The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have options in the upcoming NFL Draft, one of them includes the possibility of trading down. General Manager Mark Dominik told the Tampa Bay Times “I’m willing to move back if I feel like the opportunity is there”.
He also likes the current spot the Buccaneers hold with the fifth overall pick. “I know that we’ll walk out with a good player”.
Though Dominik may be playing the field with his comments, trading out of the fifth spot would not do the Bucs any good. Outside of selecting one of the top two or three linebackers in the draft, there are no other options which would fill current team needs. The 10 through 32 spots are filled with defensive ends, tackles, wide receivers and offensive linemen. All positions which the Bucs have secured for the upcoming season. The only players which would garner interest are North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins and CB Dre Kirkpatrick from Alabama. Each has had character questions in the past and with Aqib Talib set to stand trial after the draft, it would be a bitter pill to swallow if the Bucs made the same mistake twice. Fan favorite Luke Kuechly isn’t expected to make it past the Seattle Seahawks at the 12th spot and none of the teams leading up to Seattle are trade possibilities with the Bucs since they all have bigger needs other than running back and defensive back. Linebacker has also been a devalued position in the pass happy NFL, placing a bigger emphasis on the front four and secondary.
If the Buccaneers stay at the five spot, they are guaranteed an elite college player whom will contribute at a position of need. The Buccaneers will be moving to a new defensive scheme which will highlight defensive back and front four play. If the Bucs can stay healthy up front and apply pressure, a lock down secondary becomes the nail in the coffin. If they do not apply the needed pressure, a deep but talented secondary becomes the Bucs saving grace. If Morris Claiborne is available, all secondary concerns are satisfied not only for 2012, but for the future. With the possibility of Talib losing his trial after the draft and Ronde Barber calling it quits after the season, the future of the secondary is in question.
Running back Trent Richardson fills a need, but the Bucs seem content with Legarrette Blount and Richardson still has yet to workout after knee surgery. He is scheduled to have his own pro-day on Thursday, after missing on field combine workouts and the Alabama pro-day earlier in the month. Selecting him wouldn’t be a bad move since it helps the Buccaneers, but there are other backs to be had in the second round whom are capable of complimenting Blount. Richardson would be drafted with the expectation of being an every down back, leaving Blount looking for work elsewhere next season and putting the Bucs in a position to trade or draft a running back yet again next year.
Trading back also provides a big drop in talent level. Once the top seven prospects are drafted, there is not a huge gap separating talent which could be drafted in the second round. Trading down would for all intensive purposes be like the Bucs trading their pick for a second rounder. The draft is all about value and what Mark Dominik would get in return does not match the value of the fifth pick. Unfortunately, there is only one Dan Snyder, so teams trading with the Bucs will not sell the house. The only scenario which would create value for Dominik is if the Bucs trade back but receive a needed positional player from that team in return.
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