If the draft were held today, who do you think the Bucs should pick? Who do you think they would pick?
Chris Steuber: Wells. If Wells Wells is off the board, I think the Bucs will turn their attention to two other underclassmen, Knowshon Moreno or Darrius Heyward-Bey. Wells or Moreno could definitely bolster the Bucs rushing attack. Like I previously stated, having two or three solid running backs is a good thing, and if the Bucs select Wells, a big back with great quickness, or Moreno, who's versatile and a big time playmaker, they offer the team something they don't currently possess.
Matthew Postins: RB might be a solid play here, but it seems the Bucs were linked to offensive players for most of the offseason and then went defense. If that's the case, then they'll be hard pressed to turn down Ohio State's James Laurinitis, if he's there at No. 19.
What kind of draft strategy should the Bucs employ? It seems the past few drafts the Bucs have focused on turning over their aging defense. Is this the year for them to focus on addressing offensive needs?
CS: I think this is the year the Bucs will focus on their offense in the first round, granted that one of the playmakers they covet are still on the board at No. 19. If Wells and Moreno are off the board, the best available player could be a defender, and in that situation, I could see them going with a player like Laurinaitis.
MP: The Bucs always say they're interested in the best player available when they select. But the Bucs have spent the last three drafts investing in their defense and the offensive line, and both units have improved as a result. If the offensive weapon they need is there at No. 19, they'll take it. I see this draft being split pretty evenly between offense and defense, with the offensive selections leaning toward the skill positions and the defensive selections leaning toward the line and the secondary.
Now that the season is over, how would grade the Bucs? 2008 draft class?
CS: I'd give the Bucs draft class a B-minus. I really believe Aqib Talib is going to be a star; he was my No. 1 cornerback going into the 2008 draft. The impact he had this season -- leading the Bucs in interceptions (4) in limited use -- will give Talib the upper-hand to land a starting job next year. I was also encouraged by the play of Jeremy Zuttah this season. He played in 12 games this season and made five starts. He was a key reserve on the offensive line and should challenge for a starting job in the near future. Geno Hayes at least made the team. Josh Johnson spent the entire year on the practice squad learning to be a QB. DT Dre Moore and RB Cory Boyd were released, though the Bucs have re-signed Moore. I'll give it a B-minus, too.
MP: WR Dexter Jackson was a complete bust in his rookie year. The Bucs were counting on him to be their returner and he didn't get it done. He was replaced by an undrafted rookie who eventually made it to the Pro Bowl. Jackson has a lot of work ahead of him. Talib and Zuttah played about as well as expected, and those were the first three selections.