A Bucs Guide To What Won’t Happen In Round 1

April 13th, 2020

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As Roger Goodell prepares to conduct the 2020 draft from his basement, the Bucs are thinking about the NFL penthouse.

For the first time since 2008, Jon Gruden’s final season on the Tampa sidelines, this franchise has declared itself all in. A short window has opened for Tom Brady and Bruce Arians to turn this team into an NFC power — and that sense of urgency will have a dramatic impact on the draft process.

It’s all about immediate impact now. Let other clubs try their hand at developing prospects with raw potential and meager production. Any Buc chosen with a premium pick has to help now — before Arians and Brady drive off in that golf car toward the No. 1 tee box or the broadcast booth.

If the Bucs remain at their spot in the opening round, you don’t need to be Mel Kiper or Todd McShay to figure out what players are in the mix.

Jason Licht will have little use for the poker shades on April 23, explains Ira Kaufman.

The Bucs are being coy, of course, but here are the spots Jason Licht and company figure to avoid at No. 14.

QUARTERBACK: Even if Justin Herbert is still on the board, the Bucs will say no thank you because he won’t be a factor this fall … unless Brady is injured. Booger McFarland says the Bucs will likely take a quarterback in the 2021 draft, and that scenario makes more sense. Move on, nothing to see here.

RUNNING BACK: Tampa Bay desperately needs a pass-catching back, but the value isn’t there at No. 14. It’s not far-fetched to project a trade back into the late stages of the first round for a highly-rated runner, but taking one at 14 seems unlikely.

WIDE RECEIVER: When you already have the league’s premier tandem in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, you don’t need to grab another wideout in the first round, especially in a draft overflowing with attractive targets.

TIGHT END: Why would you take one at No. 14 when you expect Brady to bring out the best in O.J. Howard, a first-round pick only three years ago? Add in sure-handed Cameron Brate and it’s no wonder Brady is excited to once again have credible options at the position.

LINEBACKER: Lavonte David is still in his prime and Devin White represents the future, so it’s unlikely Tampa Bay will go here in the first round.

CORNERBACK: After loading up at this position a year ago, Jason Licht has to think enough is enough. The young guys, Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis in particular, came on strong.

SAFETY: There simply isn’t enough value at No. 14 to go here, although safety could legitimately be considered a position of need. This seems more like a third-round consideration.

KICKER: Enough said.

So where does this leave us?

The smart money rests in the trenches, especially the offensive line. Now that you landed Brady, you have to protect him two ways – keep the opposition off No. 12 and give him a credible ground game.
If any of the big four — Tristan Wirfs, Andrew Thomas, Mekhi Becton or Jedrick Wills — are still available, it’s hard to see Tampa Bay taking a pass. A road-grader at right tackle would be a major upgrade.

Couple that addition with a skilled running back and the Bucs could boast offensive balance for the first time since Dirk Koetter was calling plays for Lovie Smith in 2015.

LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson

A robust running game would also enhance the effectiveness of Brady’s play-action and keep Tampa Bay’s defense fresh.

Grabbing an edge rusher or defensive tackle at No. 14 also makes sense because Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Suh have played a lot of football. Derrick Brown won’t be there, but a Javon Kinlaw or a K’Lavon Chaisson would look spiffy in those new uniforms.

There’s one prospect who could tear up this script — if he’s available.

Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons, a classic tweener between linebacker and safety, probably will be long gone by No. 14. Should Simmons still be on the board, the Bucs should swallow hard and take him because Todd Bowles will find a way to maximize his impact.

Otherwise, it’s time for a little trench warfare.

Ira with his good friend Sean Sullivan, general manager of Bill Currie Ford, Tampa’s first family of Ford. Sean will help you personally in any way he can. It’s the Bill Currie way. Click Ira’s nose to visit BillCurrieFord.com.

