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DLT’s NFL Draft Crushes

This week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers add the final pieces for 2018 and beyond. While, of course, I’m no Luke Easterling or Trevor Sikkema when it comes to watching college prospects for the NFL Draft, there are a few guys who have caught my eye.

These are some guys I would be absolutely thrilled to see in Buccaneer uniforms this fall.

Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Yes, I know. A guard in the top ten. I’d never even consider it if it wasn’t for Nelson’s ability. Folks, he’s not just dominant. He’s a man beast. Not only that, there’s a nasty edge to him where he’ll kick your ass and then step over you like the conquering hero in the gladiator arena. That’s the kind of dude this Bucs’ offensive line desperately needs. Great talent, matched with the desire to be great.

In the top ten, you want guys who will go to multiple Pro Bowls. I believe Nelson could be that guy.

Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

I refuse to believe Saquon Barkley will fall to the Bucs. It’s not possible. It can’t happen. And if it does, there’s 6 other extremely stupid teams who just selected in front of Tampa Bay and the Bucs will reap the reward of their ignorance. With that in mind, I have to imagine the Bucs will go in a different direction with their 1st round pick, which leads me to the next tier of running backs and of them all, Sony Michel is the guy who has impressed me the most.

Now, I’ll freely admit, I was a little surprised by his 40 time at the combine (4.54) and that his bigger teammate Nick Chubb actually ran slightly faster. Michel doesn’t look that slow on the field. You see him running away from dudes in the SEC – the SEC. We’re not talking the PAC-12 or the WAC folks, the SEC, playing against Day One and Two picks every week.

Michel is a dynamic runner and pass catcher. Check out his Rose Bowl performance as his go to tape. I like Chubb too and Rashard Penny definitely has his supporters, but I’m brand loyal and I want me a Sony.


Nyheim Hines, RB/WR, NC State

Now, I have to admit I didn’t see much of N.C. State this year. Hines name was first brought to my attention by the Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds and Trevor Sikkema. I had just started watching some of his game footage on youtube when Luke Easterling brought him up in our interview with him. Hines is an electrifying player that can break open a game with a huge play. If I compared him to Charles Sims, it would be a disservice to Hines because he’s a Sims that can a) run the football and b) not dance in the hole.

In other words, he’s everything we wanted Charles Sims to be. Add to that, he’s good at the return game, Hines would be a tremendous value in the 4th round and teamed with a back like Michel, would be one hell of a one-two punch.

Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

If the Bucs trade down a little from number 7, I would love to see them consider Josh Jackson. Jackson is a playmaker on the football. He has better size than Denzel Ward and I think while he’s a bit more raw than Ward, can definitely be a guy who quarterbacks shy away from.

Duke Dawson, CB, Florida

Okay, maybe it’s a little bit of a homer pick, but even though I’m a Gator fan – I wouldn’t put Dawson on this list if I didn’t think he was worthy. Do you see Taven Bryan anywhere on this list? There’s a reason for that – and there’s a reason Dawson’s here. In most matchups he faced, the Gators didn’t have to worry about that guy they were facing because usually, Dawson had him on lockdown.

Dawson was always physical and played bigger than his 5’10” frame. I think he’s a good kid, too, a rarity in the McElwain Florida football era.

Kyzir White, S, West Virginia

If the Bucs don’t address safety early, White could be a guy I’d love for them to take a look at in the middle rounds. White’s a converted linebacker, so he lacks Derwin James or Minka Fitzpatrick’s skillsets (there’s a reason why they’re up there and he’s a middle round guy), but I love the physicality White brings.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you who I definitely don’t want the Bucs to be picking in this draft.

J.C. De La Torre

Want to give JC a piece of your mind? E-mail him at JC De La Torre is formerly a columnist/blogger for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog site where in 2016, he was nominated as best sportswriter in Tampa Bay by Creative Loafing. Previously, he served as a featured columnist for Bleacher Report on Tampa Bay sports, an editor and featured columnist for SB Nation Tampa Bay covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Gators, wrote for’s Blog Blitz and contributed to Pewter Report, one of the top magazines on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. JC is also a filmmaker, comic writer and rabid Whovian.

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