Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano
(Sports Network) - Tampa Bay's uncharacteristic big spending on this year's free-agent market helped take care of a few of the team's greatest areas of deficiency, but there are still some holes to fill on a very young roster that experienced its share of growing pains last season.
The Buccaneers are looking for a dependable running back with receiving skills to pair with bruiser LeGarrette Blount, who doesn't offer much in the passing game and was plagued by fumbling problems during his sophomore slump, as well as added help to a defense that was routinely shredded down the stretch of 2011.
Tampa is believed to be extremely high on Trent Richardson and would seriously consider taking the dynamic Alabama back if he's available at its No. 5 overall choice... but Cleveland may snatch up Richardson first with their No. 4 pick. LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne is a strong option as well, if the club stays put.
With only six picks at the Bucs' disposal at the moment, trading down to augment the selection total may also be an avenue general manager Mark Dominik pursues. Dominik would like to come away with a starting-caliber linebacker, one of the team's biggest weak spots a year ago, and a difference-maker to a secondary that allowed 30 touchdown passes this past season.
2011 Record: 4-12
Top Needs: LB, RB, S, CB
First Three Picks: No. 5, No. 36, No. 68
Number of Selections: 6 (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY:
- 2011 - Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa)
- 2010 - Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma)
- 2009 - Josh Freeman (QB, Kansas State)
- 2008 - Aqib Talib (DB, Kansas)
- 2007 - Gaines Adams (DE, Clemson)
- 2006 - Davin Joseph (G, Oklahoma)
- 2005 - Cadillac Williams (RB, Auburn)
- 2004 - Michael Clayton (WR, Louisiana State)
- 2003 - none
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