35 Responses to “A Bucs Guide To What Won’t Happen In Round 1”

  1. ZZbuc Says:

    It has to be OL…..RB Edge LB saftey has to wait for later rounds…….You can´t have a 43 talented not very movable QB without great protection , and today we dont have that….I would be very surprise if they don´t do it……

  2. AwshBucs Says:

    One of the big 4 OT’s falling to us at 14 is obviously the most ideal scenario. Especially if its Mekhi Becton. Dude is a freak and could honestly end up being a Jonathon Ogden type of player. Just too big and too athletic to handle.

    I can easily envision him taking over for Donovan Smith at LT eventually as well.

    Becton and Swift/Edwards-Helaire/Akers in the 2nd would be ideal.

  3. Craig Says:

    There are only three or four possibly great safeties in this draft. The Bucs should trade down, get an extra second round pick and take one of those top safeties.

    The hard part about O-line guys is that some of the best looking prospects can never succeed in the NFL. Take one in the 2nd, along with a RB.

    3rd round take a QB. Gordon, Morgan, Stanley and Davidson should all still be there.

    4th-6th stock up on linemen on both sided of the ball.

  4. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I think we will take one of the big 4 offensive linemen, and if they are gone, watch us trade down for more picks

  5. Bucsfanman Says:

    But get the right guy, please. Do your homework on these guys. Fanman is predicting a dynasty arising to the sound of cannons!!!

  6. Sport Says:

    Ira is spot on! So much common sense.

    Can’t wait to hear from the trolls about how this is a bad plan as our team is ruined forever.

    In BA I Trust!

  7. Ivan The Insider Says:

    100% —-> RUNNING BACK, 1ST ROUND.

    Bucs are going RB in the 1st round. They’ll end up with either Swift or Taylor, whichever they think is the best back in the Draft.

    ‘Maybe’ they can trade down 7-10 spots and add some extra picks and then draft Swift/Taylor in the 20s somewhere of the first round. But it wouldn’t shock me to see them go RB at #14.

    The Bucs are NOT going to get one of the best backs in the Draft if they wait until the 2nd round. By that #45 overall pick of theirs in the 2nd, there will most likely be at least 4 of the top RBs taken; 1-2 in the late first round, and then 2-3 in the early 2nd round. It happens every year in the 2nd… a run on RBs early in the round.

    Teams know that the Bucs HAVE TO come away from the Draft with a solid RB. Teams will be moving up above that #45 pick in the 2nd round if they want one of the remaining Top 5 RBs. There are many teams that need a solid RB — about 12 based on primary or secondary need.

    The Bucs are in WIN NOW mode. They know the only way they can do that is to get a stud RB and take pressure off Brady as well as open up the Play-Action Pass that Brady is so good at selling.

    The Bucs are NOT guaranteed to get a “game-changing” back by drafting the 5th or higher ranked RB in this Draft. It’s just too much risk hoping your 5th or 6th ranked RB in this Draft turns out to be a stud.

    D’Andre Swift and Jonathan Taylor are both STUDS. The Bucs know they need to come away with one of them for sure.

    The Bucs can get a decent RT in the 2nd round at #45 but they CAN’T get Swift or Taylor at #45.

    BUCS GO RB IN THE 1ST. BOOK IT. It’s just a question of… Swift or Taylor?

  8. PSL Bob Says:

    Duh, even I could figure that out. The question is will one of the 4 dominant O-linemen still be there at #14. That’s where the intrigue comes in. Do you chance it or do you trade up a few spots to ensure it. I hate to give up draft picks particularly the Rd #2 pick, because that’s where we should grab the RB. So that’s the real question – take a chance on getting both an O-lineman and RB in Rds 1 and 2 or ensuring that you get at least a premier O-lineman. I’m betting on the latter.

