Team needs: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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After moving quickly and aggressively to upgrade their roster in free agency with wide receiver Vincent Jackson, guard Carl Nicks and cornerback Eric Wright, the Bucs now turn their attention to the draft, where they have several more needs to address.

Cornerback: Tampa Bay would definitely like to upgrade at corner, but whether improving at the position is a luxury or an absolute necessity will depend in large part on the trial of Aqib Talib, who will go on trial on a felony assault with a deadly weapon charge on June 25. Depending on the trial and the NFL’s determination of whether Talib violated the league’s personal conduct policy, Talib could start the season in prison, or suspended, or cleared of wrongdoing and ready to play.

LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne is a strong possibility for the Bucs at No. 5 if they don’t feel confident about Talib’s status. Claiborne is the best cornerback in this draft and would be expected to start from Day One. If the Bucs don’t go with a cornerback in the first round, they might hope that North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins slips into the second. However, Jenkins has plenty of off-field issues of his own, and the Bucs might not like the idea of adding another problem player at the cornerback position.

Running back: Bucs coach Greg Schiano has made clear that he’s not totally sold on LeGarrette Blount, whose nine fumbles in two seasons are a source of concern. Alabama running back Trent Richardson is more talented than Blount and won’t fumble as much as Blount, and although Blount wouldn’t like it, the arrival of Richardson would allow the Bucs to employ just the kind of run-first, ball-control offense that Schiano prefers.

Linebacker: Last year’s third-round pick, Mason Foster, started in the middle as a rookie. The Bucs would love it if they could find another starter at linebacker in this year’s draft.

Defensive line: It might sound crazy to say the Bucs need to bolster the defensive line in the draft, considering that last year their first two picks were defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers, and the year before their first two picks were defensive tackles Gerlad McCoy and Brian Price. But Tampa Bay still needs to upgrade the D-line after giving up a league-high 494 points last season. A first-round surprise in LSU’s Michael Brockers is a possibility, but the defensive line is more likely to be addressed in the second or third round.

Schiano will want his team to win with a good running game and a physical defense, and that’s where the Bucs are likely to focus in the draft. Tampa Bay will look more like a Greg Schiano team when the draft is over.

38 responses to “Team needs: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  1. No, just NO!!!
    Michael Brockers is NOT a possibility in the 1st and I’m not sure why PFT seems to be pushing this moronic idea.
    Was the drafting of guys in the 1st, 2nd & 3rd round in recent years along with this years signing of Okoye a sign that we would reach for yet another DT?
    Seriously, who came up with this idea and why does it keep getting mentioned?

  2. 3 out of 4 isn’t bad (for PFT evaluating small market teams). I don’t know what the deal is here at PFT but you guys need to wake up. Defensive line is NOT a need and WILL NOT be addressed in the second or third round. McCoy’s healthy (and when healthy, he’s a force…now he just has to stay healthy). Price will be as healthy as he’s ever been…make or break year for him. There’s depth. Dominik placed a very high tender on Michael Bennett – they love him as a rotational end. Just signed Amobi Okoye. Dominik has spent the past two drafts’ 1st and 2nd rounders (his first 2nd round pick in 2010, when we had two 2nd rounders) on defensive linemen. He absolutely can’t afford to use another early rounder on d-line when there’s so many other pressing needs. “But Tampa Bay still needs to upgrade the D-line after giving up a league-high 494 points last season.” You make it sound like it was all on the line but really we probably had one of the worst linebacker units and I’ll say the worst start safeties in the league. We just cut Tanard Jackson. Sean Jones is a free agent who won’t be brought back. Golly gee, you don’t think safety might be a little more of a need than defensive line considering we have no starting safeties on our roster, do you? Now please, spare us Buccaneer fans and quit with all the Michael Brockers could be a Buc at 5 talk. You’re just scaring the uninformed.

  3. Running back and D-Line are secondary concerns to the two biggest, linebackers and the entire back end (especially with Tenard now gone). I wouldn’t be shocked to see Dominik go with DB 1st and 3rd and LB 2nd and 4th.

  4. Why bloggers always have to try and outsmart the room? I think it’s pretty clear that the Bucs are trading down the #5 first round pick or drafting Richardson. The former choice being most likely. We will see maybe 2 secondary picks in the first 2 rounds and a RB in either round 2 or 3 and I’m hoping for a good TE early also.

  5. Hopefully, Mark Dominick can stay put this year instead of trading away future picks to move up. Every year the guy makes a future trade that isn’t worth it. Traded up for Benn, Luke Stocker, and even Freeman. Stocker isn’t even a starter, Benn is the 3rd – 4th best WR on the team, and Freeman is the 4th best starting QB in the NFC South.

