Brian Price

2010 Draft Grades: Bucs

The Bucs needed to find a number of immediate impact players in this year’s draft, and I think they did a great job finding players that fit their system and could play a role from day one.

Gerald McCoy was the obvious choice in the 1st round. He’s a dominant penetrating tackle and can wreak havoc in the backfield. Few interior linemen have entered the NFL with his ability to take over a game. He can be overaggressive at times, which is a big reason why Ndamukong Suh was viewed as the better prospect, but McCoy is a smart kid and should only get better as he develops.

I was surprised to see them take another defensive tackle in the 2nd round, but I actually like the selection of Brian Price. He’s a perfect compliment to McCoy, and the two of them could make a significant impact immediately. I really like that they’re starting this rebuilding process on defense up front. I strongly believe that building from the interior line on out is the way to go.

The Bucs interest in Arrelious Benn was obvious entering the draft and he’s a perfect fit. He has all the tools to be a number one receiver. They’ll groom him as Josh Freeman’s go-to target. I only hope they don’t ruin his development by asking him to do too much early on. He already looks like the obvious choice to be their No. 1 receiver, which is a lot to ask of a rookie.

I think they reached for Myron Lewis. I don’t think he has the skills to be a great cornerback and would have rather seen a team draft him and move him to safety. Additionally, I think safety is a bigger need for the Bucs. Morgan Burnett, Major Wright and Chad Jones were all on the board and I think all three will have much better careers than Lewis.

Mike Williams is a huge risk, even in the 4th round. He has the skills to be an elite receiver, but there’s just so many questions regarding his departure from Syracuse. I would have rather seen him land on a team with more of a veteran presence in the locker room, especially at receiver. He could develop into a steal, but its a risk.

I don’t like taking punters before the 7th round at the earliest, so I’m not crazy about the selection of Brent Bowden. He’ll be their starter as a rookie, but I don’t think he’s any better than four or five others that went undrafted. This pick could have been better spent on another position player.

Cody Grimm is a great 7th-round pick. His upside is very limited, but he’s a hard worker and should be a beast on special teams. He’s one of those guys that will have a long career simply because he does all the little things and coaches love having him around.

Dekoda Watson fell a lot further than I expected. His talent level is far above that of your typical 7th-round pick, but he just wasn’t able to perform consistently at Florida State. The Bucs don’t have a strong group of linebackers, and he could compete for playing time in a backup role.

Erik Lorig is a solid 7th round pick. He doesn’t have a lot of upside but he’ll compete for a roster spot. He’s a tough, physical lineman that excels against the run. He isn’t starter material, but has the size and strength to potential stick around as a backup.

Overall, the Bucs did a great job finding multiple players that can start and make an impact immediate. If things go as planned, they’ll have four players – McCoy, Price, Benn and Williams – all starting as rookies. That’s a recipe for disaster as far as the Bucs 2010 season is concerned, but in the long run this draft could be exactly what they needed to turn the franchise around.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Buccaneers, Draft Grades - 2010 Comments Off

Making sense of the Giants draft plans

The hardest teams to figure out each offseason are the teams that underachieved the previous year. This year the Giants certainly fall into that category.

Coughlin announced as Giants head coach

Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese are in a tough position in this year's draft

As GM Jerry Reese and coach Tom Coughlin try to sort out which players are permanently on the decline and which players are due for a bounce-back season in 2010, we’re left with nothing but pure guesses as to their draft strategy.

The one obvious need for the Giants is at inside linebacker. The release of Antonio Pierce opened up a gaping hole. If its filled from within, 2008 5th-round pick Jonathan Goff would be the one. However, Goff has been unimpressive in limited playing time so far. He started the final three games of 2009 for the injured Pierce which just so happened to coincide with the worst display of defense in recent Giants history.

In a perfect world Rolando McClain would fall to the Giants at No. 15. Its a scenario that looks more likely now that the Dolphins have signed Karlos Dansby, but the Chiefs, Browns and 49ers all remain potential landing spots for McClain before the Giants are on the clock.

Assuming he’s gone, they’ll be left with a difficult decision.

If they’re dead set on filling the hole at linebacker Sean Weatherspoon would be an option, but it would be a reach. He seems to have a consensus late-1st-round grade, but does have the ability to play inside in the 4-3 defense.

The alternative strategy would be to address another lesser area of need. Safety was an option (Earl Thomas, Taylor Mays) until they signed Antrel Rolle, which leaves strong-side linebacker as the only reasonable hole to attempt to fill. 2009 2nd-round pick Clint Sintim and 2008 4th-round pick Bryan Kehl are set to compete for the starting job as of now. But someone such as Sergio Kindle could be an option.

The final, and perhaps the most likely, option is to simply take the best available player. Given the strengths of this year’s draft class and Coughlin’s love for stockpiling players at the position, a defensive lineman would seem like a safe bet. Players such as Derrick Morgan, Dan Williams, Brian Price and Carlos Dunlap all look like reasonable options.

None of them would be guaranteed a starting job from day one, but the defensive line was filled with underachievers in 2009. Mathias Kiwanuka, Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty were all major disappointments and bounced in and out of the starting lineup throughout the season. Coughlin and Reese may view a selection of a young defensive lineman as a good way to push their current lineman to live up to expectations and provide insurance if they continue to falter.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft, Giants Comments Off