With Tampa Bay’s 10th straight loss, the Buccaneers finished the 2011 season with a 4-12 record after a once promising 4-2 start. Tampa Bay concluded the year tied with Cleveland for the fourth-worst record in the league. The Browns will pick fourth and the Bucs will have the fifth overall pick behind Indianapolis (2-14), St. Louis (2-14) and Minnesota (3-13) in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Both Cleveland and Tampa Bay finished with a .250 winning percentage in 2011 and will alternate drafting fourth and fifth throughout the draft with the Bucs having the fourth pick (36th overall) in the second round.
The last time the Buccaneers had a top 5 pick was in 2009 when Tampa Bay selected defensive tackle Gerald McCoy with the third overall pick.
Although there is not a consensus top five in terms of 2012 NFL Draft prospects, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is considered to be the sure-fire first overall selection, followed by USC left tackle Matt Kalil, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. The player the Bucs would be most interested in would likely be Claiborne given the need for a cornerback.