2011 NFL Draft first round could produce DE for Buccaneers

MADISON WI - SEPTEMBER 18: J.J. Watt #99 of the Wisconsin Badgers rushes against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Camp Randall Stadium on September 18 2010 in Madison Wisconsin. Wisconsin defeated Arizona State 20-19. Wisconsin defeated Arizona State 20-19. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

In some drafts there are just some sure things outside of the top 10.

In 2010, for instance, the week of the draft everyone knew the Bengals were going to draft tight end Jermaine Gresham from Oklahoma.

This year, it seems almost certain that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will draft a defensive end in the first round. Only Denver had fewer sacks than Tampa's 26. Stylez G. White led the Buccaneers in sacks in 2010 and that's not a good thing. White is an average player, but that sack total was 4.5. He's also a free agent.

The question will become which end fits their 4-3 scheme the best.



In addition to struggling on the blitz, Tampa did poor against the run in 2010. The Bucs finished near the bottom of league in run defense, allowing 131.7 yards per game on the ground.

Given that, it might be wise for the Buccaneers to targets a power end who can also get after the quarterback. Arguably the best player for that role is Wisconsin's J.J. Watt.

As a junior, Watt showed he's a legitimate three-down defensive end. He's not an athletic marvel like some other end prospects, but he's better against than most.

A point could be made for Iowa's Adrian Clayborn, but he might be best suited on teams that run a 3-4 scheme. Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan would also be a candidate, but may not hold up as well against the run.
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