Yardbarker Horiz

2012 NFL Draft Countdown

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do Talib's Troubles Set Draft Priorities?

With two arrests, two court cases, and one (maybe two) suspensions in just two years has Aqib Talib gone as far as he can go in Tampa?

The answer to this question could set the path for General Manager Mark Dominik next offseason.

If Talib is not guilty, is that enough?  At his salary, is he of value for fewer than 16 games per season?  Can he keep himself out of trouble for one offseason?

Since the Dominik era began at Tampa Bay, Talib has a .330 batting average keeping his nose clean for an entire offseason.  That's really horrible in the Not For Long league.  Talib has all pro talent inside an all trouble life.  Maybe it's time for him to spend a summer in Tampa instead of back home in Texas.

Or maybe it's too late.

Talib is still young and talented enough to warrent a high pick in trade if Dominik so chooses.  This would certainly offset any talent loss.  At the beginning of the season everyone is healthy and Talib's value, while high, is not sky high.  Let a couple key corners on some playoff contenders go down before mid-year and Talib's value rises out of the atmosphere.

Finally, there is the prospect that Talib is found guilty next summer, in which case Texas law would land him in jail, resulting in his value hitting rock bottom and digging deeper.

Talib (6'1", 205lbs) could gather a third round pick.  It would then depend on how the young corners on the Buccaneer roster perform.  There are more first round talent corners in the 2012 draft than either the 2010 or 2011 drafts.  WalterFootball.com lists 4-7 first round corner prospects for the 2012 draft:

  • Dre KirkPatrick, Alabama (6'3", 190 lbs)
  • Jayron Hosely, Virginia Tech (5'10", 172 lbs, Junior)
  • Stephon Gilmore, South Carolina (6'1", 190 lbs, Junior)
  • Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska (5'10", 195 lbs)
  • Cliff Harris, Oregon (5'11", 180 lbs)
  • Chase Minnifield, Virginia (6'0", 185 lbs)
  • Morris Claiborne, LSU (6'0", 178 lbs, Junior)

Great Blue North Draft Report lists Casey Hayward (5'11", 190 lbs) at Vanderbilt as a rising prospect as well.

Should Tampa Bay finish with a similar draft position as in 2011, they could end up getting the 3rd player from this list (or so).  In essence, with the 2012 draft, there is the potential to draft in a replacement of high value, even with the first round pick.

It's a tricky situation for Dominik, and a tough decision.  But don't be surprised if it happens, Dominik has made tough decisions since ascending to the Big Chair in Tampa Bay (for instance, releasing Derrick Brooks).

Talib needs to find a way to stop his clock from ticking.

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