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Bucs’ Best Bets At Cornerback

Bucs’ Best Bet – Rounds 1-3: Auburn CB Jamel Dean

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.


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About the Author: Matt Matera

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2 years ago

I can add that I’ve watched Long at CB for a couple of years at Michigan and he’s going to be an above average corner in the NFL. Plays a game very similar to Brent Grimes without the drama but is a willing tackler. Loves football and super competitive. Would love to see him on the Bucs. He could be there at the top of the 4th, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he went towards the end of the 3rd.

2 years ago

On offense the Bucs are really close just need to fix right side of O line. Defense is another story. You really can’t say they are set or deep at any position which is kind of crazy. LB went from strength to weakness in one season. CB has been deficient for years. Safety has been below par. DT was pretty solid now with McCoy that’s a weak spot possibly and they could use more DE or whatever you want to call it now with 3-4 they need more pass rushers. If Bowls can get some help still in free agency… Read more »

2 years ago

This team desperately needs to add another corner. Davis looks like he has the makings of a solid CB2, but I’m not sure how this team can count on getting anything out of Hargreaves. Hoping Greedy or Rock Ya Sin are there in round 2. This team needs to find a player with CB1 potential. Though it doesn’t sound like the Bucs are particularly interested in either player. The Penn State kid ran a 4.70, so no thanks.

2 years ago

I am sure BA knows more than I do but I will believe it when I see it about VHIII being an outside corner. Don’t understand why a pro football team likes to have a local Florida player on the team. Not like it is doing anything to draw fans, are people coming to see Hargreaves? Secondary is where our scouts and front office will earn their money in the draft, and in the secondary FA market. The young secondary players last year did as good as could be expected being thrown to the wolves, and if I were the… Read more »

2 years ago

There’s some pretty good depth this year at CB. Plus they’re some tall dudes as well. I know I’m a Miami hurricanes homer, but Michael Jackson was a hell of a player on that defense last year. Seems like he could be a fourth rounder due to how deep these positions are. I’m just so over the anticipation for this years draft. Let’s go already!!!

2 years ago

We really have needs at every defensive position, so I believe we should trade down and pick up some more draft picks. We are not one player away from making the playoffs; our schedule didn’t help either.

Freeman Strickland
2 years ago

Matt Matera, As you note in your analysis, the Bucs, like pretty much every team, would love to get a “ball-hawking CB”. But, “The nickel position in the slot starts to get a little dicey for the Bucs here.” That being said, the film clips show bot of these guys mostly working outside. Are you thinking Dean outside and Long in the slot for nickel? I hope two top spots are given to the offensive line. I would love to have defenders, but the Bucs have a massive decision to make about Winston next year. I want to see the… Read more »

2 years ago

If I’m being completely honest, Dean looks trash. Teams are probably in love with the guy because of his size and speed, but he can’t play. Watch actually game tape against Alabama – he clearly hates physical contact. Now, Long on the other hand looks like he can play nickel at the next level. IDK if he has the physical tools to do so, but clearly has good instincts. He’d be a grab find in the later rounds.

2 years ago

I think Amani Oruwariye ran better than a 4.7 typo?

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