2008 Bucs' Schedule: PNG

Monday, April 28, 2008

Draft Roundup

Well, the Bucs finished off their draft yesterday by selecting OL Jeremy Zuttah (3rd Rd), DT Dre` Moore (4th Rd), QB Josh Johnson (5th Rd), LB Geno Hayes (6th Rd), and RB Cory Boyd (7th Rd). The Bucs made the trade in the 2nd round that got them a pick in rounds 6 and 7, giving them a pick in each round.

Zuttah was the fastest lineman in the draft with decent size and average power, but with the versatility to play just about every position on the line. He'll be a very good back-up to add depth to the line as well as competition.

DT Dre` Moore was the fastest DT in the draft and had some very solid play at Maryland. He would have been drafted much higher if scouts didn't think he took plays off. Moore says that his defense makes it look that way because he often has to read the play or back up and prepare to drop into coverage. Which is true will soon be shown, as there are no read plays in this defense. With the Bucs you attack your gaps and hold the fort or make the play. If Moore plays consistently he could be a steal. This is because he only started playing football the last couple years and he's consistently gotten much better over time. So he's still not fully tapped, and this coaching staff should be able to get the full gamut out of him.

In the fifth round, the Bucs picked up a guy that some people can't seem to get a grasp on, which I will explain shortly. Many fans don't follow all the players enough to know who's who coming out, and most thought we should have picked up Brian Brohm in the 2nrd round, or at least Chad Henne. Bumpkis, I say. The Bucs would have created too much pressure at the position if they had picked up a QB in round 2. By selecting one in the 5th, they can afford to wait. But even better, the Bucs picked up a guy that, to paraphrase Bruce Allen, has not good stats, nor great stats, but spectacular stats. When I first saw his numbers a couple of months ago, I immediately recognized what a talent he will be. The numbers 113 to 15 (TD's to INT's) is phenomenal at any level. When combined with his roughly 69% completion percentage, and the nearly 10,000 passing yards, it's clear he know how to place the ball in the right spot (his lone pick last season bounced off the chest of his Tight End first). Now add the fact that Jim Harbaugh (former NFL QB that learned under Gruden) brought in Gruden's WC offense, and that's what Johnson has been running, you can see why the Bucs took him. Not too mention he was the fastest QB and ran for 1800+ yards. Needless to say, if any young QB is likely to be "developed" under Gruden, this is it. I think he'll light it up in Pre-Season, but will need time to adjust to the NFL speed to be regular season ready. Mark my words: Johnson is a steal for the Bucs and will push McCown for the right to start when Garcia hangs 'em up or becomes ineffective/hurt.

The Bucs then picked up FSU LB Gen Hayes who some thought was the next coming of Derrick Brooks, though he's more like the next coming of "Don't tase me, bro!" Still, he could be a solid player for this team, though I envision him finding his way to the practice squad, since that now makes 12 LB's on this team.

The Bucs finished their draft by selecting RB Cory Boyd out of South Carolina. He's a back with good size, speed, and vision, but lacks the break-away speed that would have put him much higher in the draft. He's a very good receiver as well, so he should make a nice addition to the staple here, but will have to fight his butt off to earn a spot.

Overall, the Bucs did a solid job in this year's draft, and reminds me to some degree of last year. I don't think they really blew any picks, though some are still hung up on Talib (get over it...he's BETTER than Jenkins!). Nevertheless, we'll find out soon what these rooks are made of. With Johnson's selection, Gradkowski's fate is sealed. Simms is likely to be gone too, unless he shows up for workouts and just outright beats Griese out. Garcia and McCown are the other locks, and the Bucs will only go to camp with 5 QB's so two are going to be gone before camp. They will probably carry 4 during the season.


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