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2013 NFL Mock Draft: Defensive tackle for Buccaneers


The latest SB Nation mock draft is out and we get to talk about some issues not related to free agency again. A nice change of pace, I'd say. Matt Fairburn has the Buccaneers selecting defensive tackle Star Lotulelei at number 13.

With the top two cornerbacks off the board and Roy Miller leaving in free agency, defensive tackle should be in play for the Buccaneers at No. 13. Star Lotulelei would be the best player in the draft if not for concerns over his heart. If he checks out medically, he will go much higher than this on draft day.

This isn't really new: defensive tackle has been mocked to the Buccaneers with some frequency the past few months. With Roy Miller now definitively leaving, the Buccaneers certainly have a need at nose tackle. Star Lotulelei would be a nice fit there

Unfortunately for the Bucs, this is extremely unlikely to happen. He will obviously fall if his heart condition turns out to be concerning -- but why would it then not be concerning for the Buccaneers at #13? There's a possibility that the heart condition will simply limit him in snaps or some other way while not being life-threatening, but Lotulelei actually being the #13 pick seems unlikely. Depending on the seriousness of his heart condition he is likely to either be a top 10 pick or fall much, much farther. A result in between those extremes seems least likely.

This mock draft does present a different concern for the Buccaneers, however, who are desperate for cornerbacks. Xavier Rhodes is snapped up by the Miami Dolphins in this draft, and this isn't the first mock draft to have that happening. That would leave the Bucs in a bind: Desmond Trufant, Johnthan Banks and Logan Ryan really aren't good enough to represent good value at this point, while they have few other options. A defensive tackle would make sense, and Tavon Austin is a possibility -- but that glaring hole at cornerback really can't be ignored for much longer.

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