“Worst-kept Secret In The NFL Right Now”

April 24th, 2018

Claims insider knowledge.

Todd McShay is confident who will be crowned the newest member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday night.

But you won’t find that name linked to the Bucs in one of his many mock drafts.

McShay, one of the NFL draft analysts collecting a paycheck from BSPN, claims he has heard more than a few whispers whipping around NFL back channels that Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht has all but decided who he will select at No. 7 Thursday night.

And it would be a safety.

And his name is not Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Rather, McShay is of the mind Licht will stay in-state and select Florida State safety Derwin James.

It seems like they have narrowed in on Derwin James. James going to Tampa Bay seems like the worst-kept secret in the NFL right now.

And if you read the article Joe has linked, McShay seems to imply Licht would draft James with the object of many Bucs’ fans lust still on the board, this Quenton Nelson of Notre Dame.

As Joe wrote over the weekend, Joe is not against the Bucs getting James, but two things stick out. Safety seems a reach at No. 7, and the hype for James being a transcendent, one-man wrecking crew of a defender sure doesn’t seem to match the player at Florida State.

Hat tip Gil Arcia.

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.

101 Responses to ““Worst-kept Secret In The NFL Right Now””

  1. Blake_Bucsfan Says:

    Just like Booger being 99% certain the Bucs were going to take Dalvin Cook in the first round last year.

    I think we can chalk this up to pre-draft BS. Not that I’m against Derwin James, I think he would be a fine pick, but not over one of the Big 3. And I would rather us try to swing a trade down for more picks.

  2. Bucn Enough Says:

    If Nelson is there @ 7 and he picks James…See ya later Licht..
    Reference Mark Barron.

  3. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    That’s fine but it won’t help Winston or the running game! Plus he didn’t look the same after the injury! There is to much smoke here not to be a fire! So frustrating it’s a Bucs life

  4. Buc4life Says:

    I’m good with that pick if we can’t trade down and both Barkley and Chubb are gone. I understand that people want Nelson, but our defense need serious help on the back-end and James can help us in multiple ways. When we had a great defense we had leaders in all three levels; John Lynch in the secondary, Brooks and Quarles as linebackers and Sapp hyped up the defensive lineman. Right now we have Kwon as the new appointed leader on defense, but no other vocal leaders or someone get on others who are slacking. We saw that last year when no one got on Baker for playing like crap. Ayers talked big to the Microphone about being a beast but never showed it on the field or locker room, that’s why he is gone. With Curry and JPP who know what it takes to win the d-line should be greatly improved. James will help Evans, who is quiet and push Hargraves and Smith to be more accountable.

  5. Pete Says:

    Bad idea at 7

  6. onetrickpony Says:

    if that happens,somebody tell me what the love affair with FSU is all about.
    That don’t make any sense whatsoever

  7. I Bleed Pewter and Red Says:

    Because of his lack of pure elite talent he’ll never live up to the #7 pick. If he were drafted later in the 1st, and with time, he could prove to be worthy of the pick. But the demand to be an instant everyday starter and be worthy of the #7 pick is a stretch. He will be considered a bust if he struggles this year compared to players that were considered NFL ready and available at that time. i.e. Barron

  8. Sweeptheleg Says:

    Horrible pick in the top ten period.

    But it’s exactly what this franchise would do.

    This dude is not a game changer and will be out of the league in 3years.

    Only people happy about it is of course the FSU homers who think every player on their team is a sure fire hall of famer

  9. JA Says:

    If Licht passes on Nelson he should immediately be forced to resign and accept a position as talent evaluator at the Roberto Aguayo Kicking School.

  10. Big Z Says:

    I’m a Nole and dont like that pick. I”d rather have Fitzpatrick if their set on the secondary. Derwin is too boom or bust. Nelson better be off the board. Always take the player over need.

  11. Kalind Says:

    Onetrick, it’s cause look at the DBs FSU has put out the last few years. They are literally the best DBs in the league. Xavier Rhodes, Jalen Ramsey…supposedly Derwin is a better athlete than both. Aaaasnd there’s nothing saying James can’t play CB. Ramsey was primarily a FS in college.

    That being said, I am part of the trade with the Bills crowd and otherwise a proud member of the QNelson crew.

