Lets say you’re the GM of the Bucs and you know your secondary needs backend help, you go ahead and draft Mark Barron and trade for Dashon Goldson. Now, on paper that looks pretty formidable right? Both can’t cover even if they had 99 rating on Madden, but you bet both could lay the wood though. But this pair wasn’t going to help the Bucs secondary. Then you go ahead and sign Major Wright in free agency, ask yourself how’d that work out? There was one man who stood out though, he got signed by the Bucs as an UDFA (Un-Drafted Free Agent) in 2014 and his name was Bradley McDougald.
McDougald came in motivated and with room to grow and kept working hard during the off-season and throughout the season hoping his time would come. Well, that time arrived late 2014, as the Bucs traded Mark Barron to the Rams and McDougald got the starting nod from week 13 to week 17 and closed out the season strong. He was one of the reasons why the Bucs could make Barron expendable, aside the fact that Barron was pretty terrible, but as he continued to get praise from Head Coach Lovie Smith he gained their trust and emerged as a reliable pass defender. Now, McDougald doesn’t put out eye popping stats, he gets the job done and has now become the starter and that’s what matters.
As a starter McDougald put up impressive numbers. Let’s take a look at his grades via PFF. He played a total of 455 snaps and received a 2.9 rating (3.7 coverage rating/-0.8 run defense rating). Like I said earlier, he doesn’t put up mind blowing numbers (yet) but he has his coaches trust and is starting, he’ll take advantage of the opportunity.
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Let’s take a look at the IDP impact he’s had in 2014. He’s played throughout the season but didn’t start until week 13 and in that time frame he was the #2 ranked safety in IDP; just behind Packer Morgan Burnett. Bradley had a solid run at the end of the season, in week 15 against CAR he posted 15 tackles (11 solo), followed that up in week 16 against GBP with 9 tackles, 1 pass deflection and in week 17 against the NOS he recorded 4 tackles, 1 interception and 3 pass deflections.
Bradley McDougald may not crown you a champion on paper because he’s not a “sexy” pick but instead he’ll give you production as a DB floating under the radar right now (after the trade of Dashon, he’ll be rising) so now’s the time to grab him as your DB3 or DB4. He’s in store for a breakout as he’ll have no worries with fellow Buc safeties Major Wright and Chris Conte. Bradley is one to grab toward the end of your drafts. Buy if he’s cheap, but I wouldn’t lose sleep over it if you can’t. He had 50 tackles while playing sparingly and starting a handful. Turn that into a full slate of starts and you’re looking at McDougald breaking the 90+ tackle mark with a bunch of pass deflections. I think he finishes the 2015 season in the top 15 DBs and top 10 safeties in the IDP world.