Tough for Buccaneers to Screw Up 5th Pick

By: Justin Pawlowski

As we near the beginning of April, there will be a major shift from free agency to the NFL Draft.

There have already been a lot of smokescreens stories involving who the Vikings might take with the 3rd pick and whom the Browns might take with the 4th selection.  The Buccaneers hold the 5th pick and will have to wait for that mess to work itself out before even determining who might even be available.

The good news for the Buccaneers is that the math tends to workout in their favor.  Other than the top two quarterbacks, the draft possesses four prospects who are highly regarded as elite in this draft.  Those prospects include: Trent Richardson (RB), Justin Blackmon (WR), Matt Kalil (OT), and Morris Claiborne (CB).  By sitting with the 5th overall selection, and with the top two picks being quarterbacks, the Buccaneers will have at least two of these names available when they are on the clock.

Bucs General Manager Mark Dominik has already said several times in public that the Buccaneers are open for business and open to trading down.  The only way this should occurr is if the Buccaneers get a return equal to what the Browns received a year ago when they traded back with the Atlanta Falcons.  For the Buccaneers to move back only a few slots and only receive an extra 3rd round pick, while possibly missing out on one of the “elite” prospects would be a very risky proposition.

There are arguments for and against all of the four names being mentioned as elite positional prospects in this draft.

Morris Claiborne is the only defender on this list, but with the Buccaneers lacking in defense in 2011, Claiborne would be a welcomed addition to the secondary.  Claiborne is fantastic in coverage, but might not be as physical as Patrick Peterson was a year ago.

Trent Richardson should not be taken high because he is a running back.  However, one of the most respected draft analysts, Mike Mayock, has said that Richardson is the most talented running back to come out of college since Adrian Peterson, and that he is a sure-fire top 10 selection.

Justin Blackmon lacks ideal size, but makes up for it with his power, speed, long arms, and soft hands.

The Buccaneers don’t need another offensive lineman, but if Kalil was a franchise left tackle for the next 10 years, it would be a hell of an investment.  Jeremy Trueblood’s contract is up after 2012 and Donald Penn continues to have issues with keeping his weight down.

As you can see, there is two sides to every prospect in the NFL draft, but the positive about these four players is that they have way less negatives than the other 200 prospects waiting to be selected in late April.  The Buccaneers should have their choice of at least two of these four players listed, and I find it hard to believe that any of these four choices would be the wrong one.

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7 Responses to Tough for Buccaneers to Screw Up 5th Pick

  1. Adam says:

    The more I think about the possibility of Richardson at #5, the more I kind of like it. Sure you typically shouldn’t take a RB that high and there will be good complementary backs available later, but elite RB prospects don’t come around every day. Richardson is an every down, do it all player. He’s a weapon that would greatly improve the offense and allow Sullivan to a lot of things. Is there another complete back in this draft8 I don’t think so. At least not one with his his speed, power, hands, and blocking ability. I agree with you. It will be hard to screw this up because they should end up with an elite RB, cover Corner, or LT with the 5th pick. Any of which would be great additions to this team.

    • Garv says:

      The more I hear about Trent, think about the pick, the more I like it.
      Fact is, we are going to get one HELL of a player at 5 and I’m excited!

  2. mike says:

    Trent Richardson is a Buc <—— Done Deal !!!!!!

  3. Pingback: Greg Schiano Needs Ball Security from Running Backs « CBS Tampa

  4. Matt says:

    I will be excited with Richardson or Claiborne! My pick would be Richardson (draft is deep with CBs). Food for thought though, wouldnt it make sense for us to seek a trade with Clevland for their 2nd pick in the 1st round. Our 1st for their second 1st round pick and their 2nd round pick. That would give Cleveland an instant upgrade in their offense (the 4th and 5th pick to use on Blackmond and Richardson)and they can still go after the QB from OKlahoma State (in the 3rd round)to pair with Blackmond and Richardson. This would give us 3 picks in the top 38 picks. We could get a LB, a CB, and a RB that should start immediately.

  5. Mike says:

    If Claiborne and Richardson are gone getting Kalil would he play RT?

  6. Claiborne hasn’t been tested. A guy like Greg Childs is Claiborne’s biggest test this season? That’s just crazy. He doesn’t have the elite technique or fluidity that guys like Revis or Nnamdi have. Claiborne is gonna be in for a shock when he gets matched up with guys like Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Bowe, Vincent Jackson, AJ Green, when he finds out 188lb 4.5 man press don’t work againt elite players in the NFL. I didn’t even list guys like Calvin, Fitzgerald, Andre for obvious reasons, he’s just not an elite player. Claiborne wasn’t even the best DB on his own team last year. That was Mathieu. He has a future in the NFL, but he’ll never be a great CB.

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