Better Than Derwin James

December 31st, 2021

Safety Jordan Whitehead.

Yeah, Joe’s just going to come right out and type it. Be prepared to duck.

Jordan Whitehead is better than Derwin James. That’s right. Joe typed it. And Joe has numbers to back it up.

Joe remembers when the Bucs drafted Vita Vea — which Joe applauded at the time because the Bucs needed help on the defensive line and Gerald McCoy was getting long in the tooth — so many fans howled in disgust. Strangely, it seemed a bulk of these same folks who cried about the Bucs not drafting James were also keenly into the Tallahassee happenings during the college football season.

For years Joe heard and read the cries of, “We could have had Derwin James!” Never mind Vea was developing into a total beast of a nose tackle.

Well, three rounds later, the Bucs did draft a safety by the name of Jordan Whitehead. And right now, right here, Joe is footing a foot down. Whitehead is better than James. Here are the numbers from Andrew Holman of the Bucs’ media relations staff.

If Joe would have said the Bucs drafted the next Eric Berry, folks would have been cool with it. Same with Honey Badger. Probably Landon Collins, too.

Well, Whitehead turned into one of those players.

Meanwhile, James struggles to stay healthy and stay on the field for the Chargers. And Whitehead has a ring. James is still looking to play in his first playoff game.

Scoreboard Whitehead. Scoreboard Bucs.

(Interestingly, all the players drafted before Vea, only one — San Francisco offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey — has played in a Super Bowl. None have a ring.)

Just another piece of evidence Bucs general manager Jason Licht knows what he is doing.

36 Responses to “Better Than Derwin James”

  1. lambeau Says:

    At 88, Whitehead is tied with Xavier Woods as the top run defending safety–but can you really say he is ahead of James in coverage? Let’s just say he’s the best box safety, enjoy the fact that with the Bills and Titans we have the best safety pair in the league, and with Edwards maybe the top trio.

  2. R.O. Says:

    Doesnt matter if we cant retain the talent we drafted and developed.

  3. westernbuc Says:

    Best ability is availability

  4. JA Says:

    With the exception of health, James has superior numbers:
    In 34 games, James has 165 solo tackles, 5.5 sacks and 5 picks
    That’s nearly 5 solo tackles per game, a sack every 6 games and a pick every 7 games.

    In 57 games, Whitehead has 214 solo tackles, 2 sacks and 5 picks.
    That’s 3.75 tackles per game, one sack every 29.5 games and a pick every 11 games.

    From a purely analytical perspective (I like Whitehead), the following cannot be denied:
    With a more prolific availability and recent upswing in playmaking, Whitehead is the guy. For raw talent, James is a statistical beast when healthy.
    I’ll take Whitehead now due to superior health, but when both are healthy I doubt there’s a coach in the NFL who would choose Whitehead over James.

  5. Christos Says:

    Derwin James is a good football player but is true that he has missed many games so far in his career. Jordan whitehead is also a good football player that is getting better every year. But i will hold off the talk and the comparison with Berry and Mathieu, he is not on their level. Those 2 made and still making (Mathieu) more splash plays and impacted the games more than Whitehead have done so far.

  6. Bob in valrico Says:

    Joe has a good point. I Won’t get into the comparisons. But Licht and staff have been doing a good job of drafting players that fit both the scheme and the team needs since he got together with BA.

  7. Swampbuc Says:

    Derwang James or Vita plus Whitehead? Only an utter moron would take Derwang.

    And pay attention to what Richard Sherman says. But how would Sherm know more than FSU fanpops? What would Sherm know about defensive back play?

  8. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Whitehead is just as good as Dexter Jackson’s Super Bowl year in Tampa. Hope he is re-signed

  9. Smashsquatch Says:

    He was the best player on the field last week. The dude was everywhere. He’s a heat seeking missile with a nose for the ball, and pound for pound hits harder than anyone in the NFL. He just keeps getting better, health is his only obstacle.

  10. Lamarcus Says:

    Yea if your content with an inconsistent defense and an overrated defensive backfield. If your trying to improve those positions and want to be better then you get Derwin James!!!

  11. Swampbuc Says:

    The village idiot prefers Derwang over Vita plus Whithead. Ignores Richard Sherman – what would he know?!

    Being a moron is cute.

  12. ClodHopper Says:

    It is true that people around here over value Florida State payers.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Whitehead is an animal and playmaker! He changed the NFC Championship game with the forced fumble

  14. Bruce Blahak Says:

    played like he did in the playoffs last year, last week, and after a big time injury he’s still smacking people around….love the player, PAY THE MAN!

  15. Youngbucs Says:

    Lamarcus Says:
    December 31st, 2021 at 7:48 am
    Yea if your content with an inconsistent defense and an overrated defensive backfield. If your trying to improve those positions and want to be better then you get Derwin James!!!

    Funny coming from you a person who loved inconsistent QB play. And didn’t believe we should try to get better at that position 🤔

  16. gotbbucs Says:

    There’s a lot of former Colts safety Bob Sanders in the way Whitehead plays. I think it’s going to be hard for him to stay healthy eventually with the way he comes up and hits in the run game, but I’ll definitely enjoy watching it while I can.

    Physically, when on the field, Derwin James is on another level, but you have to stay on the field for any of that to really matter.

  17. ATLBuc Says:

    You didn’t factor in forced fumbles, deflected balls and bone-jarring hits.

