Now that the Bucs are just about finished in free agency, they can turn their attention to the NFL Draft, which will start on Thursday, April 26, 2012, and ends on Saturday, April 28, 2012. The defense was last season was laughable. The offense, at times, non-existent. The Bucs still have three, very important holes to fill at corner, linebacker, and running back. Keep in mind, the Bucs have made an offer to LB Curtis Lofton, who will also meet with the New Orleans Saints on Saturday. But an ideal draft would look something like this:
Round 1, 5th overall: CB Morris Claiborne, LSU
Why?: With the uncertainty of Aqib Talib’s pending trial, set to start on March 26, the Buccaneers have a hole at corner. They did address this in free agency by signing Eric Wright, but they still need another corner. According to reports, Ronde Barber is expected to be back, however, it remains to be seen how effective he will be in his 16th season. Morris Claiborne has very quick feet, and is effective in press coverage. Claiborne also loves to make contact at the line, that’s part of his physical style, which Greg Schiano would love. Having Claiborne and Wright, possibly Talib and Barber, would give the Bucs depth at the corner position.
Round 2, 36th overall: LB Mychal Kendricks, California
Why?: Assuming the Bucs aren’t able to land Curtis Lofton, they will need a linebacker. Kendricks’ stock has been improving because of his solid 40-yard dash time, 4.47. Kendricks is also a solid tackler, something the Buccaneers desperately need. However, the tapes show that his zone coverage is not the best, but that’s something Mr. Bill Sheridan can work on.
Round 3, 69th overall: RB Doug Martin, Boise State
Why?: If the Bucs select Morris Claiborne, it’s likely that they won’t get Trent Richardson. Thus, they will need another running back to complement LeGarrette Blount, unless they address this in free agency. Doug Martin is a bruiser-type back like LeGarrette Blount, but with the addition of Carl Nicks, they should be able to burst through the line. Martin is often seen as a stronger, more physical version of Ryan Mathews of the San Diego Chargers. His quickness should also not be underestimated for a guy who weighs 215 pounds.
Part 2 will feature rounds 4-7.
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