The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had one mission this offseason, repair a broken secondary that allowed nearly 300 yards per game in 2012. Through free agency and the recent 2013 NFL Draft, the Buccaneers look to field a much different team in 2013. Tampa focused their first two picks in the draft on the addition of two players which will vastly change the secondary landscape for next season.
Of course the Buccaneers did not have a pick in the first-round after trading it to the New York Jets in exchange for veteran CB Darrelle Revis. For all intents you can simply state that the Buccaneers used their pick on Revis.
In the second round, Tampa again focused on the secondary with the selection of CB Johnthan Banks. Banks is a big bodied, long corner that could compete with Eric Wright for the starting job opposite Revis but will likely start his career as a nickle back. Banks won the Jim Thorpe Award last season, an award given to the outstanding defensive back of the year.
Tampa decided they would reach a bit in the third round with the selection of QB Mike Glennon. There is considerable uncertainty surrounding the future of Josh Freeman in Tampa after this season and head coach Greg Schiano has experience with Glennon after trying to recruit him when he was at Rutgers.
Tampa had two picks in the fourth-round and wasted no time Saturday afternoon addressing the defensive line. The Buccaneers moved up to the 100th selection after a trade with the Raiders and selected DT Akeem Spence. Spence is a strong player, benching 225 pounds 37 times at the Combine. Not know for his pass rushing, but plays the run exceptionally well and will be a nice replacement for the departed Roy Miller.
Tampa then selected William Gholston. Consistancy issues have plagued Gholston. He is the cousin of former NFL player Vernon Gholston, a player that never lived up to expectations placed on him.
The Buccaneers front office then reached a little with the pick of DE Steven Means. Many expected Means would go undrafted.
After trading RB LeGarrette Blount to the New England Patriots in exchange for a seventh-round selection and RB Jeff Demps, the Buccaneers quickly traded up in the sixth in order to select RB Mike James. Head coach Greg Schiano praised James for his work ethic and versatility.
The outcome of this draft is going to hinge on whether or not Darrelle Revis can return to the player he was prior to his ACL injury. If he makes a complete recovery, then the Buccaneers made a wise decision to acquire him. Banks and Spence figure to contribute this season while Gholston and Means look to be projects. Mike James will compete for a backup position to Doug Martin.
Overall Grade- B