NFL Draft 2011 Grades: Tampa Bay Bucs Day 3 Analysis

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NFL Draft 2011 Grades: Tampa Bay Bucs Day 3 Analysis
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Luke Stocker, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went on the offensive in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL draft, trading up 12 spots to get Tennessee tight end Luke Stocker with the 104th overall pick.

The depth behind Bucs starting tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. is virtually nonexistent, so Stocker will fill a need at a position where the Bucs can now legitimately attack defenses and create mismatches with two-tight end sets.

Stocker is your prototypical NFL tight end. Plus, he runs well for his size and has the ability to stretch the field. He is by no means as athletic as Winslow, but he will give the Bucs options in both the running and passing game.

In the fifth round, Tampa Bay picked up heralded Florida safety Ahmad Black.

Black is a prospect who has undoubtedly been told time and again that he's too small to play safety in any football league, let alone the NFL. He proved the doubters wrong at Florida and will have the opportunity to do so again with the Bucs.

Black is, in fact, small by pro safety standards, but he has tremendous instincts and great ball skills—and the college numbers to back it up. He finished his Gators career with 244 tackles and 13 interceptions.

In the sixth round, the Bucs selected Southern Cal running back Allen Bradford. I won't go so far as to say he's a LeGarrette Blount clone, but the measureables do seem to match up. If he makes the team, it will create an interesting one-two punch in the Bucs backfield.

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Ahmad Black, DB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The final pieces of the Bucs' 2011 NFL draft story came in the seventh-round form of Florida International defensive back Anthony Gaitor and compensatory selection Daniel Hardy, a tight end from Idaho.

Gaitor is a smallish cornerback who was incredibly productive at FIU during his four-year career. He had at least 44 tackles and two interceptions in each of his four seasons there.

Hardy was obviously the second tight end taken by the Bucs. He's more of a receiver than a blocker, so it will be interesting to see how he and Stocker fit into the Bucs plans moving forward.

Tampa Bay added some valuable talent with Stocker and will certainly provide the home grown prospects with the opportunity to make the team. The Bucs focused on high-character leaders, and that should pay dividends.

I was surprised general manager Mark Dominik didn't find any offensive linemen to his liking, especially because it was an area of need for the team. But overall, it was a successful final day that should be enough to get Bucs fans excited for the 2011 season.

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