Road Grading To The Bucs

February 1st, 2020

Could Bucs pick a cornfed?

This will get the build-the-trenches crowd all hot in the pants.

Helmet hair Mel Kiper decided to put out the first of his 50 or so mock drafts for BSPN (which one will he really believe in, who the hell knows?).

And probably the most honest element of his Bucs pick (this week) is that Kiper admits there’s no way to guess what the Bucs will do at No. 14 because they have so many questions to answer in free agency.

That’s the truth!

Just look at the list of key free agents the Bucs will (Joe assumes) try to bring back:

Shaq Barrett
Jameis Winston
Jason Pierre-Paul
Ndamukong Suh
Breshad Perriman

Which ones return and which leave for bigger paydays is thoroughly unknown, but Joe thinks it is fair to suggest at least one from that list will not be back. It’s hard to believe the Bucs can find a way to keep all five.

Kiper decided to target a position the Bucs may be most likely to fill in the draft — and not bring back the incumbent starter, right tackle and soon-to-be free agent Demar Dotson.

Kiper looked to the perfect neck of the woods to find an offensive lineman. That would be a guy raised in cornfed country: Iowa right tackle Tristan Wirfs.

This is another tough team to peg because we don’t yet know whether it will bring back quarterback Jameis Winston or breakout pass-rusher Shaquil Barrett, who are both free agents. The Bucs also could lose defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh, Carl Nassib, Jason Pierre-Paul and Beau Allen in free agency. That’s a lot of unknowns, and the entire defensive line could be addressed here, really, particularly if Bruce Arians & Co. spot a pass-rusher they like. Because this is my mock draft, though, I see a perfect fit for Wirfs on the right side of the line with Demar Dotson likely leaving in free agency. Wirfs is powerful at the point of attack and tremendous in the running game.

That may be a good pick and a good guess. And let’s be honest, a mock draft in late January or early February is a total guess.

Here’s the way Joe would handle it: If the Bucs believe Philip Rivers is the best quarterback to close out Bucco Bruce Arians’ days on the sidelines, then the Bucs better draft a quarterback at No. 14 to take over for Rivers in 2021 or 2022.

Besides, if the Bucs are able to keep most of their free agents (sans Jameis), hopefully the Bucs won’t be drafting this high for a while so they better get a quarterback now.

Jordan Love or Jacob Eason, you pick.

44 Responses to “Road Grading To The Bucs”

  1. Swampbuc Says:

    Jordan Love or Jacob Eason?

    Not a snowball’s chance in anyone’s hell.

  2. Jean Lafitte Says:

    At #14 if they take a tackle, hopefully a left tackle at #14

    I think Alabama’s LT Jedrick Wills Jr is of better value at #14 before RT Tristan Wirfs. Although Wirfs is a fine player, Licht would do the organization a solid with trying to upgrade the LT whenever the possibility presents itself before drafting down for a RT. If the newly drafted LT ends up being better than what you have you’ve lost nothing but gained a better LT and now you can move the lesser to be a very good RT.

  3. Jean Lafitte Says:

    After the 1st round and the 5th year option it doesn’t matter what order you draft.

  4. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Jordan Love or Jacob Eason (Barf emoji)

  5. Dan Says:

    I will never complain when my team drafts offensive line.

  6. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    Anyone suggesting Eason or Love with pick 14 should put themselves on immediate 5 day leave from JBF.
    I agree with what Jean said. I will add if the best three OTs are off the board at 14, take Kinlaw. Build these trenches, it is the most physical teams that dominate games. Bucs have made strides for sure but we still need some more dogs in these trenches.
    I also was daydreaming of how formidable our Oline would be if we drafted 6’7 370lb OT Mekhi Becton and an explosive guard @ 6’3 310 Netane Muti. Let’s just say even Joe would be able to run through those holes.

  7. Larry Says:

    Anything over 20 mil, for one prove it year, is too much for Winston. I think Teddy Bridgewater is the better QB, both on and off the field. No drama and minimal turnovers. Winston is not as far along as he should be after 5 years in the NFL. Winston can show up at One Buc Place at 5 am every morning to workout but if you can’t stop the turnovers, what good does it do??? Sign a good free agent QB and draft one at 14. That has worked pretty well for the Patriots but then they wouldn’t put up with Winston’s turnovers or his off the field problems. Time to move on from Winston!!!

