1.3 Gerald McCoy DT
His first two seasons started out very strong but unfortunately ended in injury, he had a great 2012, ranking tied 5th (not certain but pretty sure) in DT sacks with 5.5. One of the biggest parts of last year’s number one ranked rushing defence, constantly deals with double teams, a decent partner beside him expect bigger things, more Pro Bowls would be a start.
Overall: B+ (he would be higher if it wasn’t for his season being cut due to injury)
2.3 Brian Price, DT.
Part of Dominik’s double dip strategy. He had massive injury issues going into his second year, and played through the pain. He had an okay rookie year but sacrificing his health seemed to cost him big time and he was cut by Schiano last year now with the Cowboys I believe. Poor value out of a second round pick so
2.7 Arrelious Benn, WR.
When you consider that the Bucs traded up for him, missing out on the likes of Gronk et al (hindsight of course but jesus this was annoying) it’s criminal in such a great draft to miss on another second round pick. No longer with the team, didn’t having much success people say he had trouble with the playbook. Now with the Eagles.
3.3 Myron Lewis, CB.
He is completely and totally useless, and likely to be cut in the coming season. In three years, he has nineteen tackles, no picks or sacks. Saw next to no game tiem in the worst pass defence in the league shows you how bad he is.
4.3. Mike Williams, WR.
In terms of value, the Bucs best pick and one of the top picks of the 2010 draft. Mike has 23 TDs over three years, and over 2200 yards, came within 4 yards of his first 1000 yard marker last year. A superb number two wide reciver who can struggle as a number one receiver, forms one of the best WR tandems in the league with Vincent Jackson. Superb Aerial threat, great at jump ball.
6.3 Brent Bowden, Punter.
Don’t think he had a regular season punt, and is no longer with the team, playing in the UFL or something. So yeah pretty pathetic, you don’t expect much from a 6th round pick but still.
7.3 Cody Grimm, Safety.
He came into the lineup in the 2010 season as Tanard Jackson got caught on marijuana charges up with the Bucs and did a very good job for a 7th round rookie, charting 2 interceptions taking one back to the house. An injury cut short his rookie year and he was also placed under IR in 2011. Drafting Mark Barron and moving Ronde back meant he was not really in with a short to start, and he saw work on special teams mainly. Dashon Goldson signing and Ahmad Black improving will see him slip down the depth chart and he may struggle to make the regular season. Did some special teams work over the year but didn’t see much action.
7.10. Dekoda Watson, Linebacker.
When you think late round outside linebacker, you probably have two things in mind, special teams, and pass rush specialist. Watson has been superb on special teams, last year being a highlight where he blocked a punt that Adam Hayward brought back for a touchdown. He tends to get consistent pressure on the punter and is very solid in that department. Pass rushing, he doesn’t see much time as a rusher, a lot of Bucs fans think he could do damage as speed edge rusher, but that has yet to materialise in reality. His one career sack is indicitive of that. Can be a spot starter if necessary, may see a bit of competition if one of the newly drafted DEs (I would guess Gholston) plays linebacker. Should be looking to start strongside linebacker in the absence of Quincy Black, competing with Adam Hayward.
7.46 Erik Lorig, Fullback.
He was drafted as a defensive end out of Stanford using a compensatory draft selection, most of his gametime came this year, where he was the team’s starting fullback. I like Lorig, he is quick in terms of getting to the second level, and while he is not completely polished yet as a blocker he improved game on game, he worked a bit as a TE too and offered some flexibility as a pass catcher out of the backfield at times, very good value for what he gave last year and what he will continue to give over the coming years, the Bucs do like their late round picks, and have gotten some good value out of them in the Dominik era, the first few rounds have been some of their problem areas!
It was a pretty poor draft, and probably help explains why Raheem Morris is no longer with the Bucs, a lack of spending in Free Agency didn’t help but he and Mark Dominik didn’t exactly do the first few drafts too well. Some later round gems don’t excuse a terrible record in the middle rounds where plenty of quality players were still available, whom the Bucs missed out on (Daryl Washington, Rob Gronkowski and Sean Lee in the second, Donald Butler, Eric Decker and Emmanuel Sanders among the guys in the third). Very disappointing looking back on it now, what’s been interesting about the Bucs in the Dominik era however has been their ability to get production out of undrafted free agents, it is quite simply remarkable, and a credit to Dominik and the organisation for their thorough work.
2009 saw Michael Bennett and Demar Dotson come in, to the team. Neither saw much gametime in their first few seasons, and were still developmental guys. Bennett showed some signs in Morris’ final year, recording 4 sacks and doing pretty solid against the run. Last year though, he was the other cornerstone (alongside Gerald McCoy) on the NFL’s best run defence, he got quickly off his blocks, and showed terrific explosiveness. He signed with the Seahawks in the off-season in a move which disappointed many Buccaneers fans, myself included, he played half of last season with a rotator cuff injury which makes his play all the more amazing. He only signed a one year deal, so don’t be surprised to see him earn big bucks in the 2014 off-season. Dotson, came in to the offensive line as a starter last year, beating out Jeremy Trueblood in the process, he had a solid year, but you could tell he missed the presence of Davin Joseph, whom I think may be overrated but is still a top guard. 2011 didn’t see any particular great undrafted guys, a few TEs who were decent blockers but offered little else. 2012, was somewhat closer to the expected haul from Tampa Bay. Leonard Johnson being the standout, he did have some big struggles in games and got burnt deep a fair bit (the Bucs defensive scheme is something I hope to write about in the summer), but asking an undrafted rookie to play man to man is asking a hell of a lot. Never the less, he showed some tremendous promise, the Thursday night game against the Vikings, he did a decent job at times on Percy Harvin, recording an interception, and some nice breakups, but did get beat a bit, he had his ups and his downs but 3 Ints one returned for 6 is a solid return for him. With the additions of Darrelle Revis and Johnthan Banks, the Bucs CBs group becomes quite a strength and having a guy like Johnson, is great for depth, he will fight it out for the nickel CB role but it’s hard to see him winning it. Nevertheless, it was a super pickup for an undrafted guy.
Those other years were pretty good for what GM Mark Dominik likes to call his second draft (undrafted rookies/drafted guys who are cut), but 2010 was a great one. From 3 guys, the Bucs got 2,963 yards and 21 TDs before the start of the 2012 season. None of these guys are no longer with the Bucs and I have to say I’m disappointed none of them are, during the end of the Raheem Morris era, at least two of these guys kept fighting when most around them had packed it in weeks ago (Blount kept fumbling but I think you could argue he did work at least). I speak of Preston Parker, Dezmon Briscoe, and LeGarette Blount. Preston Parker was the slot guy Josh Freeman sorely missed last season, ESPN had him tied for the best hands in the NFC South division in 2011, in a division with Marques Colston (who he tied with), Roddy White and Steve Smith (remember Julio Jones would have only been a rookie) that is in pretty good company (article for the stats: http://espn.go.com/blog/
2010 UDFA Class: A+ (More than ten times what you expect from the UDFA market, superb production)