Devil's Advocate - Why Pick Clayton at #1

The Buccaneers selected Michael Clayton with the 15th pick of the 2004 NFL draft. Clayton was a member of the LSU Tigers' National Championship team in 2003. This year's draft was filled with talented receivers, but he was the fifth one taken. The Bucs did not have that great of a need at receiver to settle for Clayton at 15. Joey Galloway, Keenan McCardell, Joe Jurevicius, and Charles Lee make up a receiving corps that is more than capable of shredding opposing defenses.

The need the Bucs needed to fill was on defense. The offense has gotten all the attention, while the defense has seen little more than a band-aid. Remember last year when the Bucs could not stop anybody in the fourth quarter? Look for more of the same this year. The Bucs find themselves with less talent and depth on defense since the team switched uniforms.

There were players on the board that were the best at their position, most notably Steven Jackson. If Jon Gruden did not want to help the defense, at least he could have taken the best running back in the draft. Bruce Allen was probably hiding in a corner when this was going on afraid to be the voice of reason. The perfect GM, seen but not heard. It will be interesting to see how fans respond to this pick. Gruden still gets the benefit of the doubt, but one more disappointing season could change that. The fans should get behind Clayton; it's not his fault that he was chosen too high.

The question is, where will Clayton play? He is not better than Jurevicius, the team's current third receiver. Picking a player that will have little or no immediate impact is fine, unless you have needs to fill. When Chris Simms was taken, it was a good pick because the Bucs did not have specific needs. This year the team is hurting at linebacker, and safety. If Roy or Reggie Williams were available at 15 it would be an understandable pick. In taking the fifth best receiver in the draft with the 15th overall selection, the Bucs made a mistake by not addressing their most pressing need.

Bucs Blitz Top Stories