Mike Tanier: Bucs Get A “B-“

April 29th, 2024

Bucs RB Bucky Irving.

Joe’s good friend Mike Tanier typed in his breakdown/grades of each team’s draft that he had to look at the Bucs draft through the lens of pewter-colored sunglasses.

Typing for his website “Too Deep Zone,” Tanier believes as far as building a Super Bowl contender, the Bucs left him unimpressed last week.

But as a team that has a goal of winning its division and taking its chances in the postseason, Tanier thought the Bucs did well.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Improved Roster:

Used Resources Well: B-

Met Needs: B


The Buccaneers had the best draft in the Tragic Sisters of Sorrow Division. It wasn’t a great draft, but the team’s short-term prospects are now better than those of the Falcons, while their long-range plan is less inscrutable than the Saints’ endless quest for loan forgiveness. The Buccaneers offense has improved, their defense is fine, and lowered expectations are hunky-dory if you keep meeting them.

In a nutshell, Tanier doesn’t believe first-round pick center Graham Barton will dominate right away. Edge rusher Chris Braswell (second round) left Tanier yawning and he referred to running back Bucky Irving (third round) as the next Dion Lewis.

Maybe it is just Joe, but Irving ought to motivate Rachaad White to improve his vision and improve his running, though Joe isn’t sure vision can be improved. It seems either a back has it or he doesn’t.

(This is weird for White. He has excellent vision making guys miss in the open field. Taking a handoff, he looks like Mollie Hamster.)

Joe has high hopes for Irving. This guy has a chance to be dynamic.

48 Responses to “Mike Tanier: Bucs Get A “B-“”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    TS of SD
    I am OK with tough grading

  2. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    Draft grades anything short of two years after the fact are stupid and meaningless. 32 fan bases are claiming they had a great draft right now.

  3. Hodad Says:

    How can he give a C for improving the roster, yet a B for meeting your needs? If you add his three grades right it should be a C+, not a B-. At any rate I believe Barton will dominate right away, and I wouldn’t be yawning when Braswell is on the field. Leading the SEC in pressures, 8 sacks, forced fumbles, a pick six sounds like someone to keep an eye on to me.

  4. Joe Says:

    Draft grades anything short of two years after the fact are stupid and meaningless.

    True, but remember we live in a microwave, fast food driveup, Uber Eats, outpatient surgery world. People won’t wait three, four or five years for grades. Hell, they won’t wait three minutes.

    Irresponsible? Probably. Neccesary? If you want to stay in business, yes.

  5. Oddball Says:

    Tainer with a couple zingers in there. LOL 😆

  6. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Maybe its me, but I thought this draft was as good as the 2020 when we drafted Tristan Wirfs and Antoine Winfield. Not saying Graham Barton or Chris Braswell will end up jbeing All Pro like Wirls and Winfield, but the potential is there.

  7. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    What I really like and focused on with our defensive picks – they can tackle! Both wrap the waist and drop players hard to the ground. No more should pad grabbing, lane missing, or we running crap. I could never understand how Deva White couldn’t/refused to improve his tackling ability. You’re a “pro”, act like it.

  8. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    From useless mock drafts to useless draft grades.

  9. BakerFan Says:

    In the age of DEI, doesn’t everyone get an A

  10. SB~LV Says:

    The thing about the draft…
    There are cycles of the same teams drafting year after year with top picks in each round taking consensus best players available and….
    The suck hind teat year after year
    So… it’s an imperfect system of evaluation.
    Sure helps to draft a franchise type quarterback
    Or pick up a high draft pick Quarterback from one of the teams that is always picking at the top and then because of internal franchise dysfunction let the guy go and grabs the next sure fire franchise Quarterback.
    Not a bad tactic to duplicate what the Bucs have done with Mayfield.

  11. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I wish I could find a good link to all his grades from 23′ for a quick sanity check.

    I found this from trying to google it and saw the Vikings who he gave a C-

    “Tanier says the Vikings drafted Kellen Mond 2.0 in fifth-round QB Jaren Hall and a fumble-prone running back in McBride. On the first two selections from Minnesota, Tanier says: “Jordan Addison is fine, but I did not have Mekhi Blackmon among my top 20 cornerbacks.””

    Addison is just ‘fine’, but was basically the best WR from last year’s 1st round and they got him after guys like Quenton Johnson who was terrible.

    Blackmon had good PFF grades and seemed to have a solid year. So dude wiffed on this grade as far as I’m concerned.

    I don’t know why there aren’t more articles re-visiting 2023 grades. I’d love to read a lot of those

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    he referred to running back Bucky Irving (third round) as the next Dion Lewis.

