Once the RAIDERS move to Vegas, Florida will lead the NFL with 3 franchises. But only one can currently be considered a Play-Off caliber club and that is the BUCS in Tampa Bay. QB JAMEIS WINSTON has quickly become the cornerstone of the franchise after the BUCS wisely chose him No. 1 overall two years ago. It is critical that the team add some serious young talent to add depth to their current roster. So let’s help them with their 7 Picks coming up next week.
Round1 Pick19 HAASON REDDICK/LB TEMPLE 6’2/237 PPR#22
I don’t think anyone has risen up draft boards faster/further than REDDICK in this post-season. He was arguably the top performer in Mobile during Senior Bowl week. And then he flashed a ton of athleticism at the Combine. And he should absolutely fit in with the young, athletic LB the BUCS currently have in DAVID & ALEXANDER. He should start right away, allowing others on the depth chart to specialize in Special Teams play. REDDICK ran a 4.52 at the Combine and may play even faster than that. In his first full season as a LB he had 22 1/2 TFL while also dropping into coverage to record 1 INT & 4 PBU. He should only get better with more playing time as a LB. Mark him down to make their LB group the best young unit in the NFL.
Round2 Pick50 JOSH JONES/S N.C.STATE 6’1/220 PPR#57
The team is not desperate in the deep secondary but with the loss of Brad McDougald they could use another full-time S. JONES really emerged in his Junior season at State and represents a very athletic upgrade. He’s an aggressive tackler, with 109 during the 2016 season. He can find and get to the ball, as evidenced by his 11 PBU & 3 INT last season. He ran a CB-like 4.41/40 at the Combine. His biggest challenge as a Rookie may be to curb his enthusiasm and not overreact to what he thinks he sees. But most of his flaws are coachable and correctable. His upside and athleticism could well make him an elite pro S.
Round3 Pick84 JOSH REYNOLDS/WR TEXAS A&M 6’3/195 PPR#88
REYNOLDS plays even longer than his 6’3 frame would indicate. He can outreach most defenders for high throws and has enough speed to outrun many defenders once he gets the ball in the open field. His 4.54/40 at the Combine was a disappointment, but I trust what I saw at the Senior Bowl. He gets open and can go the distance once the ball is his. He averaged 17 yards per catch in 2016 and scored 12 TD. When a team has their Franchise QB it is crucial to provide him with a steady stream of targets. REYNOLDS combined with VFA DeSEAN JACKSON should seriously upgrade the target selection on game day for Jameis.
Round4 Pick125 JAMAAL WILLIAMS/RB BYU 6’/211. PPR#127
The BYU grad topped off a solid college career by running for 1375 yards as a senior for an average of 5.9 ypc, while scoring 12 TD. He’s a slashing runner who can turn on the jets when he hits the open field. He can also run over smaller DB. He also provides a solid target as a receiver having caught 60 balls in his career at BYU. His weak spot is his pass-pro blocking. Unless he shows significant improvement in that part of his arsenal he won’t see the field much after 2nd down. He also will need to improve his ball security. But given the DOUG MARTIN uncertainty he should provide another viable option for the BUCS running attack.
Round5 Pick 162 CHARLES WALKER/DT OKLAHOMA 6’2/310 PPR#165
The BUCS need some extra beef and athleticism along their DL and WALKER could solve both of those issues. But he’s the guy who left the Oklahoma team to go to a performance camp in December. If that situation has been properly vetted he could be a steal for some team this late. He’s Top 100 talent, but still seems a bit too selfish and perhaps lazy. He will require extra attention from the coaching staff and an attitude adjustment, but the pro level talent is there. If you don’t see him drafted next week then know that he flunked his interviews badly.
Round6 Pick204 COLE HIKUTINI/TE LOUISVILLE 6’4/247 PPR#201
A JC Transfer who only started as a senior for Louisville. But he showed enough athleticism and receiving acumen to be invited to the Senior Bowl. A knee injury caused him to miss that venue, as well as receive a medical exemption at the Combine. But he accounted for 50 catches and 8 TD before his injury. He’s a long guy, who will work in the middle of the field when needed. He catches well, in part because of a 10″ hand spread. Wins a lot of jump balls. Needs to run tighter patterns and block better, but appears to have upside. Good value in Round 6.
Round7 Pick237 JAYON BROWN/LB UCLA 6’/231 PPR#248
Many folks have him rated a lot higher than I do, but I am concerned about his size. He played inside in college and he’s just not big enough for that at the pro level, IMO. But he did rack up 120 T, including 7 TFL, as well as dropping into coverage to produce 6 PBU and 3 INT in his senior season. Those are some very nice combo numbers. He ran a 4.71/40 at the Combine. He should be an immediate hit on Special Teams, while they try to slot him into their D. The BUCS like smaller, active LB do don’t count him out in the long run. Could be a big value Pick who pays a lot in a season or two, if he responds to coaching. Long term, sub-packages and Special Teams could make a solid pro career.
That runs us out of Picks BUCS fans. My only big regret is not finding an OT of value in the middle rounds to try to develop. The team may have to try to sign another VFA after the Draft to fill a depth need there, as well as sign an URFA OT or two as well. Many folks would agree with the teams ongoing slogan that “It’s a BUCS life!” with WINSTON at the helm.