The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been one of the most active teams in free agency thus far. But will any of these moves affect their draft strategy?
With the 5th pick the Bucs are likely to target one of the top two players expected to be on the board, Morris Claiborne or Trent Richardson.
Obviously their recent moves won’t affect anything if Richardson is their choice. LeGarrette Blount is still on the roster, but there’s nothing wrong with having two starting-caliber running backs and Richardson is the type of talent that is tough to pass up.
If the Bucs had been entertaining the idea of drafting Claiborne, however, the addition of Eric Wright may lead them in another direction.
By no means should Wright be viewed as an elite cornerback, or even on the same level as Claiborne as an incoming rookie. However, the Bucs gave Wright a substantial five-year contract with $15M guaranteed, indicating that their front office thinks more highly of him than the rest of the league (and definitely more than the fan bases in Cleveland and Detroit).
I certainly wouldn’t endorse passing on Claiborne due to the acquisition of Wright, but it shouldn’t come as a shock if the Bucs now view their cornerback situation as settled – especially if they can talk Ronde Barber into sticking around for another year.
The Buffalo Bills made the biggest free agent signing in franchise history today, officially inking Mario Williams to a six-year $96M deal. But one man cannot turn a 6-10 team into a playoff contender, so GM Buddy Nix still has plenty of work to do this offseason.
The next order of business for Nix, is to sort out his draft board and determine what area to address with the 10th pick in the draft.
Could Dre Kirkpatrick be the Bills target at No. 10?
Throughout the offseason, I’ve assumed the Bills would target a defensive end at No. 10 (Melvin Ingram and Nick Perry have each been matched with Buffalo in my mock draft at various points). But the signing of Williams means the Bills may chose to address another area of concern in the 1st round.
The next most glaring hole is at cornerback, where Terrence McGee and Drayton Florence are both coming off disappointing years. The Bills could potentially fill this hole with Dre Kirkpatrick, the consensus second-best corner in the draft behind Morris Claiborne.
The offensive line is another area which could be addressed. Left tackle Demetrius Bell is a free agent and does not appear headed back to Buffalo. Chris Hairston may step into Bell’s role, but the Bills may still be looking for an upgrade over Erik Pears on the right side. Riley Reiff and Jonathan Martin would both be nice fits at right tackle.
1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck – QB – Stanford - Scouting Report
The Colts rebuilding process is fully underway, and it’s hard not to feel sorry for Andrew Luck. While I fully believe Luck be the centerpiece of this franchise for the next 10-15 years, it’s going to take some time before they can be considered legitimate contenders. With so few weapons around him, Luck is in for a very long and potentially painful rookie years.
2. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III – QB – Baylor - Scouting Report
[from Rams] As much as I like Robert Griffin, I do think the Redskins gave up too much. What makes Griffin special is his athleticism, his potential and his work ethic – which leads us to believe he will eventually develop into an elite pro quarterback. But he isn’t there yet, and isn’t even all that close. I expect Griffin to be among the game’s best in three to five years, but with so little talent around him and no meaningful picks with which to add talent, he’s going to struggle early on.
3. Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil – OT – USC - Scouting Report
The Vikings may entertain the possibility of trading this pick but if they stay put Kalil is too valuable to pass up. Their offensive line has been depleted by the release of Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera, and if they want to keep Christian Ponder on his feet in 2012, then adding a star at left tackle is a must. Read more