Tampa Bay's 2012 first round pick Mark Barron joined the local media on a conference call and talked about being the seventh overall pick in the 2012 draft.
The Buccaneers strayed away from every single mock draft board with the selection of Alabama safety Mark Barron as the seventh overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft on Thursday night.
Barron joined the local media via conference call Thursday night and said he was even taken back when he got the call.
“I was very excited and I was really surprised,” Barron said. “It is great opportunity for me to go down to (Tampa) and prove I was worthy of that seventh pick.”
As a sophomore, Barron led the Crimson Tide with seven interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown. At 6-foot-1, 213 pounds, Barron was a physical presence for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide defense.
Dominik was asked what stood out about Barron.
“Character was one of the reasons,” Dominik said. “Obviously Mark Barron was a two-time captain at the University of Alabama, a two-year National Champion, and a very productive player at a very important position in the National Football League now.
“Safety has become a very important position and a position we value. We felt like we got an extremely productive guy, who has a lot of leadership intangibles to him that we think are needed on this defense to continue to build this defense into what Coach Schiano wants it to be.”
Barron was asked what it was he did at Alabama to earn the “C” on his chest as the team captain.
“Mostly it was a respect thing,” Barron said. “The way I used to try and lead guys was do it by example. The reason I did that is because I feel like you can’t motivate someone to do something if you aren’t willing to do it. I think it came from my teammates having a lot of respect for me.”
Barron was known as a fearsome hitter, and was asked who he patterned his game after.
“I used to watch a lot of guys like Ed Reed, Troy Polomolu, Adrian Wilson. You know I used to watch John Lynch a few years back and Brian Dawkins. As far as who I play like I feel like – I guess you could say bits and pieces of a lot of those guys. I don’t really think I play like one specific player.”
The Mobile, Ala. native helped the Alabama defense lead the nation in run defense (72.15 yards per game), pass defense (111.46 yards per game), total defense (183.62 avg.) and scoring defense (8.15 points per game). The Crimson Tide was only one of 119 major colleges that held opponents to under 80 yards per game on the ground; and the only one to allow under 130 yards passing; and the only defense that allowed less than 260 total yards per game.
Barron finished his Crimson Tide career with 235 tackles, 22 pass breakups, 13 tackles for loss, 12 interceptions, five sacks and one forced fumble.
Head coach Greg Schiano was a fan of Barron from the first film session.
“I am really excited about this player. I think he fits into what we do defensively perfectly. You couldn’t draw it up better. I can tell you the first video I watched of Mark Barron, I thought I had selected his best game. But this guy he plays at a high level, even though he plays in arguably the best football conference in the land. And I though he was a dominant player at his position. I can’t tell you how excited I am to get him down here.
“I was talking to him on the phone. He’s fired up. He said, coach, can you send me a playbook. I told him he’s going to be down here tomorrow and ‘I’ll get you a playbook. I promise you.’
That’s the kind of guy he is. He lives it, he loves it, he studies it. I can’t wait to coach him.”
Barron was asked where he might fit in position-wise in Tampa.
“I’m not exactly sure which one (free or strong safety) they will have me at, but whatever they need me to do I feel like I can go in and get it done. I think the strengths of my game is I am very versatile and I can do a lot of things well.”
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