  12. Buc4life Says:

    Joe should pop in some film of James in his freshman man year when he outplayed top 5 NFL corner Jalen Ramsey when they were in the same backfield. He was also very good before Jimbo left him in to be injured in a blowout against a cupcake. FSU was experimenting with new roles for him last year which along with some rust had him out of place often. Draft the kid and let him be the SS and you’ll see the kid can play

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Joe, those of us without subscriptions to ‘Insider’ can’t get McShay’s article. McShay might be right, but he’s speculating just like everyone else. James is a much bigger reach at #7 than at least a half dozen others (maybe more). Licht is drafting for HIS future … Derwin James could potentially help us down the line, but not a game-changer like a number of others could be.

  14. BucEmUp Says:

    I’m gonna be pissed if they waste a 7th round pick on him. I’d take minkah buy they should take Nelson.

    Whatever they are starting the season 0 -3 anyway so it doesn’t matter

  15. pekkerrinne Says:

    Big Z Says:
    April 24th, 2018 at 5:58 am
    I’m a Nole and dont like that pick. I”d rather have Fitzpatrick if their set on the secondary. Derwin is too boom or bust. Nelson better be off the board. Always take the player over need.

    ^^^You only take player over need IF youre a SB contender. Bucs have major holes to fill that they couldnt address in FA. Agree with you on fitzpatrick hes a game changer.

  16. Big Country Says:

    All the Gator fans are angry cause we will have another great FSU player on the roster and Vernon Hargraves will still suck.

  17. Westernbuc Says:

    If it’s the worst kept secret it’s for a reason. Licht doesn’t slip out much

  18. El_Buc941 Says:

    I think if Tampa is after James we might as well draft down with the Bills because it’s an 80% chance he will be their at 12. We will be one pissed of fan base if we do take that route joe.i think if Saquoan falls to #4 Licht will try to trade up and if that fails it’s Nelson or Fitzpatrick. Plus Todd can be certain because like LICHT said ,there are MANY scenarios that could play out.

  19. lambchop Says:

    I’m wondering if Derwin James not giving a private workout to the Bucs was more the Bucs telling him they don’t need him taking any unnecessary risks as they have seen everything they need to see.

    This would be a great smokescreen if there ever was one. They need to have the draft earlier, this is maddening. But, this is exactly what the NFL wants. Be relevant well into NBA and NHL playoffs.

  20. Easy Says:

    If he picks Derwin James and Quenton Nelson is still on the board I’m gonna be pissed. Glazers should fire him right after if this happens

  21. lambchop Says:

    The worst-kept secret is Todd McShay sucks at mocks and he’s supposed to be grooming as Helmet Hair’s eventual replacement.

  22. TBChucky Says:

    Sure sounds like a Bucs/Licht move.. reminds me of 2016 when everyone and their brother knew they’d select Hargreaves..

  23. lambchop Says:

    Off topic – Anyone read that John Lynch said that he’ll cut Reuben Foster if he’s guilty of assault? John Lynch, by far, has impressed me as a GM. Love the fact that he’s already brought the 49ers back into respectability after Debartalo’s sister and brother-in-law laid waste to a storied franchise.

  24. bucsfanman Says:

    IMO, James is a huge reach at #7. A safety at 7 better be a game-changer and James barely stood out on a terrible defense at FSU. Imagine here without DBs!

  25. Lunchbox Says:

    My thinking is, if the “big 3” are all gone by 7, AND we can’t find a partner to trade down with, then seems to me they should go with either Denzel Ward or Vita Vea. CB is a bigger need than S, and Vea could help solidify the D-line. That said, if the “big 3” are all gone, I’d MUCH rather trade down.

  26. donuts Says:

    Smoke screen by Licht via media leak.

  27. Ocala Says:

    This false narrative that Derwin a James did not play as well after his injury does not hold water.
    Per Pro Football focus he was the number one ranked safety per his performance after his freshman year and after this past year.
    However, he was ranked even higher based on their grading after this past season.

  28. Pickgrin Says:

    So – its a trade down then….

    No chance Licht drafts James with Nelson on the board.

    The Bucs WILL draft James if Nelson, Chubb and Barkley are off the board and if there are no decent trade down offers. But that’s quite a few “ifs” to get past 1st.

