TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft position analysis: Defensive backs

By
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 03:55 AM

The 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, we look at defensive backs.

Uncertainty about the availability of cornerback Aqib Talib and the recent release of veteran safety Tanard Jackson have created a pressing need for help in the secondary. The return of Ronde Barber and addition of free agent Eric Wright will help at corner, but Talib faces a felony assault charge at a June trial in Dallas and, even if acquitted, could be suspended by the league for all or part of the 2012 season. Cody Grimm, coming off knee surgery, is the only safety with any NFL experience.

On the Bucs roster

Pos.; Player; Ht.; Wt.; Age; Seasons

CB; Ronde Barber; 5-10; 184; 37; 15

CB; E.J. Biggers; 6-0; 180; 24; 3

CB; Anthony Gaitor; 5-10; 175; 23; 1

CB; Myron Lewis; 6-2; 203; 24; 2

CB; Aqib Talib; 6-1; 205; 26; 5

CB; Eric Wright; 5-10; 190; 26; 5

S; Larry Asante; 6-0; 210; 24; 2

S; Ahmad Black; 5-9; 190; 22; 1

S; Ron Girault; 5-10; 204; 26; 1

S; Cody Grimm; 6-1; 203; 25; 2

S; Devin Holland; 6-0; 205; 23; 1

Dream pick

Morris Claiborne, LSU

The winner of the 2011 Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's premier defensive back, Claiborne has the ball skills to step in as an immediate starter at the NFL level. Scouts aren't concerned about his recent wrist surgery and it will be a shock if he isn't the first corner off the draft board.

Hidden gem

Antonio Allen, South Carolina

At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Allen is a rangy safety with solid tackling technique and a knack for providing sturdy run support in the box. In 40 games with the Gamecocks, this versatile defender finished with 198 tackles, 3.5 sacks, four interceptions, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

Remaining NFL free agents

Pos.; Player; Ht.; Wt.; Age; Seasons

CB; Benny Sapp; 5-10; 190; 31; 9

CB; Kelly Jennings; 5-11; 180; 29; 6

S; O.J. Atogwe; 5-11; 205; 30; 7

S; Melvin Bullitt; 6-1; 201; 27; 5

S; James Ihedigbo; 6-1; 215; 28; 4

Bucs history

Tampa Bay has twice selected a cornerback in the first round of the draft: Rod Jones in 1986 and Aqib Talib in 2008. Since picking Ronde Barber in the third round in 1997 and Brian Kelly in the second in 1998, the team has selected three cornerbacks in the first three rounds. At safety, the team used second-round picks on Melvin Johnson in 1985 and Sabby Piscitelli in 2007.

The schedule

Thursday: Defensive tackle

Friday: Quarterback

Today: Defensive backs

Sunday: Running back

Monday: Offensive line

Tuesday: Receiver/Tight end

Wednesday: Defensive end

Thursday: Linebacker

Subscribe to The Tampa Tribune

Comments