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,92commentsBruce Arians and Co. certainly made a splash in Year One.EDTShareTweetShareShareGrading The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2019 DraftDevin White will a Buccaneer for the next decade.Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsBefore we get started, let’s go ahead and get this out of the way:Yes, I know it’s hard to evaluate a team’s draft picks before they actually step on the field. We have no clue what these guys will do in their careers. The first round pick could flame out while the fifth-rounder becomes an All-Pro, for all we know. But you can still grade a team’s draft based off need, the players available, and draft history. All of those elements should be considered when weighing the next player for your football team. So, how did the Bucs do in this year’s draft? Let’s dive in.Round 1, Pick #5: Devin White, LB, LSUEveryone knew that White was a great player leading up to the draft, but were the Bucs getting enough value selecting him at number five? That was the biggest (and only) question surrounding White. Which is obviously a good situation to be in. The value question was answered later when the Pittsburgh Steelers traded with the Denver Broncos for the 10th overall pick and selected Devin Bush out of Michigan. Additionally, there were reports that the New York Giants were going to take White with the sixth pick in the draft.So, the Bucs get a top-five talent that will be a three-down linebacker. The selection of White also fills a major need. He also told me the day before the draft that it’d be a smooth transition into the NFL due to the fact that Dave Aranda’s (LSU’s DC) and Todd Bowles’ defenses are practically identical. Top-five talent + need = great pick. Grade: A+Round 2, Pick #39: Sean Bunting, CB, Central MichiganI’ll admit, I was caught off guard by this one and I think a lot of my initial confusion/resentment was due to the fact that Buffalo Bills traded up and took Oklahoma tackle Cody Ford at 38th overall - who could’ve likely been the Bucs’ next pick. But after watching what Bunting can do and looking at his measureables, this is a player that could really make a difference in this defense. Bunting is fast, athletic, and sticky - which is exactly what Bowles likes in his corners. This move also allows flexibility on the outside of the Bucs’ defense. Now, Vernon Hargreaves III can slide inside when needed, where he played well before getting hurt a few years ago. The knock here is a small-school talent that played against lesser competition. All I have to say is, check Ali Marpet. Grade: ARound 3, Pick #94: Jamel Dean, CB, AuburnThis is the first questionable pick of Tampa Bay’s draft. The Bucs traded out of the 70th spot with the Los Angeles Rams and received picks #94 and #99 - both third-rounders - in return. It was a decent trade, but the Bucs missed out on some players that could’ve really helped them out. Names like Chase Winovich, Michael Deiter, David Long, Justin Layne, and Khalen Saunders are just a few that come to mind. Why is this an issue? Well, not only did the Bucs take back-to-back corners just like they did in 2018, but Dean has had some major knee issues throughout both high school and college. That is a concern for a speedy corner and one that should’ve likely been weighed a bit more by the staff. He hasn’t had any issues since 2016, but it’s still a concern. If he can stay healthy, then the Bucs add another big, fast, press corner who will fit in nicely on defense. Grade: DRound 3, Pick #99: Mike Edwards, DB Womens Beau Allen Jersey
, KentuckyThis could turn out to be one of the best picks of the draft. Edwards is a physical, in-the-box safety that can also man the slot position when needed. He has just enough athleticism to hold up in both the run and the pass, which will be useful for the Bucs. If Jordan Whitehead and can’t continue his momentum from last season and if Kentrell Brice can’t come in and make noise early on, then Edwards could find himself starting opposite Justin Evans come September.He’ll struggle with the more dynamic/athletic players, but it’s hard to envision this staff putting him in that position. Edwards will work his tail off this summer, as well. Check out our own scouting report on him here. Grade: BRound 4, Pick #107: Anthony Nelson, DE, IowaThe first thing that comes to mind when you think about Nelson is the man’s size. At 6-foot-7, 271-pounds, he will be tough to handle off the edge - which is where he’d presumably play.He’s similar to Carl Nassib when it comes to size, length, etc - but he may actually be more athletic. Regardless, he comes from a blue-collar school in Iowa, where those guys work their asses off. Names like Bryan Bulaga, Karl Klug, Christian Kirksey, Brandon Scherff, and George Kittle all come to mind. There’s no doubt Nelson will put in the work to overcome his fourth-round selection. He needs to get stronger, which should be no issue considering he is about to enter a professional strength and conditioning program. Considering who was left on the board at the time, the pick made sense and looks to be a good one. Grade: BRound 5, Pick #145: Matt Gay, K, UtahChrist. Here we go. I can’t defend the actual pick here. I have no clue what is with this team’s obsession to draft kickers. It’s perplexing at best. What I can defend, however, is a