While there is bound to be a great pick in Morris Claiborne, Trent Richardson or Justin Blackmon available, it’s not out of reach to believe the Buccaneers could trade down for another draft pick. The compensation for the #5 pick would most likely depend on if Richardson is available. If he is, the Bucs could easily receive that team’s first round pick and their second round pick plus one for next season depending on performance. The most likely candidate would be the Cincinnati Bengals who sit at #17 and desperately need a long term option at running back. Since the Bengals have two first round picks (#21) as well, there is even the possibility the Bucs work out a deal which grabs them both of the Bengals slots. Coach Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik have both committed to “building” through the draft while supplementing via free agency and an extra pick for a team with many holes could be just what the Glazer family ordered. While it won’t net them as solid player, it allows the Bucs to roll the dice and stockpile much needed talent. Here are the possibilities if the Buccaneers trade down with the Bengals.
Pick #17: JANORIS JENKINS (CB, North Alabama)
Yes, he has had many issues and thoughts of another Aqib Talib come to mind. However, Jenkins did man up during his media interviews, taking responsibility for his past marijuana issues and stating he was “done with marijuana forever”. Adding to the drama is the fact he has several children as well. While he is a risk, what if this is a case where the guy really has changed? Stop your laughter for a second and consider it. After being a standout at the University of Florida, Jenkins was humbled by winding up at North Alabama due to his very public personal issues. North Alabama was his second chance, and Jenkins destroyed the competition. Jenkins ranked 6th among corners today with a 4.46 40 yard dash time and is widely considered to be the best corner in the draft if not for his past. Though Claiborne comes without the headaches, Jenkins at #17 could be a steal that is worth the risk. Especially if the Bucs receive the Bengals #21 pick. There is also the possibility of Dre Kirkpatrick still being available at this spot which also gives the Bucs a solid option.
Pick #21 DON’A HIGHTOWER (ILB, Alabama) (UNLIKELY)
If the Bucs were able to get the Bengals #21 pick as well for the #5 or possibly by giving up their 2nd round pick, it would solidify another position of desperate need. Hightower is considered a hybrid linebacker who is a great fit as at DE end as well. The major knock on him has been his lack of speed, but he is a character guy with great size and instincts. Though he played a 3-4 in college, the transition won’t be much of a jump for him considering this defense will be new for all Buccaneers so he is coming in on the ground level.
Round #2 Picks #36 and #53 LAMAR MILLER (RB, Miami)
Pick #36 LAMAR MILLER (RB, Miami)
This would be the only reason for the Buccaneers to make a deal to trade down (other than another 1st rounder). With Lamichael James’ stock rising and a run on running backs likely to come in the second round, the Bucs could be left hanging in the third round where James was expected to land. It also gives the Bucs a shot at Lamar Miller instead of James. With an emphasis on the power running game, the Bucs would do well in securing the work horse from Miami. At 5’11, 210 pounds, Miller dwarfs the 5’9, 185 pound James. Miller actually had the fastest 40 time by registering a 4.40 flat 40 time, beating James’ 4.45 which was good for second place. Miller has been linked to the Bengals at #21 but a trade with the Bucs means they won’t need him and a chance at drafting him with the 36 pick becomes a likely possibility.
Pick #53 LAVONTE DAVID (OLB, Nebraska)
Gaining a pick in the second round allows the Buccaneers to wait on David instead of picking him too early. David should be available at the tail end of the round and he fits nicely into the Bucs scheme. This scenario would free up the Bucs to pursue other options with their third round pick which could be used to upgrade along the offensive line or safety position.
Keep in mind this is all a very unlikely scenario but one worth posing depending on what the Buccaneers do in free agency. For the most likely draft sequence see the Buccaneers full 7 round mock draft at: http://www.rantsports.com/tampa-bay-buccaneers/2012/02/09/2012-tampa-bay-buccaneers-mock-draft-7-rounds/