    If you are looking for credibility with your grades, you at least need to get the round right.

    Bucky Irving was the Bucs pick at the bottom of the 4th round.

  13. Buddha Says:

    Been following Tanier for years. A really good writer and quite funny. Not impressed with his insights. Everything with him is tongue-in-cheek. Very poor handicapper. The other guys at the old Football Insiders much better.

  14. zzbucs Says:

    @SC Bucs Fan

    You nailed it Sir….
    Who cares what Mike Tanier needs to say…..

  15. First Name Greatest Says:

    Draft grades are as accurate as comments made at a Trump rally

  16. Ugotrobbed Says:

    Meaningless! Check back in 3 years!

  17. Fred McNeil Says:

    I lived the Barton pick. Brasswell? The more I read the more I liked. The receiver and DB in the third round? I wasn’t impressed at first, but lots of people seem to like the receiver, so I feel better about him already. Irving? I was very disappointed till I’d read the comments here. Most of us seem to love that pick so I feel better knowing that. I don’t watch college football so I go by measurable and what I read. That late sixth round guard sounds promising and I like that mini-TE’s speed… Can’t wait for the season to start. Go BUCS!

  18. SB~LV Says:

    What makes it so difficult is that these are the best of the best college players playing mostly against kids that will never play football again after college.
    So all these best of the best college players are suddenly playing against the best of the best NFL players.
    Good luck with that!

  19. Dave Pear Says:

    All due respect to Joes’ friend, but what the hell are we even reading his tripe for?

    The Bucs had the 26th pick. Jason got seven players without trading away precious draft capital. Each one has a case for being either a starter or a contributor. What’s Tanier’s point? He wanted the Bucs to draft to be a Super Bowl contender? And how were they supposed to do that exactly? One home run draft pick wouldn’t take the Bucs to Super Bowl favorites in any case.
    The Bucs did the best they could for what they are trying to accomplish and that is improving over last year. A year that they were a mangled game management Lions 4th quarter away from the conference championship.

    Last I checked, there were no head coaches available with the 26th pick in the draft. If there were, I’d have more patience for Tanner and his flawed apples to sardines grading analysis.

  20. Letsbucinggo Says:

    I would give it an A- thru the first 4 rounds and a C the last two rounds equals B+.

  21. WhatTheBuc Says:

    The tragic sisters of sorrow is funny but I disagree with the consensus that the NFC South is the worst division. I believe that title should go to the NFC East. Dallas had a good record, but like New England back in the day, they played a horrible division. Everyone in the South with the exception of Carolina was competitive. Tampa and NO had winning records. The Eagles lost their last 8 games. Green Bay (who the Bucs beat) shiz canned Dallas. Washington and NYG weren’t competitive for most of the year.

  22. SlyPirate Says:

    The Bucs improved more than any other NFCS team.

    Win the division = Make the playoffs

  23. Rod Munch Says:

    Thank GOD they improved the run game….

    I mean they only won a Super Bowl a few years ago throwing the ball, being the best passing team in football, and scoring lots of points – but no, that doesn’t win anymore, now it’s run it up the middle — oh and stop playing that championship man-to-man heavy blitz defense and instead run a loose sloppy zone! YES! Todd will show the NFL how you win 2024!

  24. Beeej Says:

    They clearly think Trask is an adequate #2, not sure why that isn’t obvious

  25. BucVoyager Says:

    If a good QB had been available in later rounds, you better believe the Bucs would have picked them. They just had bigger needs to address. This will be Trask’s last year as a Buc. Not a hater but those are just the realities of what he offers.

  26. Joe Says:

    All due respect to Joes’ friend, but what the hell are we even reading his tripe for?

    Joe gives up. Why did you read it? Or is your wife holding a shotgun to your head?

    As always, if a post deals with a subject that does not matter to you, don’t read it. No more difficult than that.

    Joe posts Tanier’s work because, a) Joe finds Tanier maybe the most underrated NFL writer out there, b) values Tanier’s insight because Joe knows how much work he puts into it and, c), yeah, Mike is a good dude.

  27. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Sorry Joe, but Tanier’s assessment of the Bucs draft this year is a giant festering stew of crap 💩!!!!

    Walter Football – A grade
    PFF – A grade
    NFL.COM – B+ Grade

    The team certainly improved with this draft!!
    They hit on all needs….Still think Sir Dennis is gonna make an impact this year in the ILB role. Probably the reason they didn’t draft one….Did pick up a UDFA though….

    My personal grade is B+ / A-

  28. Saskbucs Says:

    I don’t know what these pundits expected. I saw one site giving credit to the 49ers or something because they had to pick near the bottom of each round, same credit wasn’t applied tp the Bucs, as if we had a chance at the top Edge, OT or CBs in the draft.

