You Licht That? Considerations for the 19th Overall Pick

A Guest Post by /u/TheHoodTheBadTheUgly

In the first edition of ‘You Licht That?’ We breakdown 10 of the most common picks mocked to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at #19 overall as we prepare for the 2017.

Defensive Ends

Charles Harris

(Missouri)

Charles Harris. Image courtesy of the Kansas City Star

Charles Harris. Image courtesy of the Kansas City Star

You Licht That?!?

No. 

 

A true, long, 4-3 speed rusher, Harris will have no shortage of suitors come day one of the draft. A high energy player, Harris has great lateral mobility and a quick first step. However, in more than a few games, Harris was all but shut down by opposing lines. His apologists will say that Missouri struggled to utilize him to his full potential in their defensive scheme but when you watch his tape, you see a one dimensional defender who is a complete liability against the run.

Harris’ stock is likely to be given a bump by the recent success of his predecessors: Kony Ealy, Shane Ray, Markus Golden, and Michael Sam. From the Buccaneers standpoint, I would think that Mike Smith is likely to see a lower-ceiling Noah Spence and opt to look elsewhere.

DE Taco Charlton

(Michigan)

Image courtesy of FanRag Sports

Image courtesy of FanRag Sports

You Licht That?!?

Yes!

At 6’ 6” Vidauntae “Taco” Charlton is a rare combo of size, reach, and athleticism. Despite his much documented lack of real production on a consistent basis, his potential is massive. Taco’s upside, being his body, size, and mobility are things you can’t teach whereas his weaknesses such as his technique, pad-level, and sequencing, are all things that can be coached. At #19, Tampa would not be drafting a plug and play DE. Instead, they would be continuing their strategy of signing productive vets with great leadership and pairing them with rookies to learn under them. Grimes and VH3, David and Kwon, and Ayers and Spence have all worked out well. Taco could step in and learn from an already stacked front four rotation. Plus, looking to the future in Tampa and seeing a seasoned Noah Spence and Taco Charlton at DE a few years down the line could be a scary combo for opposing lines. Truthfully, this would be one of the least sexy picks at #19 for the Bucs but it might be an intelligent one. Robert Ayers will be 32 in September and this pick, along with the recent re-signing of William Gholston, would solidify our rotation for years to come.


Safeties

Budda Baker

(Washington)

You Licht That?!?

Yes...But not at #19...

Sitting at 19 on Mel’s Big Board, Budda Baker is likely to be there for Tampa at #19 (Provided some QB needy teams do some reaching). GMs will be cautious due to Baker’s size (5’ 10” 195lbs) and head on tackling issues. The Bucs however, like myself, are likely to be high on Budda for both his production and intangibles. 199 tackles, 13 for loss, 5 ints, and 3 forced fumbles is nothing to scoff at and when you watch his tape, there is much more. You will be hard pressed to see the ball and Budda more than 5 yards apart for more than a few seconds. He is explosive and instinctual in tracking the ball and has great passion for football. Yes, he is undersized but he has the ‘love for football’ mind that will attract Bucs scouts. My only knock would be that he leaves a lot to be desired as a tackler. Regardless, Baker is my dream pick for Day 2 of the draft. He has jumped up draft boards as of late after lighting up the combine but my hope is that teams return to being gun shy on his stature and tackling, pushing him to the 2nd round. As a 1st round pick, I don’t think that he is enough of an upgrade over our existing rotation but I do think he has the potential to develop into something great.

Jabrill Peppers

(Michigan)

Image courtesy of Flickr

Image courtesy of Flickr

You Licht That?!?

No.