  29. Seanbassak Says:

    Yeah I love how McShay says this but they keep putting Minkah to Tampa in their mocks. Makes perfect sense…

  30. Phil Says:

    We don’t need a safety at number seven. We need cornerback Denzel Ward.

  31. feelthepewterpower Says:

    “Todd, Todd, Todd” – every Buccs fan who reads the smokescreen

  32. mark2001 Says:

    Might as well let the Swinebird parrot announce all the picks if that is the case and not wait until day three.

    If we traded down and chose him as a mid round pick…fine…A good pick mid round. But at 7? Too high, and would likely be the demise of Licht as a GM.

  33. Kobe Faker Says:

    This is old news…

    Kobe Faker has already stated that Forrest is going to bypass quenten Nelson…

    You win thru the draft and its the reason why we are the bottom dwellers of the NFC south

  34. Bird Says:

    From the articles I have read…if 4 qbs go, then we will have one of the big 3 (Nelson , Chubb and Barkley). I am pretty sure licht will run to podium like oj Howard

    If not, then #7 spot is perfect area to trade up and get that 4th qb. I wouldn’t mind James , just think 7 is a few spots to high for him even though he would fit perfectly as a strong base safety on our team.

    Especially when db and running back should get our top picks focus.

  35. BetterBuccinBelieveIt Says:

    For the Sony Michel crowd (as posted by Rotoworld):

    On his GM Street podcast, The Ringer’s Mike Lombardi suggested Georgia RB Sony Michel could slip in the draft for medical reasons.

    “There’s a lot of teams telling me there’s a medical concern here, so he could slip a little bit,” said Lombardi, a longtime NFL executive who most recently worked for the Patriots. “His medical grade is a little iffy.” Lombardi admitted he doesn’t know exactly what the medical issue is. On tape, Michel is arguably the second-best running back in this class behind only Saquon Barkley.

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

  36. Frank Pillow Says:

    It’s all smoke- if the big 3 are all gone and Licht doesn’t move down, Vita Vea will be the pick at 7.

  37. passthebuc Says:

    Like they say in the movie


  38. BringBucsBack Says:

    It fits in with Licht’s past behaviors and has been “the plan” all off season: fill a couple of holes in free agency and fill another hole at seven, even if they have to reach. He has conspicuously signed no DBs in free agency!?!? CB over safety at 7, if we’re forced to pick with the big 3 gone.

    Licht seems to always be chasing positions instead of players which, is what got him here in the first place. He will take chances and that is what scares me but, you don’t reach at seven!!!

  39. Mike Johnson Says:

    Its a BucLife so nothing our Bucs do surprises me. I’ve been numb for years!!

  40. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree with what Pickgrin said….

    If all other options are exhausted, he may pick James….but I think Minkah or Ward would be better picks for us.
    With Grimes’ age…..we have to think CB.

  41. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Hell no. If we can’t get one of the big 3 and they truly want to go DB then Fitz has to be the pick.

  42. Not there yet Says:

    The glazers should for him for picking a player to you don’t want. How is everyone some kind of expert on the draft in 2018. You’ve looked at mock drafts for 4 months not realizing who’s mock drafts you were looking at? Who the media has been hoping up, what the media has been telling you is their last of players but not one gm has said anything about what players should be drafted where. None of you are professionals and too much money is already invested in the o line so I can see not going for Nelson, to much money is invested in offensive players in general to go that route

    Fixing the defense is a priority and I just think it’s stupid to say drafting a particular position is a reach, that’s how the draft works in the mind of people who have no business running an NFL organization. Licht knows what he’s doing more than the glazers, especially more than the Joe’s or his fans and Mel Kiper well there’s a reason he doesn’t do what he does for a team. Anyone we get a 7 will be a great pick certainly better than when we picked vh3

  43. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Knowing this coaching staff, they will draft Derwin James and waste a year or two of the player’s career (and our time) trying to turn him into a corner back.

  44. Joeypoppems Says:

    Ive been saying for weeks that the Bucs are going to be higher on Derwin James than people think.

    I dont think they would take him over Chubb, Nelson, or Barkley tho. So it depends on how the draft goes down.

  45. Joeypoppems Says:

    And I just gotta say. I love how when news comes out that goes against what people want it is automatically a smokescreen. But when something supports their opinion it must be true.