    It is all a joke and no one seems to give JL the benefit of the doubt after a couple great drafts in the last 4 years. I just have to come to terms with the Bucs being a respectable winning franchise, that everyone wants to continue to disregard as a second rate club.

  29. HC Grover Says:

    He is a kook.

  30. JimBobBuc Says:

    I’m with @Lord Cornelius, let’s see this guy’s record on mocks and player evaluations. He sounds like a good writer with great lines and I bet he types really fast and meets his deadlines. Joe should draft him to write some more fictional comedy pieces. If he’s a great talent evaluator, he would be working for a team….

  31. Larrd Says:

    Never heard of this fellow but of course I do not get out.

    Dion Lewis was a decent back when healthy. Bucky looks better, though. Rare shiftiness in speed and direction, and he’s surprisingly tough at the end of runs. Like Warrick Dunn. White was running much better at the end of last season, too.

  32. Mark A Swygert Says:

    In backs like Irvin, the slight build is actually an advantage. They are already small and know how to make themselves smaller, so it’s damn hard to get a solid lick on this type of back. They don’t break tackles, they create an environment where they don’t ever even materialize. (at least not right away)

  33. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    Mike Martz, who’s won a Super Bowl as an offensive coordinator and coached Hall of Fame lineman for the Rams LOVES Graham Barton and has stated he’s a day 1 starter, but some guy who doesn’t have ANYWHERE near the football resume nor expertise as Mike Martz says he knows more about football and offensive linemen than Mike Martz.


  34. Noles Says:

    Lol Juan.. please tell me that wasnt your support for Trask he sucks & has nothing to do w my school. fSU players have made the bucs a lot better than ourUf picks dont even get me started on that. LOL

  35. Dave Pear Says:

    The point, Joe, is that he implies he was looking for a draft that would somehow magically put the Bucs into contention to be Super Bowl favorites. I would really be interested in the specific adjustments to Licht’s draft this guy would suggest, to do what he wrote would have excited him. If he left out the part about competing for the SB, I wouldn’t even have made a peep.

    The Bucs picked 26th . I’m flummoxed what Tanier would have had JL do different.

  36. Dave Pear Says:

    Good point BelleGlade, although agreeing with you might get me moderated. I seem to be in the penalty box. I meant no offense to Joe, and criticism of our GM is fine when there’s a suggested improved solution. There wasn’t unless I missed it.

  37. Toad Bowels Says:

    I’m sure Tanner (as well as all of us) would have given the 2022 Bucs team that was coming back after the Brady lead super bowl as an A+ team. That team looked great on paper. But the offense fell apart and Brady had the only losing season in his career.

    Congrats that with last year’s 2023 cap strapped team that had a lot of holes in it and lost a lot of talent. But Baker had a good year and the team did better than expected.

    So these draft grades are worth

  38. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    So many people are in love with our mediocre qb who disappears in the first half of games so of course they’re happy with a typical hohum season of 9-8 that he’ll give us a long as we make the playoffs not caring how we got there. They demand we accept their lowered expectations for the Bucs and we should all become fanbois like them. Can you imagine if the Bucs had drafted a good qb this year the pandemonium that would’ve ensued???🤯🤬🤬 Would’ve loved to see that! 😅🤣😂

  39. ModHairKen Says:

    Someone needs to grade his past grades and let me know if he got them right.

  40. Mostly Peaceful Trask Fan Says:

    The two linemen they got and the edge rusher will be serviceable if not good to very good. Everyone else will very quickly forgotten.

    Bucky Irving I don’t have a good feeling about. He’s a heart and guile player but I don’t think he’s physical enough for the NFL. Braelon Allen is the back I liked – a bruiser in between the tackles runner who could compliment White and freeze LBs in playaction. Bucs aren’t going to impose any will in the ground game with ballet dancers like White and Irving.

    Smith is a Nickel who can blitz and hit a little – he’s role player type guy who will play special teams.

    McMillan is a wasted pick – decent body control but isn’t going to win off the line and won’t have a special teams role. He’s a long strider who will get moved off his routes in the NFL and won’t be able to run by lesser talent.

    With Culp I don’t know what the Bucs are going to do with a 230 lb blocking TE except see him get washed all over the place. Only hope he has is as a developmental TE making ST contributions. They took a flier on him for his size and speed combo. He’s the poster child of WR/TE tweeners except he didn’t catch more more than a cold on college.

    B- sounds right to me the top two picks will play right away and Klein could be a steal at where he was drafted.

