Four Players That Make NO Sense for the Buccaneers in the Draft


We are slowly but surely making our way towards the NFL draft Buccaneers fans. It is the time of year for prospect pro days and top 30 visits to teams. We are starting to be able to connect the dots as to what players are on the radar for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

On the other hand, we can also start to rule out the players that don’t make sense for the Bucs. Whether it be due to not meeting athletic testing thresholds or not being a hit with the rest of the roster moves, some players just don’t make sense for this team. We can safely start to rule those players out as potential draft picks.

Who might those players be? They are easy to identify if you know what to look for. Here are four players that make absolutely no sense for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the NFL draft.

4) Darius Robinson

Darius Robinson is a bit of a tweener in terms of what position he should play. He played mostly on the edge last season, but has also played primarily inside over the course of his college career. The short answer is that he could really play either and that is nothing but a good thing.

Some might link him to the Bucs because they could use some help at both defensive line and edge. Todd Bowles could have a field day with this type of player who can play inside and out. A valuable chess piece that a great defensive mind can maximize.

However, Robinson does not check the boxes in terms of athletic testing. The Buccaneers haven’t used their top pick on a player who scored under a 9.0 in their relative athletic score (which essentially is the percentile of athletic testing numbers relative to specific positions) since Vernon Hargreaves in 2016. There is no reason to believe that trend will change this year.

Robinson fails to meet that threshold. It doesn’t matter if you compare him to defensive tackles or defensive ends, he doesn’t meet the 9.0 number that the Bucs have liked in the past. This makes it very unlikely that he will be on the Bucs radar early in the draft.

3) Keon Coleman

Wide receiver is a sneaky need for the Bucs this year. With Mike Evans in his early 30’s and only on a two year contract and Chris Godwin entering the final year of his deal, the Buccaneers need to start looking for a long term answer as to who will be catching passes for this team in the future. 

One name that has been linked to them regularly is Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman. Coleman is a big body receiver with surprising foot quickness that helps him create separation and even return punts. He has a wide catch radius and could learn a lot from someone like Mike Evans who has a similar build.

The big thing that separates these two players, in terms of their style of play, is speed. Coleman ran an especially slow 40 yard dash time. His 4.61 official time was only in the 40th percentile of all wide receivers since 1987. He doesn’t bring the ability to stretch the field like Evans does.

In a vacuum, that’s okay. There is still room in this offense for a possession receiver who can move the chains and be a red zone threat. However, this slow 40 time dropped him below that 9.0 threshold for his relative athletic score. I like what Coleman can do, but he probably won’t be doing it for Tampa Bay.

2) Michael Penix Jr

This time last year, I would have been very interested in the idea of drafting Michael Penix Jr. He is at his best in the pocket and throwing the ball down field. He also has the athletic ability to gash a defense with his legs when he has to.

In another timeline, Penix Jr would have been a great fit in the Bruce Arians system. Much like he did as Washington, he could air the ball out all over the field and be the focal point of an NFL offense. Sadly, the days of Bruce Arians feel like they were a long time ago.

Since then, the Bucs have installed a new offensive system. One that is less down field driven and can be more dink and dunk as well as utilize the width of the field and not as much just the length. It requires more accuracy, which isn’t Penix Jr’s strong point.

The Buccaneers have also already found their heir apparent to Tom Brady. Bake Mayfield had a career revival last season in Tampa. So much so that they re-signed him to a three year deal. With their starter already locked up for the next few years, it doesn’t make much sense to bring in a quarterback who will be a 24 year old rookie.

1) Kool-Aid McKinstry

A few weeks ago, the Bucs traded away their best cornerback Carlton Davis. He was a key part of their most recent Super Bowl victory. Thinking that the Bucs need a cornerback to replace him is very logical.

However, there is every indication that the coaching staff is very high on Zyon McCollum.  He has elite athletic ability and his ball skills will very likely be an upgrade to what Davis brought. Based on the jump he made from his rookie to second season, there is a lot of optimism that he could step in and start as he enters year three.

McCollum might actually be a better fit to what the Bucs want to do moving forward. In the past, Todd Bowles has done a lot of press man coverage as he consistently dials up the blitz. However, last season the Buccaneers were much more zone heavy than they have been in years past. It looks like that is the way they are heading.

Kool-Aid McKinstry projects as a guy who is better in man coverage than he will be in zone. While he has shown the ability to do both, there seems to be a lack of explosiveness in his game that allows him to sit back in zone coverage and break on balls to deflect passes.

This was verified in some ways when he did his pro day workout. After not being able to test at the combine, we finally got some athletic scores to go by and they fell well short of the 9.0 metric that the Bucs target. In terms of both fit and athletic profile, McKinstry makes very little sense for the Bucs.

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