At this point everyone knows exactly what Tampa Bay is going to do with the top pick in the 2015 NFL draft, so there’s no point in me rehashing why I think it’s a mistake, why they’ll probably regret it and toss out names like Ryan Leaf, Jamarcus Russell and Art Schlicther I won’t bring up Cleveland Browns first round pick Johnny Manziel from last year, mainly because I’m proud of him for going to rehab and hope he gets his life together. Character “concerns” for quarterbacks turn into “career/franchise destroyers” in the NFL and if anyone can find me an example of when it didn’t, I’ll shut up about this for good.
First round, pick No. 1
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
2014: 3,907 yards, 25 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, three rushing touchdowns
The asterisk (*) in the title then comes from this pick. I give up. The Bucs are doing it and I’m fine with it because, frankly, it just moves all the other players down the board. It’s basically like when your nutty Bengals fan friend picks Andy Dalton in the first round of your fantasy draft. It’s a dumb move, but it has no effect on anything you care about. All I can say is, good luck Bucs and Bucs fans. You’ll need it.
There’s a chance – one that could shake up the entire draft – that the Bucs don’t take Winston or Mariota, grab Leonard Williams here then roll the dice to end up with Brett Hundley or Bryce Petty in round two. How could you fault them for trying?
Second round, pick No. 34
Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA
2014: 61 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, six sacks, five passes defended
Saying Tampa Bay needs an upgrade at defensive end is an understatement. Park the 6-foot-3, 267-pound Odighizuwa next to Gerald McCoy and change that in a hurry. Odighizuwa laid down a 4.62 40-yard dash, so he has some wheels coming around the edge and could even be a stand-up rusher on passing downs.
Third round, pick No. 65
Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana
2014: 270 carries, 2036 yards, 15 touchdowns
With Doug Martin’s recent injury history, there’s no reason the Bucs should look past Coleman in round three. Coleman didn’t run at the combine, but the 6-foot, 210-pound power back is expected to put a sub 4.6 down at his pro day later this month.
Fourth round, pick No. 109
Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State
Smith had a solid pro day to go with this equally solid Senior Bowl performance and may end up sneaking into round three or even two, considering his high-value position. I’m saying he stays on the board to here and the Bucs grab him for depth now and a potential starter down the road.
Fifth round, pick No. 162
Darren Waller, WR, Georgia Tech
2014: 26 catches, 442 yards, six touchdowns
The Bucs have already invested heavily in the wide receiver position and it’s worked out for them with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. That’s why they can afford to grab a project like Waller. At 6-foot-5, 238 pounds he’s a monster that laid down a blistering 4.46 40-yard dash. You know he can already block downfield. Now imagine lining him up in the slot in the red zone.
Fifth round, pick No. 168
Xavier Williams, DT, Northern Iowa
2014: 93 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, three passes defended, two blocked kicks
Let’s just put this out here. For a defensive tackle those numbers are completely insane. I don’t care what level you’re playing at, linebackers get 93 tackles, not defensive tackles. At 6-foot-2, 325 pounds Williams is a prototype Tampa-2 defensive tackle and will probably be a starter for whatever team that drafts him before the season’s out.
Sixth round, pick No. 183
Cody Wichmann, OG, Fresno State
Wichmann is suddenly getting a lot of pre-draft buzz, with the Kansas City Chiefs even flying out to meet him this week. Wichmann, at 6-foot-5, 319 pounds, has prototypical size for the offensive line and is a workhorse, never missing a game with Fresno State with 52 career starts.
Seventh round, pick No. 218
Robert Myers, OG, Tennessee State
Myers is a lot like Wichmann, 6-foot-5, 326 pounds. The Bucs need offensive line depth and to think about the future with a rookie quarterback and young skill players. Nothing wrong with stocking up with a value pick here, especially since there’ll be plenty of corners and safeties that will hit the market as undrafted free agents.
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