  8. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs almost can’t lose by going OLine OR DLine in the 1st Rnd because we have NEEDS in BOTH trenches. If we go OLine, I agree with Jean that we should draft someone who can play LT and RT. That gives our OLine the optimal flexibility & higher quality backup than we now have if Donovan stays at LT. It also starts balancing out our OLine in terms of age AND cost. Bucs have too many high-priced OLinemen & DLinemen as it is; we need to draft quality starters on a regular basis instead of in spurts (like JL has been doing) to spread out the costs over more years.

    Replacing Jameis with a 2nd-tier rookie QB ‘ain’t gonna happen’ under BA’s watch IMO, unless it’s as a injury replacement. Perhaps a QB like Burrows could run it (perhaps) but I can’t see Love or Eason at the helm as a rookie (it’s too demanding). Personally think that BA is more flexible than many give him credit for, but not THAT flexible as to scrap his ‘Bombs Away’ philosophy. I also do think that Jameis will cut down on the INTs this year IF he returns (which is still anybody’s guess at this point), mostly because BA & BL will modify what THEY’RE asking the QB position to do. They can’t afford a repeat of last year.

    But I keep coming back to the notion that IF we improve the OLine, and IF we improve the running game, and IF we keep at least 3 quality receivers, and IF we ‘simplify’ the offensive philosophy somewhat, and IF we improve our defense … then WHY do we need to pay a QB $25-$35 mil a year to run the resultant TEAM? If our QB, whoever it ends up being, isn’t a ‘force multiplier’ to compensate for weaknesses created because we paid him the big bucks, then he doesn’t deserve the big bucks. Very few QBs do IMO. Build a more BALANCED TEAM.

  9. AlanBucsfan Says:

    Great last paragraph!

  10. martinii Says:

    I to agree with DR. Team sport strive for balance and consistency. To pay $30 to $35 mil ro proven loser is insane. No way after 5 years of perpetual losing, especially with receiving weapons available is he going to change. Best run game in league won’t improve pick six tendency. OL or DL at 14, depending on FA, Best available Draft QB to back up FA game manager. Finally focus on run game. Opinions are like A-holes everybody has one.

  11. D1 Says:


    Do you think BA was the best choice for the team?

    I believe you’ve summarized (in paragraph 2 and 3) the current state of the team. More than that though, imo, you’ve identified a larger issue with the team. That being, the current team and all that it requires to contend for a championship vs BA and his stated goals and all things BA.

    I’m not including management but I think it’s reasonable to assume that there’s 3 sides to consider in this case.

    Looking at the team from 30,000 ft, do you think there’s a problem with the BA

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    No one has suggested this but we could give up a #1 from next year to accomplish our goals of a QB & RT…….
    Take the best RT @ 14 and take a 2nd from this year and 1st from next year to move into the first round to pick a QB….
    Just a thought….
    Saving money on Winston will allow us to bring back most, if not all, of our FAs….

  13. Buczilla Says:

    I’m cool getting this dude at 14 or another o lineman. A d lineman is fine with me too. Unless Love or Eason blow up the combine or their pro day, I don’t see them being drafted this high. TDN in one of their 50 billion mock drafts has us taking Kinlaw at 14 and trading back into the first round at 27 to take Eason. I’m down with that too.

    All this speculation is fun and interesting in January, but it’s mostly bs like Joe says. After the combine and pro days the guessing becomes much more legit.

  14. Eric Says:

    If the Bucs bring Phillip dead arm Rivers here ot should tell every fan this organization don’t give a damn about winning. Tired of watching good players walk out door pay your home grown talent and don’t let a coach the QB whisper my ass it real easy to do when you have the talent tell me one QB that BA has devolved that was considered a top notch QB wake up people!

  15. Allbuccedup Says:

    If the Bucs can’t trade up to get Burrow or Herbert they should draft the best offensive tackle available. Then in the second or third pick a quarterback.

  16. D-Rome Says:

    Mock drafting is dumb and I can’t believe people take them seriously or that people have jobs based on fake drafting.

  17. Tony1775 Says:

    I would rather have Ben 2.0, Iowa QB Nate Stanley. He will be a gem.

  18. SteveK Says:

    Mock draft Sunday:

    Round 1 Pick 14: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa (A)
    Round 2 Pick 13: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State (A+)
    Round 3 Pick 12: JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State (A+)
    Round 4 Pick 11: Larrell Murchison, DT, NC State (A+)
    Round 4 Pick 36 (COMP): Ben Bartch, OT, St. John’s (A+)
    Round 5 Pick 15: Glen Logan, DT, LSU (A+)
    Round 6 Pick 15: Donell Stanley, OG, South Carolina (A+)

  19. Bucsfanman Says:

    D1- That’s an interesting perspective! If I’m understanding your point, you’re saying that BA’s coaching style/scheme, “No risk it…” could in fact be too risky to the detriment of the team? Perhaps that his lack of balance, if you will, hinders the team regardless of the position?
    It would have to dominate the QB decision on every level. A 2nd tier rookie QB would likely struggle and cost wins. To keep Jameis is to accept his turnovers.
    Admittedly, I like the Arians hire. However, in the case at QB, it does leave us in a pickle!

  20. Bucsfanman Says:

    OL, OL, OL! We MUST improve this group.

  21. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    You do realize that you can’t just switch a guy from LT to RT one lineman said it’s like being left handed and trying to write with your right hand? It’s not so simple…

  22. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    SMH! This team averaged 30 points a game without a running game. You think some second rate QB (yes both Love & Eason are second rate) or game manager is going to give us a better chance at winning?

    To the guy that wants game manager Bridgewater, two things: 1) He isn’t going to leave a great team like the Saints when he is Brees’ heir apparent right now and 2) If he were to leave he would get paid somewhere in the mid 20s. You guys act like one of these game manager potential free agents will play for free.

    If they bring in a 38 year old QB they are essentially in rebuild mode. When he retires in a year or two we would have to waste a few more years of watching our scrub QB that we reached for in the 2020 draft flame out, and then start all over with searching for a real answer at QB.

  23. Defense Rules Says:

    Allbuccedup … The NFL is littered with mid-round QBs who turn out to be decent backups but never quite hack it as long-term starters. 6th-Rnd picks like Brady are definitely the exception rather than the rule. I’m skeptical I guess of spending a 2nd or 3rd Rnd pick on a QB to sit behind Jameis (or whoever), in anticipation that he’d be our starter next year. Would much rather see us beef up the OLine or RB stable or DLine with our 2nd and/or 3rd Rnd picks … guys who can help us RIGHT NOW. Hopefully.

    D1 … That’s an interesting question & one that none of us are even remotely qualified to answer I’m sure. BA’s track record speaks for itself. As a HC, I think he’s been great for the Bucs. I might be wrong, but I also see him as our de facto GM & I really like the FA & draft moves he made last year. JL had this team in a really bad spot salary Cap-wise IMO, and that really tied BA’s hands. But as the old saying goes, ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’. And BA surely did. He ‘blows a lot of smoke’ IMO, BUT that’s who he is and it’s quite entertaining. Look past that though & this past year the Bucs improved markedly as the year wore on. To me, THAT’S a critical mark of a well-coached TEAM.

    I absolutely love having Todd Bowles as our DC, but admittedly don’t feel the same way about Byron Leftwich. Our offense accumulated a LOT of yardage & a LOT of points, but at a prohibitive COST IMO. Jameis is largely responsible for that I think, but the OFFENSIVE SYSTEM needs to share a big part of the blame. What I call the ‘Bombs Away’ attack philosophy seems to place some very different demands on QBs than most other offensive systems, and I’m not convinced that’s good.

    I think that Jameis’ 30 INTs is largely a SYMPTOM of a system that relies too heavily on the deeper strike as opposed to the closer-in attack that’s more like what QBs like Brees seem to be using nowadays. In other words, get the ball to your ‘play-makers’ quicker and depend on them to ‘make plays’. Of course there is one little thingie that’s needed to make a system like that work also: Play-makers. And more than just a couple of top-tier WRs.

  24. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    Wirfs would be a great pick but he’s very versatile and is projected to play any line position.

    Unfortunately, I have never seen a mock where he falls out of the top ten. I have seen some mocks that had 5 OL in the top 10.

  25. WestChap Says:

    DR, 30 INTs is not solely a symptom of the system… its also a direct result of the QB’s judgment, ball placement and tendencies. JW reads the field too slowly, falls into habits and is too inaccurate to thrive in the kinds of fast-paced, pinpoint offenses Brees and Brady use.

