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.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bucs Take WR Dexter Jackson In 2nd Rd

The Bucs added some serious speed by tagging the fastest receiver in the draft, and the one that burned Michigan in the Appalachian game. He's very fast and can return punts and kicks. He's a little small, but seems to be able to play against the bigger guys, as he showed all last year.

The Bucs also got him after swapping picks with the Jags and picking up a 5th rounder this year and a late round (6th if I remember correctly - UPDATED: 7th rounder) next year. So the Bucs made out pretty good here. So far the draft is shaping up well. Some are disappointed, but that happened last year, and yet that defense was reborn and Sears helped solidify the offensive line. The front office does appear to know what it is doing. We'll see if these 2 picks make an impact this year.

Bucs Surprise: CB Aqib Talib Taken In 1st Rd

The Bucs surprised quite a few people when they chose Kansas CB Aqib Talib with their 20th overall pick. This is even more surprising when hometown favorite USF CB Mike Jenkins was still on the board. The thing with Talib is that he has top tier talent but slipped due to marijuana issues during his first year or so in college. He is reportedly clean and has said that he's beyond that stage in life.

If he's clean, which I suspect he is (we did take Sapp though) he could turn into a top tier corner in this league. He apparently was compared to Charles Woodson by Gruden and Monte had a chance to evaluate him and Jenkins, so this could be the move that keeps our secondary hummin' for years to come. I like the pick, but wasn't overly thrilled that they passed on some players I would have liked to see them get. There's no question, though, that Talib would not have been there if the pot issues weren't there.

It will be interesting to see who they end up with in the second round considering the players that are still available (as of 7:02pm).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Trade for DE Allen?

The Bucs may be looking to trade for DE Jared Allen from the Chiefs, who had 15.5 sacks last season. If they do, this would further shore up the DE spot for the Bucs, and give them a formidable trio of Adams, White, and Allen. The Bucs are apparently in competition with the Vikings. Pewter report has more details here. If it happens, it would be a good thing, though the salary cap would take a noticeable hit. Having three guys that can be rotated though the DE spots, four if one of the other DE's becomes an impact player, is a very good thing as it would keep the pass rush fresh all game long and force the opposing tackles to study multiple guys, which can always help in causing some play confusion.

The Bucs have been otherwise quiet for a while, now. The draft is almost here, and it's becoming more likely they will target certain positions, as they haven't addressed them during the FA period. If they trade Haye away, as part of the deal for Allen, then they'll have a more glaring need at DT to tackle either in the draft or through FA's or trades. Right now WR and CB are the most glaring areas where new blood is needed. The schedule looks favorable, but the Bucs will still need all the help they can get shoring up their line-up.