  9. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Agree with Ivan
    There are 3 stud RB’s that will be gone by 2nd round.
    Lucas Niang has 1st round talent at RT and should be available in 2nd round as he rehabilitates a hip injury.
    Trade down a few spots to get one of the RB’s, pick up an extra early pick and add more trench depth and a safety.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    IRA….you are 100% correct……I would add that using 2021 draft capital becomes an option with an “all in” team…..Although I don’t like trading up in round 1…..I would not have any problems trading up later…(less expensive)…….

    We need 3 starters from this draft…..RT, RB, S…….

  11. Tampabuscsbro Says:

    JC Cornell said there was truth to the rumors about the bucs trading up for a right tackle on his twitter just now.

  12. 541BucsFan Says:

    The Bucs have great options.
    1. Grab a top 4 OT.
    … if they are all gone at DT is available.
    2. Grab a top 2 DT
    … if the OT and DT are gone, then a QB or two dropped.
    3. Trade down and draft a RB or S.

    In short, the Bucs are in a good to potentially great position. I say stay at 14 and see what happens.

  13. JP09 Says:

    I wouldn’t mind Kinlaw if he’s there then target you OT in rd2 Jones or Niang. ROJO showed burst, vision and power last year. He needs to work on his pass pro and route running. Target Dillion in the 3rd to pair with ROJO.
    Kinlaw, Vea, Suh would be awesome with gohlston and noches in rotation

  14. Bucsfan951 Says:

    I agree with BUCFANMAN! Outside of a rb in the second, all trenches. That’s the Bucs biggest weak link. No depth right now and that scares me!

  15. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    Hard pass on Chiasson. Theres not another DE besides Young that deserves a top 20 pick. Kinlaw would be a good pick and we could do way worse. I think Wills is our best option but highly unlikely he will still be there. Thomas could be there and would be a day 1 starter at RT. I would be fine with that pick. But, I think all 4 OT’s will be off the board by 14 and a trade down would be our best move. Way easier said than done I know.

    If we can get either Wills or Thomas we will be far better off and provide Brady the most protection. Getting CEH in the 2nd should be our priority. He is the perfect RB to pair with Brady. His only knock is pass blocking but he has the strength to be just fine, with some proper coaching. The rest of the tools are already there.

    We need to trade up to the end of the 2nd and draft Kyle Dugger or Winfield. That would give us 3 starters from our 1st 3 picks and provide that instant impact we must get this year. No projects only studs. That has to be our focus this year

  16. Leighroy Says:

    That extra 4th can be used to trade up higher in the 2nd to get a RB. The NFL as a whole does not value RBs enough for 3 to come off the board in the 1st round. While all solid, none of them are the 2nd coming of Adrian Peterson, let’s be real.

  17. Smashsquatch Says:

    Spot on Ira, bravo. OT/RB first two picks is just what the doctor ordered. Both fill positions of need and make immediate impacts.

  18. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Please do not trade up under any circumstances – big 4 OL or not. If none are there at #14, and Kinlaw is not there, let’s work a trade down.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    TBBF … Ira was spot on, for Rnd 1. BUILD THE TRENCHES. If the Top-4 are gone, try to trade down a little & grab the next best one (plus another pick). Agree with you on RT then RB because we NEED starters there, but I still can’t see us taking a Safety high in the draft (MAYBE Rnds 5-6). We’ve got an extremely young Secondary, and what we still need is experience back there (Tony Jefferson’s still available).

    I would think that in Rnds 3 & 4 (3 picks) we need a DLineman, a WR#3, and IF RB AJ Dillon is still there in Rnd 4 I’d gladly grab him to be a FB/RB. If he’s already taken, then grabbing another OLineman or DLineman makes good sense IMO. Like Bucsfan951 said, we still need to improve our DEPTH.

  20. ItzOK Says:

    Common Sense for the first round. I’d like to see the bucs move up for Simmons or if they feel one of the tackles are that good. I think Simmons is the difference maker the bucs need be the strong safety to support the run, speed to cover in the slot or tight ends if needed with size. I think he s the player to go and get. Personally Ive never seen a right tackle get drafted that early. Are one of these young guys going to kick to right tackle for two years and then move to left down the line? For RB id take the running back from LSU over any other back in the draft. I think he would fit the bucs perfectly just not at 14 in the draft. If they trade back and snag the RB later in round 1 I can live with that. I also dont beleive all of the mock drafts showing 4 tackles going that early when the WR group will be in high demand.