    Its too funny sometimes lol

  46. AncientasBUC Says:

    I’m not sure who Scouts, Inc ever has been and who listens to them, but McShay has one of the worst track records of any of the “experts”. If anything, he is a plant for disinformation, which bodes well for us. James might be the pick because the others are gone but I doubt McShay knows anything. If stories are out there, they are usually on purpose to hide something else. James is a great athlete but I agree that he had no impact for FSU. The D was awful for a lot of reasons, but James just didn’t change any games. I’d prefer Ward over James for ceiling and impact and lack of talent on roster. Really would love to trade down and have 3 or 4 picks from 20’s to 50’s range.

  47. Wausa Says:

    It was also a very poorly kept secret the Bucs were going to take Vernon Hargreaves two years ago and that was the pick.

    There are a number of variables that will ultimately determine the Bucs pick, but if Barkley, Chubb and Nelson are off the board and another team has not offered a significant trade to move up to the Bucs selection then I think there is a high probability that Derwin James is the pick.

    To me it does not matter if the Bucs select, Barkley, Chubb, Nelson or James at #7. Any of the four will be huge positive additions to the Bucs roster.

  48. Kenny Says:

    Top 10 player should be a pro bowler and all pro dont matter about the position. So is james is not a reach at 7.eric berry went 5.

  49. Wausa Says:

    People continue to not tell the truth on this board.

    Florida State Total Defense was ranked 18th in the nation last year.
    Florida State pass efficiency defense was ranked 10th in the country.

    NC State had the 58th ranked total defense last year and were ranked 55th in pass efficiency defense. Does that mean Bradley Chubb is not good? No I don’t think so.

    Penn State had the 59th ranked rushing offense last year. Does that mean Saquan Barkley is not good? Again, no I do not think so.

  50. BucFamous Says:

    I’d be happy with James at 7. I’d be even happier if we could trade down and take him later, but that would take both a partner and a fantasy. Anybody who thinks James is gonna make it out of the top 10 hasn’t been paying attention (kinda like Joe who keeps blaming James for the Seminoles defense last year and not the completely inept and dysfunctional coaching staff).

  51. doctor_berto Says:

    Any of the big 3 or James would be fine. As long as we dont take overrated Minkah.

  52. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The draft cannot come soon enough…..we all agree….We need to pick one of the big three or trade down…..we mostly agree.
    On James, Minkah, Ward…..we do not agree.

    We have had countless players paraded in front of us for months….chances are very few of them will be Bucs….(just mathematics)

  53. GreG Says:

    I love James and if Barkley and Nelson are gone at 7 I’d be thrilled taking him, but if we take him over Nelson I’m gonna be disappointed

  54. Joe Dunn Says:

    If they pass on Nelson just WHEN do they think a guy like him might be available again??? 5 yrs?? 10 yrs??

  55. Wausa Says:


    I think most rational fans agree with you.

  56. 813bucboi Says:

    im a gator fan……wouldn’t mind the pick if nelson is off the board and we have no trade down partner……

    if we go james first at 7, imo, we have to go oline in the second with sweezy and Dotson banged up…..makes sense to try and sign cj Anderson by then…..

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

  57. Reality_43 Says:

    Some people like Minka, some people like Derwin.
    They seem very similar to me in a lot of ways with respect to their ability to play all over the field in multiple positions.

    It’s possible that Derwin stands out a little because of his leadership qualities, which until recently (Kwon) have been sorely lacking in Tampa.

    I like to think of the value at pick 7 though in terms of the player we take and how much of a gap there is to the next guy, or 5 later.

    Quenton Nelson is arguably the best Guard to come out in a decade, but the next 5 are pretty good too, and COULD end up better.

    Minka is a true baller but at only 6’0 he has repeatedly had receivers jump over him for touchdowns.

    This is a quote found on Walter Football.”In Week 1, he was beaten for a jump ball in the end zone by Florida State wide receiver Auden Tate. The 6-foot-5 wideout jumped above Fitzpatrick to make the short touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone”.

