Evan Silva

Draft Analysis

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NFL Draft Needs: Bucs

Monday, April 14, 2014


Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in May's draft.


For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.


No. 1 Team Need: Wide Receiver


Silva's analysis


Vincent Jackson remains a No. 1-caliber receiver, but he'll be 31 1/2 when the season starts. Mike Williams was traded due to off-field woes, leaving only Chris Owusu, Eric Page, and Louis Murphy behind V-Jax. New quarterback Josh McCown has played his best football with big receivers who win in contested situations. The Bucs plan to play run-first football under new OC Jeff Tedford, so ideally their No. 2 wideout will be able to block.


Norris' options


First day option: Mike Evans, Texas A&M - Josh McCown thrived in Marc Trestman’s offense. He even said the game plan worked because there was an answer to everything. Part of the answer was receivers who can win in contested situations. The alley oop style of offense. Mike Evans is excellent at the catch point, works backs towards his quarterback, has good long speed and is an underrated mover after the catch.


Second day possibility: Kelvin Benjamin, FSU - There are some major differences between Benjamin and Evans despite similar frames. Benjamin was almost solely used as a vertical target, and we don’t know much about his yards after catch ability. He also dropped a few easy grabs after making difficult ones. Still, if his development continues, Benjamin can be a very solid pick.


Third day flier: Devin Street, Pitt - Street won at multiple levels of the field and was able to take advantage of off coverage when running slants or curls. He isn’t overly great at the catch point, but there are flashes. He is absolutely worth a sixth- or seventh-round pick.


No. 2 Team Need: Guard


Silva's analysis


Overhauling their front five under new GM Jason Licht, the Bucs cut LT Donald Penn and RG Davin Joseph, before trading C/G Jeremy Zuttah to Baltimore. Tampa Bay signed C Evan Dietrich-Smith and LT Anthony Collins, but now has question marks at both guard positions. The Bucs plan to play power football up front and will pursue maulers to pave lanes for Doug Martin.


Norris' options


First day option: Zack Martin, Notre Dame - This is not an option unless the team trades down. Martin might be seen as a tackle by many, but his best fit is at guard. His wide base allows to many losses on the edge versus counter moves. However, his punch is extremely powerful and he looked very comfortable in tight spaces when covered by a tight end.


Second day possibility: Gabe Jackson, Miss State - Jackson isn’t a true road grader in terms of power, but his large frame does box out many defenders. He occupies his opposition at a high level and looks fairly balanced throughout. Jackson could be one of the few plug-and-play types among interior offensive linemen.


Third day flier: Kadeem Edwards, Tenn State - Edwards is nothing more than a late round pick, as he loses against first contact at times thanks to poor balance. He is a bit narrow when forced to work beyond his initial man and can lose when on the move. However, there are flashes of straight-line blocking and pass protection.


No. 3 Team Need: Defensive Line


Silva's analysis


The Bucs' defensive line improved in free agency, adding Michael Johnson to book end Adrian Clayborn, and ex-Seahawk Clinton McDonald to replace NT Akeem Spence next to Gerald McCoy in sub-packages. This team still needs one-gap penetrators and rotational edge rushers. Lovie's pressure-oriented defenses have always been at their best with up-front depth at end and tackle.


Norris' options


First day option: Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota - Another trade down possibility. Hageman will do his best work as a 1-technique, utilizing power and a naturally explosive lower half. He needs to improve his natural anchor when losing off the snap, but Hageman is adept at understanding when to bat down passes at the line of scrimmage. Teams might think he has the most upside of any interior defensive lineman.


Second day possibility: Caraun Reid, Princeton - Reid could draw some poor man’s Aaron Donald comparisons. He played, and was legitimately double teamed, at multiple spots along the defensive line. However, Reid still gained depth in opposing backfields thanks to leverage and power. There is quickness in Reid’s game as well.


Third day flier: Chris Whaley, Texas - Whaley is purely a role-playing prospect, but that role could be coveted. Whaley can be extremely disruptive in a straight-line when he shoots gaps and uses his athleticism in those first few steps. He struggles after his initial momentum is stopped.


Video: Norris on Tampa Bay's top need


Buccaneers 2014 Draft Picks (6)


First Round (No. 7)

Second Round (No. 38)

Third Round (No. 69)

Fifth Round (No. 143)

Sixth Round (No. 185)

Seventh Round (No. 221)


Buccaneers Current First-Team Offense


QB: Josh McCown

RB: Doug Martin

WR: Vincent Jackson

WR: Louis Murphy

TE: Brandon Myers

TE: Tim Wright

LT: Anthony Collins

LG: Carl Nicks

C: Evan Dietrich-Smith

RG: Jamon Meredith

RT: Demar Dotson


Buccaneers Current First-Team Defense


RE: Michael Johnson

LE: Adrian Clayborn

DT: Gerald McCoy

NT: Akeem Spence

MLB: Mason Foster

WLB: Lavonte David

SLB: Jonathan Casillas

RCB: Alterraun Verner

LCB: Johnthan Banks

FS: Dashon Goldson

SS: Mark Barron



Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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