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Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

Bucs' draft analysis: Defensive back


Published:   |   Updated: April 25, 2013 at 07:16 AM

The Buccaneers have seven selections in the NFL draft, but surrendered their first-round pick in the Darrelle Revis trade. The draft, to be held Thursday-Saturday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, features seven rounds and 254 total picks, including a handful of compensatory picks. The Bucs have two choices in the fourth and sixth rounds, but do not have picks in the first and seventh rounds. For eight consecutive days, The Tampa Tribune will analyze the team's needs at each of eight positions.
 
Today, we look at defensive back.
 
Contrary to popular belief, the acquisition of Darrelle Revis did not completely fill the gaping hole the Bucs have at cornerback.
 
The addition of Revis bumped up to two the team's contingent of veteran starting-caliber corners with Eric Wright. The Bucs, however, think Wright is best suited to cover the slot. As a result, Tampa Bay will enter the draft looking for upgrades.
 
No one should be surprised if they trade back into the first round to get one or spend a premium pick on a corner such as Desmond Trufant of Washington or Johnthan Banks of Mississippi State. This being one of the deepest cornerback classes in history, the Bucs might even be tempted to dip into the corner market in the middle or late rounds. At safety, Tampa Bay appears to be relatively set with free-agent pickup Dashon Goldson and 2012 first-round draft pick Mark Barron, plus Ahmad Black, Cody Grimm and possibly Ronde Barber in reserve.
 
On the Bucs roster
Pos. 
 
Player 
 
Ht. 
 
Wt. 
 
Age 
NFL
seasons 
CB 
Anthony Gaitor 
5-10 
182 
24 

CB 
Danny Gorrer 
6-0 
180 
26 

CB 
Leonard Johnson 
5-10 
202 
23 

CB 
Myron Lewis 
6-2 
203 
25 

CB 
Darrelle Revis 
5-11 
198 
27 

CB 
James Rogers 
6-1 
183 
23 

CB 
Eric Wright 
5-10 
200 
27 


Sean Baker 
6-1 
209 
23 


Mark Barron 
6-2 
213 
23 


Ahmad Black 
5-9 
190 
23 


Dashon Goldson 
6-2 
200 
28 


Cody Grimm 
5-11 
200 
26 

Remaining NFL free agents
Pos. 
 
Player 
 
Ht. 
 
Wt. 
 
Age 
NFL
seasons 
CB 
Antoine Winfield 
5-9 
180 
35 
14 
CB 
Sheldon Brown 
5-10 
200 
34 
11 
CB 
Nate Clements 
6-0 
205 
33 
12 
 
Dream pick


Dee Milliner, Alabama
 
Milliner is the top cornerback prospect. At 5-foot-11, 201 pounds he has very good size to go with elite level athleticism, speed and instincts. He's accustomed to playing on the big stage at Alabama and is accustomed to winning. There is little doubt he is ready to step into the NFL as a starter from Day One. The only question scouts have is how soon he will reach the Pro Bowl, because all agree he has the makeup to get there.
 
Hidden gem


Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
 
“The Honey Badger'' doesn't have great size (5-foot-8, 186) and didn't run very well at the NFL combine (4.51-second 40), but has oodles of ball-hawking skills and an infectious cocky swagger. His problem is he was dismissed from the LSU team a year ago and hasn't played in more than a year. He admits he's lost track of the number of drug tests he's failed. If Mathieu can get right off the field, he could prove one of the best draft-day bargains in history.
 
Bucs history
 
The Bucs have been quite successful drafting defensive backs — Ronde Barber, John Lynch and Brian Kelly to name three. Even Aqib Talib was a solid pick, for a while. The Bucs have struggled, however, in recent years to find quality defensive backs in the middle and late rounds of the draft. Myron Lewis remains a disappointment and the decision to let E.J. Biggers leave in free agency was a sign he didn't quite work out. That is a trend that will have to change.
 
The schedule
 
Wednesday 
Quarterback 
Thursday 
Offensive line 
Friday 
Linebacker 
Saturday 
Running back 
Sunday 
Defensive end 
Monday 
Receiver/TE 
Tuesday 
Def. tackle 
Today 
Defensive back 

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