The 2013 Buccaneers draft class – a look back


This past season was a sloppy year for Tampa Bay fans. Without a pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, there wasn’t much promise in the offseason. After the dust has settled and the 2013 season concluded, let’s examine the 2013 rookies and their performance.

The Buccaneers drafted six players.

Round 2 Pick 43 – Johnathan Banks – DB
Round 3 Pick 73 – Mike Glennon – QB
Round 4 Pick 100 – Akeem Spence – DT
Round 4 Pick 126 – William Gholston – DE
Round 5 Pick 147 – Steven Means – DE
Round 6 Pick 189 – Mike James – RB

Instantaneously many widely known news outlets began publishing their draft grades. Here are a few.

Bleacher Report:
Johnathan Banks B+
Mike Glennon C+
Akeem Spence C+
William Gholston D+
Steven Means D-
Mike James D
Overall: C B-

Sports Illustrated: C.

Let’s scrutinize how they truly did now that we have tangible material to grade.

First pick: Johnathan Banks – Defensive Back – Round 2 Pick 43.

There were 33 defensive backs drafted. Banks was the sixth selected.
He played in 16 games. Eight defensive backs not including Banks also competed in 16 games. Banks started 15 games, the second most out of the 2013 defensive back draftees, second only to NFC South rival Desmond Trufant of the Atlanta Falcons who started 16. Banks concluded with three interceptions tied with Dee Milliner of the Jets & Marcus Cooper of the 49ers for the second most. Third rounder Logan Ryan led the league with five interceptions for the Patriots.

In comparison to the rest of the rookie defensive backs, Banks outperformed the vast majority and performed well above his drafted position. That makes him worthy of an A in my book.

Second Pick: Mike Glennon – Quarterback – Round 3 Pick 73.

What a difference a year makes. The 2014 draft appears to have three quarterbacks who will be drafted within the first five picks, last year three quarterbacks were drafted in the first 73 picks.

Quarterback Mike Glennon was the third quarterback off the board out of 11 field generals. E.J. Manuel of the Buffalo Bills and Geno Smith of the New York Jets were selected before Glennon, however Glennon bested both of them.

Mike played and started the second-most games (13) out of the quarterback draftees. Geno started 16 and finished 8-8, Glennon finished 4-9. Although Glennon threw for 19 touchdowns compared to Geno’s 12. Glennon also threw 12 fewer interceptions than Geno’s 21. If there were a re-draft, Glennon would likely be the first quarterback selected and possibily a top 10 pick.

Overall Glennon outperformed Geno Smith and finished with better figures than E.J. Manuel. He’s the best QB from the 2013 NFL Draft and that gives him an A.

Third Pick: Akeem Spence – Defensive Tackle – Round 4 pick 100.

Akeem Spence was the 11th defensive tackle selected out of 18.
Spence played in all 16 games while starting 14 of them, the third most behind Jets Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson (15) and Vikings prized rookie Star Lotulelei (16).

Spence only registered one sack, tied for the second lowest among his fellow defensive tackle draftees. Compared to sixth round steal Chris Jones of Houston, the top defensive tackle chosen played in 13 games, starting 11 and finishing with six sacks. Either Spence had an off year, or the Bucs had no other alternative for defensive tackle and will look to replace Spence with their $20 million available this free agency. Still, Spence performed better than nearly half of the 2013 defensive tackle rookie class. Earning a C.

Fourth and Fifth Picks: William Gholston – Defensive End – Round 4 Pick 126 & Steven Means Defensive End – Round 5 Pick 147.

William Gholston was the 13th chosen and Steven Means was the 19th chosen out of 33 defensive ends.

Gholston finished with 12 games played starting two of them. He ranks 13th in games played and fifth for games started. Gholston finished with two sacks, tied for sixth most by rookie DEs.

Means finished with 10 games played, zero started, zero sacks and just five tackles. [See Worst Pick of the 2013 Bucs Draft] Add Link?

Statistically, Gholston finished with a better year than third overall pick Dion Jordan.

Means never made an impact on the field and receives a D- over an F solely because he has played in more games than eight other defensive ends.
Gholston finishes with a C+ in a flimsy defensive end draft class.

Sixth Pick: Mike James – Running Back – Round 6 Pick 189

Mike James was the 17th running back selected out of 23.
Only Giovani Bernard (CIN), Montee Ball (DEN), Knile Davis (KC) and Stepfan Taylor (ARI) played in every game in the regular season. While eventual Offensive Rookie of the Year Eddie Lacy (GB) participated in 15 games along with Andre Ellington (ARI). 12 running backs played in more than eight games, which is what James finished with.

There’s an abrupt drop-off at games started by rookie running backs. Eddie Lacy started 15, Steelers rookie Le’Veon Bell started 13, and Rams rookie Zac Stacy made his mark with 12 starts. The rookie running back with the fourth most starts is our Mike James start just three games.

Although James never rushed for a touchdown, he finished with the seventh highest rushing total in rookie running backs with 295. He did however throw for a touchdown this season and has a passing record of 118.7 (Look out Glennon)

Not a standout year for Mike James. Especially since he has to compete with the Offensive Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowl running back in Green Bay for attention. If Eddie Lacy is an A+, James receives a C- for his production.

Revised Report Card

A Round 2 Pick 43 – Johnathan Banks – DB – 16 Games – 3 INTs
A Round 3 Pick 73 – Mike Glennon – QB – 13 Games – 2608 yards – 19TD – 9 INTS
C Round 4 Pick 100 – Akeem Spence – DT – 16 Games – 1.0 sack
C+ Round 4 Pick 126 – William Gholston – DE – 12 Games – 2.0 Sacks
D- Round 5 Pick 147 – Steven Means – DE – 10 Games – 5 tackles
C- Round 6 Pick 189 – Mike James – RB – 8 Games – 60 attempts – 295 yards 10 rec. – 43 yards

Total Grade: B- Two very strong picks at vital positions with other mediocre selections in late round spots. Spence, Gholston, Means and James have some relief after all, their low picks justify their low performance.


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