Yardbarker Horiz

2012 NFL Draft Countdown

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Draft Class Rankings: Buccaneer Games Played

When thinking about how to rank the Buccaneer Drafts, one of the first measures which came to mind was how each contributed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Not just by being drafted nor by making the roster; the player can only have an impact on the franchise by being on the field on game day.

To that end, I have constructed the following graph of the total number of games played as a Buccaneer for all players in the specified draft class:

Clearly, the 1987 Draft Class and the 1997 Draft Class made big contributions to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on game days and are far and away the two most significant draft classes by this measure (raw data will be posted in the near future when I'm done playing with it).  A clear cut winner cannot be established yet as 1997 Draftee Ronde Barber has not completed his career.

On the flip side, the 1989 Draft Class and the 2002 Draft Class have to be considered (as entire classes) to be major underperformers.  It's too early to make the call on the 2008 - 2010 drafts as many of those players are still on the roster.

The two "low point" marks on the graph appear to (in general) divide the classes as well as the fortunes of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into three significant parts.  The pre-1988 era was one of inconsistency and mixed results on the field.  The 1990-2001 era which ended with a SuperBowl shows a generally larger per-class contribution, and the post 2002 era which we are in now.

We'll be keeping our eyes on these trends and look for others as we continue to break down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft fortunes!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Buccaneers Made Waiver Wire Play for Shawn Merriman

From USAToday, Week 7, 2010:
"The Bucs put in a waiver claim on former Chargers linebacker Shawn Merriman, who went to the Buffalo Bills. The Bucs are looking to improve their pass rush. Tampa Bay has just five sacks from their defensive line in seven games."

This tells us the Buccaneers are looking for someone with pass rush abilities at the Sam linebacker, or outside on the strong side of the offense.  This position is currently held by Quincy Black.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Midseason Look At The Young Core Offense

To build a team through the draft means to build a nucleus of young players and allow them to mature and gain experience through rotation during the season.  You need to find youth which is talented enough to get into a positional rotation or youth which can develop on the coverage teams and find it's way into the rotation later.

Knowing this, it makes sense to find draft needs by looking at the young core of players instead of the current starting lineup.  If the starting lineup has a need, free agency is probably the right place to look since experience is needed immediately.  In the case of the 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers young players need more experience (i.e. the rebuilding process means creating depth across the board).  The status of the rebuilding process can also be measured by looking at the young core.

To build this chart of the Young Core Offense, I took the most recent Buccaneers team depth chart and roster (both of which have been a moving target all year) and placed all the offensive players with four years of experience or less (because the average NFL player has a 3.5 year career).  I ignored players on the practice squad as they are under a less-binding contract structure.  This provides a glimpse of the "core" of the offense (players listed in order of years of NFL experience):

XWR:  Spurlock, Micheal (3 years NFL Experience); Williams, Mike (0 years/Rookie)
QB:  Johnson, Josh (3); Freeman, Josh (2); Carpenter, Rudy (2)
RB:  Huggins, Kareem (1, IR); Blount, LeGarrette (0)
FB:  Lumpkin, Kregg (2)
YWR:  Stroughter, Sammie (2); Benn, Arrelious (0); Parker, Preston (0)
TE:  Purvis, Ryan (1); Lorig, Erik (0)
RT:  Lee, James (3); Hardman, Derek (0)
C:  Zuttah, Jeremy (3)
LG:  Larsen, Ted (0)
LT:  Dotson, Demar (2, IR); Barker, Will (0)
P:  Malone, Robert(0)

With the recent influx of offensive line players due to a rash of injuries, this chart looks much healthier.

We'll use this chart for out analysis of the Tampa Bay Buccaneer needs for the 2011 NFL Draft.