If Bucs Stay At No. 14

April 17th, 2020

Boise State LT Ezra Cleveland.

It’s hardly a secret any longer.

Outside of potentially a presidential election, is there more paranoia, smoke screens, lies and grossly blown out of proportion state secrets than in the NFL draft.

The guys involved in the NFL draft sleep with one eye open this time of the year more than a CIA operative in Tehran. You would think these guys are guarding and planning to sell the secrets to the Manhattan Project or the cure for The Sickness and become filthy rich beyond imagination.

So unless Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht pulled off one of the best sales jobs since Eisenhower on D-Day with Patton’s army of rubber tanks and paratrooper troops made up of giant GI Joe dolls, the secret is out: Licht and the Bucs are pining to trade up to grab a top-10 pick in order to land an offensive tackle.

(If this does happen, imagine the about-face of the Bucs within a handful of months from openly scoffing at the idea of drafting an offensive lineman high in the draft to trading up into the top-10 to draft one.)

Let’s say Licht cannot pull off a trade. What then? Well, reading Bob McGinn of The Athletic, several NFL scouts think this Ezra Cleveland from Boise State is a solid choice.

In talking to scouts, McGinn got a quote that is one of the funniest things Joe has read in a while; some NFL teams are down on Cleveland because he’s too chill.

Cleveland is a three-year starter at LT. “He’s a really good athlete,” said one scout. “He’ll be a solid pass protector. I think he’s steady. He tested out really well. He’ll be close to the first (round). Tackles go.” Lightly recruited out of Spanaway, Wash. “He reminds me of some of the guys Green Bay has had over the years,” said a second scout. “(Bryan) Bulaga, (David) Bakhtiari, guys that kind of are just functional and get the job done. They’re not spectacular, just steady … if Cleveland didn’t have to interview people would really like him. But his interview was so low energy and just kind of flat line that it kind of just scared people. He’s so Steady Eddie. It’s not that he’s a bad guy at all. Cleveland … he’s Boise, he’s a junior, he’s got to get stronger. But he is athletic.” He played most of 2019 with turf toe injury. Led tackles in five categories: the 40, Wonderlic (30), bench press (30), short shuttle (4.46) and 3-cone (7.26). Arms were just 33 3/8, hands were a tiny 9. “Everybody’s high on him,” said another scout. “Why am I not that high on him? There’s a degree of tightness in his hips. Has balance issues. I question his lower-body strength. Not going to beat point-of-attack defenders. Finesse guy that uses his size. Size defenders knock him around. I question his lateral adjust. But guys like him.”

Maybe Joe is just jaded but this is almost refreshing.

Of course, in theory, teams would want a guy that just chews nails and froths at the mouth like a rabid dog to get on the field and raise hell and punish defensive ends worse than Mike Tyson did to Michael Spinks.

Woofing isn’t football.

How many guys the past decade have the Bucs brought in and loudly boasted how they would change the culture, change the locker room, bring winning back to Tampa Bay yet they play feebly and the losing goes on and on and on?

Take a guy like Ali Marpet. He doesn’t shoot off his mouth. You hardly know the guy is around unless you walk up and talk to him. Yet he just goes about his business and gets the job done.

Joe isn’t anti trash talk. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t mean squat. Just get the job done and win some games. Feel free to holler and yell with big talk after you win.

If this Cleveland can play he can play. Forget the personality. It appears he could be a good candidate to target as a trade-down option.

53 Responses to “If Bucs Stay At No. 14”

  1. Casual Observer Says:

    Looks like some pretty good OT options after the top 4.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Rather have josh jones

  3. Mike Johnson Says:

    Just get it right Bucs. I do believe one of the top 4 OT’s will be there when we pick. If so, grab’em. If not, who is to say a trade back in no in order? Just give Brady excellent protection. He will need it.

  4. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    It seems, guessing, many of Jason Lite’s best laid plans blow up in panic mode when the player/players he was coveting are gone just before the Bucs pick….the VH3 compromise and grabbing Ronald Jones after Sony Michele was taken….I really don’t think it is just the 4 OT’s…trade down and grab one and collect another 2 or 3 pick….

  5. Allbuccedup Says:

    If one of the big four tackles are not available definitely trade down pick up an extra pick.

  6. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Josh Jones…

  7. BrianDorry55 Says:

    He’s not strong enough. Can’t move guys in the run game…which is the same reason they’re moving in from Dotson.

