Former NFL GM Sees Two Major Players Sliding Big Time

April 1st, 2024

Former NFL GM Rick Spielman.

So, this leaves Joe with asking one major question.

“What does this guy know?”

So “this guy” is former NFL general manager Rick Spielman. He did an OK job with the Dolphins and a good job with the Vikings. He now works for CBS (often as prickly Pete Prisco’s sidekick). Spielman also works as an NFL consultant, so he still has his nose in the game at a high level.

Over the weekend Spielman did a mock with former NFL cornerback Bryant McFadden and CBS reporter Ryan Wilson. Yeah, Joe knows mocks before the week of the draft really are less valuable than a $3 bill.

(Joe will never forget how a very prominent mocker told Joe, almost derisively, that he had little to no desire to be accurate with his mocks — that shows you what they’re worth — chatski!)

Even if Spielman was just half-serious, this mock he participated in will either get Bucs fans really hyped or should set off alarm bells and red flags all over the place.

Two of the most talented players in the draft at positions the Bucs could surely use … Spielman has them both on the board when the Bucs pick at No. 26. That would be UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu and Georgia tight end Brock Bowers.

The way people pant and whisper sweet nothings about this Bowers, Joe thought surely this guy would be a top-10 pick. Instead, this Spielman-influenced mock has him going to the Chiefs at No. 32.

Then there is Latu. Granted, Joe knows this guy has a major red flag: his neck. In fact, Latu sat out a year as he was advised by doctors at the University of Washington to retire due to a fused neck.

Spielman has Latu targeted to the Cardinals at No. 27.

Given Spielman’s connections and how he still works in the NFL, attends major NFL events and Pro Days (Joe has seen him several times at One Buc Palace), Joe has to ask, “What does Spielman know about Bowers and Latu that most fans don’t?”

51 Responses to “Former NFL GM Sees Two Major Players Sliding Big Time”

  1. MadMax Says:

    No on Latu, sorry bro, just no….we cant be dealing with serious injuries and recovery….we’re in playoff mode right now.

  2. Boss Says:

    Pick the center!

  3. ModHairKen Says:

    Studies have shown a 3% per year cumulative chance of a herniation at the level above and below a cervical fusion. That’s for people who do not bang heads for a living.

    This would be a huge mistake.

  4. Bucs Guy Says:

    The Bucs have been 32nd and 31st in the running game the last 2 years. That’s all you need to know. IOL must be addressed along with the pass rush.

    I trust JL and his team to pick the right players based on availability to address these needs on day 1 and 2.

  5. BucsFan Says:

    JPJ is our guy and no way Bowers is still there

  6. ElioT Says:

    No to Bowers!!! Dude is too small and slow – so overrated it’s unreal.

  7. Ultra ClodHopper Says:

    Sorry to get sidetracked but today I learned why they probably called the restaurant with all the pieces of flair in Office Space “Chatski’s and that is hilarious to me.

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Latu has fused vertebrae in his neck
    Bowers is light
    Both will go in the first round

  9. BillyBucco Says:

    Bowers runs a 4.5 40 that’s hardly slow. He also jumped 40 inches in the vertical at 240 lbs. He is a generational talent so do your research beyond a few stats
    Better yet, watch a Georgia game and that will tell you all you need to know.

  10. Stanglassman Says:

    The Bucs would need to move up to 19 to get JPJ. That would cost you at least their best 3rd round pick. More likely their 3rd and 6th pick. That’s if the team at 19 was interest. Would the Bucs go Barton and move him to center? He seems like a plug-and-play LG. The problem with taking G this early is that this draft has a lot of really good G in the mid-rounds. If I had to guess I’d say they’re going to take Chop Robinson at 26. After watching his highlights I feel better with this pick but the lack of sack production is somewhat concerning.

  11. ocala Says:

    I agree with others that the two biggest needs are IOL and Edge, but in the highly unlikely event that Bowers is there, he would have to be the pick.

  12. BucVoyager Says:

    Bucs need a center but they better not be picking one in the 1st round.

  13. Smashsquatch Says:

    Not that I put much stock in mocks, but who did he have the Bucs taking? Seems relevant if you’re going to write about his mock.

  14. David Says:

    Absolutely not in Latu.
    Verse from FSU over him.

    As for Brock Bowers… No way he drops that far. That is wishful thinking to have him take over for Kelce. Bowers is somewhere between Kelce and Gronk. He’s going to be in the Hall of Fame. As much as I want an edge rusher or the center from Oregon, it would be hard to pass on him

  15. Leighroy Says:

    I can’t help but remember OJ Howard and Kyle Pitts when hearing another 1st round TE be anointed as the next big thing.

    TE is a luxury pick for teams adding weapons, not a wise selection for those still figuring out who’s blocking at guard or rushing the passer.

