2012 NFL Draft Grades: Buccaneers First Round Grades and Evaluations

We graded the draft and asked you your opinion on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-round picks earlier today, but the rest of the internet had plenty to say about the Bucs' actions as well. So let's go through a number of draft grades and other opinions on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' draft.

Joel Thorman, SB Nation: B

Bucs: Mark Barron was flying up draft boards before the draft so the Bucs had to take him at No. 7 to make sure they got who they wanted. Trading back caused them to miss out on Morris Claiborne, but the extra picks plus Barron make the move worth it. It also allowed them to move back into the first round for Doug Martin.

Pete Prisco: B/B+

No. 7: Buccaneers select: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
This is high for a safety, but this is a huge need for the Bucs. Their safeties were horrible last year.

No. 31: Buccaneers select: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
This is a really good move to trade back into the first round to get a top-level runner. Martin might not be Richardson, but the price here is right.

John Clayton: Losers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: I liked their move to trade from the second round and get into the first to grab running back Doug Martin. What I didn't like was trading down with Jacksonville two spots and losing the chance to take Claiborne. Claiborne has the look of a future Pro Bowl cornerback. Those players are hard to find. Instead, the Bucs got safety Mark Barron and a fourth-round choice. A Pro Bowl corner is worth more than a safety and a fourth-rounder. Barron should be great, but taking him at No. 7 is a little high for a safety. Barron would have to be Ronnie Lott to justify the selection. In a division that has Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan, you need quality corners. Cover 2 can take you only so far these days.

Nolan Nawrocki:

7 (7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Jacksonville): S Mark Barron, Alabama
The Buccaneers' most pressing need on the roster was clearly at safety, where neither Larry Asante nor Cody Grimm would start on many teams, and Greg Schiano upgraded the position with the draft's most coveted defender. With a very physical temperament, football intelligence and striking ability, Barron will make his mark immediately and upgrade one of the worst run defenses in the league.

31 (31) Tampa Bay (from Denver via New England): RB Doug Martin, Boise State
After Cleveland kept Trent Richardson from sliding to Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers keenly dealt back into the first round to land the draft's other bellcow. Martin is a strong, competitive runner who can help Greg Schiano establish the physical, smashmouth identity he seeks to have on both sides of the ball. With Mark Barron and Martin, the Buccaneers have two building blocks to set the right tone and provide leadership.

ScoutTheDraft.com:

Tampa grabs the draft's best safety, and a smart, tough football player in Barron. He covers decent ground in the secondary, but is extremely strong against the run. Good instincts and reaction in space. However, he's not the dynamic play-maker that the 7th overall pick would typically warrant, so I think it's a bit of a reach here for the Bucs. A day-one starter, but over-drafted as a top-10 pick, in my view.

The Bucs miss out on Richardson at the top of the round but end up with another physical back with impressive burst, in Doug Martin. He's a threat inside or out, will move the pile on contact and possesses much better initial explosion than Blount, and should be the preferred 'back of the two in that Tampa offense.

Bill Barnwell: Down

2. The Buccaneers take Arkansas Alabama safety Mark Barron seventh overall.
Barron was one of the hottest prospects in the league on draft day, with both the Bills and Cowboys heavily linked to the former Razorbacks Crimson Tide ball hawk. He eventually landed in Tampa Bay, which has endured years of poor play at safety from the likes of Sabby Piscitelli. So this move makes sense, right? Well, hold your horses. While the Giants did just win a Super Bowl with two first-round picks at safety, it's considered to be one of the least valuable and easiest-to-stock positions in all of football. And when teams have gone out of their way to grab safeties in the first 10 picks over the past decade, they really haven't gotten what they bargained for. Sure, Sean Taylor showed flashes of brilliance before his untimely death, and Eric Berry eventually emerged as a key defender for the Chiefs during his rookie season. Those are the success stories. On the other hand, the likes of LaRon Landry, Michael Huff, and Donte Whitner really haven't delivered on their lofty draft status. The game's truly dominant safeties - namely Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu - lasted until much later in the first round before coming off the board.

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