  8. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Don’t reach for this guy. He wouldn’t be able to start in his rookie year, anyway IMHO.

  9. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Hips, balance, lower strength? That’s a lot for a 1st round pick. I’s rather have Jones if the big 4 are gone. What is it going to cost us to move up? A 3rd? or both 4th’s?

  10. Marine Buc Says:

    If we miss out on the top 4 OTs we either draft Kinlaw or we trade back and add another second rounder and draft one of the second tier tackles in rounds 2-3.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Take one of the 4 OTs if available or trade down…..don’t like trading up…..but if we do, use a pick from next year…..we need 3 starters…..OT, RB, S

  12. 541BucsFan Says:

    The problem with trading down is 1) There has to be someone who wants to trade up, 2) There has to be a player worth enough compensation want to trade down.

    One of the top WR will likely be on the board as trade up bait. The Bucs would really win big if Tua or Herbert drops to 14. They could get a 1 and 2 which would be a major draft day win.

  13. 813bucboi Says:

    doesnt josh jones have injury issues?

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    Thank you for the Tyson clip Joe. I could see it a thousand times over and still get jerked up to see it again. Wilder/Fury 3? Can’t wait!!!

  15. JimmyJack Says:

    Now let me go watch it once more

  16. Rod Munch Says:

    Take a WR and get a OT in the 2nd.

  17. JimmyJack Says:

    Rod come on man. We trying to build a football team. Not a fantasy roster.

  18. Logan Says:

    This would be a horrendous pick at 14. Third round, maybe, but I would rather have Josh Jones then Ezra Cleveland. 14? That’s just nuts.

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    he’s down AGAIN, and in SERIOUS TROUBLE!!!!…lol…

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  20. BritishBuc Says:

    Just don’t reach. If one of the top four falls at #14, wonderful but all of them have areas of improvement. I don’t think the second tier of OT’s are as far behind as suggested by some

  21. Craig Says:

    14 is sort of nowhere. Trading up will either cost too much or still be out of the running for those really well known guys.

    It is better to trade down and grab an extra second rounder. Rookie offensive linemen aren’t ready for the NFL anyway, it almost always takes a year for them to get up to speed.

    Take him in the second round if he can grow up enough to play RT and do some run blocking. Those things are shaky, as far as I know.

  22. lowercaseg Says:

    trade down and sign jason peters

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    JimmyJack – Did you pay attention last year? Remember when Evans and Godwin got hurt? Did you see what happened to the offense?

    The Bucs have absolute trash at WR past Godwin and Evans – there’s nothing on the roster – and no, 14-weeks in the hottub Scotty Miller is not a legit #3 NFL WR.

    If the Bucs don’t have any depth at WR, then they are completely f-ing themselves. Good teams nearly always win because of depth – and you’re saying we don’t need to worry about that… SMH…

    Also Licht has consistently found starting o-lineman in the 2nd and 3rd, why exactly do we need to reach to draft a guy in the 1st? Take a top WR so we have depth, then grab a OT in the 2nd.

    Ideally I’d trade down and try to pick up an extra 2nd, then you could do a combo of an OT and WR, and with an extra 2nd I’d try to pick another OT for next year in case we can’t afford to keep Smith around.

    Meanwhile RB should not even be in discussion until we have WR and OT taken care of. There’s a million proven veteran RBs sitting on the unemployment line that you can bring in for the vet min. Meanwhile Robby Anderson got $12m for this year and Sanu was traded for a 2nd rounder. That’s why wasting a pick on another 2nd round RB is a terrible idea — and why getting a WR in the draft is a big deal.

  24. Cassidysid Says:

    Rod Munch- I promise you all 32 teams would be hurting if both there number 1 and 2 WR go down with an injury. If you draft a WR in the 1st round your basically saying goodbye to Godwin cause you won’t be able to pay.

    Running back wouldn’t be a bad option since we lost Barber and plus having a RB on a rookie deal will be way cheaper then getting a washed up RB on FA right now.

  25. SOEbuc Says:

    Bucs stay at #14

    Kinlaw over Wills if they’re both on the board still, but I’d still be delighted with Wills at #14.. Trading back is the only other option in the first.