  16. Joe in Michigan Says:

    If Bowers fell to the 20’s, an offensive minded team that is set at most positions would probably trade up for him.

  17. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Kool-Aid from Bama had 2 interceptions in 3 years, including zero last year. I highly, highly doubt the Bucs would take a CB like that in the 1st Round, after dealing with Davis and Dean’s lack of picks for a while now.

  18. Buchen61 Says:

    Silly season

  19. Elite Vita Says:

    Pick another dropping TE in the first round of the draft? Where have I heard that before?

  20. Bucco Bruce Says:

    Joe how do you feel about Jonah Ellis from Utah and what round do you think he might fall to? I’m hearing 3rd round but that usually means 2nd with and edge.

  21. Bucco Bruce Says:

    an edge.*

  22. Joe Says:

    I can’t help but remember OJ Howard and Kyle Pitts when hearing another 1st round TE be anointed as the next big thing.

    To be fair to Pitts, he had a moron as a playcaller.

    Joe will never, ever forget (though Joe long ago forgot the commenter’s handle) who *daily* went bananas on this site that the Bucs would sink to the bottom of the NFL for decades and forever rue the day they passed on Howard.

    Whenever Joe made the point that Howard was a luxury pick because the Bucs already had a good tight end (Cam Brate was coming off a damn good year), and that the Bucs had far bigger needs than a tight end, this guy would go totally nuts.

    Joe seems to remember Brate catching passes in the Super Bowl and NFC title game. Didn’t notice Howard anywhere.

  23. Joe Says:

    Joe how do you feel about Jonah Ellis from Utah and what round do you think he might fall to?

    Joe has to be honest. He hasn’t studied the draft much. Over the years Joe is mentally beaten to a pulp and worn out with mock drafts. So Joe doesn’t monitor the draft much until after the NFL owner’s meetings in the spring (which just took place last week).

    Thankfully since 2020 the Bucs haven’t forced Joe to start researching the draft by Halloween as was the case during the Lost Decade. 🙂

  24. Joe Says:

    Not that I put much stock in mocks, but who did he have the Bucs taking? Seems relevant if you’re going to write about his mock.

    The answer to your question is in the link. But if you can’t click the link, it was Chop-Chop. 🙁

    Seems relevant if you’re going to write about his mock.

    Not to this story it wasn’t. Not at all.

  25. Pelsbuc61 Says:

    Bowers would be an awesome pick. Just watch his games at Georgia. Dude is a playmaker.

  26. Larrd Says:

    Bowers might get ruined by that new TE coach if the Bucs take him. Like Pitts!

  27. Smashsquatch Says:

    Chop Robinson? The workout warrior who who compiled a total of 10.5 sacks over three seasons? Hope not.

  28. stpetebucfan Says:

    The Bucs are not desperate for another TE. But if Bowers is the next Gronk of course you’d pull the trigger.

    I’m not an astute enough college talent evaluator, I simply do not enjoy watching College football that much. This is why I always ask FSU/Florida guys about their prospects because they watch them every Saturday. I OTOH only watch the BIG games.

    One thing that hasn’t been discussed is the Bobby Beathard option. He ALWAYS traded down if he could figuring with the crap shoot that is the draft the more shots you get to take the better your chances of hitting the target.

    Yes the preponderance of generational talent comes from the first round but not always. IMHO the Bucs are not in a draft spot to get a 1st round “generational” talent. OTOH 2 picks in the 3rd and if the Bucs added another couple of picks in the 2nd or 3rd…I trust Licht to find some gems.

    I’m cool with whatever they wish to do…not a QB early! Not sure about CB’s too early either. But QB is the only spot the Bucs have no needs for 2024.
    Starter/backup/3rd string pretty much in place. TE is the same unless you find a “Gronk/Kelce/Kittle no need to waste a high pick there.

  29. bucsfan Says:

    GET CHOP ROBINSON

  30. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Joe Says:
    April 1st, 2024 at 9:44 am
    Joe how do you feel about Jonah Ellis from Utah and what round do you think he might fall to?

    Joe has to be honest. He hasn’t studied the draft much. Over the years Joe is mentally beaten to a pulp and worn out with mock drafts.
    ____________

    If I’m reading in between the lines correctly here, and I believe I am, this is admission by Joooe that he’s spending most if not all of his offseason time, spanking it to the stat lines of big name edge rushers we’ll never have.
    I get it.
    It’s like pining for Rachel Watson…… but it ain’t happening.

    Do your research man.