    Derwin James is listed at 6’3″ and there just isn’t another safety in this draft that comes close to his size and athleticism and with the intangibles of his leadership, he is a “GREAT” pick at #7

  58. bucsfanman Says:

    Wausa- FSU’s defense was nothing like it has been in the past. That’s how high the standard is for them. 18th and they looked bad.
    I like James but lets be frank, he’s no Ramsey, Reid, or Palumalu. Those guys were taken in the latter part of the first round. James is not worth a #7, IMO.

  59. BucThatNoise Says:

    Every year, some of these so-called draft experts suffer a case of verbal diarrhea and say they are completely certain Team X is picking Player Y. And every year, most of them are dead wrong. File this under HITNTA – HOW IS THIS NEWS TO ANYONE.

    Only question is whether or not guys like McShay actually know they’re being played like a guitar, and the GM’s are all Richie Blackmore.

    This is all part of the soap opera we call the draft…and we’re basically the housewives home watching while doing laundry and burping the baby.

    No one knows who the Bucs will pick — because the Bucs don’t even know yet. Teams have player rankings and trade scenarios already laid out, and only the GM, HC, owners and maybe another couple guys high up know what these are. That info is likely written on paper or a whiteboard in someone’s office — not online, anywhere — and there ain’t no janitorial service for that room this week.

    So let’s all enjoy ourselves and watch events unfold. And by watch, I mean follow the draft on TV, because you can find out on Twitter who’s drafting who about a minute or two before the picks are announced.

  60. BK_Employee Says:

    Personally, i would like to address the secondary first. If we can get both Derwin James and Mike hughes, i would be more than pleased. Thats a total reform of the secondary and a personality change, which matches what Jason has been doing this off season.

  61. Joe Says:

    I’m wondering if Derwin James not giving a private workout to the Bucs was more the Bucs telling him they don’t need him taking any unnecessary risks as they have seen everything they need to see.


  62. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    If he passes on Nelson and takes James, he might as well let the Parrot run the franchise in 2018

  63. BucThatNoise Says:

    “If he passes on Nelson and takes James, he might as well let the Parrot run the franchise in 2018”

    I can log off now. You win the internet today with that one.

    Nelson-Jensen-Marpet could be the best interior in that division if not the conference. And the Bucs will need that caliber of line, both to open holes for RB’s and to keep chunky DT’s off Jameis.

  64. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Fitz is the closest thing to Ramsey in this draft. If a team is smart they will make him a CB and he will excel. James is overrated and is clearly not the same player before his injury. If we don’t draft him at 7 I think he will slide out of the top 15

    I’m so excited it’s almost draft time!!!

    Go Bucs!!!!!

  65. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Dusthty Rhothdes

    You just laid it down bro!! That comment was the equivalent of dropping the mic!! Love it!!!

  66. Gobucs Says:

    Big country said James is “great”

    Lmao hahahahha what a homer.