    Kinlaw at #14:
    R2: Trade up for Simmons for Howard and a 3rd.
    R3 :RB AJ Dillon
    R3: OLB Zack Baun
    R4: S
    R4: OG/C
    R5: CB
    R6: QB

    Wills at #14:
    R2. Trade back for OLB Zack Baun
    R3: RB AJ Dillon
    R4: S Jeremy Chinn
    R4: OG/C
    R5: QB
    R6: DE

  26. Rod Munch Says:

    Cassidysid – Huh? A rookie WR picked in the middle of the 1st would probably get around $5-6m/year for 5 years – that’s a bargain when it comes to WRs. That would have zero impact on Godwin.

    But it’s not just that both WRs go down, if either WR goes down it halts the offense, there is no one else ready to play at an NFL level. Remember a few years ago when everyone except for Evans went down? Teams just double and even triple teamed him – the team was down to starting Charles Sims as a WR by the end of the year. Every team deals with injuries every single year – and teams use more than 2 WRs, the team HAS to have a legitimate #3 WR just to play the #3 role, nevermind the #2 or #1 role.

  27. Buczilla Says:

    Why settle for scraps when you can eat steak? We need more difference makers on both sides of the ball. If the top 4 offensive tackles are gone as well as most likely the top 3 quarterbacks, that means a bada$$ defensive player or stud skill position player should be available. Stick and pick!

  28. ItzOK Says:

    Itz all smoke. We all know Licht has his eyes on a kicker or punter in the first two rounds

  29. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    ah, brought back some memories watching Tyson/Spinks and listening to Jim Lampley/Sugar Ray Leonard and Larry Merchant on the call.
    How the f*ck did Tyson turn into such a mess? Man, when he was young, he was almost impossible to fight. Buster Douglas destroyed him and that was it. Then it was on to biting ears.
    Michael Spinks should never have moved up in weight class, even though he somehow became a world champion as a heavyweight. He was a great light heavyweight.

  30. Alvin Scissors Harper Says:

    Wow, primarly a benign boxing take and sent into moderation.

  31. DRFEELGOOD Says:

    Henry Ruggs III at #14 and best RB at #45 (hopefuly CEH). With those two, a Haeg can man RT while we draft depth on the lines and Safety. Safety in round two and Cam Akers in the third wouldn’t suck either. Ruggs is unstoppable!!

  32. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Probably the reason Cleveland is so laid back is, he is from the small town of Spanaway, Washington.
    People in Spanaway are very laid back, in general.
    I know, I lived in Seattle 20 years, and have been to Spanaway many times.

  33. Alstott up the gut Says:

    Need 3 WRs (or 2 and Kinlaw) to go before 14, or I don’t believe any of the 4 OTs will drop to us. I hope their backup plan would look something like Kinlaw in the first, and the next 4 picks are maneuvered into the RB they want and some OT like Jones or Cleveland.

  34. Geno711 Says:

    We have need at a lot of positions. But shockingly so does every team right now. No one will go into the season with a complete roster. I want the tackle 1st. Others can say the 2nd running back of third WR, or safety is more important. Unfortunately, we may not get a stud rb and have to sign someone like Chris Thompson…. Yuk. Or we will not get an OT in the draft and have to sign Dotson…. Yuk. Or we will not get a WR and have to sign Chris Hogan …. Yuk.

    We will not have a complete roster as the season starts but I for one will be happy we have Tom Brady.

  35. Geno711 Says:


    That Douglas v Tyson fight. Buster Douglas was clearly beating Tyson almost every round. However in the 8th, Tyson rocked Buster and he only got up at the 9 and a half count. Then the bell saved him. Boxing history is so interesting

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Geno711 – The Bucs have a high 2nd round RB, and Ronnie ended the year really strong. Also Chris Thompson is one of, if not the, best 3rd down back in the NFL — if he’s healthy. I’d take him in a second and he perfectly fits the need of the team, which is a 3rd down back. The team already has a good lead back, and getting a veteran backup is pretty easy to do, the list of people available is very long, unlike at WR.

    Other RBs… Devonta Freeman, Lamar Miller, Carlos Hyde, Theo Riddick (great choice if healthy), Bilal Powell, Isaiah Crowell, Ty Montgomery (as a 3rd down back isn’t a bad choice) and many more.

    Are those RB choices exciting? Not really – but we have a lead RB. We need a 3rd down back and perhaps a solid backup, and someone like Freeman would be a great fit there (if healthy) or Miller (if healthy) or Crowell…

    The issue right now is you can’t give anyone a physical so no one wants to sign anyone, in particular an issue for guys coming off injuries. But RB depth is no issue.

