out. It is a week QB draft. You would be drafting for need vs quality or best player. Barkley is the best player. They need a franchise RB. Why not draft one and then draft a QB at 4.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    We get who we get. I just want him to be great.

  24. Alanbucsfan Says:

    The Browns won’t take 2 qb’s, the Giants think they’ll get 2-3 more years out of Manning and the Colts won’t take a qb, who knows what Broncos will do…
    Chances are big 3 will be gone at 7 which is ok because 3 great DB’s will be available

  25. joestang Says:

    Who is nelson gonna block for? Barber? draft a running back like Guice

  26. mdsbuc Says:

    To me it’s not boring football when you’ve got an offensive line that forms an ironclad pocket and protects the QB so that his ass isn’t always on the run. Then can, on the other hand, open holes for the proverbial Mack Truck to blow through. There’s no question who I’d love to see come to us at pick 7!

  27. Rhenry Says:

    Why not pull a Mike Ditka and trade the entire 2018 draft for Barkley or Chubb?

  28. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    Ira’s a great writer, columnist.

    Nothing’s changed in the past 12 hours, 24 hours, or weeks on the subject of the draft playing out at the top. Nothing at all.

    Probably the most profound portion of the article was the headline used in the middle …”Guessing Games”.

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

  29. Defense Rules Says:

    @Bonzai …”We get who we get. I just want him to be great.” B-I-N-G-O!!! Lots of wishful thinking about who’ll be there at #7 (IF we stand pat) but we have to wait until the hand is dealt to play it. One thing’s for certain: Bucs have so many NEEDS there’s no way we can screw up our first pick. Whoever we get (G/T, RB, DE/DT, CB or SS) will start & contribute. Not willing to make the same statement about our 2nd Rnd pick, but HOPEFULLY we get another starter because we’ve got several starting holes.

  30. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Barkley may go #1 to the Browns because they know the Gmen will snag him in a New York Minute. As McShay said…Barkley is different. There is no RB prospect in this draft who compares. Again though for those who think that position is overrated in a passing league…I get you…just don’t come at me with any of the other backs being as good as Barkley.

    As for the QB’s…MEH…I’m ill informed because since we have our QB for the next decade I haven’t paid attention to that position. Seems like none are anywhere near generational…no talk about them like there was about Jameis and Marcus.

    From what I HAVE seen I gotta give Mayfield some props. I saw him destroy the vaunted Schiano defense which remember featured an entire DL loaded with better talent than Schiano ever saw in the NFL. Bwaaahaaaahaaa.

    Mayfield is really cocky and so that can be off putting…it can also be very effective at the QB position. Underneath it all Jameis…Brady…they’re all cocky which is what makes them good. Mayfield simply chooses not to hide it. LOL

    After watching what he did to OSU in the big horseshoe…

    But who watches freaking Wyoming…who watched North Dakota State…apparently Philly LOL Carson Wentz obviously was the real deal even playing at bumfk U.

    And so Josh Allen is Walter Football’s 2nd pick at QB. Josh Allen is on the record as wanting to go to Cleveland to help be one of the guys to turn that franchise around. Dude is 6-4 237 with a cannon for an arm. If I’m Cleveland I gotta look closely at him.

    So guys one thing I’ve read very little about here since we have our QB is how you all rank this year’s crop of QB’s. What say ye JBF…any really good QB’s stand out to you?

  31. Pickgrin Says:

    There’s certainly no Winston/Luck type of QB prospect in this class SPBF.

    That said – I’m sure at least a couple of them will turn into good NFL QBs. Could easily be the 3rd, 4th or 5th one picked as well – which is why teams like AZ and Buffalo have little choice but to reach and pay the price for that lotto ticket better known as investing in a 1st rd QB.

    Bucs will have pretty decent offers to trade down if only 3 QBs are off the board at #7 IMO. Whether or not Licht decides to accept any of those offers remains to be seen…

  32. XpfcWintergreen2 Says:

    Putting together Ira’s recommendation and macabee’s “math|” I see things falling this way.
    1. Cleve: Barkley
    2. NYG: Chubb
    3. NYJ: Mayfield
    4. Cleve: Darnold
    5. Denv (or trade-up team): Rosen
    6. Indy: Nelson
    7. TB: James, Vea, Fitzpatrick or Ward

    The team that wants Josh Allen in this scenario might as well wait and trade-up with Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland or Miami as they probably are going to pay a bit less than they would with Indy or TB.

    (Of course, if someone had traded-up with the NYG then all bets are off for this scenario.)
    Go Bucs!!!!

  33. CalBucsFan Says:

    I’m amazed at the nearly unanimous national opinion buy so-called experts and bloggers alike (yea, even here on this website) that the Giants will take someone other than a QB with the #2 pick. Eli is 37 years old people! This is a year when there are at least 3-legit top 10 QBs and the odds against NY having this high of a pick again are pretty doubtful, at least not until Eli gone!

    Forget team or player’s names, whether it be the team holding the pick or by a trade, I see the following happening with the top 6 picks:

    1. QB
    2. QB
    3. QB
    4. RB
    5. DE
    6. QB

    That brings us to the Bucs pick, the only damn team I care about. If the Bucs want one of the top-3 non-QBs players and not OL Nelson, then they need to trade up to either the 4th or 5th pick to get the player they want. If not, then they must gain value by trading down.

    My preference? Barkley is going to be a star, just as Fournette and Kamara. Bucs passed on Cook, please don’t do that , again, go get Barkley!

  34. Destinjohnny Says:

    Hard to not like building the trenches
    We aren’t a playoff team anyway
    I love the jpp pickup but I wish the gm wasn’t on the hot seat.
    In two years it will make sense to add an aging pass rusher
    Now it doesn’t. We have to draft our way to that point.