The Buccaneers went offense-heavy for the 2nd year in a row under Lovie Smith and Jason Licht. All in all, it was a very solid draft for the Bucs that addressed positional areas of need along with addressing needs for more power and speed on their roster.
The main concern I have going into 2015 is who they believe can be their fierce pass rusher off the edge. It was unrealistic to believe that the Bucs would end up filling all of the needs on their roster. After going so heavy on offense in the last two drafts, I think it's safe to assume that next year's draft will start to lean more towards the defensive side of the ball.
Here's a look at the players the Bucs selected:
1st Round - Jameis Winston - QB - FSU
6'5'' - 233 lbs - 4.97
Commish's Take: Winston was the Bucs' top player on their board and it really wasn't close at all between him and Mariota. We've found out now that Jason Licht was locked in on Jameis Winston since before last year's draft, which makes you wonder if that's why they stuck with Josh McCown. Hmmmm. They clearly tanked the last game of the season to get Jameis Winston as well. I can't wait to see if Jameis Winston turns into the franchise quarterback the Buccaneers have never truly had.
6'6'' - 339 lbs - 5.27
Commish's Take: As the Bucs were on the clock at the top of the 2nd round, they had three legit offensive tackles to choose from; Jake Fisher, T.J. Clemmings, and Donovan Smith. The Bucs were never high on Fisher and would have probably never drafted him because he is not physical enough. I loved Clemmings on film and the potential he possesses, but it is likely he failed the Bucs' physical due to a stress fracture in his foot, which ultimately made him drop. I was still high on Smith though. I viewed him as a massive and physical right tackle with surprising athleticism. That surprising athleticism is what is leading Jason Licht towards trying him at left tackle. The Bucs knew they needed an offensive tackle, and went ahead and grabbed their guy, and I respect that.
TRADE 2nd Round - Ali Marpet - OG - Hobart
6'4'' - 307 lbs - 4.98
Commish's Take: Marpet is easily one of my favorite players in the draft. He is naturally gifted with a solid build at 6'4'' and nearly 310 lbs. He is athletic, running a 4.98 40-yard dash, but also being very fluid in mirroring a defender. Marpet obviously dominates on film, but was also extremely impressive against top competition at the Senior Bowl. The best part of Marpet is that he comes from a division 3 program. He has an unmatchable love and passion for football and an outstanding work ethic.
6'1'' - 227 lbs - 4.55
Commish's Take: Alexander was probably the only linebacker I would have been fine with the Bucs drafting. He is an ideal fit in the "Tampa 2" scheme with his speed and athleticism. I think Alexander has an excellent shot at becoming the Bucs starting strongside linebacker in 2015. The real battle on the Bucs roster could be at middle linebacker between Bruce Carter and Danny Lansanah. Lansanah might be most valuable as a backup because of his versatility to play any linebacker position. With Orie Lemon as well, the Bucs have built some nice depth at linebacker.
6'1'' - 197 lbs - 4.38
Commish's Take: One of the best moments of the entire draft was when the Bucs selected Kenny Bell in the 5th round and everyone on the ESPN set yelled out "steal" for the Bucs. Bell has good size and excellent speed. He needs to be developed as a route runner, but possesses all of the intangibles, such as work ethic and passion, to become very good with his natural talent. I view Bell as more of an outside receiver that can stretch the field. Don't worry, the Buccaneers have played Vincent Jackson at slot receiver plenty over the last few years, so Bell should fit right in.
5'10'' - 195 lbs - 4.46
Commish's Take: Did the Buccaneers just find their return man? The Bucs' return game in 2014 was a joke. They had 4 different players return punts and 5 different players line up deep on kick returns. They hope Clay will nail down both roles moving forward. Clay averaged 15 yards per punt return and 25 yards per kickoff return with 4 total returns for touchdowns in 2014. I wouldn't expect much from Clay as a receiver early on, but I am hoping that the Bucs don't go through another carousel at returner next season.
6'0'' - 247 lbs - 5.03
Commish's Take: Iosefa is a power back who will be given the opportunity to be the Bucs starting full back in 2015. As a running back at Hawaii, Iosefa won with power. He could become a short yardage runner for the Bucs. Iosefa lacks the speed necessary to ever become a feature back.Subscribe to The Commish Online Podcast on iTunes!
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