  67. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    This is not going to be a bad pick and I’ve said it from the jump right after the season ended that he will be the pick. We missed out on Ramsey a few years ago but I wasn’t angry about him going to Jacksonville and we still ended up with Hargreaves. I think Hargreaves will prove a lot of people wrong this season in his new role as a full time player at nickleback and switch some to the outside on first and second down when there’s a chance opponents run. D. James will be that improvement in the secondary that we’ve been thirsting for. Everyone on this site including me thinks Conte isn’t a fan favorite and should have been gone after 2016 in favor of Keith Tandy. We will finally have that over the top backend defender that’s necessary for our defense to be back to the old days once we draft James. Licht went out the way and got JPP in here and tipped the Giants hand in the draft in the process.
    Now that you’re finally over the big three it’s time for trade scenario which we will have if the Bills or the Cardinals want to beat one another to Baker Mayfield and M. Rudolph ( who is a forgotten gem until this point in the draft. If Baker Mayfield is on the board at #7 we are gonna get everything from the Bills or the Cardinals who will be desperately trying to get him which I think the Bills will pull the trade with the Bucs. Here’s the top five mock I’ve been posting since about a week ago. Top five will happen like this
    #1). Browns: QB Sam Darnold
    #2). Giants: DE Bradley Chubb
    #3). Jets: QB Josh Rosen
    #4). Browns: OG Quentin Nelson
    #5). Broncos: QB Josh Allen
    #6). Colts: RB Saquon Barkley
    That leaves us at #7, Bears at #8 and 49ers at #9 none of which will take a QB and we’ve done business with the Bills front office before when they were in Carolina as well as the Giants front office as well which is how we ended up with JPP. I honestly think the trade is out there to move down and why wouldn’t it be I mean fucking B. Mayfield will be there and they can steal him from the Dolphins,who I think will not draft a QB, and the Cardinals. I say the Bills offer huge ransom to Trump an offer from Licht former team the Cardinals to get at #7 but we have to be reassured that James will be out there and I think he will at #12. Here’s how it goes we trade with the Bills. We get #12, #24, and a second round pick because the Bills have a lot of picks and not a lot of needs. They just need a QB and Mayfield is their man at #7 forcing the Cardinals to wait on L. Jackson instead.
    Here’s the way things shake out if we make that trade
    #7 ). Bills: QB Baker Mayfield
    #8 ). Bears: DB M. Fitzpatrick
    #9). 49ers: LB Roquan Smith
    #10). Raiders.
    I think the Raiders will pull off a trade down with the Cardinals and allow the Cardinals to move up as well to steal L. Jackson from the Dolphins who are anther threat to draft a QB. So let’s move on to #12.
    #10). Cardinals (from Oakland): QB Lamar Jackson
    #11). Dolphins: WR Calvin Ridley ( hometown hero and transcending player that will propel the Dolphins to the playoffs. I also think they resign J. Cutler eventually as well.)
    #12) Buccaneers: voila! DB Derwin James ( our man the whole time).
    There you have it Joe as far as the top 10 and how it will go pick by pick and the clinching argument for Licht to make the trade. Wait til draft night when this goes down exactly as I’ve said. The scenario isn’t finished because we are not done dealing. The Pats who are more in a rush to replace Brady than the Saints to find an heir to Brees so they wanna move back in the draft and collect more picks to completely turnover a roster that has aged quite a bit and constantly been taking away from due to free agency see they will get M. Rudolph in the second so we trade our two second round selections because remember we got an extra second round pick from the Bills desperation now we get two more from the Pats thinks to them being the smart asses they are we trade 2 second round picks, and Two sixth round picks to get their two first round selections which are #21 & #31. Remember we still have another first round pick to go from the Bills after we make this trade as well. That would give us four first round picks let’s gets into that scenario that has been evolving all off season as well and Licht has acknowledge that he’s been in trade talks with the Patriots as well for #7. The move would be a reward for wait for the Patriots to as they would dominate day 2 with four picks just as we can dominate day 1 with four picks. The Bills are acknowledge willingness to move up with their draft capital and the Patriots are known for trading down for more capital. They would have three sixth round selections as well for some of the development players I’ve seen the Bucs typing up. I say we keep that fourth and draft Hill from Sam Houston St. as well. We can honestly make this deal if Licht buys into Buffalo and wait for D. James and get on the phone with the Patriots and sell them trading out the first round like hell because if we have four first round picks we would ensure a QB falls to them in the second round like M. Rudolph the wild card player I mentioned earlier. We need to start hyping this scenario because it’s very real and probably will happen to. The Buccaneers officials have openly been talking trade with the Bills and Patriots so let’s see if Licht is a true wheeler and dealer

  68. Pistol Pete Says:

    I am not a fan but Brugler appears to be:

    Sorry, Joe doesn’t permit any thing more than small excerpts of others’ copyrighted work. He didn’t type it up to be read in full here.–Joe

  69. Pistol Pete Says:

    Is this better?
    SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Florida State, James made an immediate impact for the Seminoles as a do-everything defender, logging snaps at linebacker (MIKE and SAM), nickel corner, outside corner and various safety depths – did just about everything on his Florida State tape except put his hand on the ground. However, college safeties without defined roles are tough to evaluate and James is no exception. He showed clear rust in his return from injury in 2017, but he still moved at a different speed than everyone else on the field and his physical gifts make him a high-upside player. He is one of the best blitzing defensive backs to enter the NFL in recent memory and with improved urgency, he can be an impact run defender in the league. Overall, James is a better athlete than polished football player right now and projects best as a “big” nickel defender where he can do a little bit of everything and mature into a top-flight starter.

