I figured with one of my favorite weekends of the year only a month away, I would start breaking down some guys that could potentially be on the Bucs radar, and furthermore, players that I would personally like the Bucs to target in each of the first 4 rounds.
My hope is to get one player up each day this week for potential Round 1 picks, and then do the same thing next week for round 2, etc.
Without further ado…
DT Peria Jerry – Ole Miss
The Buccaneers’ biggest weakness right now is at the defensive tackle position. While Head Coach Raheem Morris specifically spoke about how we are fine at the defensive tackle position, it seems kind of like smokescreen to me. Behind Chris Hovan and Ryan Sims, there isn’t much experience. Greg Peterson and Dre Moore, two players drafted in the last 3 years are slated to backup both defensive tackle positions. Peterson has never seen significant playing time, and Moore was on the Practice Squad all of last season.
Perry is a guy who can bring back the days of a Buccaneer interior pass rush. Unless running a 3-4 defense, pressuring the QB from the DT positions is essential to defensive success, and in my opinion, is the most important position on the field. Pressure from the interior helps free up serious pass rushers on the outside which open holes for linebackers and allows corners to not have to remain on an island for a prolonged period of time. Peria led the SEC, the best conference in football, with 18 tackles for loss last season.
NFL.com Draft Profile
Possesses rare burst off the snap, lateral quickness and a nose for the football. Emerged as one of the flashiest prospects at any position in the 2009 draft. A highly touted prep prospect, Jerry spent the 2004 season with Hargrave Military Academy before arriving at Mississippi. He broke out as a junior, earning second team All-SEC accolades by finishing with 58 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss. Often faced two blockers in 2008, when Jerry improved his play behind the line and led the SEC with 18 tackles for loss. He was a four-time SEC Defender of the Week as a senior, and raised his stock even more with a dominating week of practice at the Senior Bowl. He’s likely to be a top-20 pick in April.