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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

Reader Comments

Por (fatmosh) on April 12, 2010 (Suggest removal)

1) It’s doubtful Bradford would be anywhere on it. Okung could be higher than McCoy, but hopefully not as their need is > at DT.

2) No, the Bucs may not love Penn, but they DEFINITELY don’t love Hovan or Sims. Penn is, at worst, an average starting LT. Hovan and Sims are, at best, stop gap players.

3) Your most valid point.

4) The Sapp comparisons are more valid with McCoy, the one that resembles Sapp and the one that Sapp himself endorsed. But even if Suh was the next Sapp, why does that make McCoy the next Booger? How does Suh’s skill have anything to do with McCoy’s? Can’t McCoy just be the next Tommie Harris?

5) Most now predict there is no way Okung gets past Washington at #4. Trading down means missing out on Okung entirely.

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Por (fatmosh) on April 12, 2010 (Suggest removal)

P.S. I’m not saying the Bucs definitely will pass on Okung. But don’t try and make up illogical points to further your argument.

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Por (dumbuc) on April 12, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Does it realy make sense to take ANYONE other than SUH or MCCOY at 3.  And unless Bradfor falls, nobody is going to trade up. Dont care how many rediculous reasons you come up with.

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Por (Todd_PSJ) on April 12, 2010 (Suggest removal)

Who knows…they might take Okung & pick up that DT from UCLA Ben Price with the 1st pick in the 2nd rd.

I would try and switch spots with Detroit to make sure to get N.Suh myself.

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Por (NCBuc) on April 12, 2010 (Suggest removal)

I don’t want to be overly negative but the GM and HC have done nothing to assure me that they wouldn’t do something stupid like draft an O-lineman when the OL is not the real issue. Did the bucs even show any interest in Santonio Holmes, a young gifted WR? I am thoroughly disappointed so far and I really don’t see the team getting too many more wins this year. Let’s be honest none of the three wins we had last season came from teams that were actually trying at that point.

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Por (fatmosh) on April 13, 2010 (Suggest removal)

@NCBuc Actually, their win against Miami was early enough that the Dolphins were still trying.

And the Saints would have clinched home field that week if they had beat the Bucs.

So don’t say their wins came because the other team wasn’t trying.

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Por (ncbucfan8) on April 13, 2010 (Suggest removal)

to TBO: This article appeared in regular format before you moved it to the Bucs Report. There was a comment thread started. Why delete that and put it here and make posters re-register? Is there a point? 
ncbuc- There is nothing stupid about drafting Okung if the two DT’s are not available. Actually, that’s a smart move. I question whether Penn will give his full effort because he is disgruntled over his contract offer. At best, he’s average. Okung would be an upgrade.

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Por (NCBuc) on April 13, 2010 (Suggest removal)

I’ll tell you what I see up here in NC and have seen it over the past three or four season. No, ability to stop the run. The sorry Panthers kill us up the gut. If we had size in the middle, we could have made Delhomme throw the ball. Hovan and a second string player from Kansas City, impressive DL. Don’t drink the kool-aid guys. Our GM and HC sucks.

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Por (dumbuc) on April 13, 2010 (Suggest removal)

If Suh is the next Sapp, McCoy is the next McFarland!?  Did I just read that? What a moron!

McCoy is 6’4” (Booger was 6’0) and should be just as good as Suh and possibly even a better fit in Tampa than Suh.  Nothing against Okung but LT is not a need, Penn will be playing for his next contract and will be plenty motivated.

Move on to discussing the 2nd pick, and pencil in Suh or McCoy at #3.  Talk of anyone else at 3 is rediculous.

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