Mark Barron, Doug Martin: No Glamor, Just Grit for These New Buccaneers

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IApril 27, 2012

Doug Martin, the Boise Bull, is the poor man's Trent Richardson.
Doug Martin, the Boise Bull, is the poor man's Trent Richardson.Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It's not going to knock anyone's socks off.

You're not going to see a load of non-credible guys who never played football screaming "A-plus" for this first-night effort in the 2012 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Surely, when the Bucs sat there at No. 7 after trading down with Jacksonville, you were thinking "Morris Claiborne." Bet you were. Either that of "Luke Kuechly" right?

The only two guys who count—Mark Dominik and Greg Schiano—were thinking "Mark Barron." It was Mark Barron all along, says Dominik, (on which once again proves you can never believe what you hear prior to the draft. Even Ronde Barber got it wrong. He came out of the building over there at One Buc a few weeks back and proclaimed that everyone in the building was good with Claiborne, he most likely would be the pick.


What transpired Thursday night was a free-for-all once we got past the two quarterbacks. Minnesota bamboozled Cleveland, got a bunch of picks and let Cleveland jump up there to take Trent Richardson at No. 3. For all you Richardson lovers, the Bucs simply didn't have enough ammo to get in that fight.

For the first time in franchise history, it was a safety in the first. A safety?

If you haven't paid attention, let's remind you that Schiano wants guys who love the game, and the book on Barron—heck, call it the Book of Barron—reads that this kid from Mobile lives, eats, sleeps and is all about the game. Yes, it's an easy call that he loves it.

He's got the pedigree. The one thing you know about Alabama players is that they are well coached, and this kid's been a four-year starter in one of the country's best NFL farm systems. How many guys start for the Tide as a freshman?

Team captain? Check. Dominik loves that. Character? Check. He's the anti-Tanard Jackson, thank goodness.

The scouting reports say the guy's a big hitter, has good speed, size, will get down in the box and cause havoc and most of all, he can tackle. Check.

If you need an endorsement, simply check in with the Bucs' all-time Mr. Safety, Johnny Lynch.

"I think he's a flat-out stud. He doesn't have any holes. He does everything well," Lynch told Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times.

That should do it, shouldn't it? If he's good enough for Lynch, he's good enough for the rest of us mere mortals. A reach? Not with those words from Lynch.

Now it's simply up to Barron.

Just when you thought the Bucs were done in the first round, Dominik jumped up into Denver's 31st slot and grabbed the Boise Bull—Doug Martin.

Nice move. There were some reports that had him worthy of a late first-round selection.

The Bull of Boise, like Barron, was a team captain, a leader and a solid guy. He's basically the poor man's Richardson, which makes him our kind of guy.

This kid can run between the tackles, he can block and he can catch. The adjective you hear most is "thick." Thick is good. LeGarrette Blount is thick, albeit sometimes between the ears at times.

If Blount didn't like Richardson, he won't like Martin either because Martin will flat-out steal carries from him. Martin will catch screen passes and he will protect Josh Freeman.

Thick, strong like Boise Bull.

Martin won't blow you away with his speed, but he's agile. Did we mention he has good hands?

Maybe he'll remind Schiano what it was like to coach Ray Rice. Wouldn't it be nice if he gains yards like Rice?

Did we mention he loves football?

It's the first line in Schiano's "HELP WANTED" ad—Must love football!

So maybe you don't love these first two picks.

So what if no one's running around screaming "A-plus."

I can't stand these draft grades anyway.

I believe by now that you won't know the grades until a couple of years from now.

Case in point, we're still waiting for the grades on Gerald McCoy and Brian Price.

No, you won't see any "grades" here. This one simply has a real solid, reliable feel to it. Solid, reliable character guys with really nice skills. These guys won't quit on anyone.

And isn't that exactly what this team needs?