Tampa Bay general manager drafted an Auburn cornerback last year in Carlton Davis, and might head back to the Tigers for another cornerback who played opposite him in 2017. Dean had 17 pass breakups over the past two years, and came up with the first two interceptions of his career in 2018. Dean has great size at 6-foot-1, 206 pounds, and really turned heads at the NFL Scouting Combine with a blazing 4.30 time in the 40-yard dash.
The Bucs had Dean in for a Top 30 pre-draft visit and like his size, speed and physicality, which fit well in Todd Bowles’ aggressive press man scheme. Tampa Bay needs help at cornerback as both Vernon Hargreaves III and Ryan Smith are both entering contract years. Dean and Davis played together two years and reuniting the former Auburn duo could help the Bucs for years to come. Tampa Bay likes Central Michigan cornerback Sean Bunting, but he’ll likely go in the third round. Dean could be had in the third round, allowing the Bucs to draft a position of a greater need in the second round.
Bucs’ Best Bet – Rounds 4-7: Michigan CB David Long
Long left Michigan after his junior year, but only had modest production with 12 pass breakups and three interceptions over the past two seasons. David helped himself at the NFL Scouting Combine by running a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash, but he has average size at 5-foot-11, 198 pounds. Those measurables and the average stats will likely keep him out of Day 2, but he could be a steal on Day 3 in the fourth round.
The Bucs had Long in for a Top 30 pre-draft visit and like his ability to play press-man coverage. Long is super aggressive at the line of scrimmage and that style of play is what is needed in Bowles’ scheme. While Long doesn’t have great length, that could work in his favor as he could have the ability to play inside at nickel cornerback, in addition to playing outside.