coaching staff that is confident enough and brave enough to go get the players they think will help this team right away. Bruce Arians said when he first arrived that the special teams unit needed the most improvement. A lot of that was in regards to the unit’s coverage, but there’s no question the Bucs needed an improvement at kicker after last year.The Bucs done done it again.Russ Isabella-USA TODAY SportsBut drafting a kicker is not only a waste of a pick, it also puts an incredible amount of pressure on said player. And it’s easy to argue that this is the one position in football where 95% of the outcome is based off the player manning the position. Fifth round draft picks rarely work out, as well, but it’s a scenario that is still hard to wrap your head around. The PTSD is in full effect here, and rightfully so. The pooch was screwed on this one. Grade: FRound 6, Pick #208: Scott Miller, WR, Bowling GreenAs always, this is where the waters get extra-murky when it comes to projecting how a pick will shake out in the future. We know Arians loves speed. Whether it’s on offense or defense, the man is a big fan of guys who can get down the field. That’s exactly what Miller provides. Don’t get me wrong, at 5-foot-9, 174-pounds he needs to bulk up, but could become a nice complementary piece to the receiving core. He’s obviously a jitterbug-type receiver with more quickness and speed than most. Think Adam Humphries Womens Ryan Smith Jersey
, but quicker. It’s not a stretch to think Miller could develop into that type of role, considering Hump was an UDFA when he began his NFL career. With the other players available in the draft, the Bucs had the luxury to take Miller here. If he can somehow stay active on game day, it’d be big win. Grade: BRound 7, Pick #215: Terry Beckner Jr, DT, MissouriJust like with Miller, there’s no guarantee this pick will work out, but you have to like the fact the Bucs added another player for the front seven. There is no doubt that Beckner will be a major project. There isn’t much upside here concerning athleticism/measureables, so one has to think Beckner won’t ever be much more than a backup or someone to call up for the practice squad. If he can even make the practice squad, that’ll be a win, but it’s also a very minor win in the context of the big picture. At the end of the day though, we will all be pulling for the seventh-round pick to make the roster in capacity. So, at least we have at something to cheer for. Grade: CFinal Grade: 2.75 (C+)Three of the top four picks - Dean isn’t included - should easily find their way onto the field in 2019. How much they will actually contribute remains to be seen, but you have to like the fact that there are young, talented players that have a great shot to contribute. Nelson is the wild-card in this draft. If he plays to his potential, then the Bucs will have a young, solid foundation of Vita Vea, White, Nassib, and Nelson to anchor the front seven for years to come. Add that to a potentially good, young secondary and all of a sudden this defense has tons of promise. But taking Dean when there were other needs and taking Gay were bad enough setbacks to give this draft an average grade despite the potential it holds. Now, it’s time for this coaching staff to prove their chops and bring this grade up to an “A”.Fantasy Football: Week 4 Start, Sit and Sleepers If last week in the NFL and in fantasy football taught us anything, it’s that we know nothing.Let’s take a look at how the crazy Week 3 impacted our projections.QUARTERBACK (3/3): Arizona hadn’t looked very good coming into Week 3, but neither had Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky. This continued as Chicago got the win, but Trubisky finished 26th among fantasy quarterbacks. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan and Kirk Cousins both delivered on their respective start and (anti)sleeper predictions. Granted, Cousins’ drop in points came for other reasons. RUNNING BACKS (3/3): Saquon Barkley bad good on my starting advice while Jordan Howard was able to bounce back into the Top-15. Lamar Miller was my sit and while he finished 20th (RB2 in 12-team leagues), sitting him was definitely the right choice for your DFS players.RECEIVERS (1/3): Once again my worst grouping of the week. Fitzgerald’s PPR machine didn't get going against Chicago. Austin Seferian-Jenkins made good on my sit advice after being a popular sleeper option in Week 3, and while I got my sleeper tight end team right it was Vance McDonald who racked up the points, not Jesse James.DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS 2.5/3): Chicago finished with fantasy football’s third ranked defense in Week 3, making those who started them very happy. Pittsburgh was gifted a few turnovers and even forced one. But, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense didn’t quite turn-in starting points, so we’ll call that half a point for the sits. Our sleeper (Philadelphia Eagles) came in as DST9, so you were in the green if you play in anything bigger than an eight team league.OVERALL (79%): An increase in overall accuracy this week. But we want to get it higher. Let’s get to it.QUARTERBACKSPhoto by Harry How/Getty ImagesSTART: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (vs San Francisco)Rivers has been strong and steady through three weeks putting up 68 total points while completing nearly 75% of his passes thus far.San Francisco is surrendering 23.43 points per game to quarterbacks so far, and Rivers should be able to come in somewhere around 25 points for you this weekend.SIT: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (vs Cleveland Browns)The Browns have a solid defense http://www.buccaneerslockerroom.com/authentic-m.j.-stewart-jersey
