It’s Time to Take This Big Name Prospect off the Buccaneers Draft Board


The NFL combine is underway in Indianapolis, and the Buccaneers are present and active. Prospects have come together from all over the country to show these franchises the type of players and athletes they are. It’s an event that in many ways separates the men from the boys.

This also separates who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might draft with their first pick. As well as who they almost definitely won’t. General manager Jason Licht has established certain thresholds that a player must hit to be the Bucs first pick. This is a trend that the Bucs have established over the last decade. And there’s every reason to believe that it will continue in 2024. 

Specifically that threshold is a 9.0 relative athletic score. Think of this as similar to percentile with 9.0 being the 90th percentile of athletes at that position. This scale was developed by Kent Lee Platt and you can find his work here.

I’m not sure if Licht specifically uses this scale. But he has not used his first pick on a player who scored under a 9.0 since 2016 when he drafted Vernon Hargreaves in the first round. Since then it has been seven consecutive years of drafting player scores a 9.0 or higher.

This is of course a trend and not a set in stone law. Trends help us identify patterns, but are in the way a certainty, so as you read this article keep in mind that nothing is guaranteed. 

Buccaneers Should Pass On Robinson

With that said, one big name draft prospect who has been linked to the Bucs can all be be taken off the draft board. 

Darius Robinson has seen his draft stock rising in recent weeks. The big body defensive lineman out of Missouri was one of the big winners at the Senior Bowl. Now he was looking to take the next step with his workouts.

We already knew that Robinson was a good athlete coming into the combine. First of all, he looks like an athletic specimen built in a laboratory. Secondly, is a uniquely large edge rusher who moved from defensive tackle to the outside and found great success there last season.

With the Buccaneers in need of an edge rusher, a name like Robinson makes sense for them. After drafting another big body edge player last year in Yaya Diaby, the Bucs could have looked to duplicate the type of success they found with him. Keep in mind that Diaby also tested as an elite athlete during last year’s draft process.

However, the same cannot be said for Robinson. After going through the workouts yesterday, one thing was made very clear. He is not a dynamic athlete compared to his peers at that position.

This isn’t to say that Robinson is a bad athlete by any means. In fact, he tested very well compared to other defensive tackles. However, if you are looking at defensive ends and outside pass rushers, Robinson was a fairly average athlete.

A big part of that was his lack of speed and explosiveness. At 6’5 and 285 lbs he wasn’t expected to move at great speed compared to guys who were 30 lbs lighter than him. However, a 4.95 40 yard dash time (with equally underwhelming splits to measure his burst) Robinson left the world wanting more.

This is not to say that Robinson’s draft stock took a hit yesterday. Some teams who view him as more of a defensive lineman with some outside edge versatility will probably love his testing numbers. However, for a team like the Bucs who are looking for more of an outside linebacker, these testing numbers will likely take him out of the running for Tampa Bay to spend an early pick on him.

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