WHAT THE BUCS HAVE
WHY THE NEED?
Barber will be 33 on opening day this year, and Buchanon, while coming off a fine year in 2007, is in the final year of his contract (it could be extended). Wilson, who signed last week as a free agent, only inked a one-year deal and his deal dragged out over whether he would move to cornerback or not. After that, the pickings are slim. Davis and Cox do well in spot duty, but you don't want to rely on either for an extended period of time. Hunter and Hamilton are strictly projects at this point.
What the Bucs are really in need of is that cornerback of the future, a player that could contribute as a nickel back this year and eventually take Barber's place in three years.
THE TOP FIVE
Here are the top five cornerbacks in this draft, according to Scout.com:
Leodis McKelvin (5-foot-10 ½, 186 pounds), Troy — He impressed scouts with his ability to go up against players from bigger schools at the Senior Bowl. Plus, he can return kicks and punts. He's another first-round pick.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (6-foot-1 ½, 183 pounds), Tennessee State — Like McKelvin, he had to prove himself at the Senior Bowl. Like McKelvin, he did. He has the ball-hawking skills of his cousin, San Diego's Antonio Cromartie.
Tyvon Branch (5-foot-11 ½, 194 pounds) — Right behind Jenkins in the pecking order of Big East cornerbacks. What sticks out immediately is his 4.45 speed in the 40. He can be had in the second round.
GET TO KNOW THEM
Want to know more about these prospects, plus other CBs the Bucs could be interested in? Check out the links below.
Kansas State's Justin McKinney has more in common with the Bucs than just Tampa. Find out more in this article.
Learn more about Cason by watching a this Scout.com Video clip from his Combine press conference:
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.