If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers evolve into one of the best teams in the NFL in the next few years, people will point to their 2012 NFL Draft class as a major reason why. The Buccaneers moved around three times in the first two rounds of the draft targeting the players they wanted. That should tell everyone they're convinced they're only a few players away from the playoffs.
After seeing Trent Richardson and Matt Kalil come off the board, the Bucs traded out of the fifth pick. Landing at seven, though, caused Tampa to also miss out on Morris Claiborne. So on the surface, it looks like the team settled on seventh overall pick Mark Barron. Although he fills a need an will be a good player, that was still early for a safety.
Tampa Bay was still able to get a running back by trading back into the first round for Doug Martin. He should quickly supplant LeGarrette Blountp as the starter. The team doubled up on runners with Michael Smith in The seventh round, which most considered good value. Tampa traded two picks away in order to get linebacker Lavonte David in the second round. They also added linebacker Najee Goode, cornerback Keith Tandy and tight end Drake Dunsmore.
Late-round steal: CB Keith Tandy, Round 6, pick 174
The Buccaneers needed talent at cornerback and nearly got burned by waiting late into the draft to take one. Tandy is a physical cornerback who should provide good depth early in his career and could develop into a starter.
Questionable pick: LB Najee Goode, Round 5, pick 140
The Buccaneers have little quality depth at defensive tackle and will be in trouble if either Gerald McCoy or Brian Price get hurt. Although there was a lot of tackles gone by the time pick 140 came around, players like Billy Winn or Kheeston Randall could have provided good depth.
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