2015 Draft in Review: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The NFL draft is over and it suddenly seems like a long time to wait for the next meaningful event on the NFL calendar. But frankly we’re still excited trying to break down what it all means for each team and so we’re going to share some of that excitement.
Next we take a look at the Bucs, who surprised no one by taking Jameis Winston with the first pick, and clearly wanted to add talent around him, going offense for all but one of their remaining selections.
Round 1: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
The expected pick here, though Winston had a pretty average 2014 season, notably struggling in games against Oklahoma State, Louisville, and Florida. But take a look at his performance in Week 13 against Boston College to see Winston at his best, which is what we saw for most 2013 when he consistently stood in the face of pressure, delivering the ball with anticipation and pinpoint accuracy. That’s what made this an easy choice for Tampa, though they will have to get him back to that 2013 level.
Depth Chart Fit: It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him starting Week 1 over Mike Glennon.
Round 2: Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State
Smith has the requisite size and length for the position, putting that to good use in pass protection as he finished with the fifth-best Pass Blocking Efficiency rating among left tackles in this class when facing Power 5 opponents. But he looked very disinterested in run blocking, to the point that he barely graded above 0 there, and more than 60 tackles in this class finished with a better grade.
Depth Chart Fit: In contention to be a Day 1 starter.
Round 2: Ali Marpet, OL, Hobart
Ali Marpet certainly has an impressive highlight reel playing at Hobart, but since he didn’t face FBS opposition we only got an extended look at him during the Senior Bowl. He was very impressive there in both facets, finishing with a clean sheet in pass protection and a positive run blocking grade, after some good work against Houston’s Joey Mbu at the point of attack.
Depth Chart Fit: Training camp should yield a better answer, but could be competing for a starting job.
Round 4: Kwon Alexander, LB, LSU
Not someone who graded incredibly well overall, with a pair of particularly rough games against Auburn and Notre Dame. But Alexander still finished positive in run defense after collecting 37 stops – that figure tied for the most among eligible SEC linebackers.
Depth Chart Fit: On special teams and as linebacker depth to start.
Round 5: Kenny Bell, WR, Nebraska
Solid production as a receiver, averaging 16.6 yards per catch to go with nine forced missed tackles. His 2.95 Yards per Route Run ranked ninth among his peers in this class. Also offers good value in the run and screen game, after finishing with the second-highest run blocking grade at the position.
Depth Chart Fit: Probably in competition for the third or fourth receiver spot behind incumbents Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson.
Round 6: Kaelin Clay, WR, Utah
Ran 89% of his routes from the slot at Utah, but graded negatively as a receiver despite flashing against Colorado late in the year. Has good deep speed, but we didn’t see him separate consistently. Graded second overall in kick/punt return role.
Depth Chart Fit: Backup WR and return man.
Round 7: Joey Iosefa, RB, Hawaii
Very good blocker (fourth-highest blocking grade in the class), but doesn’t offer much as a rusher. Did play well against UNLV, but otherwise graded negatively running the ball. Gained an average of just 2.3 yards after contact, a figure that ranked 50th in the class.
Depth Chart Fit: His best bet is probably as a fullback or special teams contributor. Don’t see him supplanting Doug Martin or Bobby Rainey at running back.
Josh Keyes, LB, Boston College: One of our sleeper linebackers, Keyes had the fourth-highest overall grade in this class, and the top pass rushing grade after compiling 42 total pressures.
Chris Hackett, S, TCU: Graded well in coverage, allowing a reception on just 50% of targets while getting his hands on 10 passes (seven interceptions).
Michael Reynolds, ED, Kansas: Positive as both a run defender and pass rusher. Particularly effective in games against Oklahoma State and Iowa State.
Quinton Alston, LB, Iowa: Had 39 defensive stops compared to just two missed tackles, good for one of the 10 best Tackling Efficiency ratings in this class of linebackers.
Rannell Hall, WR, UCF: Forced 10 missed tackles (top 30 in this class), and could have graded higher if not for three penalties and some poor QB play at UCF.
Caushaud Lyons, DI, Tusculum College: No snaps against FBS teams.
Courtland Clavette, LS, Brown: No snaps against FBS teams.
Josh Reese, WR, UCF: Graded better as a blocker than receiver, but like Hall was probably on the wrong side of some poor QB play. Gained a solid 13.8 yards per catch.
Jamal Young, ED, Jones County (JC): No snaps against FBS teams.
Dominique Brown, RB, Louisville: Big back that started the season well against Miami, but faltered after. Didn’t stand out in any facet.
Ryan Delaire, ED, Towson: In one game against an FBS team (West Virginia), picked up three hurries and a sack in 41 rushes for a positive pass rush grade. Didn’t fare as well in run defense.
Deshazor Everett, CB, Texas A&M: Solid against weaker opponents, Lamar and Rice. Otherwise had a rough season in coverage, allowing eight touchdowns and a 127.8 QB rating.
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