"wHy wOulD yOu dO dRaFt mUlLiGanS? tHeY hAvEn'T eVen pLaYed."
OK, first of all, six months ago called, they want their meme back.
Second, this is what we do; we're draft people. We sit in front of a television -- or a computer screen/mobile device like many of you who watched TDN's live draft show, which I love you all for -- as all 254 picks are announced via the stage or the ticker, and we instantly analyze whether or not we like the specific selection for that specific team, regardless of the fact that we have no idea how they're going to react to the scheme, coaching staff, teammates and even NFL game play.
We all have our immediate opinions on players and fits, and that's why I believe that going through and finding a draft mulligan for each team can be a fun exercise, if nothing else but because drafting and re-drafting is something many of us enjoy -- at least I do, so that's all that matters.
We start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here's who they selected:
Round 1, Pick No. 5: Devin White, LB, LSU
Round 2, Pick No. 39: Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan
Round 3, Pick No. 94: Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn
Round 3, Pick No. 99: Mike Edwards, DB, Kentucky
Round 4, Pick No. 107: Anthony Nelson, DE, Iowa
Round 5, Pick No. 145: Matt Gay, K, Utah
Round 6, Pick No. 208: Scott Miller, WR, Bowling Green
Round 7, Pick No. 215: Terry Beckner Jr., DT, Missouri
My Bucs Draft Mulligan: K Matt Gay for LB Blake Cashman
As a whole, when you look at this Bucs draft it seems very odd. A linebacker in the top five, three straight defensive backs after that, no trench player until day three, and, of course, a kicker in the fifth round. If I could do a total re-draft here with hindsight involved I would, but that's not how it works on draft weekend nor in this article, so I'll stick with one change.
If I had to give the Bucs one draft mulligan it would be in the fifth round with their kicker selection. Matt Gay is good; I get it. But the value on kickers is so much more about mental make up and momentum throughout a season/career than it is about kicking talent (since there are so many kickers out there who have the talent to get it through the uprights). Selecting one that high is always going to look bad unless he's a 10-year pro for your team.
If I were the shot caller for the Buccaneers and a Will Smith-looking genie came out of a lamp and granted me one re-draft pick, I'd take Minnesota linebacker Blake Cashman instead of Gay. Gay was drafted at pick No. 145 and Cashman was drafted at pick No. 157. Cashman is small for a linebacker at 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, but his athleticism is off the charts. Cashman paired that athleticism with top notch instincts in the final year of his collegiate career to record 15 tackles for loss and 104 tackles in 2018.
With Kendall Beckwith out for the 2019 season, which is something the team definitely knew as the likely outcome on draft weekend, I think adding both White and Cashman would've given them not only good starting talent but also good rotational depth at a position that is very important for a Todd Bowles defense.