Photo via BearkatsFB/Facebook
Zyon McCollum (R) is an elite athlete who possesses size, speed, acceleration and shiftiness.
The NFL Draft has come and gone, and now we enter a boring offseason filled with speculation and general dreariness when it comes to football.
But, we can look back at the draft and see how the Bucs did, asses whether the team did well as far as filling needs and addressing needs in the proper slots, because—well, in case you haven’t heard—Tampa Bay did draft a punter in the fourth round (probably not a great idea).
Let’s get into it (and give it up for Zyon McCollum, pictured above).
Second round, no. pick 33—Logan Hall, DI, Houston (Grade: A-)
Hey, this guy looks familiar. I had the Bucs taking Hall with their later second round pick. Tampa Bay landed this pick after trading back with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and I gotta say they hit this one out of the park. Fit is perfect, fills a need, and they didn’t reach too far. Hall is an incredibly physical beast (which seems to fit the pattern the Bucs have been following the past few years when it comes to drafting front-seven guys like Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and Vita Vea) and could become a force up front in both the run and pass game. Plus, the trade with Jacksonville gave Tampa Bay an extra fourth round pick to use. Unfortunately, they used one of them on a punter, but we’ll get to that. The only reason this pick isn’t an A or A+ is because while trading back was excellent, and I think more teams should take advantage of the greedy and needy teams that want a player badly, they missed out on an opportunity to draft Georgia interior lineman Devonte Wyatt, who was drafted by the Packers in the first round at no. 28 overall. While Hall might turn out to be better anyways, Wyatt was a beast in college and the Bucs could look back at this with regret.
Second round, pick no. 57—Luke Goedeke, G, Central Michigan (Grade: B+)
While many had tackle Bernhard Raimann as the first offensive lineman out of Central Michigan off the board (and he eventually went to the Colts at 77), the Bucs snagged interior lineman Luke Goedeke to fill the hole Ali Marpet left after retiring this offseason. While Goedeke, like most interior offensive linemen, is not a household name or someone that jumps out at you, he should be a capable replacement for Marpet and the Bucs certainly did not mess this pick up. The B+ is a grade given only because I think Goedeke might have slipped to the third round, but then again if the Bucs really like him this much then maybe Tampa Bay was unwilling to take that risk. Either way, a solid pickup and no one is going to be too upset about this selection.
Third round, pick no. 91—Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State (Grade: C-)
This pick made me have the same reaction as the Kyle Trask
pick last year: disgust, frustration. Except this time, it feels like Tampa Bay made the same mistake two years in a row. I mean, their secondary was absolutely ravaged by injury last season, and selecting Trask in the second round certainly put a spotlight on their lack of secondary depth. This Rachaad White pick might do the same thing. White is certainly an excellent back, and if the Bucs had spent a fourth or fifth round pick on him, I’d be incredibly excited. He’s got burst and acceleration, he’s a solid receiving back that can either be featured this year or take over when Gio Bernard retires/leaves. But do you really spend a third round pick on him when you only have three starting-caliber corners, all of whom spent significant time on the sidelines with injury last season? Just incredibly confusing. Even if White turns into a dynamic playmaker, the risk the Bucs are taking by not selecting a corner until the fifth round is incredibly high.
Fourth round, pick no. 106—Cade Otton, TE, Washington (Grade: B)
While I would have loved for Tampa Bay to take my guy Isaiah Likely, the fourth round was the perfect slot to take a tight end to (hopefully) back up Gronk and Cam Brate. He’s a decent all-around prospect who is equally adept in the blocking and the route-running game. It wasn’t much of a reach, as most boards had him going around this slot, and he certainly fills a need. Not too exciting or heart-stopping, but also not anything that makes you question why you watch this team.
Fourth round, pick no. 133: Jake Camarda, P, Georgia ( Grade: D)
God I hated this pick. No offense to Camarda, I’m sure he’s an incredibly consistent punter, and from what I’ve read about him that’s likely going to be the case. But man, a punter in the 4th round? I don’t care who it is, it could have been John Hecker or Thomas Morstead, you don’t draft a punter in the fourth round. Let other stupid teams do it, but if you’re trying to compete for a Super Bowl, get an undrafted guy, sign a cheap one in free agency, or spend a 7th-round pick on one. The 4th round still has some hidden gems, and the Bucs have missed out. I understand Tampa Bay needs to move on from the expensive Bradley Pinion, but again, the value just isn’t there. Camarda may very well be a great punter, but that still doesn’t excuse picking him this high.
Fifth round, pick no. 157—Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State (Grade: A)
Man, what a steal. This might end up being the pick of the draft. McCollum is an elite, ELITE athlete who possesses size, speed, acceleration and shiftiness. I mean, he ran a 4.3-second 40 and had a 6.48-second three-cone. Just disgusting. And though he certainly has room for improvement on the fundamentals of the position, given time he could end up being a lockdown corner for the Bucs, which is something Tampa Bay hasn’t had in a very long time.
Sixth round, pick no. 218—Ko Kieft, TE, Minnesota (Grade: B+)
I was a little confused by this pick, because the Bucs had already drafted Otton, but the sixth and seventh rounds is where you do most of your project player picks, guys who might end up on the practice squad or special teams. So Kieft is a fine pick, a guy with that experience on special teams and enough skill as a blocker to maybe earn some snaps in heavy packages. Another guy who might slip under the radar, Kieft is not going to light up any box scores by hauling in two touchdowns from TB12, but he will do the important little things that make a big difference.
Seventh round, pick no. 248—Andre Anthony, EDGE, LSU (Grade: B)
Another potential project player, Anthony had a very disappointing career at LSU that was unfortunately cut short in 2021 by injury. If he was going to break out at any point, last season would have been it. The Bucs are simply taking a flier on a guy who might just need a little more refinement, as the skills are there to be a pretty decent pass rusher. Either way, it’s a seventh round pick, one that shouldn’t be scrutinized too much.
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