NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Lovie Smith Press Conference

By: Seminole Buccaneer, Published April 27, 2015 11:26 PM

The time has come. I’ve bit my tongue long enough. This fan base is in desperate need of a product that doesn’t disappoint.

Lovie Smith, Jason Licht, I’m talking to you. Gentleman, YOU are on the clock. You have to get this draft right. This is a “what have you done for me lately” league and you haven’t really done anything.

Lovie, when you took over this team, it wasn’t in the best shape. It did have a solid run blocking line and decent play at the cornerback position. Then, in what seemed to be the turning point, you dismantled the entire offensive line and did away with one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Just like that you took what was the strengths of the team and turned them into huge question marks. Now you’re in a position to draft what many people say is a franchise QB. It’s time to correct your mistakes.
The Buccaneers have the first pick in the draft and appear to be taking QB Jameis Winston. That seems to be a no-brainer. What you do after that pick will determine the future of this franchise. As well as your future as captains of this ship. Let’s take a look at what are in my opinion the biggest needs.
The offensive line:
This to me is the key to everything that went wrong last year. The Bucs spent alot of money on free agent linemen. Bringing in Evan Dietrich-Smith, Anthony Collins, Oniel Cousins and claiming Garrett Gilkey off waivers as well as drafting a couple of linemen in Kadeem Edwards and Kevin Pamphile. None of them really lived up to the hype. They even pulled a last minute desperation trade for Logan Mankins, who’s skills have diminished but was at least servicable. This isn’t a new issue for your run teams. In fact it’s actually the norm. The current starting offensive line up as listed on the Bucs official site is:
LT: Demar Dotson
LG: Logan Mankins
C: Evan Dietrich-Smith
RG: Patrick Omameh
RT: Oniel Cousins
That isn’t really the ideal line to put a rookie QB behind. Which is why this area of the team needs to be addressed first & foremost. The Bucs should be in position with the 34th pick to get a starter for their offensive line. The question is, who will be there?
There is a good chance DJ Humphries from the University of Florida will still be on the board when it comes time for you to pick in the 2nd round. If he is, then in my opinion you have to take him. Humphries could be an instant upgrade for the line. Let’s checkout his strengths & weaknesses.

Extremely athletic
Fast for an offensive lineman
Quick feet
Ability to kick slide
Adjusts to the inside
Capable run-blocker
Functional strength
Gets movement in the ground game
Fires to the second level
Ability to stay on his feet
Good size, length
Ability to sustain blocks
Mobility for zone scheme
Strength for man scheme
Lots of upside

Durability issues
Consistently injured
Inconsistent play at times
Prone to leg, knee injuries
Hand placement
Not as experienced as typical prospects
Can he maintain weight?
(Source: walterfootball)

Let’s say DJ Humphries isn’t on the board. Not a problem Lovie, I already thought of that. Let me introduce you to Laken Tomlinson from Duke University. Let’s take a look at his strengths &

Powerful run-blocker
Gets movement in the ground game
Can handle heavy nose tackles
Powerful drive-blocker
Has heavy hands
Ability to sustain blocks
Can display a mean streak
Improved technique with hand placement
Reliable in short yardage
Quick firing to the second level
Scheme flexibility, ability to work in a man or zone scheme
Ability to stay on his feet
Improved pass-protector in college
Anchors well against bull rushers
Huge upside

Had some pass-protection issues
Can struggle in space
Needs to improve ability to block speed rushers
(Source: walterfootball)

Lovie, there are two very solid offensive linemen that you can draft in the 2nd round. My take is that DJ Humphries won’t be there when we pick so if you decide to pick an offensive lineman, then it should be Laken Tomlinson. My dark horse pick at this spot is Jake Fisher from Oregon.
The next biggest need in my opinion is the cornerback position. After gutting the offensive line, you then cut ties with Darelle Revis. From that point forward the team struggled finding the guy to step up and replace him. So Lovie, you want to address the defensive side of the ball instead of the offensive line with this pick? Then let me introduce you to Byron Jones, cornerback from the University of Connecticut. Let’s take a look at his strengths & weaknesses.

Extremely smart and instinctive on the field.
Shows above-average anticipation of routes.
Is able to sniff out rub routes and works to avoid them.
Flashes recovery speed downfield and gets head around to find ball and make a play on it.
Uses instincts and adequate closing burst to disrupt the catch.
Generally reliable tackler.
Team captain and leader on the field and in the locker room.
Scouts say he’s willing to play hurt and inspires his teammates.
Plays with high center of gravity.
Has difficulty gearing down quickly and changing directions.
Doesn’t always play with feet under him. Will lose balance and footing too often. Not a quick-twitch athlete.
Feet show noticeable stall before firing forward out of backpedal.
Willing to tackle but not a physical player.
Suffered season-ending shoulder injury in seventh game of 2014 season.
(Source: walterfootball)

Let’s say Byron Jones isn’t on the board when you pick in the 2nd round. Again, I got your back Lovie. Let me suggest Ronald Darby, cornerback from Florida State University. Let’s take a look at his strengths & weaknesses.

Man-cover corner
Superb at not allowing separation
Great speed to run with speed receivers
Plays well in off-man coverage
Ability to run with receivers in their routes
Change-of-direction skills
Can play press-man coverage
Good size; put together well
Confident; has the man-corner mentality
Used to playing on an island
Loose hips; can turn and run
Has some length
Fast backpedal
Quick feet
Good upside
Played well against elite competition
Scheme versatile
Special teams ability

Lacks ball skills
Doesn’t play the ball well when it comes his direction
Could stand to be more physical on 50-50 passes
Good, but not great, height
Doesn’t do much in run defense

Lovie, that’s two quality cornerbacks that can step right in and compete with Jonathan Banks for a starting position. My dark horse at this position would be P.J. Williams cornerback from Florida State Universty.
So there you go coach, I’ve just given you 6 solid options to fill the holes you created on this team. The choice you make with this 2nd round pick could mean as much, if not more than the choice you make with the first overall pick. No need to thank me coach I’m just trying to help you help yourself.

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