Watching film and reviewing stats on Peppers is extremely polarizing. First you have the issue of nailing down his position. At Michigan he played DB, S, LB, RB, and return man. He played all well but none of them great. Then you look to his production. Last year he racked up 65 total tackles, 13 for loss, and 3 sacks which is no small feat. There is also no denying that Peppers is a brute against the run. However, in 27 games at Michigan, he only managed 1 interception. Looking at game tape tells a similar story. On one hand he is quick to chase down ball carriers in the run and pass. On the other, he has a propensity to over-pursue the run and isn’t much of a ball hawk in coverage (Just 10 passes defensed). Peppers’ true value is in his athleticism and versatility. His production as a return man and runner adds to his stock but his lack of a true niche on D really adds uncertainty to his future in the NFL. In the case of the Bucs, many will draw comparisons to Mark Barron and immediately furrow their brows. While not an unfair comparison, Peppers is a much better all-around athlete and has more of an upside than Barron. Bucs fans are foaming at the mouth for a high-quality, big splash, day 1 starter at safety and I don’t see that in Peppers. I predict that the uncertainty surrounding Peppers true position makes most teams hesitant to pull the trigger in the 1st round. He would be a great day 2 consideration for the Bucs if he somehow fell that far.

Obi Melifonwu

(UConn)

Image courtesy of Seahawks draft blog

Image courtesy of Seahawks draft blog

You Licht That?!?

I Licht it and with a trade down I love it.

A name you probably haven’t heard as much as Hooker, Peppers, Adams, and Baker. Let me just introduce this guy by his metrics: 6’ 4” 240lbs with a 4.40 40 and a 44” vertical. To use a somewhat beat-to-death term: he is a freak athlete. An inch taller and 10 lbs heavier than Kam Chancellor with substantially more speed.

Depending on what Mr. Smith and D-Koetty are looking for in a safety, this guy might just be the best compliment to the presumed starter: Keith Tandy. If you watch his tape, you will see that he absolutely feasts in the box, wrapping up both at the line and in space he has tremendous presence on the field.

Some scouts seem to think that he gets his feet tangled in transition when turning to run and some say that he lacks the instincts to be a true cover safety. I think that while those are valid concerns, Obi’s weaknesses (Instincts/deep coverage) are Tandy’s strengths and the combination of the two could be something very lethal. My ideal scenario here would be that Licht pulls off a VH3-esque swap where we manage to move down five or so spots and gather up a mid-round pick or two and still land Obi.


Running Backs

Dalvin Cook

(FSU)

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Image Courtesy of Flickr

You Licht That?!?

No. 

This is where I think I’m going to lose some of you. I personally do not like this pick for us, even at #19. Cook has some great tape and solid metrics but he also has a lot of question marks. Fumbles, poor vision inside, and the not infrequent inability to shake off defenders, are all cause for concern when drafting a RB in the first round these days. With the way the NFL is tooled towards the pass, smart teams don’t put a ton of stock in RBs unless they are truly special. In my opinion, if we are using a 1st round pick on a RB, he better be a day one starter with minimal concerns and I just don’t see that in Cook. He strikes me as a better, faster, and more polished Charles Sims. He can turn the corner and breakaway or catch in the flat but lacks the between the tackles vision and power that the modern run game demands. His elusiveness and breakaway speed are a moot point in the NFL if he can’t get past the 2nd level. All of that coupled with his rumored alcohol issues, injury concerns, and poor pass blocking push him to day two consideration for the Bucs in my book. Even if he is there at #19 I would say pass. Find someone who covets his skillset and make a trade. If we did pick him, I’d assume Licht and Co. saw something I didn’t.

Christian McCaffrey

(Stanford)

Image Courtesy of Daily Snark

Image Courtesy of Daily Snark

You Licht That?!?

Yes...but only if i took a rb at #19...

I wonder if this guy gets as mad as I do when he hears and reads how people analyze him. The media cannot seem to mention him without tagging some annoying, quasi-offensive term on the end. Todd McShay says that he has “Elite Character” which sounds like something a cult leader would say to you right before giving you his big kool-aid stained pitch. Others like to refer to his “Great Bloodline.” Truth be told, McCaffrey is a great prospect for what the RB has become in 2017. Teams want a RB that can line up in the shotgun and command coverage as a runner and receiver. While Fournette is your prototype AP style runner, McCaffrey is a multi-threat back in the vein of Devonta Freeman. From the perspective of how he would fit in Tampa, I would be lying if the I said that the thought of Mike Evans, Desean Jackson, Cameron Brate, and Christian McCaffrey didn’t get me really excited to see in a 2 WR 2 TE set. My biggest concern with him would be injuries seeing as he has already been a bell cow for Stanford notching 600+ carries and 99 catches on 731 plays from scrimmage. That is a ton of wear already on his tires and I worry about him getting banged around in a physical division like the NFC South. If he is there at #19, he won’t last much farther so the option of the trade down is slim. Of the RBs available here, I like him the best. However, where this Bucs team is right now, I think there are more pressing areas to address in round 1.