  70. Buccernutter Says:

    What’s with all the negativity on James? I’m a Gators fan and I’d be down if the big 3 are gone and no trade options. Dude has been compared to Earl Thomas by many outlets. Fsu’s defense sucked. Hard to shine in that situation.

    Minkah is also best fit in a free safety role and no matter what anyone says Evans was good and could be great. Derwin would complement him a lot.

    Either way I think I’ll be happy Thursday night. But I would trade down if at all possible.

  71. mark2001 Says:

    Dusthty …you mean allowing a swinebird to run the franchise?

  72. 813bucboi Says:


    I like that….I hope it works out that way…..james@#12 would be perfect…..

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

  73. Pickgrin Says:

    “trade down if at all possible”

    Yup – we have multiple needs and trading down would give us the best chance of filling them all in one draft.

    CB, RB, OG are all serious “needs” meaning we don’t have legit NFL starters on the team right now. Its a great crop of prospects for all 3 of those positions so if we can trade down and get even 1 extra pick in the top 50 we can take a good stab at filling all those needs with good young prospects by about 9:30pm on Friday night.

    Josh Jackson/Hernandez/Rashaad Penny

    Sony Michel/Jaire Alexander/Ragnow


    I would be happy with any of those outcomes with our high picks this year

  74. JOSHUA L gillilan Says:


  75. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Let McShay convince all the teams of that. Maybe that was a team won’t jump ahead of us for who we really want.

  76. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Didn’t McShay get like 2 draft predictions right last year?

  77. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    With JPP on one side, could you imagine if they picked Landry? Even if its at 7?

    That Dline would be deadly.

  78. BucTrooper Says:

    As much as I love D James, it’s too high for a safety. We are making the Mark Barron mistake all over again.

  79. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The number one biggest need after the season was Defensive Line. Liicht fixts a good part of it…but there is still one spot that needs to be addressed.

    So address the other defensive end spot and the line will be dominant for the next 5 years.

    If you make that line killer, watch how quickly our existing secondary improves.

  80. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Pick 1 Chubb or Nelson if either is available.

    Pick 2? The opposite line.

    Rnd 4? RB.

    Then worry about things like the secondary.

  81. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Frank Pillow Says:
    April 24th, 2018 at 7:57 am
    It’s all smoke- if the big 3 are all gone and Licht doesn’t move down, Vita Vea will be the pick at 7.
    Minkah Fitz is BPA at that point.

  82. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Buccernutter Says:
    April 24th, 2018 at 10:44 am
    What’s with all the negativity on James? I’m a Gators fan and I’d be down if the big 3 are gone and no trade options. Dude has been compared to Earl Thomas by many outlets. Fsu’s defense sucked. Hard to shine in that situation.

    Minkah is also best fit in a free safety role and no matter what anyone says Evans was good and could be great. Derwin would complement him a lot.

    Either way I think I’ll be happy Thursday night. But I would trade down if at all possible.
    You can’t have enough free safeties in today’s nfl due to increasing three receiver sets, pass volume injuries, and …its the second most important position in the nfl on defense these days. Fitz’s versatility is so-so valuable…Fitz can even play in the box ala James, he’s a malcom jenkins clone that is more physical. We’d be getting an elite transformative db in Fitz at seven.

  83. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    I still think that Jalen Rose has made James draft stock rise. Lot’s of fans see another big defensive back and immediately see Rose and the impact he had with the Jags. I suspect there is only one Jalen Rose. He’s an exceptional player.

    Is James really that exceptional? Not enough to pick him over Nelson if he’s there and in fact I’d rather trade down and get multiple picks than select any DB at #7.

  84. KfromFLA Says:

    The only thing that will keep Derwin James out of a Bucs uniform is Barkley.

  85. unbelievable Says:

    And why would anyone care what McShay thinks? He’s not very accurate in his predictions outside the top 4 spots:

    McShay offers some useful insight to into predicting which teams will draft offensive tackles (52.2%), wide receivers (47.1%) and linebackers (46.2%). As we alluded to earlier, McShay has been consistent with the first four picks in each draft. In fact, he has only missed one of those picks in the last five years.

    While McShay is great at picking the top four, he is awful at picking who will go fifth. McShay has issues with predicting players at the running and defensive backs position. McShay is only correct in predicting running backs 15.4% of the time, and has not correctly predicted a running back since the 2008 NFL Draft. Considering defensive backs have been one of the most popular selections in the last five years, McShay’s 17.4% rate of correct predictions is sad to say the least.

