Immediate Impact: Which Buccaneer Draft Classes Have Had the Most Combined Rookie Success?

All six players the Buccaneers drafted last month hope to step right into significant roles as rookies, and there’s plenty of reason to believe they can do so.  Second-round cornerback Johnthan Banks and fourth-round defensive tackle Akeem Spence, in fact, might have the inside track at a pair of open starting spots on Tampa Bay’s defense.

However, that group – which also includes third-round quarterback Mike Glennon, fourth-round defensive end William Gholston, fifth-round defensive end Steven Means and sixth-round running back Mike James – will have a tough time matching the rookie-season impact that the Buccaneers’ 2012 draft class made.  Led by safety Mark Barron, running back Doug Martin and linebacker Lavonte David, who combined to make the maximum 48 starts, the 2012 class produced 1,454 rushing yards, 49 receptions, three kickoff returns for 55 yards, 12 touchdowns, 228 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, 15 passes defensed, one forced fumble and three stops on special teams.

Was it the most immediately impactful draft class in the Buccaneers’ nearly four decades of drafting?  It would certainly be in the discussion.  Let’s take a look at some of the other candidate classes. Continue reading

Point/Counterpoint: Which 2013 Buccaneer Opponent Improved the Most During the Draft?

Nowadays, everyone agrees that instant-reaction draft grades are essentially meaningless…and, of course, everyone does them anyway.  So if nobody is really being held to these grades in the long run, then here is my assessment of the Buccaneers’ 2013 draft: A+++.  Full scholarship to Harvard in the mail.

I might be a bit lacking in objectivity, however, so let’s turn our attention to something draft-related that, hopefully, we can address with some fairness and neutrality.  Specifically, let’s look at the 13 teams on the Buccaneers’ 2013 regular-season schedule and try to determine which one(s) just got harder to beat.  Forget about how these teams have helped themselves two or three years down the road; we’re only worried about which team made themselves a more formidable foe for the Buccaneers this fall by their actions on draft weekend.

Andrew, I will let you go first, since your accuracy rate is a bit south of that of a broken clock (twice a day!). Continue reading

What They’re Saying About the Bucs’ Draft

At this point, even those analysts who fill out post-draft report cards are quick to acknowledge that a draft class can’t really be accurately judged for several years.  Still, reading those report cards are a fun part of the whole draft-coverage process for fans, so here’s a look at what various media outlets are saying about the Bucs’ 2013 efforts:

Jason Cole of Yahoo.com’s sports section hands out the highest grade we found to the Buccaneers, an A-.  In his estimation, the grade hinges on one’s opinion of the Darrelle Revis trade, and he clearly is high on that move for Tampa Bay. Continue reading

Trivia Time: Obscure Facts About the Bucs’ 2013 Draft Efforts

The following fact about the Buccaneers’ 2013 draft probably falls less under the “Did You Know?” category and more under, “You Probably Could Have Guessed.”

Yes, defensive end Steven Means is the first University of Buffalo player the Buccaneers have ever selected in the NFL Draft.  Oh, and drafted or not, if Means makes the team he will be the first Buffalo Bull ever to suit up in a Bucs uniform. Continue reading

Bucs Follow Rare But Promising Pick Pattern

After gladly surrendering their first-round pick in Sunday’s trade for All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis, the Bucs were left with a draft hand that began with the #43 overall pick in Round Two and the #73 overall selection in Round Three.  As it turned out, they decided against trying to trade up or down and stayed put at those two very selections, eventually nabbing Mississippi State CB Johnthan Banks in the second frame and North Carolina State QB Mike Glennon in the third.

On one hand, those picks weren’t shocking.  In his pre-draft press conference on Monday, Buccaneers G.M. Mark Dominik had been asked directly and pointedly about those two positions, reflecting a widespread belief that the team was looking for depth in the secondary and under center.  The Bucs may have had a variety of options in mind, but the directions they ended up going in surprised few.

On the other hand, the selections of Banks and Glennon were rare in terms of the team’s drafting history.  Rare, but promising. Continue reading

Some Early Answers in the Draft Contest

The blockbuster Darrelle Revis trade threw some complications into the process for those trying to win the Twenty Questions Draft Contest on Buccaneers.com.  Predicting the team’s first overall pick – now #43 instead of #13 – became much more difficult, and several other questions were impacted by the trade as well.  Fortunately, the swap with the Jets came down on Sunday, at least giving participants a couple days to send in revised entries.

