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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs draft needs position analysis: Defensive tackle

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Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 03:40 AM

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have six selections in the NFL draft, including the No. 5 overall pick. The draft, to be held April 26-28 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, features seven rounds and 253 total picks, including a handful of compensatory picks. The Bucs have one pick in each round, except Round 4. For eight straight days, The Tampa Tribune will analyze the team's needs at each of eight positions.

Today: Defensive tackle

The interior of Tampa Bay's defensive line is stocked with premium picks, yet this young unit has been unable to stay healthy or stop the run on a consistent basis. Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, drafted in Rounds 1 and 2, respectively, in 2010, remain largely unproven and Roy Miller, a third-round pick in 2009, hasn't made an impact. The Bucs added former first-round choice Amobi Okoye as a free agent earlier this month.

On the Bucs roster

Player; Ht.; Wt.; Age; NFL seasons

John McCargo; 6-2; 307; 28; 7

Gerald McCoy; 6-4; 295; 24; 3

Roy Miller; 6-2; 310; 24; 4

Frank Okam; 6-5; 350; 26; 5

Amobi Okoye; 6-2; 292; 24; 6

Brian Price; 6-1; 303; 23; 3

Dream pick

Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State

This 6-foot-4, 298-pound mauler registered five sacks and 56 tackles last year, including 14.5 tackles for loss. He also blocked five kicks in his college career and scouts are impressed with Cox's effort.

Hidden gem

Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati

At 6-foot-5 and 298 pounds, Wolfe has enviable size and posted 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss last season. He displays a non-stop motor and plays with the passion Bucs coach Greg Schiano craves.

Remaining NFL free agents

Player; Ht.; Wt.; Age; NFL seasons

Aubrayo Franklin; 6-1; 317; 31; 10

Kelly Gregg; 6-0; 320; 35; 14

Tommie Harris; 6-3; 295; 28; 9

Shaun Rogers; 6-4; 350; 33; 12

Marcus Thomas; 6-3; 316; 26; 6

Bucs history

In 1995, Tampa Bay drafted Warren Sapp, a perennial Pro Bowler who is eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013. Anthony McFarland, a first-round pick in 1999, had some success in Tampa and Indianapolis. McCoy and Price have much to prove this fall after the 2011 Bucs finished last in NFL rushing defense.

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