First Round: Aqib Talib, CB Kansas
The Bucs definitely had a need at corner, and on the field Talib fits in well with Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2 scheme. He tends to take some chances, but the safeties will be there to erase mistakes. He has the potential to be a playmaker and really rack up interceptions.
So why was he still around at 20? The all important character concerns. He’s failed drug tests, been late to meetings, and shown an all around lack of maturity. The Bucs once upon a time took a chance on a guy like that, and Warren Sapp turned out all right.
If the organization can get his head screwed on straight, Talib could be a mainstay of the defense for many years. If not, he’ll be a total headache, and the fans will probably complain about them not taking CB Mike Jenkins from USF.
Second Round: Dexter Jackson, WR Appalachian State
The last Dexter Jackson to play for Tampa Bay went on to become the Super Bowl MVP. This one has a long way to go before he gets close to that, but he’ll get a shot at playing since the team had a need at wide out.
He comes into the NFL with two strikes against him – he went to a smaller school and he played in a read option spread offense. The former is not as big a concern since App State was better than a lot of I-A teams. The second is more significant. The pure West Coast Offense that Jon Gruden runs is incredibly complex, whereas the read option is a very simple offense.
Jackson has the speed to become a productive slot receiver, but I would not expect him to become that yet in just his rookie season.
Third Round: Jeremy Zuttah, OG Rutgers
You can never have too much depth on your offensive line, and you could do a lot worse than a guy who’s been opening lanes for Ray Rice the past couple years. He played both guard and tackle in school, showing some versatility. As I understand it, he’ll need to bulk up and get stronger to become a starter.
It probably would have been better to take a higher quality lineman in the second round and pick up a receiver in the third. It was clear that receivers were undervalued in this draft since none went in the first round. The team should have realized that a future slot receiver like Mario Manningham, Early Doucet, or Andre Caldwell would be available with this pick. All but Doucet were still there when the Bucs made this selection.
Fourth Round: Dre Moore, DT Maryland
I don’t know much about this guy. He’s big, but apparently he’s got no consistency, technique, or instincts. But hey, he’s got a burst!
Defensive line depth can always help, especially when blitzes are so infrequent in the Tampa 2. Kiffin has a good track record on drafting linemen, so I’ll trust him on this one for now.
Fifth Round: Josh Johnson, QB San Diego
I know there needs to be a long term plan for succession of Jeff Garcia. Chris Simms is not the answer; neither is a McCown brother. I also suspect neither is a guy from San Diego taken in the fifth round. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but I have no idea what this pick was for.
Maybe Gruden saw that he’s a mobile quarterback and decided to take a flier on him. The whole point of my satirical piece about his secret draft card, though, was to make fun of his habit of stockpiling QBs. I never expected him to actually take one. Looks like the joke is on me.
Sixth Round: Geno Hayes, LB Florida State
You can call me a homer for not liking this pick, and that’s fine. I don’t care. I just don’t want a guy who antagonizes his biggest rival’s quarterback and then forgets to show up for the game. He had only one tackle against Florida, and he got to watch the guy he talked trash about account for 5 TDs in an easy 45-12 win.
I’m sure he played well over his career, and the Neanderthal offenses he saw in the ACC are what he’ll see in the pros. Still, he’s an idiot. I don’t want idiots on the Bucs.
Seventh Round: Cory Boyd, RB South Carolina
He’s a tough guy, and he can play. He won’t be a lead running back, but he’ll probably play a part in the committee that will end up at the position when Cadillac Williams inevitably gets hurt.
What I don’t get is this: if you wanted a backup running back, why not draft Mike Hart in the sixth round? He’s a tough runner, a class act, and he fumbled once in his entire college career (not counting the Citrus Bowl against Florida). He’s also not an idiot, which Geno Hayes most certainly is.