Joe has a hunch at some point during the first two days of the draft the Bucs will draft an edge rusher.
Joe doesn’t believe that Bucs sack king Shaq Barrett will be his normal self coming off a blown Achilles at 30, certainly for the 2023 season. That’s a very bad situation.
And then there is Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, who had the same paltry production in his second season as he had in his rookie season (four sacks). JTS is now on his third position coach in as many seasons. If he’s going to stick with the Bucs, this season is the time to demonstrate it.
So with the aforementioned context fully in mind, Joe asked Bucs coach Todd Bowles in his season-ending press conference if an outside linebacker would be a focus in the offseason.
Bowles confessed the defense needs more sacks from that position. Here, here!
So Joe found it interesting that a guy who (in his final mock each season) is one of the more accurate draft mockers going, Ryan McCrystal of Sharp Football Analysis, believes Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht will select Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith.
This seems like a cool pick. Maybe the best defender on the back-to-back national champs, Smith is supposed to be a tremendous team guy and unselfish. Cool.
What’s not cool is that he is undersized. And while he might have success against children in college, what happens when he faces 350-pound men in the NFL?
Besides, per McCrystal’s recent mock, Smith is the fourth edge rusher to come off the board if the Bucs select him at No. 19. For Joe, that’s usually poor value getting the fourth-best player at his position at No. 19 (McCrystal has three offensive tackles off his board by the 16th pick.)
Better to go get a player at another position of need of greater value, like a safety.
Joe wouldn’t cry if the Bucs drafted Smith, but his size (6-2, 238) spooks Joe.
After putting up a 4.44 with a 41.5” vert, Nolan Smith highlights to the Jaws theme feels appropriate pic.twitter.com/1rsdR32mHk
This content was originally published here.