That #1 question – who will the Bucs take with their first pick – is still awaiting an answer on Friday afternoon.  The same is true of the next two questions, which ask for predictions as to the positions the Buccaneers will target with their second and third overall picks (now third and fourth-round selections, respectively).  Likewise, we don’t yet know which player will come off the board immediately before the Bucs pick, and that one too got a lot harder when the Bucs traded away #13.

Some of the Twenty Questions answers came into focus on Thursday night, however.  In fact, nearly half of the contest – nine of the 20 questions – has already been determined.  Here is what we know so far (number indicates which question in the contest it was): Continue reading

A Different Kind of Mocking

Mock drafting is hard.

It always seemed that way from afar, watching the experts spend months gathering information and tweaking their predictions only to see everything fall apart in minutes as soon as the actual picks begin.  This year, however, we jumped into the fray ourselves here in the CB, and the results were…

Well, let’s just say we’re not quitting our day jobs.  (Our day jobs are writing about football, so maybe I don’t want to think too hard about that statement.)  Late last week, Andrew Norton and I took turns assigning all 32 picks in the first round and the best thing I can say about our efforts is that we really didn’t do any worse than anyone else.  Including the so-called experts. Continue reading

Still Something to Mock

Last year, just days before the real thing, Buccaneers.com provided a run-down of what the latest mock drafts were predicting they would do at #5 overall.  That close to the draft, and that high up in the first round, a real consensus had developed.  Nineteen of the 20 experts had tabbed the Bucs to take LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.

Of course, Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano threw everyone a curve ball, trading down two spots and then selecting Alabama safety Mark Barron.

Last year’s pick seemed like a sure thing.  This time around, it really is.

The Bucs, of course, have already spent their 2013 first-round pick, sending it to the Jets on Sunday to acquire All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis.  Buccaneers.com could survey 100 mock drafts this year (and believe me, there are that many out there) but the only consensus would be that Tampa Bay isn’t picking in the first round.  Obviously, there will be no “Taking Stock of the Mocks” story on Buccaneers.com this time.

Fortunately for us, however, some industrious mock drafters go beyond Round One, even if the chances of actually hitting on predictions grows increasingly minute as the picks proceed. Continue reading

Doug Martin Twitter Takeover on April 23

Doug Martin was one half of the Buccaneers first round prizes coming out of the 2012 NFL Draft. And with the primetime first round of the 2013 NFL Draft quickly approaching, we think it only fitting to let the Dougernaut take the stage and take your questions.

That is why, on Tuesday, April 23, from 1-1:30 PM, Doug Martin will be taking over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Twitter handle, @TBBuccaneers.

This event is your chance to ask Doug Martin (@DougMartin22) your pressing questions about his experiences from the 2012 NFL Draft and his phenomenal rookie season. Doug will also be giving away some special autographed memorabilia to some of the best Tweets that hit his inbox.

From 1-1:30 PM, send the Dougernaut your questions by tweeting at @TBBuccaneers, using the hashtag #itsabucslife to ensure your comment can be seen.

And as if that isn’t enough to get you fully excited to learn the 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie class, don’t forget to join us on Thursday, April 25, to watch the primetime first round at Raymond James Stadium for the Official Draft Party!

Point/Counterpoint: First Annual Captain’s Blog NFL Mock Draft!

Less than a week left until the beginning of 2013 NFL Draft. Needless to say, we are all getting a little antsy. With big news coming out yesterday with the NFL schedule release, we at least have something to tide us over for the long week of waiting ahead.

However, since we have already speculated about which opponents we are most excited about seeing and which game we want to see for our opener, I say we spend this week working out just how this draft might go down.

Since January, we’ve been seeing and reporting on the experts from ESPN, NFL.com, and countless other mock draft about who the Buccaneers could potentially snag with the 13th selection. So, I propose that we make our own.

Ladies and gentlemen: the First Annual Captain’s Blog NFL Mock Draft (FACBNFLMD)! One-by-one, pick-by-pick, let’s conjure up our own 2013 NFL Draft opening round.  As a gentleman, I’ll let you get the first overall pick with the Kansas City Chiefs. I’ll take the Jaguars at number two and send it back to you with the Raiders at pick three. Et cetera, et cetera.

Without further ado… With the first pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Chiefs (via Scott Smith) select… Continue reading