  18. Cleanhouse Says:

    Thank you JA for cutting right through this horse crap nonsense

  19. Chris l Says:

    Bottom line we won a super bowl. That is all that matters so regardless of what happens whatever we have done is worth it including bringing in Brady!

  20. Bird Says:

    Derwin = nole fans I mean the worst

    Whitehead = buc fans. I mean the best.

    Its 10 plus per

  21. webster Says:

    This is stupid. Just because the bucs won a superbowl with whitehead, that does not mean he is better than james. What that says is the bucs didnt need james to reach the ultimate prize because its a TEAM game. So saying because james has not gone to the playoffs then that means whitehead is better is also ridiculous. James has 103 tackles this year. He has had games where he has had 16 tkls, 13 tkls and i believe 15 tkls. James has already been an all pro his rookie year when he had over 100 tkls as well. No, whitehead is not better than james but he is a damn good player and the bucs are glad they have him.

  22. webster Says:

    Oh and james made his 2nd pro bowl this year and will probaly earn all pro honors again as well. He was praised for his leadership from day one in the nfl. Like an earlier poster said, no gm is taking whitehead over james. The only thing whitehead is superior at is his availability but james trump him in every talent catagory.

  23. SOEbuc Says:

    Him and Davis are the only players to be resigned on defense. It’s good that Licht usually knocks it out the park and his philosophy is build through the draft. Can’t not love Suh and JPP, but I feel DT or CB are the most important early on defense. Dean is a backup that is injured every other week.

  24. Dyno-White ! # 45 Says:

    I have no opinion on the premise, but this is a forgotten fact. Did the Bucs even go the Super Bowl if Whitehead hadn’t sacrificed and tear up his shoulder to cause 2 Packer fumbles in NFC championship?

  25. BucBrady Says:

    I was on the Derwin Train initially, but anyone objective can see that James would not have been the right choice.

  26. #1bucsfan Says:

    Love whitehead. This dude is a beast. Run by him and he’ll knock you out. Still my favorite player of all time is JOHN LYNCH. Whitehead plays like him and I freaking love it.

  27. adam from ny Says:

    steadily getting better as the years go along…

    and he’s gunned up…

    slightly underrated at this point, but with this weeks push and promoting, after last weekends big game, he might be sitting right about where he should be…

    and yes most diesel guy on the team right there

  28. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Derwin James is an excellent football player. Whitehead is also an excellent player.

    Lot’s of the James’ hype by posters on this board had to do with FSU fans much as JW kept diehard fans till the end.

  29. Buczilla Says:

    I don’t like fsu unless they are playing an out of state team, but Derwin if healthy is the better player. Due to injury concerns it looked like Derwin was going to be a bust, but he seemed to turn that around this year by being available for almost every game.

    White and especially Vita have had their own injury concerns, so it’s not like they have been models of perfect indestructible health themselves. Vita was the right pick over James for his sheer dominance when healthy and getting a good player like White in the fourth was icing on the cake. White isn’t too far behind James though and I could easily see him having the better career in the end.

  30. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    Does it really matter? We didn’t draft him and it’s not guaranteed he would/ wouldn’t be injury prone if we had. Like it was just said not like Whitehead has been a model of perfect health either. Whether James is better it doesn’t matter. All that matters is we have Whitehead and if he stays healthy and continues to play like he did last week we all will be happy we have him. The biggest need of our defense right now is having our starting secondary healthy and playing! We’ve seen what happens when even one back up has to play.

  31. Bird Says:

    Webster loves noles balls

    Pretty simple

  32. Bubby Says:

    But you missed massively on Devin White, Joe. It’s a crap shoot!

  33. David Says:

    Whitehead and Winfield are going to be a fantastic tandem for a long time… Now get healthy!!!

  34. MadMax Says:

    Haha, damn straight all day!

  35. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    Licht for sure knows talent!! I mean the dude has 3 pro bowl offensive lineman that came from division 3 schools and stuff like that… Godwin who nobody thought was as good as he turned out to be (I thought he would be good and you can go back to the history of me saying this guy would be special) but I didn’t think he would be THIS good!! Same goes with Dean… I knew that dude would be good but I didn’t know how soft he was and that’s a big deal… I have always stood up for Dean but I’m about to the point of saying trade him and draft a replacement cuz the dude is just weak!! Rojo is another one that this site was saying he should never see the football field again and I was saying this dude will be a true hard core running back given the chance… He still hasn’t had that chance to be the number one guy that gets 25 carries a game… If he did get that I believe he could be a top 5 back!! Maybe not a do it all running back like all these teams seem to be switching to but as a pure, give him the rock and let him roll, he’s the man!! As far as just running the ball goes he’s head and shoulders above fornette!! … I’m also saying it right now so mark it down, Trask will be a top 5 QB within 4 years!! …. I played football all the way through college and I believe I have a great eye for talent!! Trask, even tho he’s a rookie should be the number 2 QB …. He actually reminds me a lot of a young Brady!! He may never be as good as Brady and win 7 (possibly 8) rings but this guy will consistently put you into the playoffs as long as there’s talent around him!! I would bet my house on it!!

  36. The Daily Coroner Says:

    Ditto Joe. I heard a long time ago that you win in the NFL in the trenches. Look at our OL and DL. Both make average teammates better.