    He likely needs a slower developing scheme to allow him to process what he’s seeing and a larger target zone with designed jump balls to allow his receivers to compensate for his inaccuracy. In other words, I think JW’s talent set actually dictates having the vertical schemes we’ve had the last 4 years.

  26. El Buco Realisto Says:

    So many holes on this roster!!!!!!!!!!! And the local media won’t say a word about the gm going I to his 7th offseason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Accountability my A$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. LargoBuc Says:

    I love Wirfs. He would be a hell of an addition and fill a need.

  28. Jonzey Says:

    Get Wirfs in the 1st , running back in the 2nd sign JW, JPP, SB, and Suh please

  29. BigMacAttack Says:

    I’d wait until 2021’ to draft the QB. Right now, I’m still thinking Trevor Lawrence. Make the trade to move up and get him. I like finding an OT in the first round.

  30. stpetebucsfan Says:

    There are least four OT’s who would help the Bucs and I support any of them at #14. I do not wish to gamble a #1 draft pick on a QB regardless of the JW decision.

    D.R. I love your “force multiplier” term. Come from your military background?

    It expresses the core of many or our arguments against JW. He’s been viewed as the “savior” and a “force multiplier”. He has never come close to living up to that “force multiplier” term…instead he’s been the whiny excuse multiplier. ALL of his failures are blamed on someone else.

    And I think we agree there are not that many “FM’s” in the league..obviously it starts with Mahomes but certainly does NOT include Garrapolo. Two teams with different types of QB’s in the SB.

    So I’m for building a great team that doesn’t REQUIRE an “FM”. A team that could win it all with say a…Brad Johnson…Trent Dilfer…Joe Flacco…NONE of these guys were FM’s…the ONE common denominator was a GREAT defense!
    I think we have a foundation in place to begin building that great D.

    IF JW cannot realize he is NOT a “force multiplier” but a liability and simply play his position as part of a TEAM I think we’re hosed. If JW unloaded his cognitive dissonance and didn’t NEED to be the straw that stirs the drink but rather simply an integral piece to the entire puzzle I think our D is already enough to win.

    So we draft that big hulking RT…find a smashmouth RB who can also unload some devastating blocks and then use the rest of the draft BPA leaning towards the defensive side of the ball.

    BTW in Joe’s list above..a no brainer..Perriman is gone!

  31. SteveK Says:


    I think the QB has an elongated release, holds the ball to long on average, and the decision making/timing isn’t always there. With that said, he has the heart of a lion and a big time arm. The penchant for giveaways and overall losses have numbed my excitement for him to lead us to the playoffs. I would be excited about trying something different after five, long years.

  32. james west Says:

    me too stevek i’ve had enough, and his last pic 6 in overtime sealed the deal for me, enough is enough

  33. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Bucsfanman Says:
    “OL, OL, OL! We MUST improve this group.”


    No doubt.
    Brady will demand it.

  34. Bucs Guy Says:

    I would be very happy with Wirfs at #14. If we go with an old QB, I could accept Eason.
    Stay as far away from Love as possible. He’s Freeman 2.0. No work ethic, bad decisions off the field and only relies on his athletic ability. His potential tops out at holding a clipboard.

  35. Bucs Guy Says:

    Get a game manager (Rivers, Dalton, Bridgewater – even Tayson Hill) in FA and draft as everyone is saying – OL, DL, RB, WR. Pick up a S in FA.

    My philosophy on the draft is you should pick an OL or DL in the 1st or 2nd round every year. Why? It’s numbers. There are 5 OL and 4 DL starters. These positions also rotate more than most others because they are the most physically demanding. Players normally only last 10-12 years in these positions if you’re fortunate. Studies have shown if you want a 10 year starter in these positions, you better get them in the 1st or 2nd round. Do the math, that comes out to picking at least one lineman every year in the 1st or 2nd. Also, as every one knows, there are usually not too many high quality lineman in FA because teams know if you have a really good one you better pay him because other teams will overpay for him.

  36. Defense Rules Says:

    StPete … “Straw that stirs the drink’? That’s awesome. And I agree that solid TEAMS don’t need a ‘FM’ to succeed. But they do need a fundamentally solid QB who can efficiently & effectively distribute the ball to the TEAM’S play-makers without ALSO distributing it to the OTHER team’s play-makers.