    Meanwhile on the WR side you’re down to talking about Chris Hogan — that tells you everything about where depth is, and is not.

  37. RODNEY ALLEN Says:

    Joe I agree marpet is great sure trash talkers r entertaining n can get in ppls head but so can a quite man that just puts his head down n bust his ass a 100% if the time

  38. JimmyJack Says:

    Rod Munch the point is not saying we have great depth at WR. But the first Round is a wasted resource to spend on a third passing option. In case you didn’t notice we already have a strong passing game. Get another receiver but get them later.

    A better way to spend that pick would be to attack a weakness. Not a strength. Duh. You don’t make the team that much better adding to a top tier passing attack. You make it better but improving weak pass coverage unit. Or but improving our running offense.

    Or you draft DL because we have question marks there for the immediate future. We don’t have that at WR.

    You’re just not making the impact you gotta be making with a top end choice. Passing is only one part of football dude. You can’t just ignore the other parts of the game.

    If a big reason you wanna draft a WR is fear of Both Evans and Godwin getting hurt again that’s just flawed thinking. That’s poor logic of why we need a WR at 14

  39. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    If the top OT are gone then someone like Kinlaw might be available. There’s plenty of starters at OT in this draft. If we cant get Wills or Thomas then trade down and look for Isaiah Wilson.

    If we are stuck at 14 with no OT left, no Kinlaw or Brown, then Ruggs wouldn’t be a bad pick. We have 2 studs at WR and then not much else. I’m praying for Wills or Thomas but you never know what will happen. The Giants will control how the OT pan out. If they take someone like Simmons then theres a good chance an OT drops to 14.

  40. Rod Munch Says:

    JimmyJack – So what happens if we lose our #1 or #2 WR like we have, what 3 of the last 5 years? (VJ, DJ or Evans and Godwin last year)… We have Brady and he doesn’t have anyone to throw the ball to — it’s just like last year when in NE all he had was Edelman. But the Bucs have a lot less depth than even the Patriots had once you get past Godwin and Evans. Also a #3 WR is basically a starter in the NFL. Are you really telling me you’re A-OK with betting the season on Scotty Miller? I’m not – that’s like saying you’re A-OK with the secondary having Ryan Smith as the 3rd guy the last few years in a row — what could go wrong?

    I’m also saying you take a OT in the 2nd, where Licht has found guys. Smith is a solid LT, Marpet should be a Pro-bowler, even the booger eater 3rd rounder turned out to be solid. Licht has shown he can find offensive line depth – this is one area where Licht has proven he’s got a great feel for things. Also, if I’m Licht, I’m looking at getting another OT in the 3rd (or ideally if we trade back in the first, and have an extra 2nd, that’s where I spend it).

    As for WR, you can not expect to find NFL talents at WR that can play early once you get out of the 1st round, even getting a WR in the 2nd half of the 1st round is risky if you need them early. If you can get a top WR, if there is a run on OT, you don’t reach – you get a top WR.

    The Bucs need to draft for right now – not 3 years from now. They need a #3 WR and a RT, those are two areas where they have to come out of the draft with someone who can play day 1.

    At RB, the team is fine with Ronnie, and they need a 3rd down back. Again, refer to the list of vets, there’s a lot of names there, that if healthy, can provide solid depth or be a 3rd down back. At the WR FA listing you literally have Russell Shepard as one of the top options still available. That’s a bad situation.

    BUT, I will say this, looking at the FA WR chart, one name does stand out, it’s Josh Gordon. Is he suspended again? I can’t keep track — if not, if Brady says he’s good to sign, then he’d be someone I’d pick up.

    Or just sign Antonio Brown and hope he’s off suspension by week 10. That’s the situation you’re in if you skip on getting a WR.

  41. ©MadMax Says:

    Claypool or Van Jefferson in the 3rd would be ideal for that #3 WR.

  42. JimmyJack Says:

    Why is your first point asking if we lose both Mike Evans and Chris again at the same time? Why is that a basis of logic for a first round choice?

    What if we lose just JPP? So your telling me you are betting the season on Nelson????
    Or just D.Smith? So your telling me you are betting the season on…….oh right we don’t even have a backup there.
    Or one Corner? ECT ECT ect

    I don’t even understand your point to be honest.

