Yardbarker Horiz

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tampa Bay Draft Summary

Having completed a review of the young offensive core and young defensive core on the rebuilding Tampa Bay Buccaneers on this blog, I offer a prioritized list of positions I hope the team hits during the 2010 draft.  But first, lets check out what the Buccaneers have to work with.

The Buccaneers have 11 picks in the 2010 NFL Draft:
Round 1, #3 (3rd overall)
Round 2, #3 (35th overall)
Round 2, #10 (42nd overall) -- via the Gaines Adams (Defensive End) trade to Chicago in 2009
Round 3, #3 (67th overall)
Round 4, #3 (101st overall)
Round 5, #22 (153rd overall) -- via the Alex Smith (Tight End) trade to New England in 2009; this pick replaces the fifth round pick given up to Cleveland for Tight End Kellen Winslow in 2009
Round 6, #3 (172nd overall)
Round 7, #3 (210th overall)
Round 7, #10 (217th overall) -- via the Luke McCown trade to Jacksonville in 2009
Round 7, #25 (232nd overall) -- via the Marques Douglas trade to Baltimore in 2008
Round 7, #46 (253rd overall) -- compensatory pick

Analysis posted here over the past two days show the Buccaneers needing six defensive players and between four and six offensive players to keep the rebuilding process moving along.  What a perfect time to have four additional picks available!

Here is my prioritized list for the picks above:

Four picks in the first three Rounds
Defensive Lineman (looks like the first pick is going to nail this solidly)
Corner
Safety
Wide Receiver

Top corner talent is hard to find, so the hope is that there is some great talent at the first pick in the second round to get a corner (I'll be cheering for lots of linemen to come off the board in the first round!).  I have no preference for safety or wide receiver as the second pick in the second round -- I just hope one position or the other is at the top of the draft board when the pick comes around.

Three picks in rounds 4 through 6
Center or versatile Guard
Another Defensive Lineman
A Middle Linebacker

Again, the order really doesn't matter.  These are not players that need to start on day one of the 2010 season.  Get football players who will be ready to compete, play special teams, and step it up for 2011.  If there is a wide receiver at the top of the board for one of these picks. . . it would be tempting.

Four picks in the 7th round
Wide Receiver
Tight End
Running back
Another Linebacker, any position

These are special teams warriors, hidden gems, or all out athletes.  Can the Buccaneers possibly catch lighting in a bottle with another 7th round wide receiver in 2010?  I would not complain if there was no running back taken and a third wide receiver or third linebacker were taken instead.  To be honest, at this point in the draft you are looking for someone who can play at an NFL level.  To try to fill a positional need here is very challenging, so if none of the seventh round picks line up with these positions then you just carry the need over to next year (hoping the needs fulfilled early in the draft this year don't come back again next year).

The Buccaneers rebuilding process would take a monsterous step forward if all eleven picks in the 2010 draft could find a way into the rotation for playing time on Sundays this fall.  However, this is not realistic, as some players will have injuries, not fit the systems as hoped, or perhaps not have exactly the right personality to meld into the team.  But with 11 chances to find the right player, the 2010 draft will determine how short or how long it takes to rebuild the team into a playoff contender.

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