QB Josh Freeman and the Buccaneers are looking forward to a positive 2012 NFL Draft.
The 2012 NFL draft starts on Thursday, April 26 and goes for three days before ending on Saturday, April 28. We’re going to keep up with all the Tampa Bay draft action with this tracker here.
Be sure to check back here frequently for each of the Buccaneers' scheduled six picks throughout the weekend. We’ll update you with information about the pick, analysis of the selection and the effects on the team and depth chart, and we'll also keep you up to speed on any breaking news from the war room.
It should take long before the newest member of the Bucs is announced at pick No. 5.
The Buccaneers have made seven picks and, barring a trade, have no more in the 2012 NFL draft.
2011 Record: 4-12
Team Needs: CB, LB, RB, WR, OL
Picks: Round 1 (7): Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Round 1 (31)(from Denver): Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Round 2 (58)(from Houston): David Lavonte, OLB, Nebraska
Round 5 (140): Najee Goode, ILB, West Virginia
Round 6 (174): Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia
Round 7 (212): Michael Smith, RB, Utah State
Round 7 (233): Drake Dunsmore, TE, Northwestern
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded down two spots in the draft, missed out on corner Morris Claiborne and took Alabama safety Mark Barron.
Barron is fantastic in the box and the Buccaneers had a lot of big-play runs busted off against them in 2011. He can also assist n coverage as he picked off two passes last year and broke up five more.
Saban spent the 2011 season hiding Barron in coverage and allowing him to play down near the line of scrimmage extensively. However, he was not asked to drop down and cover the slot in Saban's scheme. While he can be stiff in the hips, he certainly shows enough burst to close and makes plays on the ball.
Tampa Bay was thin at safety and Barron should be able to jump in quickly. But he'll be tested by the quality quarterbacks in the NFC South.
By taking Alabama S Mark Barron at No. 7 the Bucs address a position that was in need of some serious help. After S Tanard Jackson was released a few weeks ago, Tampa was left with only one returning starter with any real NFL legitimacy at safety -- Cody Grimm --who is coming off injured reserve the past two years. Barron is a hard hitter with good size (6-1, 215 pounds).
Barron at pick No. 7 fills a need for Tampa Bay, but not as much of a need as Claiborne would have filled at corner.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers moved back into the first round to select Boise State running back Doug Martin. The Bucs gave up pick No. 36 and pick No. 101 for this pick and Denver's pick No. 126.
LeGarrett Blount is not going to be happy.
Martin is a strong workhorse who can see the field and bounce off tackles that are unavoidable. He's a great competitor who doesn't stop motoring ever. Martin is going to be able to stay on the field for all downs and has the aggressiveness to be an all-purpose back.
Martin may not be Trent Richardson, but it's quite possible he could end up having better production both in his rookie year and in years to come, depending on how he ends up being used at the NFL level. He is a true all-purpose back who should be a starter sooner rather than later.
Martin can do it all, and will immediately produce on special teams. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield and block in pass protection which gives him third-down duties out of the gate.
The Bucs did well to fill a huge need here and didn't have to give up the farm to move back into the first round.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded up into the second round to take Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David with the 58th-overall pick int he draft. The Bucs gave up their third-round pick at No. 68 and their fourth-round pick at No. 126.
Lavonte is a sideline to sideline linebacker with awesome instincts and high football intelligence. He doesn't have prototypical linebacker size, but makes up for that with a great work ethic.
Nonetheless, David is a talented player with plenty of upside who takes his craft seriously, making him a very safe draft pick.
The Bucs will use Lavonte at one of their outside linebacker spots, likely the weakside. General manager Mark Dominik said, after the pick, that he didn't feel Lavonte would last until their pick and he coveted him because he felt he was the best cover linebacker in the draft.
Tampa Bay hadn't picked since the second round, but when the Buccaneers finally picked in the fifth round, they continued the trend of defensive players with outside linebacker Najee Goode from West Virginia.
Goode played both inside and outside in the West Virginia linebacker corps, but will focus on the inside for the Buccaneers.
Goode is more of a second-level tackler who doesn't get into pass-rush situations very well. He's a sideline-to-sideline guy who's strong and can break away from blockers and get to the football in the run game.
Is at his best inside the box where he can attack the line of scrimmage, play with leverage and create collisions inside. Showcases good power on contact as a tackler and will stun lineman trying to reach him.
The selection of Goode provides depth and competition within the linebacker unit but Goode won't be on the field in obvious passing situations. His skill set favors playing against the run, and that's when he'll enter the game in a rotational situation.
Displays only average depth in his drop in coverage, but has a real tough time getting out of his breaks. Routinely is forced to open up his hips and turn his back to the football in order to change gears and doesn't have the foot quickness, fluidity or burst to hold his own in man coverage at the next level. Looks better suited to play in tighter areas where his foot quickness is solid.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers passed on corner Morris Claiborne in the first round but bolstered the cornerback position in the sixth round with Keith Tandy form West Virginia.
Tandy is a bone-jarring tackler who hits like a player with 30 more pounds that he has. He has good instincts but needs to be coached up at the next level in coverage.
From National Football Post:
Exhibits a good feel for the game and routinely seems to put himself around the football. Displays good ball skills when asked to create turnovers, always has his head on a swivel and exhibits a savvy about his game in space.
A very raw player whose best attribute is his power tackling. He'll be able to show that on special teams until he can upgrade his coverage skills.
Running Back LeGarrette Blount wasn't thrilled that his team was considering bringing in Trent Richardson. The Bucs missed out on Richardson, but took running back Doug Martin late in the first round. Now, in the seventh round, Tampa Bay grabbed another runner, Michael Smith from Utah State.
From National Football Post:
A chiseled 5-8, 207-pound running back who exhibits a massive upper body with good overall muscle tone and girth through his lower half. He played behind a talented runner in Robert Turbin at Utah State this past year, but was extremely productive with limited touches, averaging over 7.0 yards per carry.
He's a powerfully built kid who runs low to the ground, displays good short areas quickness and has a burst when asked to get up the field. He looks explosive pressing space and accelerating toward daylight, could be a nice late round value.
The running back position was extremely lean in Tampa before the 2012 draft. The Buccaneers addressed those depth issues and brought in two backs that could both make a difference.
Tight end Drake Dunsmore, from Northwestern, was the final pick in the 2012 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dunsmore was taken in the seventh round at pick No. 233.
He finished his career at Northwestern with 1,425 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.
Dunsmore is a very talented ball-catching tight end who is an especially good route runner. He's, however, undersized to play tight end at the next level and may be better suited as a fullback. He's also not much of a blocker, which could force his move away from tight end.
From National Football Post:
Is a coordinated receiver however. Showcases some savvy to his game selling the run fake and using his hands to get off blocks into routes. However, is tighter hipped and not real sharp out of his breaks. Has a tendency to roll into his breaks as a route runner and lacks the type of explosion to simply run away and separate from linebackers. Really seems to rumble once he gets into the open field and isn't the type of athlete who will consistently be able to create on his own vs. man coverage. However has a solid set of hands and a natural feel for the game working his way back to the quarterback and finding soft spots underneath.