  86. NJBucsFan Says:

    I like that McShay has us picking James at 7. I know it will be someone else now since he is always wrong.

  87. Gator4life1 Says:

    I find it so funny that a good amount of people find safety a reach at 7 but a guard at 7 isn’t. lmfao! Wake up everyone

  88. Buccernutter Says:


    That’s true and all but do you really think we’ll draft a free safety at #7 a year removed from taking one in the second when we have huge holes at cornerback and running back? Even dt and guard are bigger needs.

  89. jmarkbuc Says:


    Jalen Rose is/was an NBA player no?

  90. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    So the Browns will take Nelson over Barkley….that’s when i quit reading your essay.

    And Bonz I agree Landry and JPP would be a great line.

    This is simple imo…if Nelson is there at 7 we run our pick up to the commish. This of course implies 4 QB and Chubb n Barkley are taken ahead of us.If Nelson is gone and we can’t get a trade down partner we have to take the bpa, which is easily Fitz.

    Fitz would make a great FS, which we don’t need, but he even said himself that he would prefer to play CB. He will be a star in this league just like he was in Bama.

  91. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    He means Ramsey not Rose

  92. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:


    Guard just happens to be a crucial piece in today’s football. Interior defensive lineman are not just the run stoppers anymore. This puts just as much importance on having a strong interior to protect your QB and RB.

    And Nelson is not your average guard. He is a day one all pro talent. Plus a good D Line helps out a secondary more than any other thing.

  93. since1976GoBucs Says:

    Minkah is way better than Derwin , just look at the film. Nelson better be the pick at 7 if he is available , if not Fitzpatrick will be just fine.

  94. Capt.Tim Says:

    Harold Landry has great edge speed.
    But hes 6’2”, 250#.
    Noah Spence exactly. Both these guys would be fantastic as a rush linebacker.
    Dont think either will ever hold up as a hand on the ground DE in a 4-3 defense.

    Take a look at Sam Hubbard. He would be a good Strongside DE.
    Not great, but good. Isnt really a Great DE in this draft- including Chubb

    Thats the good and bad thing about this draft. Has a Ton of really good players.
    Only has one or Two great players.
    Barkley, Arnold. Meybe Mayfield.

    Nelson? Dont see Greatness. James? Never looked great in college. Ward? To frail to stand up to big recievers.
    If possible- a trade downnor two would be perfect.
    And there are a couple possible partners
    Hope Licht is talking to the Bills .

  95. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    I am down with whoever they choose. I trust the process.

  96. OneBuc55 Says:

    Go Noles!

    Justin Evans and Derwin James, love it…James is a top 5 player in this draft imo…If he played his college ball at Bama instead of FSU he’d be rated in the top 5 instead of top 10…He can have the same kind of impact Jaylen Ramsey had in Jacksonville…

  97. NFLNut Says:


    Many expect 3 QBs and Saquon, Chubb and Nelson to all be gone when the Bucs #7 pick rolls around … and if that happens, Derwin would be a fine choice, and really the only choices the Bucs would have would be Derwin, Minkah or Denzel Ward … personally I think 4 QBs go in the top 6 picks though … we’ll see what happens.


  98. MattSpy05 Says:

    No one knows if Minkah or Nelson or James is going to be better…it’s a crap shoot….arguing about this is pointless.

  99. SOEbuc Says:

    Todd, it’s called smoke you dumbass. And it gets very thick two days before the draft. You know jack sh#t about what is going down at OBP with Licht or any other team (unless they’re very dumb). Derwin James is not worth a #7 pick and if he is taken over Nelson, I’m gonna get that freakin parrot to peck Licht’s eyes out.

  100. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I don’t get all the love for Derwin James. Watching the film Fitzpatrick is so much more dynamic. Dude is fast as hell and just electric. This shouldn’t even be up for debate. Honestly James doesn’t seem like anything special at all. If they take him with that 7th pick I think that would be a huge mistake.

  101. denjoe Says:

    It would be a dumb effing pick! If He’s that stupid, this will be his last year.
    If he can’t Identify his teams worst needs, he shouldn’t be a GM!