2011 NFL Draft: The 10 Players I'd Love To See in Buccaneer Pewter and Red
On the eve of the NFL Draft, it's time to discuss who would make great members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, of course anyone would one top prospects like Patrick Peterson at CB or AJ Green at wideout -- we know those types of players will be long gone when our beloved Buccaroonies make their selection.
This list is a group of guys that could (or should) be available and need to be on the Bucs' radar come Thursday (or Friday or Saturday, as the case may be).
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10. Ahmad Black, Safety, Florida: Round 6
The jury is still out on what will go down with troubled Bucs safety Tanard Jackson. Will he be reinstated by the NFL? Do the Bucs want to take a chance on him being there for the long haul? Is the confidence in Cody Grimm or Corey Lynch enough to forgo adding to the position? As a fan of the University of Florida, I've had the pleasure of watching Black throughout his Gator career. While his measurable will probably push him down in the draft, you can't measure heart or football instincts and Black possesses an abundance of both. A playmaker in the secondary and a run stuffer in the box - Black could become another third day steal for Bucs GM Mark Dominik.
9. Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia: Round 7
I believe in the old adage speed kills and if there's one thing the diminutive Noel Devine has - it's speed. What he lacks is premiere size. At 5'7", he's not a player that's going to take 20 carries a game. However, as a dual threat third down back, he could definitely compliment the Buccaneers' power back LaGarrette Blount providing Tampa Bay a dangerous one-two punch. Devine rushed for 4,315 yards and 29 touchdowns while hauling in 98 passes for 710 yards and 2 scores.
8. Greg Romeus. DE. Pittsburgh: Round 3
Romeus was projected as one of the top defensive prospects in the draft before back and knee injuries derailed his senior season. A tremendous pass rusher with multiple moves, his injury concerns will likely push him down.
7. Allen Bailey, DE, Miami (Fla) - Round 3/4
I am one who loves consistent production and quietly, Allen Bailey has done it over the course of his Miami Hurricanes career. Bailey had 19 sacks, 31 tackles for loss and 2 forced fumbles but has shown a tendency to fade down the stretch. Still, I think there's a lot to like about this player and he could help the Bucs pass rush.
6. Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State - Round 4
I love Wisniewski pedigree with a father and uncle who played in the NFL. Jeff Faine isn't getting any younger and the Bucs can use a fiery leader at the center of their offensive line. If he's there in the fourth round, the Bucs should strongly consider him.
5. Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State, Round 3
If the Bucs really want to do some damage on the ground, taking a running back early could be the key. Unlike Devine, Kendall Hunter can carry the load if called upon. An explosive, shifty playmaker who rushed for 4,099 yards with 37 touchdowns and hauled in 63 passes for 519 yards and a couple scores, the addition of Hunter to the Bucs' backfield could have devastating effects on opposing defenses.
4. Colin McCarthy, MLB, Miami (Fla), Round 3
The Bucs may not re-sign MLB Barrett Ruud and will be looking for his replacement. While they have young up-and-comer Tyrone McKenzie already in the fold, I would love to see Miami MLB Colin McCarthy come in and provide some competition. McCarthy continues the tradition of dynamic Miami MLB and possesses that fiery leadership that has become the hallmark of Hurricane LBs. McCarthy was a tackling machine with 305 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, five sacks, a blocked kick and a fumble recovery he took for a touchdown. He could be the run stuffing, gritty man in the middle the Bucs so dearly need.
3. Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia, Round 2
Word is the Bucs may be cutting ties with troubled CB Aquib Talib. While I'm not sure if I truly believe Talib is gone, I do think the Bucs will look to the NFL draft to find a potential replacement. They need to look no further than Ronde Barber's alma mater, Virginia. Ras-I Dowling is the playmaking corner in the Barber mold, totaling eight interceptions to go along with 160 tackles with seven tackles for a loss, 28 passes broken up and four forced fumbles. Dowling weathered an injury plagued senior season that included a fractured ankle.
2. Mason Foster, OLB, Washington, Round 2
Few players excite me more than the amazing Foster, who reminds me an awful lot of another great Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker, Derrick Brooks. Foster is a true sideline-to-sideline ball hawk that was a tackling machine and playmaker in Washington. 378 tackles, 38.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, 11 pass breakups, eight forced fumbles, four interceptions, one blocked kick and one defensive touchdown are all big time numbers on his resume. If he's there in the second round, he needs to be a Buccaneer.
1. Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue, Round 1
I can tell you this: If the Bucs add Kerrigan in the first round and Foster in the second, turn out the lights NFC, the party is over. It's a Buccaneer world and you're just living in it. I got to admit, I have a huge man crush on Kerrigan. His skillset and leadership are so what the Buccaneers need on their defensive line. What's not to love about the Big 10 Defensive Player of the year? 33.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, 210 tackles and 57 tackles for a loss - with a non-stop motor. I don't care what the Bucs have to do to move up and get this kid - they need to find a way.
That does it folks! Happy Drafting!
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