  21. Bucs Guy Says:

    I agree Ira, but I would trade back before taking any DL in the 1st rd. I say this because there is very good DT value in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. There isn’t very good OT value after late 1st/early 2nd round. So you have to go OT in the 1st. If the big 4 are gone at #14, trade back to 15-21, take Josh Jones and get an extra 2nd or 3rd rd pick in the process. Then you could get a RB (CEH) and a DT or S in the 2nd and the other in the 3rd. Josh Jones, CEH, Jeffrey Chinn and Davon Hamilton would be a pretty good haul for the first 2 days.

  22. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Ivan The Insider, I agree with what you said. The Bucs will trade back and take a RB later in rd 1 but I believe Jk dobbins is the best back in this draft with Swift #2 and Taylor #3 and Akers in the mix.

  23. LordCornelius Says:

    It seems there is a consensus top 14 players in the draft… to where we should either get a great player at a need (OT/DT) – or have decent trade down potential for a team targeting QB (Herbert if he falls) or WR (Broncos would need one and pick after us so someone could jump them)

    4 OTs
    3 QBs
    2 DTs
    2 WRs
    1 DE
    1 CB
    1 S

  24. lightningRod Says:

    Those not happening, could be that way, but what if one of those does happen?

    Can we then come back here, somewhere, and discuss that?

    It certainly should be interesting.

  25. ©MadMax Says:

    Agreed Ira. But I will say if, and i know it wont happen, but if Simmons is there at 14, we have to take him! Thats the Safety thats missing in our D, plus he can play LB if one of our guys gets injured.

  26. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I too think Ira is on target. Walter Football has Simmons lasting until 8th and Bechton 11th with us taking the big GA tackle Andrew Thomas.

    I agree with IRA that Simmons is an interesting idea. He’s a hybrid…would Bowles create a special position for him? Would that mean our safety needs are not as desperate.

    Bechton was slated 11th…where is LUV when you need him. How much capital does it cost to move up three spots.

    Whatever…should be a fascinating draft for the Bucs.

  27. doctor_berto Says:

    First round wish list:
    1. Wirfs/Wills/Bechton
    2. Kinlaw
    3. Thomas
    4. Trade back

  28. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    The big FOUR at OT should be the big FIVE with Josh Jones. The analytics people love him, and the tape don’t lie.

  29. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    There’s nothing classic about Isaiah. Completely newfangled prospect.

  30. Cobraboy Says:

    Simmons runs a 4.4 as a large human. Can he play safety?

  31. ©MadMax Says:

    @Cobra, he played Safety/LB at Clemson…more LB though his last year. As fast and as long as he is, he would be a star at Safety at the NFL level. At LB, he’ll need to put on a little more muscle imho. Kid has great instincts and can cover in the backfield.

  32. Bruce Blahak Says:

    Simmons might be the best player in the draft. Long gone at 14. If the RT they want at 14 is not there or Kinlaw, trade down.

  33. teacherman777 Says:

    Trade down!

    Cappa was worse than Dotson!!

    We need a RT, RG, and RB!

    Trade down!!

  34. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    What a wild card! If Isaiah Simmons fell to us at 14 he would be considered “Best Player Available” over even the likes of say Becton or Kinlaw.

    Imagine him ranging around behind White and David among the DBs. He would be sensational in Todd Bowle’s hybrid defensive scheme.

    We could still obtain a quality RB, OT and WR with our remaining picks.

  35. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    P.S. Simmons might also serve as an emergency backup for a LB position. This would allow some other slot to be freed up in the standard 53 and put to good use for game day rosters.