Receivers/Tight Ends

John Ross - WR

(Washington)

Image courtesy of Herald Net

Image courtesy of Herald Net

You Licht That?!?

No. 

The name we have all probably heard the most recently. Here are some other names: Rondel Menendez, Jerome Mathis, Marquise Goodwin, Jacoby Ford, JJ Nelson, and Darrius Hayward-Bey. All WRs who ran 4.3 or below 40s at the combine. Would you pick any of those guys in the first round? We will give John Ross the benefit of the doubt and say that he does have better all-around skills than most of them did coming out of college however for Ross to really succeed, he will have to find the right system. Ross is limited to slants and vertical routes where he can extend the field and take the top off the defense in addition to being a valuable return man. So what does this mean for the Bucs? 2 weeks ago I would’ve been much higher on this guy but now, with a new #11 in town, I don’t see it being a worthwhile pick. I also don’t see any way that he passes Tennessee at #18. After missing out on the Brandin Cooks sweepstakes, the Titans are hungry for a speed WR. If something happens and he is there at #19 and Davis, Howard, Williams, and Njoku are off the board, I still don’t think that Licht will opt to draft such a similar player to DJAX.

Corey Davis - WR

(Western Michigan)

Image courtesy of Heavy.com

Image courtesy of Heavy.com

You Licht That?!?

No. I LOVE IT!

Before the combine we had a pretty good idea of what the WR big board looked like. #1 Mike Williams, #2 Corey Davis, #3 John Ross. Then John Ross ran the 40. Thank you sweet baby Jesus. Ross has been shooting up draft boards around the league and I couldn’t be happier. Corey Davis is my dream pick at #19. He has all facets of the game covered and lined up with Evans and DJax the Bucs offense would be a vertical juggernaut. Scouts have criticized Davis’ route-running and breaks but if you watch the tape and review the stats, all that goes out the window. 300+ receptions, 5000 yds, and 52 TDs. Yes he played in the MAC and no I do not a give a flying f*ck. He is a red zone ball catching machine and is Tampa’s one-up to the ‘Aints drafting Michael Thomas last year. He is one of the few players that I would even consider trading up a few slots to grab. If Licht manages to land Corey Davis and Desean Jackson in the same offseason I will personally go jump in his pool with a suit on.

David Njoku - TE

(Miami)

Image courtesy of FanRag Sports

Image courtesy of FanRag Sports

You Licht That?!?

Yes!

I’m going to start this off by ripping off a band aid for all Bucs fans: O.J. Howard will not be there at #19. OUCH! Howard was mocked to the Bucs repeatedly in February and early March but has been rising ever since the combine. Howard is basically a lock for the top 10 at this point. BUT David Njoku should not be considered a consolation prize. For one, Njoku is 20 years old (OJ is 22). Additionally, though Howard is a more polished TE, Njoku has a higher ceiling. He is still learning the position, after playing WR in high school, but at 6’ 4” 246 lbs has the expanding frame to be a bulldozer in the NFL. Njoku has an ideal combo of speed, vertical, and change of direction that could make for a really great 2WR 2TE set in Tampa. I think the Bucs would be wise to take a long look at Njoku at #19. Though it would be a gamble, it could surely payoff big. Njoku is young and raw but if he were any more polished he wouldn’t slip this far down the board. Some may not see TE as a great area of need for TB but what were those people saying when we were down in the 2nd half and Cameron Brate was walking back injured to the locker room?