Who Will Be On The Buccaneers Big Board At Pick 19
With the Buccaneers looking at a return to the playoffs for the first time in ten years, the NFL draft could play an integral role in the team achieving their playoff aspirations. With the 19th pick, the Bucs could look many different ways to improve their team. Obviously, with 18 teams having the same urge to improve, Tampa Bay’s draft board will change leading up to their selection.
Christian McCaffrey- RB- Stanford
— Christian McCaffrey (@CMC_22) April 21, 2017
Chances are when the Buccaneers pick at 19, either McCaffrey or Dalvin Cook will be available. With major uncertainty surrounding the Doug Martin situation, either would be a solid insurance policy.
McCaffrey averaged 6.2 yards per carry and 6.6 yards through the air, accounting for over 5,000 yards from scrimmage over the course of three seasons. There have been some pressing concerns about his durability going forward since he amassed 590 carries over the past two years.
McCaffrey brings to the table a guy who can tote the rock 20 plus times straight out of the gate. On top of that, McCaffrey is also extremely effective in the passing game, and could provide a homerun threat to Jameis Winston out of the backfield. Even if he was brought to One Buc Place without the intentions of being an every down starter, McCaffrey has added value as a returner.
Dalvin Cook- RB- Florida State
Dalvin Cook film — Orange Bowl. Counter scheme. Check out the footwork & the speed up the field. Big play. pic.twitter.com/NZgxewWDdc
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) April 26, 2017
Not only does Dalvin Cook make sense for the Buccaneers at 19, but it will reunite Cook with his former college quarterback. Bringing in a talented back that already has chemistry with the field general has obvious advantages. Although McCaffrey arguably is the better overall back, Cook is a quick runner with legs that seem to never stop.
During his three years at Florida State, Cook averaged 6.5 yards per carry in 687 attempts. If the YPC wasn’t sexy enough, Cook also scored 46 touchdowns on the ground and another two in the passing game during his Florida State career.
Another advantage Cook has over his draft mate is the ability to perform in a big game, breaking the century mark in rushing yards in two out of the three bowl games he played in. With the Buccaneers expected to be a solid playoff contender in 2017, having a player who already knows how to handle the pressures of a big game could pay dividends in the big picture.
Jabrill Peppers- S- Michigan
— JP (@JabrillPeppers) April 20, 2017
Anyone who thinks the Buccaneers solved their safety woes by signing J.J. Wilcox is sadly mistaken. Sure, Wilcox is an upgrade over the departed Bradley McDougald, but it is still an area of concern heading into 2017.
Peppers versatility could provide the Buccaneers with a chance to fill one of two needs. He saw time essentially everywhere on defense minus the line during his career at Michigan.
Problem with the linebacking side is he seems to be way too small to be a successful NFL linebacker. He is way more suited to make plays as a safety in the NFL, but may not be the flashiest player, as he only recorded one interception during his entire Michigan tenure.
Peppers is an interesting case heading into the draft. He was originally pegged to be a top ten pick because of his amazing versatility he showed during his time at Michigan. Then as time passed, many were worried about his ability to handle the safety position in the NFL and he began to slide on draft boards. Now with a diluted specimen drug test, where Peppers goes is anyone’s guess.
Back Up Plan
Reuben Foster- OLB- Alabama
Just a little Reuben Foster for your Sunday. 👀😍 pic.twitter.com/2euXNJMZ7b
— Gayle Saunders (@EagleSessions) April 23, 2017
Although Kwon Alexander and LaVonte David are excellent linebackers, imagine what they would be capable of if the team sported three young, gifted linebackers on the field week after week? Foster could be the guy to make that happen.
Foster was an absolute stud for Roll Tide, improving in each of the three seasons he spent in Alabama. In 2016, the ‘Bama linebacker had 115 tackles, 15 of which were for losses. Foster proved he could play on the big stage as well, notching 12 tackles and a sack in the Championship Game loss to Clemson.
The linebacking position has to be down the list of priorities, but if the top three running backs and safeties are off the board at 19, don’t think it is completly out of the realm to see the Buccaneers make a bid to secure one of the best middle defences in the league.
O.J. Howard- TE- Alabama
— Jake Anderson (@NFLDraftTalker) April 16, 2017
Some experts actually have the Buccaneers selecting a tight end in the first round, but it isn’t a huge need. Cameron Brate proved to the team last year he has the skills to secure the TE1 spot in the foreseeable future. Of course, there is always a need for depth, but that can be handled in the later rounds.
OJ Howard is seen by some as the most impressive tight end prospect to come out of the draft in quite some time. That is an impressive endorsement considering the current talent level of NFL tight ends. Howard’s overall numbers may not jump off the screen, but an impressive 15.1 yards per catch should.
There is also a solid chance that Howard isn’t even available come pick 19. There are many teams that pick before the Buccaneers that should give more consideration to the tight end position, including the Jacksonville Jaguars.