With The 42nd Pick In The Arrowhead Pride Mock Draft, The Tampa Bay Bucs Select...

Larryemcdaniel with the pick...

Quarterback Josh Freeman performed admirably in 2009. He hit a few roadblocks during the season, but for the most part, he looked the part of a franchise Quarterback. In his first start, he threw 3 touchdowns in a victory over the playoff bound Green Bay Packers. He also went on to be one of the few Quarterbacks to beat the Super Bowl Champion, New Orleans Saints. I'm sure the Buc nation is excited about Freeman's future but he will not be able to do it alone.

2008 stand out Wide Receiver, Antonio Bryant is now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. His departure has left a huge hole at the #1 receiver position. During the offseason, the Buccaneers acquired receiver Reggie Brown. Though he is not a true #1 receiver, he possesses good size and hands, which makes it a good pickup. Brown has a history of injuries but, if he can stay healthy, he should lock down the #2 receiver position and should prove to be a viable option for Freeman. The Bucs also have other talented players on offense. Tight End Kellen Winslow Jr. is a pro bowl player, and the three-headed backfield of Cadillac Williams, Ernest Graham, and Derrick Ward is very effective. With my first two selections, I paid heavy attention to the defense, and rightfully so. Now it's time to put a little consideration towards the offense.

Eric_decker_medium

With the 42nd selection in the 2010 Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Wide Receiver, Eric Decker, University Minnesota.

During the 2009 NCAA football season, I paid close attention to Eric Decker. Prior to his injury, I had him as the second best receiver in the nation, behind Dez Bryant. He was an unstoppable force. Week in and week out, defenses focused on Decker. They doubled him, rolled coverage over to his side, and he consistently beat them. Decker is spot on with his route running and can run every route in the route tree. Its what allows him to get open with ease. He also has excellent hands. When the ball is thrown his way, his hands are perfectly spread and shaped in a diamond (perfect technique). He attacks the ball and catches it away from his body and pulls it in immediately. Catching the ball with your hands is the tell tale of a natural pass catcher, and that is exactly what Decker is. Decker also has experience lining up at Wideout and Slot receiver. He is quick off the line, and avoids the jam with his strong hands and side step. He recognizes holes in the defense and gives the Quarterback a good throwing window. Decker is 6'3, 217 lb. athletic and polished receiver.

Now, I have a comparison for you. What I am about to say will probably catch some flack but I'm going to say it anyway. Eric Decker reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald. Hear me out before you attack, The way Decker leaps and meets the ball at its highest point, catches the ball away from his body, runs tough with the ball, and his body type is reminiscent of Fitzgerald. In my eyes, there are very few #1 receivers in this year's draft class. You're probably wondering why Decker when Damian Williams, Arrelious Benn, Mardy Gilyard, etc., are left on the board. Well ill tell you why, I consider Decker to be a true #1 receiver. Before his injury, Decker was making his case. He was the nations leading receiver. Check out his stats.

 

WK REC YDS AVG LNG TD
1 9 183 20.3 53 0
2 10 113 11.3 26 0
3 8 119 14.9 26 2
4 8 84 10.5 21 2
5 8 140 17.5 40 1
AVG 8.6 127 14 33 1

 

Since I mentioned injuries, lets explore Decker's. During week 6 of the 2009 season, Decker aggravated an old baseball injury. He attempted to play through it, and wasn't successful at it. Over the next two games, Decker was hampered and didn't produce nearly the numbers he did prior to the re-aggravation. Week 8 is when It all came crumbling down. His Lisfranc foot injury put him out for the remainder of the season. At the NFL Combine, Decker was not able to participate in the drills, and that left questions in many coaches and GM's minds. Without a shuttle and forty-time, it is difficult to gauge how a player will perform on the field and where he will be drafted. As the draft nears closer, Decker's stock is rising. Teams have gone back and watched his superb tape, and are salivating at the opportunity to add him to their roster. The foot injury isn't much of a concern. Many athletes have come back from it, and the doctor has told Decker that he is to go full out once the plate, screw, and boot are removed.

This is not the first time Decker has entered a professional draft. Twice, MLB teams have drafted him. He has declined to play in favor of his passion, football. Decker is a student of the game. His work habits will translate nicely to the NFL and his toughness will suite the Buccaneers offense nicely. With the Saints, Falcons, and Panthers all having #1 receivers, Decker comes in and gives the Buccaneers theirs.

First round results are here.

Number Team Position Player Selected by
33 St. Louis Rams  WR Demaryius Thomas UCrawford
34 Detroit Lions  CB  Devin McCourty upamtn
35 Tampa Bay Bucs  DE Everson Griffen Larryemcdaniel
36 Kansas City Chiefs  WR Golden Tate ChiefsFan90s
37 Philadelphia Eagles (From Redskins)  OLB Daryl Washington fairmont
38 Cleveland Browns  QB Jahvid Best HIV2Elway
39 Oakland Raiders  G Jon Asamoah mushin
40 San Diego Chargers (From Seahawks)  RB Jonathan Dwyer tomahawk44
41 Buffalo Bills  QB Tim Tebow ArrowDread
42 Tampa Bay Bucs (From Bears)  WR Eric Decker Larryemcdaniel
43 Miami Dolphins     Sam D
44 New England Patriots (from Jaguars)     stagdsp
45 Denver Broncos     kcsno56
46 New York Giants     CHIEFER
47 New England Patriots (from Titans)     stagdsp
48 Carolina Panthers     Hail2DaChiefs
49 San Francisco 49ers     jterry
50 Houston Texans     ChiefsDude
51 Kansas City Chiefs (from Falcons)     ChiefsFan90s
52 Pittsburgh Steelers     Godlovetheredman14
53 New England Patriots     stagdsp
54 Cincinnati Bengals     PSUkegreen
55 Philadelphia Eagles     fairmont
56 Green Bay Packers     tybme
57 Baltimore Ravens     Ben S
58 Arizona Cardinals     kirkismerff
59 Dallas Cowboys     dbowefosho
60 Seattle Seahawks (From Chargers)     Matt Conner
61 New York Jets     Matt_Grbac
62 Minnesota Vikings     ravenhawk
63 Indianapolis Colts     TheAngelsColts
64 New Orleans Saints     King of the Cassel
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