, and the Raiders have sputtered out of the gates in the second Gruden era of their franchise history.Oakland could get the win, but Carr’s two touchdown to five interception ratio up to this point doesn’t inspire any confidence in this match-up.SLEEPER: Eli Manning, New York Giants (vs New Orleans Saints)New Orleans still doesn’t have their secondary figured out and this is only going to help the younger Manning brother get it figured out, for one week.Manning has completed 80% of his aimed throws this year, tied for seventh on the season. He should be able to aim plenty against this Saints defense.RUNNING BACKSPhoto by Otto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesSTART: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (vs Detroit Lions)Concerns about the Cowboys offense could be put on hold for one week. Especially if they ride the legs of the their star running back.The Lions are allowing more than 25-points per week in fantasy football leagues to running backs, and Elliott is still Top-10 despite his team’s struggles early on.SIT: Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)Tampa’s defensive worries are in the back end more than the front.With one of the better linebacker duos in Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David, along with the defensive line stacked with Gerald McCoy, Jason Pierre-Paul and Vinny Curry, Howard figures to do little against this unit.SLEEPER: Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears (vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers)If there is a Bears running back who could make a splash play or two and end up with some contributing points to your fantasy success this week, it’ll be Tarik Cohen.The second-year running back hasn’t touched the ball more than eight times in a single game this season. He had eight or fewer touches in 2017 eight times, and the Bears went 2-6 in those games.In their 2017 loss to the Buccaneers, Cohen had eight touches in the receiving game alone, and he turned those into 55-yards. His running totals were significantly lower, but his ability to impact the game on offense is clear.Chicago will need to get both backs involved to enjoy sustained success, and given Cohen’s performance as a receiver last season, he should get some opportunities here.RECEIVERS (WR/TE)Photo by David Eulitt/Getty ImagesSTART: Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs (vs Denver Broncos)A no-brainer for year-long leagues. But is he worth the price tag in DFS? Yes.Currently the league’s top tight end in fantasy football production, Kelce has scored seven more points than the second-place guy (Tampa Bay’s O.J. Howard) despite having more than ten fewer targets than the league leader in that stat-line (Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz).Playing the Broncos this week, big players show up in big games, and this rivalry is one of those.Also, Denver is allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to tight ends among active teams this week.SIT: Dallas Cowboys Receivers (vs Detroit Lions)Lets see. Tavon Austin has the most fantasy points of any Cowboys receiver with 29 (WR50). Cole Beasley has the most targets (16), but has only converted those in 25 fantasy football points. Michael Gallup has the team’s largest average depth of target according to Pro Football Focus, and it’s only 13-yards. Until Dak Prescott and this pass offense get things figured out, it’s a hard pass on any receiver with a star on his helmet.SLEEPER: Austin Hooper, Atlanta Falcons (vs Cincinnati Bengals)We’re going for it here, folks. Hooper is far from a focal point of this offense, but is still 17th among fantasy football tight ends in targets with thirteen. Only eight tight ends have more than fifteen right now, so he isn’t far off from being a Top-10 targeted tight end.This week he draws a Cincinnati defense which gave up three catches to the Panthers’ Ian Thomas who had been targeted no more than six times coming into Week 3.Hooper may not be a star, but he’s better than Thomas. So is his quarterback. With the Bengals focused on the myriad of other weapons Atlanta possesses, this is a sneaky spot for Hooper to have a good week.DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMSPhoto by Scott Halleran/Getty ImagesSTART: Jacksonville Jaguars (vs New York Jets)The Jaguars have the eighth highest fantasy football points output in the NFL right now. Going up against this Jets offense should help them climb in or near the Top-5.SIT: Denver Broncos (vs Kansas City Chiefs)I don’t think the Chiefs offense will play the way they have every week, but I don’t think it’s going to stop this weekend.The Chiefs are allowing negative points per game on average for opposing fantasy defenses. Yeah. Stay away from that.SLEEPER: New York Jets (vs Jacksonville Jaguars)The Jets have a really solid defense. It’s the offense that’s the problem.Jacksonville knows the struggle all too well, and we may see a game where both defenses come in producing points which make every player happy.