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DLT’s Warning Shots – 2018 NFL Draft Edition

As we steamroll closer to the 2018 NFL Draft, there are some players that we’re all really excited about. On the flip side, there’s a few that have given me some bad vibes. These are the players I don’t want the Bucs to get anywhere near as they have my Spidey Sense tingling. Now, that Spidey-sense has been a little hit-and-miss. I was right on John Ross, WR, the oft-injured University of Washington wide receiver who, well, was injured with the team who drafted him, the Cincinnati Bengals. I couldn’t have been more wrong on Alvin Kamara. I watch a lot of SEC Football and I couldn’t remember a single game where I was like, “Wow, that Kamara guy is something special.”

Well, he is and I was wrong. So take these for what they are, just vibes and feelings that aren’t necessarily based on hours of film study or talking with industry insiders.

Marcus Davenport, Edge Rusher, University of Texas-San Antonio

I know many just love this kid and I was very excited to see him at the Senior Bowl. From what I saw on NFL Network during Senior Bowl week, I didn’t see a dominant football player. A man among boys. A guy who struck fear into opposing offensive coordinators. I saw Gaines Adams, God rest his soul. Davenport seems to be a guy who is used to out-athleting everyone he faces and that’s not going to happen often in the NFL. In the Senior Bowl, he showed little technique and often was dominated by his opponent. While he did register a sack in the game, I didn’t really feel he was a factor. He’s at best a project that may eventually turn into a productive player and at worst a colossal bust like Adams was.

Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State

Sweat turned in a solid career at FSU but there are injury concerns here. Sweat suffered damage to his ACL, MCL and PCL and last season couldn’t practice during the week. If Sweat was around, say 5th or 6th round, I’ve given him a shot – no one loves a comeback story more than me. However, I’m definitely not burning a premium pick on his reconstructed knee.

That screams too much of DaQuon Bowers in my book.

Tavan Bryan, DT, Florida

The “experts” all rave about Bryan’s physical attributes and combine workouts. Let me tell you a little something, as someone who watched every game of Bryan’s career, he’s not elite. He’s just not. Does he have moments? Sure, but he lacks any semblance of consistency and disappeared in some games.

By the way, Vernon Hargreaves was on my 2016 list of Warning Shots. Trust my orange-and-blue related Spidey Sense.

Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida

Nope. Just nope, Tampa Bay. Callaway got himself thrown out of Florida – FLORIDA UNDER JIM MCELWAIN. He’s a troubled kid and the Bucs don’t need that type of trouble on their roster.

Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama

It’s not that I think Fitzpatrick is a terrible football player, he’s not. I just don’t know what he is. Is he a corner? At best, maybe a slot corner. Is he a Safety? Free Safety, sure, and a pretty good one but he’s not stout enough to play Strong Safety. I think Fitzpatrick will be a solid player for some team, I just think his fit with the Bucs is absolutely terrible.

The Bucs love their 2017 second rounder Justin Evans, who showed some flashes of being a very special player at FS. They’re still trying to salvage 2016 1st round pick Vernon Hargreaves at slot corner.

Do the Bucs wave the white flag on Hargreaves to find a spot for Fitzpatrick? Ronde Barber took nearly two years before he became the Ronde Barber we all fondly remember – I think it’s too soon to give up on Hargreaves.  So you either play Minkah out of position, someone else out of position or find another player who fits your defense better.

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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