Mel Kiper Jr. has the Buccaneers selecting Trent Richardson in his first Mock Draft for 2012

Early Projections Have Bucs Drafting Bama's Richardson

TAMPA — The Buccaneers have been in draft mode since they got blown out by the Jacksonville Jaguars towards the end of the season. The question at the point wasn’t if they’d draft high but how high would they draft.

That position has now been set in stone and come draft night the Buccaneers will be the fifth team on the clock.

The fun now is trying to figure who fits the Bucs best at the five spot and who can fill their biggest hole. Some have suggested trading down and stocking up on picks in what should be a deep draft for a team that has a laundry list of needs. But others are starting to throw out names and by throw out I mean throw a wicked curve ball against the wall.

NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper Jr has thrown out a name that hasn’t yet been suggested for the Bucs seriously, but he’s now doing exactly that. Kiper believes the Bucs should select Alabama running back and Heisman Trophy finalist Trent Richardson when they go on the clock at five.

This is a pick that seems like an absolutely idiotic waste of a pick for the Buccaneers but as Kiper states, you need to think about it for while to have it make sense.

The Buccaneers have LeGarrette Blount as their main running back at the moment and although he has displayed the tools to become an every down back, he’s not there yet. Adding Richardson would not only add depth but would give the Bucs a one-two combo out of the back field, a strategy that has worked for numerous teams in the NFL.

But it’s tout to defend taking Richardson when the Bucs have so many other needs that are legitimate needs. Cornerback is one obvious position the Bucs will address in the draft as is offensive line. Tampa could also use some depth and improvements in the linebacking corps as well. Running back is fourth or even fifth on the list of needs for Tampa.

But the argument of depth at corner and linebacker can be used against the idea of drafting Richardson. There are other running backs in the draft and ones that you can draft without then immediately causing a Reggie Bush like drama filled rift with your current back on roster. Blount isn’t the most stable of guys in the NFL and drafting a guy who can clearly dethrone him may not be very peachy with him.

Then again he may be able to stomach the idea of sharing a backfield if that backfield becomes one of the better tandems in all of football. Plus having a two headed monster of two very capable backs only gives Josh Freeman  that many more weapons to play with. If an offensive guru like Rob Chudzinski becomes the head coach, one can easily salivate over the schemes he could draw up with potentially Freeman, Blount, Richardson, Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn all on the field at one time.

For a team that couldn’t find any kind of offensive potency last year, it’s hard to imagine that happening again that combination of weapons and a capable head coach.

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