Third-Best Skill Position Players — In The Division?

June 18th, 2020

Former Pro Bowl guard David Diehl is a non-believer when it comes to the ecstasy many Bucs fans experience daily.

Diehl has been a very reasoned and seasoned analyst since he retired after the 2013 season, and he was asked to perform a simple task this week on SiriusXM NFL Radio: Rank NFC South teams when it comes to skill-position players, — typically categorized as pass catchers, running backs and quarterbacks.

Diehl thinks the Falcons are on the cusp of a major revival and he believes the combination of Matt Ryan, a seemingly healthy Todd Gurley, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and newly-acquired tight end Hayden Hurst are the top-dog group in the division, especially when combined with Ryan’s synergy with Dirk Koetter.

Diehl then ranked the Saints at No. 2, with Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, Taysom Hill, Michael Thomas and two-time Pro Bowler Emmanuel Sanders.

The Bucs are his third choice.

Are Jones and Ridley better than Mike Evans and Chris Godwin? One could argue that’s a wash.

Hurst is a complete tight end but not special. However, Diehl sees him as better than O.J. Howard, and he views Rob Gronkowski as an unknown commodity after retiring. Of course, the Bucs don’t have a special running back to counter Gurley.

It was a jarring take for Joe, who like most Bucs, would be quick to answer, “Bucs!” when asked what NFC South team has the most weapons.

It’s clear that Diehl values running backs more than Bucs officials do. Joe’s not going to play that broken record here.

39 Responses to “Third-Best Skill Position Players — In The Division?”

  1. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    Sounds about right cause the BUCS haven’t proven diddly-squat to anyone yet…………………..

    notice how I said “yet”

  2. Says:

    We could use a good veteran running back.

  3. BrianDorry55 Says:

    Jones/Ridley and Evans/Godwin is not a wash. Evans and Godwin are significantly better than Ridley and just a small step behind Julio.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    He’s forgetting we got DARE!!!

  5. BuucccNASTY Says:

    Yea and Gurley looks washed up, Idk how much better Gurley will do vs our committee.. I think ATL being ranked above us and especially the SAINTS, is a joke. Did this dude play for ATL or something? Lol

  6. BuucccNASTY Says:

    Nope. He was a gentle Giant. Explains his hate for Tom Brady

  7. El Buco Realisto Says:

    The Buc sheep over-evaluating the roster!!!!!!!!!!!! In other shocking news, its “hot” during the summer!!!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Smashsquatch Says:

    Thank you Mr. Diehl. I can only hope more agree with you and write about it. This team will feast off the doubters. Can’t have enough of them!

  9. bojim Says:

    No running game yet so he’s kinda right.

  10. georgescores Says:

    Dare, everyone trashes this dude. I bet you if he can catch the ball he will stand out with Brady throwing to him. Defenses will be so off balance with Evans, Godwin and Gronk on the field, if Dare can pop out of the backfield and catch the ball he will get some yards ! Edelman, Woodhead, Welker all shined significantly because of Brady’s style, as would have Humprhies if he signed with the Pats.

  11. Blind Melon Says:

    Although I think Diehl has overrated the Falcons, he is right in other aspects as to this prove it with the Bucs (and didn’t have the same concern applied to the ATL.) Without saying it that it is to be seen how Brady and Leftwich ‘synergize’…

  12. D-Rome Says:

    I initially saw red when I read the headline but I don’t think Diehl’s opinion is crazy. I don’t agree, but he is correct that the Falcons are going to be significantly better and the Saints are already there. The Bucs have a tough road to win the division even with the GOAT playing at QB and TE.

  13. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Given both teams have weapons, when it comes time to Win the Game,
    Ryan will get sacked and Brady will come through…

  14. Hodad Says:

    I’ll take our young backs Rojo, and Vaughn over Gurley, and who ever else they have. Brady came from behind and won the SB Matty Ice choked on, so I’ll take Brady over Ryan. We have the better TE’s hands down, and I’d rather have Evans, Godwin. I give the Saints the edge in the division not because of talent, because I think our skill guys wash, but because Brees, and Peyton have together for so long. So Diehl, I think you’re wrong. Slight edge to N.O., Tampa, then Atlanta if they hold off Carolina.

  15. Nick2 Says:

    Seriously????? Wow I used to like Diehl and he’s called a ton of Buc games for Fox but wow sp this is my analysis
    1) Crown a rookie tight end better than our bunch??
    2) Ridley has been a disappointment….Julio is past his prime.
    3) Gurley the Rams had to nurse with a baby bottle last year towards the end so his boo boo knee didnt act up when they needed him the most
    4) Raheem or no Raheem the Falcons secondary is just as questionable if not more so than ours, our D Line is vastly superior and we are at least break even with linebackers.
    5) Diehl is certifiably nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. BuckyLove Says:

    All three teams should have great offences. The division winner will be the one with the best defence.

