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March 9, 2011 @ 1:00 pm
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Kiper Sees CB As Need For Bucs

Written by Pewter
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ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper views cornerback as the secondary need for Tampa Bay heading into the 2011 NFL Draft. After the first round, Kiper discussed the depth at corner that could help the Buccaneers in the second, third, or in the later rounds.

“Cornerback is another area with [Ronde] Barber getting up there now,” Kiper said. “Look at a guy that could maybe step in there. They like some of their younger kids. [Aqib] Talib is obviously an excellent player, and some of these younger guys they have high hopes for, but cornerback [is a position] you could look at right now. I think another wide receiver wouldn’t hurt. [Arrelious] Benn is coming off the injury. Mike Williams had a great year and Benn showed great promise late but is coming off an injury. They could look at another linebacker obviously in there, but I think defensive end and cornerback that could be debated for the first two rounds. Defensive end because the strongest position in this draft is defensive line overall. It’s got a lot of options. If you don’t like Clayborn right now, if you don’t like Kerrigan enough or if you don’t like Houston enough, well then you might be looking at an Aldon Smith. You might be looking at a guy that is more intriguing than the guys I just threw out there.”

While Kiper thinks that cornerback is a critical need, the Bucs were pleased with the play of young cornerback E.J. Biggers. The second-year pro Biggers started six games and served as the Buccaneers nickel back in the other 10 games of the season. Tampa Bay is also enthusiastic about Myron Lewis. The Bucs selected Lewis in the third round out of Vanderbilt in last year’s draft. The Buccaneers could be set at corner in the long-term with Biggers, Lewis, and Talib.

The Buccaneers signed veteran Ronde Barber to a one-year $4 million contract for the 2011 season. Kiper believes there is some quality depth at the cornerback position heading into the middle rounds of the draft. 

“I think the depth at corner will allow them to get some guys to help them down the line and I’m not just talking about second- or third-rounders,” said Kiper. “Justin Rogers at Richmond, a good player, he could be an excellent nickel back. I think he’ll be an intriguing guy in the fourth or fifth round. You look at Brandon Burton from Utah in the second round area. He had a couple games where he was beaten deep, but he has some talent. Brandon Harris is the interesting guy from Miami. I think he had a very average year. He had a good combine and I thought he would be a first-round pick if he had a good year, but he didn’t. Where does he balance out? Probably a second-round pick I would think after all is said and done. Then you think about the senior group of corners and there are some guys there that are very intriguing. Ras-I Dowling had a variety of injuries and then he got hurt running the 40 at the combine. He was a first-round talent going into the year, now he’s probably a third-round pick. Javon House at New Mexico State is a third- or fourth-round option. Cortez Allen from The Citadel is another guy that has a chance. Shareece Right at USC and Johnny Patrick at Louisville – all of those guys have a legitimate chance to be guys that in the third or fourth round can certainly help you. Buster Screen from Chattanooga had a real good combine and a real nice career there. He’s the kind of guy in the third or fourth round area that could help you. Justin Rogers from Richmond is underrated.”
Last modified on Wednesday, 09 March 2011 13:39

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  • avatar

    We are sooo far under the cap!! Sign the guy form The raiders!! Team him woith Big mouth 25 and draft a D.E and a middle linebacker and saftey and I willo gaurantee a home playoff game
  • avatar

    kiper is an idiot! the fact that his knowledge of the bucs is he thinks becasue we signed barber back means we need a corner tells you so!! biggers and talib played the majority of the plays with barber ball hawking in nickel packages!!
  • avatar

    Cigarfox, I refer you to PRs Season Wrap-up Issue. Please re-read articles: Tampa Bays Identity Is Now Offense - Not Defense and Secondary-Driven Defense Still Not A Finished Product. Your opinion please!
  • avatar

    TV and money has turned the NFL into a passing league. What are the highest paid positions in the NFL - QB, L-OT, WR, and CB? CB is the anti-pass. If you want to win in this league, you need to have top-level CBs. Barber has a 1 year contract, which means he's gone next year. If the Bucs still believe that this year is a rebuilding year, then the journeymen CBs we already have will do. Drafting another CB downstream will not help at all. If they want to make a run at the BIG ONE, they should go after Jonathan Joseph, 27 year-old shutdown corner from the Bengals in FA. Nnamdi is 30 years old and will want 12mil - no thanks. If you can't run with the big dogs, then stay under the porch!
  • avatar

    TV and money has not turned it into a passing league. Coaches don't decide to pass more because fans like to see it. Kipers has a good point in regard to not needing to draft a LB or DE in round 1 because there is a lot of depth at those positions in this years draft, but would not necessarily draft a CB either in round one unless you could land a guy like Rrince Amukamar. You can;t say that a CB is anymore important than DE's and line backers. The more time a QB has to throw the ball is the more likely he will complete a pass so pass rush is ever bit as important than is the CB. These things go hans in hand, but it all starts up front. We got our DT's last year and we need our DE's and LB's next. Then we can get another QB. We have a darn good CB's in Talib and Barber this year and I feel fine with Biggers taking over in another year and we could get a top notch CB in the 2012 draft. It takes more than just a few years to rebuild a franchise. You can not try and rush the rebuild and expect to be in the Superbowl after just a few years. You also don't have to have a stud at every position. Let's address the weakness at DE and LB.
  • avatar

    Ras-I Dowling in the 2nd baby!
  • avatar

    I can see the thought process to picking a CB high. Teams are playing 3 CB & 2 S sets a lot more. If a corner goes down, smart football is attacking the new guy by throwing at him. There are a good number of long and fast CB's in this draft. Corners are great for special teams. Rhonde is in his last year and his influence is beyond value. With Freeman's improvement, late in games we might be playing dime. Setting the Bucs' up with 4 good corners is smart. Also, there are a lot more coverage sacks these days than there were a few seasons ago. Help your pass rush with a DE, sure. But also help your pass rush with a CB. Not saying I agree, but I see the reasoning.
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