    And yeah I agree they gotta draft for right now. No matter who they take at 14 should be expected to contribute. Who are you thinking doesn’t fit that bill? Would be news to me.

    I’m not hell-bent on OT. I’d be fine with Safety at 14. Or DL. Or even RB. Too many areas of this team need help and passing just aren’t one or them. Not for my top pick.

  43. JimmyJack Says:

    And also they are not fine with Ronald. Not true to say that. They cannot keep him on the field. It’s pretty bad when they can’t trust you over Peyton Barber……..I don’t consider that fine at the position.

    I don’t mind getting one of them FAs you mentioned. But we do gotta add somebody and I think they are looking for a fresh set of legs in the draft.

    And they will probably look for somebody who can catch. Who I can argue will will add more to our passing attack then a #3 WR. Not just about yards but in making defenses having to cover the flats will open up a lot more.

  44. gotbbucs Says:

    Keep an eye on Xavier McKinney as a dark horse pick at 14. I think he and Grant Delpit are being severely underrated in this draft. Either one of those guys would really help round out our defensive backfield.

  45. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    McKinney is a stud. Delpit had a bad year and is really stiff. Winfield or Dugger would be better options than Delpit imo

  46. Rod Munch Says:

    JimmyJack – Did you watch the end of the year? Barber, who is one of the few RBs to actually get a contract with a new team, wasn’t getting a lot of touches – Ronnie was, and he looked really good.

    As for why I’m talking about losing a WR… again, did you watch last year? That literally just happened. In the NFL when players get injured it doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed not to get hurt again for a while – in fact it’s generally the opposite.

    BTW, I did a worthless mock draft on the PFF website and traded back and still got Mekhi Becton, and Swift – so how do you like that? Also picked up Pittman as a 3rd WR – so there you go.

    In a slightly better worthless mock draft on the draft network, I picked up

    14 Jedrick Wills, OT Alabama
    45 Michael Pittman Jr., WR USC
    76 Tee Higgins, WR Clemson
    117 Tyler Biadasz, IOL Wisconsin (future C)
    139 Alton Robinson, EDGE Syracuse
    161 Lamical Perine, RB Florida (3rd down back)
    194 DeeJay Dallas, RB Miami (special teams guys)

    So there you go, another mock draft where I took an OT first.

    You see the point is don’t REACH to take one because Licht has an excellent track record of getting guys in the 2nd.

    BTW, the more I watch Pittman, the more I like him. He looks like a pro-WR already, like a guy you can plop right into that #3 slot and play from day one. The problem is the hype on him, it’s threw the roof, I’ve seen mocks now where he’s going in the 1st – so I don’t think he’ll make it to the 2nd round, but who knows. But this mock was worthless, the values seemed off, but I could be wrong – but I liked the way it turned out, got a legit #3 and #4 WR, a 3rd down back, a T, and future center to replace the angry ginger or at worst be fantastic interior depth. The Florida RB I don’t know much about, but his numbers and scouting report looks good – doesn’t sound special but would be a solid pass catching and 3rd down blocking back.

  47. BigHog Says:

    Please get A J “The real deal” Dillion!!

  48. ATrain Says:

    Grab Jones

    Trade down if possible

    Get a QB

  49. Bucsfanman Says:

    First of all, we need to pick the RIGHT player, not position. Second, if the right player is within reach, we cannot be afraid to go get them.
    At #14 there will be players within reach, good players. We need to pick the right player.

  50. PTWalk Says:

    I think AJ Dillon would be the perfect fit with RoJo. Rojo did alot better than he’s getting credit for I watched his highlights from last year and they were very impressive. Watch “Ronald Jones II || 2019-2020 Season Highlights || Tampa Bay Buccaneers” on YouTube

  51. NutterBuccer Says:

    Just pickup some mid round wisconsin or iowa guys znd call it a day

  52. TOM Says:

    I agree that the 2nd tier of OT looks pretty good. As a matter of fact I have Jones listed at 4a & Jackson at 5 & Cleveland at 6. As far as I’m concerned there’s improvement for all at one place or another. I don’t think it would hurt to trade down for any one of the OT’s I mentioned. I would also back up the pick with another OL in rd 3 or 4. RB in rd. 2

  53. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    Sounds a whole lot like Donavon Smith to me!! Do we really want another “laid back” tackle??