Grading the Draft: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With a Super Bowl ring in tow, the Bucs did not mind giving up another first round pick for the coach who led them to the promised land. And as a result, Jon Gruden and the rest of the organization had to wait before they were finally on the clock making their first pick.

Round Pick Overall Player Pos College Notes
2 32 64 Dewayne White DE Louisville  
3 33 97 Chris Simms QB Texas  
4 33 130 Lance Nimmo OT West Virginia  
4 36 133 Austin King C Northwestern Compensatory Selection
5 33 168 Sean Mahan G Notre Dame  
6 32 205 Torrie Cox CB Pittsburgh  

UDFA of Note: Ronyell Whitaker/Virginia Tech/CB, J.J. McKelvey/Clemson/WR, Marvious Hester/Georgia Tech/CB, Bernard Riley/USC/DT, Earnest Graham/Florida/RB, Altroy Bodrick/Clemson/S, Hirchel Bolden/Alabama/CB, Anthony Davis/Virginia Tech/G

That initial selection came late in the second round and the franchise wasted no time taking the best player available, Dewayne White. The undersized defensive end fits the system employed by Tampa Bay and he can be used at either tackle or end. While we were never very high on White, the 64th pick was great value for his services.

Likewise were never had Chris Simms highly ranked compared to others, but nabbing him with the last pick of the first day was again good value. Simms has his limitations, but he could thrive in Gruden's passing offense and could be eased into the line-up, eventually taking over for Brad Johnson.

They grabbed a pair of offensive linemen in the fourth round then took a third in the following frame. And while we like all the players selected, we think the trio was taken a little early.

Lance Nimmo offers intelligence and strength at the tackle spot, but he is a limited athlete and lacks the great upside.

Center Austin King has always been a big favorite of mine and I've closely scouted him since he was a sophomore. Problem for King is size and strength. Were he three inches taller and able to naturally carry more weight, he may have been the first center selected. That said, he reminds us of Bronco All Pro Tom Nalen and has similar potential. Sean Mahan is similar to Nimmo; tough, strong and smart but an average athlete not comfortable in space. Mahan could be tried at center after playing guard for Notre Dame yet at the very least offers inexpensive depth for a Buc line that could use help.

Final selection Torrie Cox was good value because he's a defensive back that can be eased on the field during nickel situations and can lend a helping hand as a return specialist.

Of the UDFAs signed by Tampa, Anthony Davis and Earnest Graham stick out. Davis could be a better athlete than any of the offensive linemen selected while Graham is a great fit for Gruden's offense.

Analysis: You have to be impressed with what Tampa Bay did.  Though they did not get any immediate starters, they added depth and possibly set themselves up nicely for the future at priority positions.

Tony Pauline
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