At this point, anyone with any information about the 2013 Buccaneers has an inkling that we are in need of cornerbacks whether it is through the draft or through free agency. There have been reports that we will try and fill those holes through free agency meaning that picking a cornerback at 13 is not a dire necessity. Dee Milliner is the only sure-fire first round pick at cornerback, but he is likely to be off of the board by the time we pick. Xavier Rhodes is the next best option at cornerback through the draft, but there is a small chance he could already be taken. Also, Schiano and company might not be that enthused about taking Rhodes at 13. For those reasons, it is paramount to know what our other options are.
Note: I will exclude trade back scenarios.
Quarterback - A lot of acrimonious debate has been made about the legitimacy of Josh Freeman as our quarterback. Schiano has publicly stated that Josh is our quarterback, but at this time of year it is hard to believe anything you hear from coaches or general managers. Geno Smith has frequently been mocked as the first pick in the draft, but that has become highly unlikely after the Chiefs traded for Alex Smith. There is a good chance that he falls past teams like the Bills and Cardinals if they are not keen on taking Geno in the top 10, so he could be an option at 13 if Schiano does not love Josh Freeman as much as he has publicly stated. Plus, we all know he loves players from the University of West Virginia.
Tight End - There is only one viable tight end worthy of being picked this high, and that tight end is Tyler Eifert. He is my personal favorite for the 13th pick. The only time Josh Freeman had a truly dominant season was when Kellen Winslow Jr. was healthy and productive. Adding another weapon could seem like overkill to some, but having an elite TE who can block, catch the tough passes over the middle, and provide a large target to the sometimes inaccurate Freeman could pay huge dividends for our offense.
Offensive Tackle - Offensive tackle is a position with a lot of depth at the top of the draft. Guys like Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher will be gone by the time we pick. There is chance Lane Johnson falls to us, and he could end up being a very good LT for years to come. We already have Donald Penn occupying that position. If Penn or Johnson was willing and able to switch to the right side, we could have one of the best offensive lines (on paper) in NFL history. Another guy who I like is DJ Fluker. He is a right tackle only, but he is one of the best run blocking tackles to come out of the draft in a couple of years. His pass blocking could be better, but his size and freakishly long arms make him a better pass blocker than you would expect.
Defensive Tackle - It is important that we find another defensive tackle to put next to Gerald McCoy. In my opinion, Star Lotulelei would be the perfect player to put there. One guy cannot block him, which is the case with McCoy as well. This will cause havoc in both the running and passing game because it is very hard for the offensive line to double team two inside guys. He is much better than Sheldon Richardson and Sharrif Floyd at commanding double teams and collapsing the pocket. That being said, he does not have the pass rushing prowess or quickness that Floyd and Richardson do. That is not necessarily a bad thing as we already have a three technique that is better than Richardson and Floyd. There is a caveat to Star being drafted by us. He has an issue with his heart that could potentially be serious. The heart issue is, in my opinion, the only reason he would fall to 13 in the first place. Johnathan Hankins is another big defensive tackle that could effectively play nose tackle for us, but there will likely be better players available at 13.
The other two guys mentioned, Floyd and Richardson, could be drafted by us, but I see only Floyd as a guy who could play nose tackle if need be. The downside to that is that he will likely be taken by the time we pick.
Pure 4-3 Defensive End - With a lot of the hybrid looks in the current NFL, I thought it would be easier to break up the defensive end group. A guy who many on this site like is Ziggy Ansah. He is a physical freak, but has only played a couple years of football. The one thing about guys who have played a limited amount of football is that you have to wonder how passionate they are about the sport. Ansah failed at track and basketball before deciding to play football. The interview is an important part of the process in his case. Another guy who many love is Bjoern Werner, he was one of the best defensive players on a very solid Florida State defense; most importantly, he was productive, albeit against some questionable competition. Some have compared him to Jared Allen. If that is a fair comparison, then I would hope that we would not miss out on this guy.
4-3 Defensive End/3-4 Outside Linebacker/4-3 Strong-Side Linebacker - This position for us is not as concrete as some would like. These guys would likely play strong-side linebacker on running downs and as a defensive end on passing downs for us. I am not sure if this is something that Schiano would even consider, but guys like Lawrence Taylor and Von Miller have shown that it can be done. (Note: I am not comparing any player in this draft to either of Taylor or Miller talent or production-wise.) Jarvis Jones is one of my favorite players in this draft, and if he did not have spinal stenosis, he would likely be a top 5 pick. He is easily the best pass rusher in this draft; it just depends on how bad his condition is as to where he is drafted. Dion Jordan is the best coverage guy in this group. He, like Ansah, is a physical freak that is a bit raw at getting to the passer, but has the talent to be one of the best in the NFL. Barkevious Mingo has one of the funniest/weirdest/coolest names in the draft. Along with the different name, he brings a skillset that would be coveted by a lot of NFL teams. He has elite speed off of the corner and can cover on passing plays if need be. I will mention Damontre Moore, but I do not like him and his combine dropped him out of the top 15, in my opinion.
Safety - This is a position of need for us with the questionable return of Ronde, and even if Barber does return, we do not know when father time will catch up with him. The only guy that has been regularly mentioned at the top of the draft is Kenny Vaccaro. He is a very versatile safety who is good at everything, but amazing at nothing. Matt Elam and Eric Reid are the next best safeties, but I do not thing they are good enough to warrant a top 15 selection.
Running back, inside linebacker and center were left off because there was either not enough talent at that position or too many off the field questions to be picked at 13. Wide receiver and guard were left off because we do not need either of those positions.
Pick which option you like the best, and if you want comment which player you would want us to draft from that option.