  17. Morgus the Magnificent Says:

    Notice how America’s QB wasn’t listed among the Saints’ skill players? Hehehe

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    No, no, no! This is where we WANT to be. First, we haven’t earned anything so, he’s kind of not wrong. However, let them underestimate us. It’ll make kicking their teeth in that much more satisfying!

  19. Buczilla Says:

    Mike Evans is the best receiver in football and Godwin is top 5. Our unproven running backs look scary bad on paper though, so he has a decent argument. If one of our backs breaks out, then this dude’s ranking are gonna look silly. Howard is at worst decent and if Gronk is 70% of his former self, we’ll be golden there too since Brate is damn good if they decide to use him.

  20. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Ridley doesn’t even compare to Evans or Godwin. Maybe he compares to Perriman. And what about broke-knee Gurley? The dude hasn’t done crap in 2 seasons. Atalanta will finish 3rd in our division while the Saints and Bucs battle till the end.

  21. alaskabuc Says:

    David Diehl is the absolute worst analyst in all of professional football. Even worse than Booger. I give his thoughts about as much consideration as Screamin’ Steve or Cowturd.

  22. K2 Says:

    If you look hard enough you can find someone who thinks that the panthers are the best. That’s why we play the games. After the games the expert opinions count for nothing…just like before the game.

  23. Buc4evr Says:

    Gurley was dumped by the Rams. He has an arthritic knee along with a torn and repaired ACL. I don’t think he can go the distance anymore and won’t be an every down back this season if ever. Falcons are going to crash and burn like always.

  24. mark2001 Says:

    Personally, I’d rather take Brady’s evaluation of our offensive talent, based upon the fact he is staking the last years of his career, and to some extent, a small piece of his reputation on it. But each to his own.

  25. DanBucsFan Says:

    Opinions are like…….

  26. BringBucsBack Says:

    Yes, this opinion seems a little contrarian just for the sake of being contrarian. However, the other teams have great skills position players and I, and I believe the Bucs too, are perfectly aware of this. Brady is the ultimate tiebreaker.

  27. DanBucsFan Says:

    No doubt that our division is stacked and with the exception of Carolina IMO each team and teams fanbase could make a case that they are the best. Cant wait to settle it on the field. GO BUCS!!

  28. Iamabuc Says:

    To all of those Anal-ysts out there counting us out I’ll say : You ain’t seen nothing yet!!!!

  29. PSL Bob Says:

    That’s fine. No problem. You’ve got to walk the walk before talking the talk. The Saints and Falcons and their constituent skill players have shown everyone what they have. The Bucs have only talked about what they COULD have. Let’s see how effective changes to the O-line have been and how much TB12 elevates everyone else’s game. If indeed the Bucs finish out at 3rd string in the NFC, so be it. I just don’t see it playing out that way. Of course, this analysis is contingent on the coronavirus, oops sickness, not having a meaningful effect on any of the teams.

  30. Anonymous Says:

    Then David Diehl must think the world of Jameis because our offense, even with 30 interceptions and 41 turnovers to the Saints 8 turnovers were statistically as good if not better offensively, no Brady and no Gronk, no right tackle, and Peyton Barber!!!! Take David Diehls take as lowkey hating!

  31. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Next week will be Head Coach rankings!!!!!!! The sheep will be “surprised” that the Bucs have third best head coach in the division as well!!!!!!!!!!!! But the “real” fans new this and told the sheep over a year ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. FuNkYxMuNkEy Says:

    We have the best set of WR and TE in the division. RoJo has been misused but still has a ways to go. I personally think Vaughn is going to excel and will be our feature back. Until he proves it on the field our RB’s are the worst in the division.

    Even the Panthers have a lot of skill players. The top all around back in CM22, a stud WR, a good young TE, and Bridgewater should do really well in their system. This is a stacked division

  33. Cainishere Says:

    This is just another example of a person who’s bread and butter is to try and convince you that the blatantly obvious is not what you will receive.
    GO BUCS!!

  34. SOEbuc Says:



    GO BUCS!!!

  35. Tvan101 Says:

    For those of you saying Ridley doesnt compare you better go watch some tape, dude is a beast. As far as Gurley everyone seems to forget he only has one good knee.

  36. Lamarcus Says:

    Now Julio Jones is a real weapon. Threat every time he catches the ball. One of the best ever. Mike Evans is good but no way better than JJ

    Let’s keep it real

  37. Cainishere Says:

    You guys keep forgetting about that number 1 defense the Buccaneers will have and that number 1 offense the Buccaneers will have. Oh wait . . . that part!
    Go BUCS!!

  38. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Bucs have the third best head coach in the division!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. Tampabuscsbro Says: