Top Targets

April 3rd, 2020

Bucs CB Jamel Dean.

Long-time NFL analyst Andy Benoit a few months ago was let go by Sports Illustrated. Joe missed him. Good guy, often good analysis.

Benoit is back, seemingly part-time as Sports Illustrated, swimming in red ink, had another round of layoffs earlier this week.

In Benoit’s Top-100 draft prospects, he has targets for the Bucs to monitor. But Joe has to wonder what Benoit is seeing and Joe hasn’t.

Top-100 Targets (Tampa Bay owns picks 14, 45 and 76): In an ideal scenario, a tackle like Alabama’s Jedrick Wills or Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs falls to 14. If that doesn’t play out, they can address the secondary with Florida’s C.J. Henderson (if the scars of drafting fellow Gator Vernon Hargreaves aren’t too fresh) or Utah’s Jaylon Johnson. If they wait until Round 2 for O-line help, they can choose from the likes of TCU’s Lucas Niang or Connecticut’s Matt Peart. It’s a class that’s rich in the kind of Swiss army knife safeties Bowles loves. If they pass on Alabama’s Xavier McKinney and Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr. early, Utah’s Terrell Burgess would be a nice addition on Day 2.

Here is where Joe needs help. Don’t the Bucs already have a s(p)itload of high draft capital burned on corners the past two years? Last Joe checked, their top three corners came with two second-round picks and a third-round pick. So the Bucs need to spend a 14th overall pick on another corner?

There is a split-decision at world headquarters. One Joe is not content with the young corners at all and demands the Bucs sign a veteran corner.

“This Joe” saw the corners play well towards the end of the season, and two of them were rookies. While a veteran corner would be nice for depth, “this Joe” doesn’t see a five-alarm fire simmering at cornerback like in years past.

Now safety, that’s where both Joe’s agree. There’s a hole there. Joe is absolutely sick of the Bucs hoping guys who haven’t shown anything suddenly out of the clear blue sky show not just something but above-average play.

Whatever happened to getting guys who can play, rather than guys you hope can play?

You know what Joe thinks of “hope.”

44 Responses to “Top Targets”

  1. Pewter Power Says:

    Licht almost always goes in a completely different direction from what everyone predicts so probably will trade down and take the top safety but those guys the article mentioned

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I agree that CB is not a dire need…….however, you can never have enough CBs…..but not in round 1…….it’s starting to look like a trench pick to me…either OT or DE/DT…….

  3. Matt Says:

    Yeah Joe, agreed. As I mentioned yesterday we can I’ll-afford another DB Zon our roster with MJ Stewart, Ryan Smith and Justin Evans limited skill sets or nagging injuries. If we do draft a DB high I expect us to cut Mj Stewart and admit he was a bust. The guy can play around the line of scrimmage but he is a major liability on any drag routes or deep routes where speed and quickness is a necessity. His tape was very impressive and he’s shown a strong ability to blitz and make open field tackles, we’re just limited in what we can do when he’s on the field.

    We have much bigger needs than DB but Bowles can develop one of these guys to an All Pro we can’t pass. If those top 4 tackles are gone and Brown and Kinlaw are gone and the Qb hungry teams get antsy we could really make a ransom. I’m more confident in Lichts ability to pick 3rd s as d 4th round guys then I am 2nd rounders. So, I would not be too upset if we trade back.

  4. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    Rd1: Becton, Thomas, Wills, Wirfs,
    Brown, Kinlaw, Chaisson. Or trade back!

  5. Pok Says:

    The secondary always looks better when the d line is ferocious. Loved the investment in shaq jpp suh and vea.

    O line!

  6. PSL Bob Says:

    Totally agree with you Joe, If we hadn’t been able to keep the D-line largely in tact, I might be tempted to draft another CB in one of the first 3 rounds. But, the pressure our D-line places on the opposing offense limits the amount of time a QB has to throw, and thus, covers up some of the flaws that might be present in our young secondary. However, getting a veteran CB in FA makes a lot of sense. Safety is an absolute necessity. As we discussed yesterday, O-line with our first pick, provided one of the big 4 falls to #14. If not, then grab a safety there and then a RB in the second round.

  7. Bobby M. Says:

    Arians will draft players that can contribute….now. That old/flawed philosophy from Licht of developing for next year…and next…and next has proven to be a failure. Take the player that fills a need today….once you start winning, then you draft for best available. We don’t have that luxury right now.

  8. Bird Says:

    Agree with a big unknown still at safety

  9. Bird Says:

    Nobody parties like Buc cheeks

    Best poster name on here

  10. Timbo Slice Says:


  11. Ndog Says:

    Draft the lines, running back and safety. This draft should not really contain anything but those positions.

  12. Buczilla Says:

    Winfield’s dad was pretty good and he would be a sweet pickup in the 3rd round. Please, no more damn corners unless it’s a savvy vet to help the youngins.

  13. TheBradyBunch Says:

    I believe he is the one that started mock season by saying the Bucs needed to draft a corner “and you would have to convince him otherwise” they a CB wouldn’t be the pick. That viewpoint lets me know he knows nothing about the Bucs, who they have drafted in recent years and where the real holes are on this team. The one thing I will say to many of the national guys mocks is that they seem at least somewhat aware of what the Bucs need. This guy is clueless. Like Joe, I would like to have seen a CB picked up in free agency, but we do not need more rookie/yound CBs on this team.

  14. Go Bucs 72 Says:

    Another example of national press not knowing spit about the Bucs. There is zero chance we draft a CB 14. RT RB and pass rush is what we need.

  15. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Oline or Dline in 1st. JPP and Suh are not getting any younger. OL, DL, RB, QB in first 4 picks.

  16. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Yeah sure, let’s draft a Corner from UF in the first round, no thanks.

  17. NDog is an idiot Says:

    Holy crap! I AGREE w Ndog ..

  18. Allbuccedup Says:

    Trade down pick D’andre Swift with #1 pick, Raekwon Davis #2, and Matt Peart #3. Then Nate Stanley #4 and J R Reed #4 Reggie Robinson 11 #5 and D J Wonnum #6. And a wild card pick with what ever you get in the trafe down pick.

  19. David Says:

    OT rd 1
    Cam Akers rd 2

  20. Adrnagy Says:

    You can understand if we pick cb. We have no depth. What I mean is , base on how dean , Murphy were hurt makes sense. To add another cb.
    And since the saints are loaded with WR why not. But also the league is consider by many a passing happy show why not.
    The question is … a 1,2 or 3 round in a cb? Does licht ,Bowles trust this bunch of young cb in year 2 of defense ?
    I can tell the coaching staff and front office are laying it with the likes of Whitehead,(Evans???) , Edwards ,Adams , Dixon …. Too dangerous of a risk.

    So why not call me and get my approval to lead and manage draft day ..
    2-Akers/ RB LSU
    2-Trade back into late round 2. OT Jackson or C Cesar Ruiz. ( I would shoot for biadasz)
    3-A. Davis.
    4- B Bartch.
    5-j. Hightower

  21. View from 132 Says:

    Not sure I agree with everyone saying O-line, at least as a first priority. Brady gets the ball out very quickly, and has already made his read pre-snap. There is an enormous difference between pass blocking for 2 seconds or 3 seconds… or the occasional 15 seconds as Jameis goes all Nintendo on us.

    The Bucs would have a find a clear, day one starter on the offensive line. The next two years are win now mode, and that changes your draft strategy. We’ll be looking for players that can step on the field and make an impact Week 1. That leads me to think we’ll surprise everyone… and take Simmons the freak LB/DE/Safety from Clemson. He could spy running QBs with his speed and certainly can blitz… two things you can learn in a few weeks in camp.

    What player put the Bucs over the top years ago? It wasn’t Kenyatta Walker – it was Simeon Rice.

    I think everyone is expecting a passing show, but I expect at least 10 or 12 weeks of the Bucs looking more like Dungy’s teams, with a lot of 17-14 wins where they just don’t make the big mistakes. He isn’t here to throw for 5000 yards.

  22. Brandon Says:

    Best young CB trio in the NFL. Dean and Davis both finished top 5 in passes defensed and held opposing QBs to 50% or less completion percentage. SMB is a major playmaker from the slot, leading all rookies in INTs. They will push each other. Keep the veteran cancers and retreads far away.

  23. gofortheface30 Says:

    ARDNAGY – don’t disagree at all, just not in first round. Maybe not even in draft as we have enough young guys to develop. A Chris Harris type with ability to line up outside/inside would have really solidified that position. Bucs invested in the greatest of all time, protect that investment with o-line, then RB, then maybe another guard. Brady needs a clean pocket at this point. One thing Jameis was exceptional at is/was creating plays out of nothing. Just my opinion

  24. MadMax Says:

    A good friend of mine works with DJ Swearinger’s Dad….im in his ear about trying to get him back to the Bucs. Anyone for bringing Swearinger back?

  25. MadMax Says:

    Ah, nevermind….he signed a 1 year deal with the aints last month.

  26. Pryda...sec147 Says:

    Dean & Murphy-Bunting going to get very good

  27. Adrnagy Says:

    Forget all this CB talk. It’s devin white year. Big year or bust.

    David too. But the guy is a stud no Matter what’s going on. I hope bucs don’t do him wrong after next year. Specially two face Bruce.

  28. The Coroner Says:

    On film Xavier McKinney reminded me a lot of John Lynch. Reads plays early, attacks and hits you so hard next time you’ll be looking where he’s at before you even got the ball.

  29. macout247 Says:

    When people say we need corner help as a main priority, it just shows they don’t pay attention to our small market team.

  30. Bucsfanman Says:

    While I would not draft a CB in the early rounds, I subscribe to the theory that you can never have enough competent corners. I would rather have a vet for depth but that’s just me.
    Safety definitely needs to be addressed. Play was sporadic with the guys we have, but again, not that high in the draft. Maybe with another year of development we’ll see a different product at safety.