  6. So what about his wonderlic score. So what if your dog could do better purely by accident. Fact is for cornerbacks there is a legitimate trend of guys with low wonderlics doing well. I mean Antonio cromartie could barely read coming out of college.

  7. alstottwastheman says:Apr 12, 2012 12:35 PM

    Claiborne is a no brainer if he’s available at #5. Any other pick is just overthinking it.

    What’s the no-brainer? Claiborne or the picking of Claiborne?

    Picking a defensive lineman at #5 is the most absurd crock I’ve seen. Two 1st round picks and two second round pick on defensive linemen, plus a 1st round free agent tender to Bennett and signing Amobi Okoye pretty much assures that the Bucs will be unlikely to pick ANY defensive linemen, let alone in the 1st round.

    If the Bucs manage to trade down in the 1st round, don’t be surprised if they grabbed LB Luke Kuechly of BC to QB the defense for the next 10-15 seasons.

  8. You know, the defensive line wasn’t bad last year. Adrian Clayborn looks like the read deal, Brian Price played really well, and if Gerald McCoy’s biceps weren’t made of Silly Putty, he’d be a force. D-line is silly. TE and RT are easily before defensive line.

    And Claiborne is a no-brainer; if you check last year’s All-Pro team, zero of the All-Pro RBs were first-round draft picks. All four of the All-Pro CBs were. Elite corner is one of the hardest positions to fill, and you do not pass one up when given the chance.

  9. Don’t matter who the yucks draft. Still will be the 4th best team in the division

  10. Simple.

    We need a decent all-around RB, Blount is OK, but not an everydown back.

    Help on defense up the middle. Until we stop the run we won’t win consistently.

    Schiano wants to win running the ball and a physical D. So did Gruden and Morris. Turns out, those our our weakest links.

  11. 1. New Owners

    2. New head coach

    3. New uniforms

    4. Full-time courtesy car with driver for Vincent Jackson

    5. CB- Didn’t John McKay draft Ronde Barber back in ’78?

  12. “Schiano will want his team to win with a good running game and a physical defense […]”

    Somebody get Schiano a calendar — it’s 2012. Run-first doesn’t win Super Bowls anymore. No one should be hired for a head coaching gig if they think their running game iis gonna win them championships.

  13. Please for the love of God use that pick logically and draft Claiborne. Secondary needs to be addressed, and trading for picks isn’t gonna cut it. Think it’s safe to say that the D-line has been improved with some depth, and we can always get another RB in a later round. Still a possibility to acquire a decent fa MLB with experience so we can move Foster to outside where he belongs. Gonna be a better season in 2012, book it. Cuz I don’t think it could get any worse than what we experienced.

  14. CB- Didn’t John McKay draft Ronde Barber back in ’78?

    Yep then 24 years later in INT closed down the Vet!

  15. You forgot:

    2 LBs, not just one
    1-2 safeties
    1-2 TEs

    We’ve got a lot of work to do, which is why I think trading down should be our top priority. I realize it isn’t just something you can do whenever you feel like it, but there IS a lot of interest in Tannehill and we should take advantage of that if he’s still around at 5. Picking up an extra pick or two would be huge.

  16. Team needs: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    First need is some fans. 2 full seasons of straight blackouts except one game. Kinda strange that never gets mentioned.

  17. Somebody get Schiano a calendar — it’s 2012. Run-first doesn’t win Super Bowls anymore. No one should be hired for a head coaching gig if they think their running game iis gonna win them championships.


    True, But I still believe on old school football and think it will make a comeback.

    My core beliefs (still):

    1. If your opponent can’t score – you can’t lose

    2. Control the clock and keep the opponents offense off the field (their best chance the score) . Done best by running the ball.

    3. When you throw three things happen. Two of which are a negative play.

  18. And ronde is the only CB in nfl history with 35+ sacks and 35+ INTs for a career. We also opened up the new “vet” with a loss the following season…. Let’s go bucs. Can’t be worse then last season.. right?

  19. Those 3 or 4 good years he had were because the other “lower stat” years he was being double blocked. Which made the rest of the bucs D-line better. 2001-2002 bucs D was the best ever. It was the only time in Superbowl history the #1 Defense went against the #1 offense (raiders). Bucs D alone scored 3 TDs abd win by 26. They went to the playoffs 5-6 years in a row before that… Better than the saints franchise…

  20. You really need to hire Justin Palowski (the commish) as a consultant. Evan Silva had no clue what the Bucs were about when he was interviewed by him.

  21. Schiano saying a run first team:

    Smoke and mirrors for the draft. He and Dominick want people to at least think there’s a possibility they will go after Richardson so no one trades up to steal Claiborne.

    Use your heads…the offensive coordinator is from the Giants…a PASS FIRST team.

  22. We are gonna get a great player @5. Richardson, Claiborne, Keuchly, Barron would all work just fine

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