  41. infomeplease Says:

    Let’s face it, because of his background, his evaluation is most likely better than most people here. But and that’s a BIG BUT, hard to evaluate any potential future outcome without seeing real NFL game action! His evaluation at best becomes an educated guess. But it’s way better than mine! LFG anyway!!!

  42. Rod Munch Says:

    Larrd – Dunn was a 1st rounder with all-time speed and quickness, Bucky is not even in that same league, and is much slower. Doesn’t mean he won’t be good, but people comparing him to Dunn … come on. If Dunn came out this year, he’d be a 1st rounder, or perhaps very top of the 2nd rounder as backs are devalued now, but he’d easily be the 1st off the board, not a late 4th round pick, which would be a 5th rounder in previous years when the NFL didn’t hand out an insane number of comp picks.

    With that said, again, not rooting against him, I just don’t like the comparison. To me, he looks much more like Muscle Hamster, just without the muscle part as he doesn’t have the same build that Doug had. Doug, of course, had the 2 of the best rushing seasons ever by a Buccaneer, so if you get anything close to Martin, that’s a huge win. But he doesn’t appear to have the same power that Martin had – which people forget about, but he took Blount’s job in the short rushing game because Martin was the better power back.

    In any case, I think it’s a complete waste to draft a RB when they’re a dime a dozen, and you can get proven guys for almost nothing – but if you discount that, I do like the pick as a compliment to White, as Bucky is a different type of runner, and has good hands (even if they’re not as good as White). Pass blocking will be an area to watch. Small guys can block, Dunn was very good at it, but I just didn’t see him doing it in what I saw, and didn’t see anyone really bringing it up in scouting reports either, so just something to keep an eye on.

  43. The Big Sombrero Says:

    That draft was an A- at the least.

    Only way one could down grade the Bucs draft is to come with better options that were overlooked…. outside of that, great draft.

  44. GhostofBrady Says:

    NFL draft grades are like Calculus exams in College. It all depends on the curve. If Tampa got a B-, what did New Orleans, Carolina and Atlanta get? Did they all get Bs as well? Because Atlanta deserved a freaking C- or D on that grading scale. And Carolina with limited picks get a C- to F by default.

    Take comfort my fellow Buc Fans. At least we didn’t pay $180M for 4 years of Cousin coming off an Achilles at 36 years old. And then spent an 8th overall for someone that probably deserved to be picked mid to late 1st round. Just think of all the assets Atlanta could have done to improved their team for the next few years with that 8th pick. I think Atlanta and Tampa have joined some weird religious cult that does not believe in edge pass rushers.

  45. Booger Says:

    “Bucfan1988” – You wanna try talkin’ a buncha smack and crap all over this man, when you can’t even take a stance of your own. So, which is it then, is it a B+ or an A-???

  46. adam from ny Says:

    if looking at the draft on potential alone, i’m kind of impressed with the group…

    it’s a nice group…or seems to be…

    will they be “dudes or duds”…only time will tell…

    it’s just how the draft is…

    but as a bucs fan i’m excited with the possibilities of these guys – and how they fit into their groups, and can they bump their units up a notch…

    i see it on paper as of right now (not 3 years from now) as a solid B to B+…then again i’m a homer so my view could be slightly skewed…

    we didn’t have a sexy qb pick to ooh & ahh about – but the group seems pretty solid…

    i thought our 4th and 6th were nice picks…

    i thought both 3rd are a little questionable…

    our 7th is a 7th, so it is what it is…

    looking back 3 years from now, the 3rd rounders i’m questioning could very well be the “boom”, while the rest of the class is a “bust”…you just never know…

    the only one who really knows the deal with our draft class is looking down from up above…king joel bucksbaum !

  47. garro Says:

    Right now all we can grade this years draft on is potential based on how a bunch of ex GMs and journalists have graded the players drafted.
    Pretty weak criteria me thinks. The same types who were very sure we would finish last in the NFC South last season! Geez!

    Been around this for a while and the Bucs have drafted some all time losers in those years. Virtually all of those picks were deemed high potential players by the “experts”. Josh Freeman, ASJ and Bo Jackson come to mind…so lets keep it in perspective.

    We got at least one good to great player this draft. After the first round it is pretty much a crap shoot. Just my two cents. Too early to even have grades for this year.

    Go Bucs!

  48. Noles Says:

    LOL JUan.. that was a good one… kudos..

    But I stand behind that claim we can go down the list. Starting w 1st rd Gators if you would like. Name one good one…

    How about Vernon Hargreaves, Riedel Anthony & Kenyatta The Human Turnstile Walker more than make up for Jamies…

    D Brooks, W Dunn, Dexter Jackson & Brad Johnson should end this debate..
    No doubt FSU Bucs have been better than UF