Yardbarker Horiz

2012 NFL Draft Countdown

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Free Agency resets Buccaneers draft priorities

Recently some previous notes revealed what some people close to the Buccaneers organization said were top priorities of the 2012 offseason. Within the first 24 hours of the opening of free agency, the Buccaneers cleared half the list, and since have addressed a third position.

Cornerback - Added Eric Wright, free agent from the Detroit Lions
Offensive Line - Added Carl Nicks, all-pro guard, from the New Orleans Saints
Quarterback - Added Dan Orlovsky, free agent from the the Indianapolis Colts

What's next?  There are many factors to consider:
- The unaddressed (and rumored) targeted position for the Buccaneers is linebacker
- With the release of Jeff Faine is offensive line back on the table?
- What about moves other teams have made?
- Orlovsky received a two-year deal, while the other three received five-year deals - why?
- Are the Buccaneers done with Free Agency?
- Are the Buccaneers satisfied with the Cornerback and Offensive line squads?

These are the questions which will be addressed over the next few weeks leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A solid 1-2-3 draft scenario for Tampa Bay

With the arrival of March and the combine completed, it's time to start looking a bit deeper into prospects for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2012 NFL Draft.  And, almost immediately, a very intriguing first three selections stands out to demonstrate the possible value the Buccaneers could get from young talent this year.

Round 1, selection #5:  Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU (5'11", 188 lbs)
Not only is Claiborne one of the top athletes in the 2012 NFL Draft, he also plays a position which brings great value to the pick.  A corner who can play solid man-to-man on an island outside not only can create issues for the opposing team's best wide receiver, he allows safeties/nickels to roll up in run support.  Claiborne would also be a fantastic addition to an already young group of defensive backs on the roster, providing depth where every team wants it.  In addition, by the time the Buccaneers select again, three more of the top corner prospects could be gone.

Round 2, selection #36:  David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech (5'10", 206 lbs)
As much as I would like the Buccaneers to go offensive line here, the ACC Player Of The Year could still be on the board. Wilson had 1,709 yards on 290 carries with nine touchdowns last year and is a shifty, make-you-miss type of runner. He is an early entry player and will take some time investment from the Buccaneers. But he has the potential to be an excellent playmaker as well as keep the pressure on opposing defenses when Blount has to come off the field in passing situations.  This is also a solid value pick, as some rating services have Wilson rated as the second best running back in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Round 3, selection #69: George Iloka, FS, Boise State (6'4", 225 lbs)
Iloka is the top-rated free safety in the 2012 NFL Draft and a freak at his position.  He is very solid in run support and is not afraid to tackle.  Considering the big plays and poor tackling in the Buccaneers secondary last season, this is not only a solid replacement for Sean Jones (8th year) or Tanard Jackson (4th year) sometime down the road, Iloka can provide immediate depth and rotation for Cody Grimm who has yet to avoid IR for a full season since being drafted two years ago.  Add in the selection of Ahmad Black in 2011 and the safety position is set for the next several years.

These three picks would settle the running back and safety positions for the next 3-5 years as well as provide a top-level talent in the cornerback ranks.  With the combine over, some of these talents may move up the draft board and not be available when Tampa Bay is on the clock.

Nonetheless, these three men will get a solid look from the Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay 2012 Draft Selections

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as of today, will have the following selections in the 2012 NFL Draft:

Round 1, Pick 5 (5th overall)
Round 2, Pick 4 (36th overall)
Round 3, Pick 5 (69th overall)
Round 5, Pick 5 (132nd overall)
Round 6, Pick 4 (163rd overall)
Round 7, Pick 5 (195th overall)

Tampa Bay does not have a 4th round pick in 2012 at this time.  The Buccaneers 2012 fourth round pick (#4 in 4th, 99th overall) was packaged with the Buccaneers 2011 fourth round pick (#116 overall) to move up in the 4th round of 2011 to slot #104, resulting in the selection of Luke Stocker.