Yardbarker Horiz

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Post Draft Update: The Young Core Defense

The draft is barely over and a pandemic of hope is sweeping across the NFL.  Fans believe their teams have the players they need to improve.  Front offices around the league are celebrating their new, young stars.  It is no different in Tampa.  A closer look shows the hope is very well founded in the Bay Area.

Here is the updated young core defense, last reveiwed just before the draft. The "young core" is made up of the players on the 80-man offseason roster with five or fewer seasons.

Bold is a 2010 draft pick, italics is 2010 college free agent, slashed is cut since the draft.  Players are arranged by experience, nothing else:

RE: Stylez White (4th year), Tim Crowder (4), Maurice Evans (1), Brandon Gilbeaux (0)
DT: Roy Miller (2), Brian Price (0)
DT: Dre Moore (2), Gerald McCoy (0)
LE: Kyle Moore (2), Micheal Bennett (2), Erik Lorig (0), James Ruffin (0)
SLB: Jon Alston(5), Quincy Black (4), Lee Robinson (1)
MLB:  Adam Hayward (4), Rico McCoy (0)
WLB: Geno Hayes (3), Dekoda Watson (0)
LCB: Aquib Talib (3), Derrick Roberson (2), Brandon Anderson (1)
RCB: Elbert Mack (3), E.J. Biggers (1), Myron Lewis (0), Stony Woodson (1)
SS: Sabby Piscatelli (4), Emanuel Cook (2), Donte Nicholson (2), Cody Grimm (0)
FS: Tanard Jackson (4), Corey Lynch (3), De'von Hall (1), Dennis Rogan (0)

This is an absolutely perfect looking defensive position chart with at least two players competing at every spot.  The rebuilding phase is officially over for the defense!  From this point on it's about getting as much talent on this chart as possible each offseason and letting them fight it out through Organized Team Activities (OTAs), work in the weight room, conditioning, and finally in the preseason.  This is how and this is when depth is born.  A 3-13 team is generally not in this position due to some combination of poor drafting, poor use of the wiaver wire, poor player development, or too much reliance on veteran free agents. The Buccaneers appear to have these issues resolved.  It's an exciting indicator of progress and good things to come this fall to a unit which struggled last year.

These 33 players will compete for 22 positions on the two-deep depth chart.  Around another 4 of these players may go to the practice squad.  Best of Luck to all these men as they chase their dream of playing in the NFL!

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