Yardbarker Horiz

2012 NFL Draft Countdown

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Combine 2011: The GM Speaks

With the 2011 Combine in the books, it's time to look for relevant information we can use to figure out who is on the radar at One Buccaneer Place and why.

A great start is listening to Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik from NFL Network on 2/26/2011:

Significant quotes:
  • @1m 10s:  "It is a good offensive line year . . . It's talented in offensive line, specifically at the tackle spot"
  • @2m 30s: "We're going to let the draft come to us . . . I like where we're at . . . it's been an active spot for trades . . . a good spot to possibly pull a deal if you want to."
  • @5m 17s: "When you look at the Packers now and where they're at in terms of age but what they just accomplished this year, certainly, again, it gives you another blueprint to say we're going in the right direction in our beliefs"
  • @7m 41s : "Mike Williams led all rookies in receiving yardage and catches; LeGarrette Blount led all rookies in rushing, and Josh Freeman is younger than both of them.  He's just touching what he can become . . ."
  • @ 8m 5s : "We're going to use the draft and stay true to our board; and make sure we take the best player that can help us.  And it may not be the position that everybody thinks we're supposed to take first, but it will be the best one we think can help our football team."
The video is 9 minutes long and well worth a watch.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Why Tampa Bay Will Not Trade Up

One draft publication I really watch is Great Blue North Draft Report (GBN).  They do have a Packer's slant, but they also have a lot of good information.

However, right now, their 2011 draft projection looks to be off by quite a bit to me.  They are currently speculating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will trade their first and second round draft choices to move up in the first round from the 20th to the 12th position. With this pick, they are thinking the Buccaneers will take a defensive end.

Now I enjoy draft speculation just like any other fan this time year.  But this seems to me to be way, way out on a limb.  I don't see any reason for the Buccaneers to make such a desperate move and, according to GBN, Tampa Bay would still only get the 4th best defensive end in the draft class at the 12th position.  It does not sound like a value move to me.

Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik has demonstrated he and his staff make the most out of everything they are given on draft day. There is no reason at this point in the rebuilding process to give two draft picks for one single player, particularly a player who is not at least in the top five overall.

It's another symptom of the general feeling that the Buccaneers will do anything for a defensive end in the 2011 draft. Not only are there plenty of reasons not to pick a defensive end (or any specific position), this draft is not as talented as recent drafts. Teams at the top of the order will be fortunate enough to get an impact player from a small group; the rest will get typical second round talent. Those up high in the order this year are not going to give up their position easily, if at all.

Dominik has spent the past two years refurbishing a roster which needed young talent and playmakers. If you go down the roster today there is no glaring need for a specific position. It's a situation that should be the envy of other general managers across the NFL. Dominik has put himself in position to select the best available player on board with each pick in 2011, and he should. No trades are needed to make this draft a solid crop.

Consider this: in 2009, Tampa Bay picked at nearly the same position. Their first two picks were Josh Freeman (1st round) and Roy Miller (3rd round, Tampa Bay did not have a 2nd round pick). Is there another player in that draft worth those two players?  Picks 10-14 that year were Micheal Crabtree (49ers), Aaron Maybin (Bills), Knowshon Moreno (Broncos), Brian Orakpo (Redskins), and Malcolm Jenkins (Saints).  No way any one of them could possibly have meant as much as Freeman and Miller have meant to the Buccaneers.

So don't look for fireworks from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2011 draft. We just aren't that desperate anymore.
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