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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Draft Rewind 2014

By Andrew Siemer

With the 2016 NFL Draft next weekend, many NFL franchises are make moves left and right to try and make their team better. Using trades, extra time spent over viewing tape, and insider information, every team wants to make the right decision when they are on the clock. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are no exception and are looking over every player. This is a series where we will take a look back at how they have done in previous years.  The focus here is on the injury prone 2014 draft.
The first round pick, 7th overall, there was much speculation to whom the team would go with. Many players were on the board who would fit well, but the Bucs decided to go with Texas A&M WR Mike Evans. He was the kind of receiver who many front offices salivate over. Size and strength to push around and leap over most corners in the NFL, fast enough to outrun most linebackers and overall ability to become the #1 WR on any roster. Evans came into the league on fire and disappointed NO one with his production. 68 receptions 1051 yards and a Tampa rookie record 12 TD’s. Paired with Vincent Jackson, the two set a franchise record being the only tandem in Bucs history to both have over 1,000 yards in a season. Also, Evans was the first rookie WR to have 3 straight 100 yard receiving games since Randy Moss in 1998. The NFL noticed his production and had him 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting. No doubt the future receiver on this team for many years to come.
Overall Grade: A+ I showed my wife some highlights of the fan favorite pick Johnny Manziel and why everyone wanted to pick him. After about 4 highlights, she said hes fast but he is just throwing the ball up and that guy keeps coming down with it. That guy turned out to be Mike Evans. My wife surprised me with this observation and One Buc Place saw the same thing. What an amazing pick he turned out to be.

Missed Opportunities: Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Donald, Zack Martin.

In the 2nd round with the 38th overall pick, Tampa looked to continue to improve the passing game by drafting another all around talented player in Washington TE Austin Seferian Jenkins. He was the kind of player, like Mike Evans before, with all around ability to become the #1 option at his position. Having size and speed to become a match up nightmare. Tallying 21 receptions for 221 yards and 2 TD’s, ASJ was on a role to become the tight end the Bucs needed. However, this is where the bug begins to bite. After playing 1 game in the season, he went down with an ankle injury. Then coming back after missing 2 games he played well. Showing signs why the Bucs drafted him, went down with a back injury to end his season. ASJ has promise but injuries really limited his productivity on the season.

Overall Grade: C

Man, with how well Evans and Jackson played, imagine how much better they all could have been with him healthy. With getting hurt in 2015 as well, Jenkins could be on the outside looking in, even with all the talent in the world.

Next in the 3rd round 69th overall is a curious pick, West Virginia RB Charles Sims. At the time the Bucs had Doug Martin, Bobby Rainey, Jeff Demps, and Mike James all on the current roster. A RB was the last of needs for a team that had holes in many other positions. However, a back with superb hands could make some noise in the 3rd and long situations as well as return game. Unfortunately, the bug bit him early in the preseason and left Sims on the IR until week 9 of the regular season. He eventually amassed 66 rushing attempts 185 yards and a TD as well as 19 receptions for 190 yards, but with the majority of the season gone. he couldn’t gain traction and show off his talents. With Martin resigning with the team, Sims is still in the running to be a solid change of pace back for the Buccaneers in the upcoming season.

Overall Grade: C

This one was another tough one. On paper, he could have really done some damage even though there were 5 backs fighting for playing time. I am glad he is on our side for 2016.

Missed Opportunities: Donte Moncrief

With Tampa Bay having the 143rd overall pick in the 5th round, they began the offensive line rebuilding with Tennessee State G Kadeem Edwards. He possessed the ideal height, size, and speed you looked for amoung the offensive line. His run blocking shined in the college ranks but lacked the pass blocking to really become a solid backup. After another causality to injury, Kadeem was sent to IR then waived from there before 2015.

Overall Grade: F

Never really made his name known on a team that was lacking depth at line, and that was saying something in 2014.

Missed Opportunity: A.J. McCarron

Just like their previous pick, the offensive line needed some work and with all the running backs on the roster, depth was needed to keep everyone healthy and happy. With their 5th round pick, 149th overall, they went with Purdue T Kevin Pamphile. This was a pick Tampa made to gain the raw talent of a large guy with size, speed and strength you want in your offensive line. Hoping to mold him into the player they want him to become. However, little molding was done, as again the bug bit the rookie and spent the most of his season on IR. Still, he shows promise and could become a starter for this team in 2016.

Overall grade: D

Man, this is insane the amount of injuries this team dealt with their 2014 rookie class. Still, molding the talented big man is still going on, and maybe we could see something from him this year.

Missed Opportunity: Alfred Blue

Tampa’s final pick in the 2014 NFL Draft was 6th round 185th overall Wyoming WR Robert Herron. After picking up all possession pass catchers, the Bucs wanted to add some speed to the WR corps. Enter Herron, a very fast reciever who was drafted to stretch the field and be a deep threat for a very large group of guys. He posted 6 receptions 58 yards and a TD. Overall however, he just wasn’t fast enough on the field and could not do what the Bucs wanted from him. Cut before the 2015 season.

Overall Grade: D

I wanted to give him an F, but only because he lasted the entire season. That’s a win since everyone else was hurt.

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