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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs get mostly high marks for first-round work

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Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 04:32 AM
TAMPA -

A day after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers worked a pair of trades to land Alabama safety Mark Barron and Boise State running back Doug Martin in the first round of the NFL draft, analysts had extreme opinions of the team's efforts.

The draft resumes Friday night with selections in the second and third rounds. Tampa Bay does not have a second-round pick, but is scheduled to pick fifth in the third round and could look to trade into the second round.

Several analysts gushed over Tampa Bay's work in Thursday night's first round.

On ESPN, former NFL players-turned-analysts Trent Dilfer, Herm Edwards and Ron Jaworski all rated the Bucs' first-round performance as the best in the league.

Former Redskins and Texans general manager Charlie Casserly, now an NFL Network analyst, gave the Bucs an "A+'' for their first-round work, which also was deemed the best first-day effort by former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner.

"Here's why I'm excited about (Tampa),'' Casserly said on the network. "First of all, Mark Barron, I thought this guy was the seventh-best player in the draft – a Pro Bowl player. This guy can cover. He can hit. He can do it all.

"And then, Doug Martin – they get him at the end of the first round. This guy reminds me of Ray Rice. That's putting a lot on (Martin), but they got two really good football players there. I'm giving them an A+.''

NFL Network and NBC analyst Mike Mayock rated the Bucs as big winners, too, largely for their selection of Barron.

With LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne still available, Tampa Bay traded with Jacksonville, moving down two places and picking up a fourth-round pick. Dallas traded into the No. 6 position to select Claiborne.

The Bucs took Barron with the No. 7 overall pick.

"Boy, is this a solid pick," Mayock told NFL.com. "I love this kid because his floor and ceiling are the same thing. His ceiling is to be a Pro Bowl safety; his floor is to be a Pro Bowl safety. That's how good this young man is."

Mayock also a big fan of the Bucs acquiring Martin. Tampa Bay traded back into the first round by giving their second-round pick and swapping fourth-rounds picks with the Broncos to select Martin at No. 31.

"This makes a ton of sense," Mayock said. "He's a three-down back. When I put the tape on, for 229 pounds, he's got a surprising burst. He's patient, too, behind the offensive line. I really like him."

Praise for the Bucs, however, was not universal.

ESPN senior writer John Clayton included the Bucs among his three first-round draft losers in his blog.

"I liked their move to trade from the second round and get into the first to grab running back Doug Martin," Clayton said. "What I didn't like was trading down with Jacksonville two spots and losing the chance to take Claiborne.

"Claiborne has the look of a future Pro Bowl cornerback. Those players are hard to find. Instead, the Bucs got safety Mark Barron and a fourth-round choice. A Pro Bowl corner is worth more than a safety and a fourth-rounder.

"Barron should be great, but taking him at No. 7 is a little high for a safety. Barron would have to be Ronnie Lott to justify the selection. In a division that has Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, you need quality corners.''

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