With the NFL's 2012 regular season heading into its home stretch, fans in cities whose teams will not be playoff-bound have already started looking ahead to the 2013 season.
Such is the case here in the Tampa Bay area, where the Buccaneers find themselves with a 6-8 record and in the middle of a four-game losing streak.
While I won't get into a full seven-round mock draft (it's much too early for that), I have assembled a list of players who will likely be available within the first three rounds of next April's draft—those that could step in, fill an immediate need and make an instant impact.
This season the Bucs have lost six games by seven or fewer points, with many of those shortcomings due to late defensive collapses and miscues.
Suffice it to say, Tampa Bay could use a few more playmakers—primarily on defense—to get the needle moving in the other direction and begin the process of returning to contention in 2013.