Now that Round One is over, and we're stuck with bickering over the wisdom of the trade-down with Jacksonville (WHY DIDN'T WE GET MORE PICKS OUT OF IT?!), we need to take this break in the hostilities before Rounds Two and Three start up to re-assess needs and which players can best fit them.
More (plus a poll) after this jump:
In hindsight, with the Bucs acting so reckless with Morris Claiborne sitting there on the draft boards, it looks like as though Cornerback wasn't as big a need for the team as we fans and scouts/mockers thought it was. Either the Bucs think Talib will still be there as their No.1 corner, or that they can coach up the guys currently on roster - Ronde, FA acquisition Wright, Biggers, Lewis, et al - to fill the need if it arises. Either way, it looks as though drafting a CB this year is very unlikely: anyone drafted at this point will be competing with the backups like Lewis, Biggers, Gaithor, whoever else is there.
Getting Mark Barron may prove the smart move: fills a higher need with Safety than Corner (the arguments for Corner were predicated on the fears of Talib being in jail by September); is a guaranteed starter on Day One, and a guaranteed improvement on the Safeties we currently have (Grimm has shown vast promise, but those injuries...).
As for the trade-up to get RB Doug Martin: clearly a smart move all around. The Bucs merely moved up a few spots in the actual draft, and traded down in the Fourth Round with a pick (garnered from the Jax trade) we didn't even have at 8 pm EST last night. So in the end, the Bucs are still ahead with one extra pick in a draft round we didn't have before, and basically got their Second Rounder picked before the Second Round even happened (and pissed off Giants fans to no end, bwha ha ha).
But now, what the hell do we do with the rest of the draft?!
A) Considering the team's failure to jump at a surefire CB when they had it, drafting CB may not - should not - happen this year. Bucs already have a roster full of CBs: it was merely a question of starter quality. Now that's moot.
B) Expect a rush on linebackers: Outside and Inside. It's the thinnest roster spot left as well as the biggest need for talent. The Third Rounder HAS to be an OLB or else this whole draft will fall apart...
C) Don't be surprised if another Safety gets taken in the late rounds: we're still a bit thin roster-wise. Although getting more raw youthful talent there might not be a smart move (getting a solid veteran as a backup or optional starter would be more savvy).
That said, here's a revamped Rest-Of-The-2012 Bucs draft:
Third Round (68) - Sean Spence, Outside Linebacker, U of Miami
Going for OLB is a must at this point. It's the last Must-Need roster spot needing a starter-quality rookie. I had Spence already, and of the remaining OLBs left on the draft board is the most likely to slip down to the Third Round to us (let's be honest: Bobby Wagner or Zach Brown are NOT going to slip far). I still see a bit of Derrick Brooks in him.
Fourth Round (126) - James-Michael Johnson, Middle Linebacker, Nevada
WE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN MORE OUT OF THE TRADE WITH JACKSONVILLE. There. Had to say (uh scream) it. Still, this is a pick we didn't have before - even after trading down with Denver - so let's accept it and make this pick.
Johnson takes care of MLB backup needs behind Mason Foster. He's a solid tackler and run-stuffer, which is a high need, but needs more coaching by most scouting reports. He's also good value at this spot. Other MLBs to consider would be "Tank" Carder (his parents nicknamed Tank? Seriously?) and Keenan Robinson (who might slip into the Fourth, you never know).
Fifth Round (140) - Brandon Mosley, Offensive Tackle, Auburn
With Safety filled, getting Whitley here was no longer a smart move. Getting a value pick on a Right OT makes more sense. There's a good chance Mosley could slip to the Fifth Round, and placed at the ROT spot to challenge Trueblood. If Mosley is off the boards, Bucs should consider Tom Compton from South Dakota.
Sixth Round (174) - Tyler Nielsen, Outside Linebacker, Iowa
Bucs still need depth evaluation with linebacker, especially Outside. Nielsen could slip to here and take care of any remaining LB needs.
Seventh Round (212) - Mason Robinson, Running Back, Rutgers
Really by this point the Bucs can draft anybody (JUST NO PUNTERS! We GOT one already!). I just figure the new head coach Schiano is going to draft one of his Rutgers recruits as a pity move. :-) Although if he goes with S Jerrell Young from South Florida, that will take care of MY pity move for a USF Bulls player for the draft. heh.
So, what do you think, sirs?