By now, most of you know the dire needs the Bucs have at key positions. They need a franchise quarterback. They need at least two new starters on their offensive line. They need someone who can rush the quarterback. While they might not have a need for running back on paper, the Bucs also just need talent, which leads us to Todd Gurley.
Gurley was a sure-fire 1st round pick throughout most of the 2014 season. He possesses all of the qualities you want in a potential elite running back. He's big, strong, fast, and can catch the ball out of the backfield. He's as close to a complete package as you will find.
After being suspended for possibly selling his autograph during the 2014 season, I said that he should have just signed with an agent and prepared for the NFL Draft. It was a blessing in disguise as he would have been able to end his collegiate career healthy. Instead, Gurley's competitiveness got the best of him. He returned to the field and would tear his ACL in a 34-7 win over Auburn on November 15.
Teams never want damaged goods in the NFL Draft unless the talent and the reward outweigh the risk.
Tearing an ACL is nowhere near the type of injury it was 10-20 years ago. Players are returning from ACL tears at an alarming rate. However, there is also that risk and some patience that comes along with it.
Holding the 2nd pick in the 2nd round, if Gurley slides to the 2nd round, I believe the Bucs should be ready to pounce. I feel this draft possesses a good amount of mid-round offensive linemen, which means the Bucs can wait until the 3rd and 4th rounds to get quality offensive linemen who can step in and start right away. If Lovie Smith is serious about establishing a ground game, he needs a top notch back to pair with an improved offensive line.
Gurley has been projected to the Cowboys, Chargers, Ravens, and Seahawks in recent mocks drafts, while also falling into the 2nd round in others. Whatever team gets Gurley will have a potential star at running back.
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