ESPN’s NFL draft pundit Todd McShay discussed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers options in the mid-rounds presuming the Bucs take a defensive end with their first-round pick. McShay believes that the Buccaneers need to focus on their inside and outside linebackers.
“You look at their needs and what they are trying to accomplish, and when you get in the second and third rounds you can go in so many different directions, but when I look at Tampa Bay I think finding linebacker help. Upgrading their linebacker situation inside and outside,” said McShay. “Then cornerback is a possibility, down the line maybe running back if you get the right value maybe in the third round. When you start to look at the linebackers, to me if you can find an impact middle linebacker for your 4-3 defense a guy that can run and cover and do all those things. If that is late in the second or someone falls to you in the third I think that would be ideal.
“Quan Sturdivant from North Carolina, great speed, he’s not the strongest inside linebacker and certainly he has some athletic limitations, but as linebackers go with his size he can flat out run. Mason Foster from Washington is another one I think would be a really good fit in their defense. 6-foot-1 and half, 245 (pounds) it is funny because he doesn’t run great times in the 40, but when I see him he plays faster than so many other guys that I evaluate who have better 40 times from the combine or their pro days. I think Mason Foster would be another guy in that second or third round range who would fit very well. When you start to talk about corners, I’d mention Ras-I Dowling in the second round. I think they are starting to look for guys who can turn and run and cover. Guys who have that speed and athleticism. I think that Josh Thomas is a guy to keep an eye on from Buffalo. He has that speed, 4.49 in the 40, at 5-10 and 191 pounds is a playmaker, and also Curtis Brown in that third-round range from Texas. He’s six feet, 185 pounds. He’s allergic to defending the run but he’s quick and he can cover. It’ll be interesting to see but I think those are some of the corners and linebackers that fit what Tampa is looking for in day two.”
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