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5 Reasons Bucs Might Select Russell Okung Over Gerald McCoy
Posted Apr 12, 2010 by Anwar S. Richardson
Updated Apr 12, 2010 at 02:42 PM
It seems like nearly everyone is assuming Tampa Bay will draft Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy with the No. 3 overall pick next week in next week’s NFL Draft.
Well, anyone remember the old saying about what happens when you assume?
The more time I spend researching the draft, talking to NFL draft experts, team executives and former players, the less I find McCoy to be a foregone conclusion. I’m not saying he is a bad player, but it could be dangerous to think the Bucs are going to select him and not even consider Oklahoma State left tackle Russell Okung.
Here are five reasons why McCoy may not be in a Bucs uniform:
1) None of us knows where Tampa Bay has McCoy rated on its draft board. The Bucs have given a number grade to every available player in the draft, so lets presume Sam Bradford is rated No. 1 and Nebraska’s Ndamukong Suh is rated No. 2. What happens if Okung is rated No.3 by the Bucs?
2) We all know the Bucs are not completely sold on starting left tackle Donald Penn. I like Penn and think he’s incredibly productive, but the Bucs have expressed concerns about his weight since he has been here, and as a result, continue to hold off on rewarding him with a big contract. If Tampa Bay has to reward a left tackle, should it pay Penn or Okung?
3) The Bucs have a lot invested in Josh Freeman, their quarterback of the future, and need a left tackle to protect him for many years. Think about this for a second: In 2008, Miami selected Jake Long for its No. 1 overall pick and waited until the second round to draft quarterback Chad Henne.
4) Most people think Suh could be the next Warren Sapp, so does that make McCoy the next Booger McFarland? That is not a jab at Booger, but if Tampa Bay has a chance to draft the next Long, Michael Oher, Ryan Clady, D’Brickashaw Ferguson or Jammal Brown, how do they pass on him for the second coming of McFarland?
5) If the Bucs can trade out of their No. 3 position, they will do it faster than a tow truck will swipe your car for illegally parking in south Tampa. There is so much talent in this year’s draft, Tampa Bay can still get an impact player within the first 15 picks, and Okung might be available a few spots down.
If Suh somehow falls into Tampa Bay’s lap at No. 3, taking him is absolutely a no-brainer.
However, if Suh is gone, selecting Okung could prove to be a wise decision.
Anwar S. Richardson