With the draft right “around the corner,” let’s take a look at some potential picks for your Tampa Bay Bucs. We will focus on the running backs and the defensive backs in this article. I will look at some big and not so big names in this draft.
The Bucs have struggled in the past three years running the football. Now whether that’s because of coaching philosophy or ability remains to be seen. The buzz around the league is that the Bucs are in play for Le’Veon Bell. That would be a HUGE upgrade for our offense, but it will also cost a pretty penny with Bell reportedly wanting a contract of around $17 million a year. Now if the Bucs and Bucco Bruce decide to go in a different direction, here are some names that will definitely be in the mix.
Damien Harris/Josh Jacobs: I put the two highest rated RBs together because they are both very similar and both played for Bama. Harris is 5′ 10′ 216 lbs and Jacobs is 5′ 10″ 214 lbs. The similarities don’t end there with Harris running a 4.5 40 yard dash and Jacobs running a 4.49. Both guys are very good patient runners. They can go north-south or east-west. They both have great vision and use the cutback lanes to their advantage. They are both good at catching out of the backfield, and Jacobs is also a prolific kick returner. One of the biggest issues with the Tampa RBs has been blocking, with only Rodgers being used in that role for the past couple of years. Both of these guys are very good blockers with Jacobs making the highlight reel multiple times with huge blocks to spring running plays into the next level.
Benny Snell Jr: Another Sec RB is at the #3 ranking of this year’s RB class. Kentucky posted an impressive 10-3 record and Benny Snell was one of the main reasons why. His statline is impressive with a 5.0 ypc average and 1,449 yards and 16 TDs. One of the most impressive things about Snell is his ability to not be brought down on first contact. Standing at 5′ 11″ 222 lbs he is a physical runner with a powerful build that makes him extremely tough to get on the ground. On top of that he has quickness to be able to hit the hole and pull away from defenders.
Now the RB class is very deep with even the top RBs being graded out to maybe still be in the second round. So the names I tell you now are all bunched up with similar rankings. Lamical Perine, Isaiah Holyfield, Justice Hill, Bryce Love are all names that you should keep in mind when the Bucs are on the clock. Bucs could pick an RB anywhere from Rounds 2-5 and get a player that could have an immediate impact for this team in 2019.
We will now take a look at possible Defensive Backs.
Deandre Baker: SURPRISE! Were you expecting someone else? Now I know that most Bucs fans want Greedy Williams, but there are other DBs that should be in the running at #5. Now Baker had a very good year for Georgia both in 2017 and 2018. He totaled 40 tackles, 9 pass breakups, 2 interceptions, and a forced fumble. He showed the ability to cover top receivers and be able to prevent separation. He has similarities in his game to both Denzel Ward and Tre’Davious White.
Byron Murphy: Arguably the best CB in College Football last year Byron Murphy showed all the skills to be a top CB prospect for the NFL and projects to be a very good player. The only issue is his small frame. Murphy needs to put on weight to handle the grind of the NFL. He has good cover skills and is great at preventing separation.
Greedy Williams: Here’s the one that we have all been waiting for. Here’s a player who had ups and downs and still has every fanbase with a CB need buzzing for their team to pick him. He is a stand out CB and is very good at causing incompletions and batting the ball away. He can run the routes with any receiver and has very good ability in preventing separation. The main issue is how skinny he is. Teams could raise questions over his durability. If he packs on some weight, he could be the #1 CB that is taken in the draft.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson: A dark horse in the CB class is the former Gator standout. He played anywhere from CB to slot corner to safety. He was solid against both pass and run and will be a good piece for a team that needs a player that could play multiple positions. He reminds teams of a Better version of Duke Dawson, who was a second RD pick last year and also played at Florida.
It’s safe to say that the Bucs should find an impact player in the first two rounds of the draft. A lot of things can and will change in the months leading up to the draft, especially during the combine and pro days for each respective school.
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