With the highly-anticipated 2012 NFL Draft just hours away, the GridironGrit.com staff is firing up a 32-part collaborative series on the full first round with pick-by-pick analysis on each team (with trades included).
Here’s part five by Jonathan Mathis on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With Luck chosen by the Colts, RGIII headed to D.C., Morris Claiborne selected by the Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland taking Trent Richardson, the Bucs select fast-rising cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Greg Cosell of NFL Films is one of the most respected analysts in the industry on the NFL Draft. In recent interview on 1010 WQYK-AM in Tampa, Cosell said Stephon Gilmore—not Morris Claiborne—is the best cornerback in this draft class.
This very well could be considered the “big surprise” in the Top 10 of this year’s draft.
Defense still wins championships. The Buccaneers weren’t atrocious against the pass (allowed 238.4 yards per game—21st most in NFL), but finished 30th in total defense and dead last in rush defense and points allowed last season.
With Ronde Barber on the verge of retirement and Aqib Talib constantly in hot water, it’s time for Tampa Bay to restore its defensive backfield, especially after already having stored up young talent in recent drafts on the defensive line.
Stephon Gilmore can step in from the get-go and have an instrumental impact in the Bucs’ secondary. A smart, fast and athletic cornerback, Gilmore will help steer the defense’s direction back to the good ole’ days for several seasons to come.
Follow the complete pick-by-pick collaborative series here!
- With No. 1 Pick, Indianapolis Colts Select QB Andrew Luck – Gartman
- RGIII Headed For D.C.: Washington Will Take Robert Griffin III With No. 2 Pick – Barnes
- Minnesota Vikings First Round Prediction For Third Pick in 2012 Draft – Thoms
- With The Fourth Pick, Cleveland Browns Select Trent Richardson – Shiri