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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their last 10 games in 2011, and a lack of leadership from top to bottom within the franchise had a lot to do with that collapse. Something had to change this offseason.
When they took safety Mark Barron with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 draft, the Bucs knew what they were doing. Barron was one of the best all-around defenders available this year, but he is also a leader who commands respect with his work ethic and outstanding preparation.
During his time at Alabama, Barron was a two-time All-American and led one of the best defenses in college football history. The Crimson Tide also won two BCS championships (2010, 2012) with the 22-year-old patrolling the secondary.
Barron is outstanding at reading plays and diagnosing opposing offenses. He is versatile enough to help in run support but has the range and ball skills to make plays deep.
I expect him to come in and immediately be a leader in Tampa Bay's secondary, taking the mantle from the aging Ronde Barber. If the Bucs want to turn things around and compete in 2012, Barron will have to step up and lead the secondary.