  31. MelvinJunior Says:

    Yeah, the guy says that he has “Little To No Desire To Be Accurate” with HIS Mock Drafts… BECAUSE, ‘HE’ Is/Was ALWAYS, So Miserably WRONG. What a load of CRAP. Nothing but a cop-out. Trust me… IF, he had actually been any GOOD at it, then he would be saying something entirely different & ‘acting’ a certain other ‘type of way’ now, wouldn’t he!? And, it would all begin with him taking it seriously. So, that’s why. What a WEAK A$$ response from this guy. Also, I read the other day, that one of THE MAIN Guys over at NFL.Com, I believe it was (can’t remember which writer)… SERIOUSLY, stated that HE ‘MIGHT’ Decide To Do A “REAL” Mock Draft For His FINAL-ONE, a week before the Draft, but hasn’t yet made up his mind LoL. Get The HeII Outta Here With That. What a joke. Just ZERO Accountability, Integrity, Self-Respect, OR BALLS.

  32. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’d pick Chop Robinson over Latu. That neck injury Latu had in college will only get worst from the NFl pounding he is going to take. This be a field of grown men with beastly strength. I don’t see Latu lasting long in the NFl. Maybe..a seaon..or 2.

  33. Conner50 Says:

    Brock Bowers would be a great pick for Tampa at 26 however he will be off the board by then. Latu is a no go for me with the injury he sustained in college, no need to take a guy that had a serious injury. Our top needs is interior oline and edge so that should be our first two picks. Licht will do a great job in this draft I have full faith in him Go Bucs

  34. Onetrickpony Says:

    Eliot
    Bowers is 6’4, too small?

  35. Not Says:

    Fused neck !??? That should move him to the do not draft board !
    No way that guy plays without injury or even forced retirement for even a few years at edge.

  36. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    It’s tough to get inside Licht’s head. I could see a center like Powers-Johnson R1….just as easy to see Tanor Bortolini from Wisconsin in R3.

  37. Zman Says:

    To pass on Bowers, who has been super productive for 2 years at UGA and in huge games would be foolish. That guy was college football’s version of Kelce. Everyone in the stadium knew it was Bowers time and the D could not stop him. It was Bowers and Ladd who kept UGA drives alive. Kelce, Gates, Gonzalez, type TE are so tough to math up against. Bowers in red and pewter would be a dream.

  38. Vinny from NYC Says:

    Only thing worse than mock drafts are the propose trades these so called experts come up with.

  39. Zman Says:

    To pass on Bowers, who has been super productive for 2 years at UGA and in huge games would be foolish. That guy was college football’s version of Kelce. Everyone in the stadium knew it was Bowers time and the D could not stop him. It was Bowers and Ladd who kept UGA drives alive. Kelce, Gates, Gonzalez, type TE are so tough to math up against. Bowers in red and pewter would be a dream.

  40. Saskbucs Says:

    This is why I don’t think Edge is the right call in round 1. It’s a shame it wasn’t a better class for that. Latu 24 with a neck problem, Chop has no production. Getting a plug and play C or LG seems much more doable. Trade back if that makes more sense from a value standpoint and draft Frazier.

  41. BUCman Says:

    Latu is a clone of JTS. No thanks I would pass

  42. gotbbucs Says:

    If we draft a TE again in the 1st round I will be livid.

  43. Jeff Says:

    Edge rushers are the most important players on the field besides the QB. There won’t be any edge rushers worth picking when the Bucs pick. Get the plug and play center or guard and at least shore up one side of the ball and protection for Baker.

  44. ^^mtn^^ Says:

    Saskbucs Says:
    April 1st, 2024 at 1:14 pm
    This is why I don’t think Edge is the right call in round 1. It’s a shame it wasn’t a better class for that. Latu 24 with a neck problem, Chop has no production. Getting a plug and play C or LG seems much more doable. Trade back if that makes more sense from a value standpoint and draft Frazier.

    Good idea unless Verse somehow drops.

    ^^mtn^^
    Since ’76

  45. sweti_yeti Says:

    I don’t know why Bowers would drop… unless there’s some unreported inside information about character or injury issues. The dude looks like an instant top 5 TE.

  46. Oneilbuc Says:

    Who cares at this point the NFL is becoming the NBA and that’s a no defense league!!

  47. Simeon4HOF Says:

    Neck on Latu is a concern. Seems to be allota stress involved w taking an Edge in Rd 1. Would almost certainly have yo trade up for Verse, Robinson has question marks, would be too high to take another one. Lookin more and more like Rd 1 is for C and Rd 2 for an Edge like Isaac or Kneeland

  48. Bucben61 Says:

    I agree if Verse doesn’t fall to us trade back if possible and get more picks…we have lots of needs and it’s a stocked draft….great talent will be there in the 2nd and 3rd rounds

  49. Heath Hunt Says:

    Heard today there are medical concerns and concerns about JPJ playing C at NFL level due to inability to snap the ball. He could certainly be a player that slides out of the 1st round.

  50. HC Grover Says:

    A scratch and dent special in round 1.

  51. kaimaru Says:

    @ElioT

    Gronk ran a 4.68 40 and Bowers a 4.55 40. Yeah he’s reaalllll slow