    WestChap … Didn’t mean to imply that Jameis’ 30 INTs were SOLELY a symptom of the ‘Bombs Away’ system. Surely they’re not. Jameis has always thrown more than his share of INTs, even in college. But this past year … his 1st year in BA’s system … his INTs went off-the-charts IMO. Just as significantly I think, his Pick-6’s went off-the-charts. Bad luck? Perhaps, but as someone mentioned awhile back, it MIGHT have more to do with his not adequately seeing & processing the underneath coverages. Jameis has 11 Pick-6’s in his 5 year career … SEVEN of them happened in 2019. Bad luck? When he only had 4 Pick-6’s in 4 years prior to that?

    Strange thing is that watching Mahomes in these playoff games showed me something I don’t see all that often in Jameis. Even when Mahomes starts scrambling for his life, he seems to be totally IN CONTROL for some reason. He keeps surveying the field and it’s like he has extra eyes in his head and a ‘sixth sense’. And when he does spot that opportunity to make a play … amidst all that scrambling … the ball’s gone & it seems to be virtually instantaneous. A truly remarkable talent IMO. Plus Andy Reid’s offensive play designs are outstanding & give Mahomes lots of options it appears to get the ball to his play-makers.

    That’s not Jameis from what I’ve seen, particularly not the IN CONTROL part. Oh he can make some awesome plays on the run, but he can just as easily NOT make the plays. Or even worse, make bad plays it seems. And it’s certainly not BA’s offensive system. Too ‘plodding’ IMO.

  37. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    DR – Jameis is one of the best QBs when on the run. In fact there was recently an article about how good Jameis is in these situations right here on JBF. We need Lord Cornelius to chime in with his database of info. DR just making stuff up at this point.

  38. mark2001 Says:

    Agree regarding the QB pick… if Arians thinks the guy he wants is there. Hopefully we will be picking in the bottom part of the first round in the future.

  39. 813bucboi Says:

    wheres @LUV!!!!!!!!!!!

    draft prospects are his expertise!!!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  40. mark2001 Says:

    DR does have a point about Mahomes…he often seems to find the open guy when the play breaks down. His vision, reaction, and touch on the ball are superior to most QB’s in that situation.

    Simms and Florio took their top six…alternating.. Simms said three are 1. Wilson, 3. Mahomes, 5.Rodgers. And Florio said 2. Trubisky, 4.Murray, 6. Watson.

    Jameis wasn’t in the discussion.

  41. mark2001 Says:

    They were their top scrambling QB’s. When the play breaks down. Not designed run QB’s. And that is what you seem to be talking about when talking about running QB’s and Jameis.

  42. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Yes Mark, that is what he is talking about and the numbers don’t bear out their top six. Look at the numbers and Jameis is one of the best in the NFL when the rolls out/scrambles.

  43. mark2001 Says:

    TDTB.. not saying Jameis doesn’t have some good numbers when scrambling… and some bad ones too. But too many variables in just looking at those numbers… and I don’t know how you really judge that… after all, even the decision to scramble may be dictated by many factors. In my mind, he does well as a whole in those situations… but you wouldn’t want him to scramble more… too much risk for injury. Nor do you want him to just hang in their and take a sack in the pocket.

  44. Defense Rules Says:

    TDTB … ‘DR just making stuff up at this point.’ Need to read the whole thing TDTB before you chastise others for not agreeing with you. I STARTED with “That’s not Jameis from what I’ve seen”. It was just a personal observation, that’s what the ‘FROM WHAT I’VE SEEN’ was kinda indicating.

    I’m fairly aware of what many say about his scrambling prowess. Jameis’ supporters have beaten that to death over the past several years. Maybe I could’ve put it better that … IN MY OPINION … Jameis is good at scrambling, but has trouble knowing when to give up on a play. And THAT’S what often gets him into trouble. Mahomes for the most part doesn’t seem to share that attribute … IN MY OPINION. Feel free to disagree; I’m just telling you what I’ve seen. That’s hardly ‘making stuff up’. It’s called ‘an opinion’.

    Oh and TDTB, there’s a difference between a designed rollout and scrambling … IN MY OPINION. Personally wish that the Bucs would use the designed rollout a lot more than we do.