Today’s NFL Draft poses plenty of questions for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. As the week has progressed, the Vikings, Browns and Jets have all done their share of posturing. As late as yesterday, reports were surfacing that the Vikings were in talks with several teams about trading out of the 3 spot. While many have had Matt Kalil written in for months, the Vikings have made a very good strategic play. This isn’t about Morris Claiborne or Matt Kalil. This is all about Trent Richardson and using the hype surrounding him to their advantage. Richardson has barely had an ounce of critique in the media or from scouts and coaches. He has transformed from a great back on a great college team to what many consider to be the second coming of Adrian Peterson. Though all the hype may be well deserved, anything less than Purple Jesus version 2.0 will be a disappointment. Especially when the cost of what it will take to move up for him is factored in.
The Vikings are not going to select Trent Richardson, that much is nearly certain. So the team has opted to tempt the Bucs organization by painting a picture which depicts them selecting Claiborne and the Browns selecting Richardson. Already without a 4th round pick, the Bucs would have to give up further picks to secure Richardson. The question to ask is if one player is worth potentially having only two picks in the first four rounds? Depending on the Vikings asking price, it could be even more costly. The Bucs have been extremely active in free agency and were able to fill some voids. However, there are more voids left, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Voids which could be addressed in this draft. Moving up for Richardson would put the team in a situation where they would have to strike gold with nearly every pick thereafter.
This is not an indictment or criticism of Trent Richardson. He could easily be the next Peterson, and if selected he will be accepted with open arms by Buc fans. This is about his price tag. If he falls to the Bucs at the 5th spot that is one thing, but the team would negate their self proclaimed “building through the draft” mantra by paying more to the Vikings just to get him. In the end, the Bucs are guaranteed an elite college player at their position if they stand pat. If not, they will have to be sure Richardson is worth everything they give up. In a league where the only guarantee is there are none, it’s a pretty steep wager.
Would you make it?
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