Dear God, I hope so. Although he didn't rule out the possibility of drafting Freeman, Coach Morris recently told Yahoo! Sports that the Bucs have needs on the defensive side of the ball they hope to address in the draft, namely, as many of us have pined about on here, at Defensive Tackle.
Regarding draft needs:
“We’ve got obvious needs,” Morris said. “We want some defensive tackles. We addressed a lot of our needs, obviously, in (free agency) on offense. We feel good about some of those positions. But in the draft, you’re thinking D-tackles, you want to add corners, you want to add some players at those positions.”
Regarding exactly what needs they need to fill on the defensive line:
“I should say defensive line (as a whole),” Morris said. “We want depth at all those positions.”
When quizzed about the pash rush (or lack thereof, I suspect), Raheem responded:
“Great D-linemen, that’s what they do. Warren Sapp, you didn’t have to talk to him about pressure. That’s what he did. Simeon Rice, you didn’t have to talk to him about pressure. That’s the kind of character this D-line has had. We have to generate that. The only way you win games is if it starts up front. We all know that.”
Accordingly, Yahoo! Sports Buccaneer Insider pegs the Bucs to trade down and try to recoup its second-round pick and hopefully land an impact defensive player at the end of the round.
Trading down in general sounds like a good philosophy and all.... hell, we all love increasing draft picks and this team certainly has plenty of needs... but you can't assume that this is all taking place in a vacuum. First, trades have to be a fit to pull off. The Bucs would have to find a trade partner willing to part with a first day pick, probably a second-rounder, to move up. Said trade partner likely can't be a division mate looking to land an impact player, or at least it shouldn't be. Also, how far of a trade down would we be talking about here? 5 spots? 10 spots? Out of the first round? If the Bucs are really high on defensive guys like Ron Brace, Larry English, Clay Matthews, or Michael Johnson and if one or more are still available, they might have to think long and hard about trading down too far and missing out on some impact players. What if a stud WR like Jeremy Maclin or QB Mark Sanchez fall in their lap? Unlikely, but not impossible. It's easy to say trade down, and I'm all for it if the right trade situation presents itself, but everything depends on what specific scenario the Bucs are faced with on April 25... what compensation they'd be offered to trade down, how far down they'd trade, and what guys they could potentially be missing out on by trading.
That said, if Yahoo! Sports' hypothesis were true that the Bucs could trade down into the low 20's and still land an impact guy like, say, Michael Johnson, Ron Brace, or one of the USC 'backers, and recoup a 2nd, that's a no-brainer. Whether that scenario presents itself... we shall wait, hope, and see.