With the retirement of TOM BRADY, 2022 looked to be a serious rebuild year for the BUCS and GM JASON LICHT. And then BRADY un-retired. Almost miraculously, a bunch of BUCS VFA’s who looked to be going elsewhere changed their minds and signed on for one more pleasure cruise with Captain Brady at the helm. Not all of them yet though, including GRONK, who has given no indication he’s up for another season. But it gives LICHT a big boost to use this and next year’s Draft to pull some roster magic out of his hat. And his new Head Coach is in place with good soldier BRUCE ARIANS taking a front office position (ostensibly). Defensive guru TODD BOWLES gets his second shot at being an NFL head man in a lot better position to succeed with BRADY aboard, as ARIANS pointed out.
They are down a bit to 6 total choices, but the good news is that they have all 4 of the opening rounds covered with a Pick. Let’s get at it JASON.
Pick 27 TRAVIS JONES DT UConn 6’4/326 It looks like it’s time to cut the umbilical with MR. SUH who is in his mid-30’s now. JONES is another of those really good football players who got mired in a poor football program. At 326 he still ran a 4.92/40. He has 34″+ arms and just pushed people around all week in Mobile during the Senior Bowl venue. With a healthy DT tandem of JONES & VEA, OL are going to eschew running the ball up the middle of the field against the BUCS. Great Pick, super value.
Pick 60 DAVID OJABO ER/OB Michigan 6’4/250 Prior to the Michigan Pro-Day, OJABO was a pretty much consensus Round 1 Pick. Then he tore his Achilles at the Pro Day, which will pretty much wipe out his 2022 football season. However, he has so much upside and talent, and JPP is still looking for bigger bucks elsewhere and like such is in his mid-30’s, so why not take OJABO for 2023 and beyond.
Pick 91 JEREMY RUCKERT TE Ohio State 6’5/250 Traditionally speaking, Ohio State TE’s usually block a heck of a lot more than they catch the football. RUCKERT showed at the Senior Bowl that he is a solid route runner and also possesses 10 1/8″ hands which he knows how to use snatching a thrown football. Even if GRONK comes back (one more time) they will be looking again for a TE in 2023. RUCKERT is a good value here, and for the long haul, no matter what happens with GRONK in the short term.
Pick 133 ABRAM SMITH RB Baylor 5’11/211 This guy went from an emergency switch to LB for the 2020 season back to RB for 2021 and exploded for 1,601 rushing yards. He twists, he turns, he runs past people & over them. He is also top notch filling roles on Special Teams. They may need a guy like him near the top of their RB chart and now is the time to grab this excellent football player, with a tough guy attitude.
Pick 204 DAWSON DEATON OC Texas Tech 6’6/305 Very good athlete for an OC, who should be able to plug into multiple slots on their IOL depth chart. Him being here at Pick 200+ is another example of how deep this prospect group is this year.
Pick 261 ESEZI OTOMEWO DE Minnesota 6’5/282 This guy may have a wealth of as yet untapped potential to become a productive DL, especially in a base 3-4 scheme. His 34 1/2″ arms and height get your attention first. May never develop into a pass-rusher, but he should be able to hold the edge and block the vision of opposing QB’s in the pocket area. Worth avoiding a Free Agent Rookie bidding war over. This is one away from Mr. Irrelevant, which the BUCS STUARD was last year.
Useful group with some serious upside down the road a couple of years. Perhaps just what the doctor ordered. And no doubt some would help as Rookies.