Rondé Barber gives his seal of approval to rumored Buccaneers NFL Draft target

It sounds like the Hall of Famer knows who the Bucs should take if they want to keep boosting the defense.
New York Giants v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Giants v Tampa Bay Buccaneers / Mike Zarrilli/GettyImages

We're just a few weeks away from the NFL Draft, which means the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are starting to lock in their plan of attack.

It's anyone's guess as to what that will end up being, as Jason Licht has demonstrated over the years that he's impossible to read. Few GM's hold their cards as close to the chest as Licht does, but he rarely misses when he goes after the prospects he wants.

That's a Top Secret list at the moment, but others around the league are starting to group together their own favorites. Buccaneers Hall of Famer Rondé Barber is one of those experts, and there could be some crossover with one of the cornerbacks he's a fan of and a guy Tampa Bay could use.

Kool-Aid McKinstry is one of Rondé Barber's favorite NFL Draft prospects

Barber broke down his Top 5 cornerbacks in the NFL Draft this year and had a potential Bucs target on his list. He technically had two, although Cooper DeJean hasn't been as closely linked to Tampa Bay in the pre-draft process as Alabama's Kool-Aid McKinstry has.

“Kool-Aid is an ideal prospect for the position because look, he’s going to be an immediate contributor. He’s clearly talented. He has admirable movement and he’s very consistent with it. The one thing that scares me, he is not a very good tackler," Barber said. "Other than that, some things that stand out about Kool-Aid, he’s very good at the line of scrimmage with his feet so he can play man coverage.”

It's one thing to get high marks from scouts and experts, but hearing praise from a Hall of Famer who played your position is entirely different. There are a number of different factors that will go into how the Bucs choose to use the No. 26 pick, but Barber's reasoning could be something the team is already thinking.

Zooming out a bit, it wouldn't be shocking to see the Bucs use a first round pick on a defensive player again. Jason Licht stunned everyone predicting the team would go offense last year when he drafted Calijah Kancey, a move that has already paid off well and set the foundation for another defensive star to be born.

While offensive line is a need again this year, the guard class is deep enough that the Bucs could take a guy like McKinstry or DeJean and still get a top lineman later in the draft. It's a strategy that worked out well last year and would also be filling an underrated position of need.

Tampa Bay doesn't have to draft a cornerback high, but trading Carlton Davis III to Detroit this offseason removed a starter from the rotation. McKinstry seemingly helps fill that void while also staying on-brand with the Bucs quest to reload the defense with top young talent.

More Tampa Bay Buccaneers news and rumors