  31. 941Bucc Says:

    Shaq, Vea, Suh, JPP with the addition of Kinlaw will cover up any flaws in the secondary.

  32. SOEbuc Says:

    I feel I’m more excited than a lot about Bowels second year secondary coming back. The earliest I see the Bucs taking a safety is the fourth round unless they’ve totally given up on Mike Edwards after one year. I think Edwards is going to be better year two. Justin Evans is at the moment supposedly going to be able to put his turf toe on the field at some point. Evans could of been dumped easily by the Bucs with his injuries but he’s still here so they obviously are waiting to see what happens.

    Henderson or Johnson would be sweet but these national idiots we need a FREE SAFETY. They don’t even know we have a good young strong safety some guy named Whitehead so we don’t need Xavier McKinney.

  33. JimmyJack Says:

    I do agree with this guy about Safety. It’s a position mamy fans seem to be overlooking. Would love to know what the plan is.

    Wouldn’t mind a CB late. Keep infusing talent. Plus late picks on them guys are good cause they can usually play a big role on ST if they’re any good.

    But I don’t know why you Joe’s argue about this. I say you gotta applaud the work Bowles and his staff did in our secondary last year. Even if your not in love with our secondary I think you can admitt they developed the young players nicely……….That said I say give the coaching staff some credit and trust they know what their doing. We seem to be in good hands and no reason to think they will screw up the backfield……..I think they know what they got and have a good plan.

  34. TheBradyBunch Says:

    View – Simmons will be top 7 pick. He could go top 4 if the Giants decide to take him rather than a tackle. Outside of Young he is the best athlete in the draft and all the scouts are well aware of that.

  35. 541BucsFan Says:

    Everyone keeps putting OL in R1. I don’t think it’s going to happen.

    BA doesn’t trust rookie OL and Licht can get a RT later.

    Licht has had the best success drafting defense in R1.

    They are going to pick one of the top S (McKinney).

    Look for a RB in R2 and OL in R3 and R4.

  36. Cobraboy Says:

    I doubt a CB until rd. 4 and beyond.

  37. BucEmUp Says:

    I would look for a corner who was a high prospect that underwhelmed on a bad team and sign them cheap for depth. No reason to spend high draft capitol on a corner.Dean, bunting and davis did really well once they quit playing 15 yards off in the first half of the season

  38. BucEmUp Says:

    Funny how the jason licht hate has resuced drastically.Isnt it amazing what coaching can do for a team?!!

  39. DaBux Says:

    I got an email one time with Licht’s draft priorities, it’s weird:

    14. OL
    45. PK
    76. PK

  40. stpetebucsfan Says:

    A top agent…can’t remember which…made an interesting observation and I agree completely.

    The NFL draft has evolved from watching players PLAY their position against college competition…into much more weight given to “measurables” that stat guys can easily digest…40 time…vertical leap…all the Combine stuff.

    This scout pointed out the old days probably produced better results. Watching players actually play football is FAR more important that their measurables. How do you measure heart? How fast is a guy in pads running against guys chucking him off the line…how competitive.

    This could be an interesting draft because the GM’s and their scouts have been forced to look at more video of players actually playing football. Pro days have been eliminated…visits etc.

    I’m glad…take a guy like Edwards-Helaire…his “measurables” are not all that impressive…smaller…not lightning fast…but when he lines up against the very best competition in the nation…it’s clear this guy is a player. Show me the guys who have done it on the field in genuine football action.

  41. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    NDog is an idiot Says:
    “Holy crap! I AGREE w Ndog ..”


    Holy crap! I AGREE with Ndog & Ndog is an idiot!

  42. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    If we don’t get a beefcake ol in the 1st then we draft JPPs replacement since he’s getting older then go ol in the 2nd, qb in 3rd but he has to be very heady athletic and accurate. I believe this time around BucBrady will mentor a rook because he has a 2 year window here. If were don’t get a quality fa rb then rb in the 4th. LT 5th then whatever in 6th & 7th

  43. D1 Says:


    Scouts vs analytics. Is at the heart of the issue.

    In the past, there wasn’t years of data to analyze. Now it’s easy to show a strong relationship between success/failure and the measurables.

    You mention there’s no way to measure an individuals desire. True. But all the heart and desire in the world won’t matter if you’re a 185lb center. The NFL is the most elite group of athletes in the world and the separation between the top guys and bottom (measurables) is razor thin.

    4.5 is slow and 4.3 is elite. That’s the margins. Fans believe that’s true btw, 4.5 slow and 4.3 elite. Coaches don’t have that same thinking. So it may be that fans are the ones too invested in measurables not teams.

  44. Losing hope Says:

    Idk “which Joe” this is but its kinda hard to take either one of you serious considering the way u licked all over jaymiss.(and kinda still do). FYI there is a reason dude is STILL unemployed . He’s trash. Well more trash than not