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The Dust Has Settled

With everyone’s mock drafts all scrambled up and ever changing throughout the draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did their best to completely turn the 2016 NFL Draft upside down with their drafting choices. In the first round, the Bucs filled a need that was a glaring hole on the defensive side of the ball in the corner position. Grabbing Florida Corner Vernon Hargreaves was the obvious choice for a team that boasted a lack luster pass defense in 2015. With their 2nd pick in the draft, Tampa hit again on another need with Eastern Kentucky Defensive End Noah Spence. Yes, there were some questions regarding his off the field issues that raised a few red flags. However, the same could be said about Jameis Winston and Tampa handled that very well. Hopefully Noah’s addiction to ecstasy (I know right, go big or go home college kid!) was a phase in his life that he has moved on from and he is ready for the NFL spotlight. Late in the 2nd is where things go all cattywhompus. The Bucs made a move back into the round, a move many analysts predicted them to do. There were many players on the board that were super talented to fill the multiple holes this young roster were still containing. Then when the pick was announced, everyone’s jaws dropped, heads were scratched, faces were palmed and outrage began to pour out from every social media outlet. Why? For just the 3rd time since 1990 a kicker was drafted in the 2nd round or higher as Tampa went with Florida State Roberto Aguayo. People lost their minds, including myself. Why would you get a kicker so early, let alone move UP to get him? Well, after the dust has settled and the shock of said pick has worn off, we can see why. 96.7% accuracy over his career is the most accurate for a kicker in college football history. His ability to not miss a field goal inside of 40 yards is also a stat to keep an eye on. There is a new rule in the NFL that has moved the extra point back to the 15 yard line. This has turned the automatic afterthought of a play into becoming more of a game changer situation. Over the last 5 years before the rule change, a total of 37 PATs were missed. In the last year alone 71 were no good. Getting a player of Aguayo’s caliber that hasn’t missed from that distance is a significant advantage. One final stat to think about; in the previous 6 seasons the Bucs have lost a total of 14 games by 4 points or less. There are many arguments about momentum swings and playing from behind or with a lead. That’s a discussion for another day. Did the Bucs “reach” on Roberto? Maybe. Did they have to move up to get him? Probably not. Did they add a weapon to a position that has been below average for the last 12 years? You better believe it.



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