The 2012 NFL draft was expected to be one of the most exciting and unpredictable in recent years, and suffice it to say, the opening round did not disappoint.
After it became official that the Cleveland Browns had selected Alabama's Trent Richardson, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded down from fifth to seventh with the Jacksonville Jaguars and picked up a sorely needed fourth-round pick in exchange.
With the seventh overall pick, the Buccaneers selected Alabama safety Mark Barron. Although some fans—and media—were surprised by the choice, Bucs general manager Mark Dominik suggested Barron was their man all along, even had they stayed at No. 5.
The drafting of Barron provides the Bucs with a proven leader and a player who flourished in what is widely considered the toughest conference in college football, the SEC.
And just when it appeared the Bucs were content with staying put and waiting for Friday to make their next selection, they traded up five spots from 36th to 31st and drafted Boise State running back Doug Martin.
The drafting of Barron and Martin, along with their heavy free-agency involvement serve as clear signals that the Bucs are serious about improving the product on the field and making amends with their disenfranchised fanbase.
With no second-round pick due to the trade with Denver, the Bucs (currently) have only one choice on Day 2—68th overall.
With that said, who should the Bucs target on Friday?
Here are three players the Bucs should keep an eye on with their third-round pick.