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Post subject: Keeping Vernon Hargreaves III outside is going to require Post Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:17 am
bringing in someone to play inside."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections 2016 NFL DraftInjuriesFree AgencyGame FilmBringing Hamp Cheevers Home Could Solve Tampa Bay’s Slot ProblemNew Jameis Winston Jersey ,3commentsKeeping Vernon Hargreaves III outside is going to require bringing in someone to play inside.EDTShareTweetShareShareBringing Hamp Cheevers Home Could Solve Tampa Bay’s Slot ProblemTrevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY SportsHamp Cheevers isn’t from Tampa, but if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were to draft him, he’d be much closer to home than he was while playing collegiately at Boston College. Returning to his home state of Florida would be a nice backstory, but more importantly, it could give the team the slot defender they’re in need of.Speaking with the media following the first day of organized team activities (OTAs), Vernon Hargreaves III made it clear his goal is to play on the outside for the Bucs this coming season. And it appears from what we know now, Todd Bowles and Bruce Arians are more than willing to give it a go.This may have initially disappointed or surprised some fans of the franchise. After all, in his three seasons in the NFL, Hargreaves looked much better once he moved inside than he did on the outside. The former Florida Gators standout addressed this as well, simply explaining he’s a press corner, and will get to play in press coverage under Bowles. Problem solved. Carlton Davis III and Hargreaves will man the outside. But what about the inside?For this team, there is no clear-cut guy we can pencil in to defend the slot. Maybe the team gets creative and drafts or signs another bigger corner who likes to play physical so they can shift Hargreaves inside on occasion. Or, perhaps, the team will target a ball-hawking defensive back who shows clear potential as an NFL slot defender. This is where guys like Cheevers come in to play for teams like the Buccaneers. Cheevers defended outside for Boston College in his two years of consistent play. He did pretty well too.In his first season on the field Cheevers played in five games and picked off two passes while breaking up another three. In year two, as a Junior, he took away seven more and defended seven more. His seven interceptions in 2018 ranked him tied for the most in the ACC and all of NCAA football. So, you could say he’s got ball skills.Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY SportsThen why is he projected as a slot corner? At 5’9 (according to his NFL.com draft profile; 5’10 according to Boston College) weighing in under 180 pounds, Cheevers simply doesn’t possess the size NFL teams look for when drafting cornerbacks to play outside against receivers like Julio Jones and Michael Thomas.Flip through the history books of pro football legend though, and you’ll find guys who were ‘too small’ or ‘too short’ for (insert position) and they turned those measurements on their head. Maybe Cheevers can do the same. In 2019 though, his slot projection is what’s going to get him on the field.As a slot defender, he’s got the size and more importantly he’s got the feet and body control.See, anything can happen inside. So defenses look for guys who have good hips, change of direction, instincts and ball skills. Oh, an aggressive streak doesn’t hurt either. Cheevers doesn’t have the widest wingspan Mike Evans Jersey , but he makes up for it with his ability to close on passes and keen awareness of what a quarterback is about to do.Across the board, his flaws are all tied to his size. Tackling is identified as an issue, but he’s been credited with six tackles in four different games. He also forced two fumbles and recovered one. At the end of the day you want defensive backs who can stop the pass and get takeaways. We’ve already talked about Cheevers’ ball skills, now let’s talk coverage skills.According to Pro Football Focus’ draft guide, Cheevers faced 74 targets in 2018 and allowed 34 receptions, which is a completions against percentage of right around 46%. The average yards per reception allowed was 12.7, and opposing passer ratings came in at just 38.7. Comparatively, fellow ACC defensive back Trayvon Mullen allowed a 61 opposing passing rating while facing fewer targets and surrendering more than 50% completions. He also came away with just one interception. Mullen is a day two prospect, while Cheevers is considered a day three prospect. Of course, Mullen is also 6’1 and weighs close to 200 pounds.In 2018, Buccaneers fans cried out week after week watching a soft defensive scheme force defenders into soft coverages and simplistic pass rush packages. Now, in 2019 the team is expected to take a far different approach to defense.Aggression is the name of the game, and getting aggressive players is just one factor to making it successful.Davis and Hargreaves are two guys who like to play physical brands of pass coverage on the perimeter and thrive in press coverage. If drafted, Cheevers is a prospect Tampa Bay could bring in who knows how to use his athletic strengths to his advantage instead of dwelling on his lack of size. His aggression comes out in his coverage and in his ability to get turnovers.Preparing for his opportunity in the NFL, Cheevers has trained with Yo Murphy at the Applied Science & Performance Institute in Tampa. With any luck, he’ll be able to stick around for a little while and try to turn that training in Tampa into a professional home, right back in the state where it all started. The Buccaneers could look to add an impact pass rusher in the first round"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections 2016 NFL DraftInjuriesFree AgencyGame FilmBuccaneers Draft Profile: Edge, Brian BurnsNew,4commentsThe Buccaneers could look to add an impact pass rusher in the first roundEDTShareTweetShareShareBuccaneers Draft Profile: Edge, Brian BurnsRob Kinnan-USA TODAY SportsAs the draft inches closer and closer, the Buccaneers’ options in the first round seem as clouded as ever. They coud focus on the defensive line, especially given the questions surrounding Gerald McCoy. They could look for an edge rusher, an inside linebacker, or they could look to upgrade the secondary.The best bet, right now Deone Bucannon Jersey , is focusing on the front seven. There will be solid options at corner and safety on day two that could still be immediate starters. In the first round? Not only are you looking for a day one starter, but a major impact player. Brian Burns has the potential to be one of those kinds of players.Brian Burns CareerBrian Burns played 33 games in his three years with the Florida State Seminoles, finishing with 123 total tackles, 38.5 tackles for loss, 23 sackss, seven passes defensed, seven forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. Burns’ breakout season was 2018 as a Junior where he had fifteen tackles for loss, ten sacks, and 52 total tackles - all career highs. He also finished with the second most sacks in the ACC for 2018.ProsBurns was one of the few bright spots for the Noles in 2018. His incredible one step burst is one of the biggest reasons he’s so highly coveted. That burst has allowed him to get into the backfield and disrupt plays - whether that be a sack or stopping a run play before it starts. He’s already ahead of the game with a deverse set of moves to avoid and beat blockers, rather than relying on just speed and length. He doesn’t quit on a play, sometimes running the full length of the field to try and track down a ball carrier. Incredibly intelligent and can quickly assess and breakdown what he’s seeing develop in front of him. ConsAlthough he can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt, he isn’t great at any of them. He’s good, not great. He needs to go where he can focus on one of those rather than bounce around. His body is also a concern, as he needs to gain some weight at the next level but doesn’t have the broad frame to support it. Has problems disengaging from blocks once they square up on him.Why The Buccaneers Need HimThe Bucs need to continue to fortify the front seven and bolster the pass rush as they convert the defense to a 3-4. Yes, this sounds like a broken record, but not all players can play both and switching a defense to a new scheme does take some work - and a lot of roster turnover. The Bucs have to find these guys that can disrupt plays and they need to find them at all the spots in the front seven. Adding a player like Burns - who is already an impact level player - has a very high ceiling. He would give the defense a huge boost working wth Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib as the edge presences.Will It Happen?This is one of the trade down targets that the Bucs likely have on their radar. Number five is too rich, but dropping to the 10-15 range would net the Bucs’ additional picks and an impact pass rusher/run stopper. If the Bucs stay at five, they need to be looking at players like Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen, etc. In a trade down scenario, Burns would surely be one of the top targets for Tampa Bay to help continue to build a dominant pass rush.
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