Bucs Scouting Report: Tracy Porter

Each day leading up to the NFL Draft, Bucsblitz.com will break down a player that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be interested in on draft day. Today it's Indiana CB Tracy Porter. Find out his measureables, his college statistics, what our Scout.com personnel guru Tom Marino thinks of him and Matthew Postins' thoughts on how Porter could fit in with the Bucs.

Tracy Porter

POSITION: Cornerback.

MEASURABLES: 5-foot-11, 188, 4.37 in the 40 at the combine.

COLLEGE CAREER: Porter became the first Indiana football player in 25 years to record at least six interceptions in a season in 2007. He is also the first IU player to return a punt, interception and fumble for touchdowns in his career.

PROJECTED AS: A cornerback, though some worry about his ability to by physical against the run.

ARE THE BUCS INTERESTED: They have not set up a meeting with Porter, but it's likely they've spoken to him at either the Scouting Combine or the Senior Bowl, given that he's considered a Top 10 corner.

DRAFT VALUE: In a draft teeming with solid cornerbacks, most project Porter as a second-round pick. His ability to return kicks boosts his value to some teams, including the Buccaneers. Head coach Jon Gruden said that was a priority this offseason.

SCOUT.COM'S TOM MARINO'S ANALYSIS: Became the first IU cornerback to be named first-team All-Big Ten since 1989. Second in IU history with 16 interceptions. He had a career high 75 tackles as a senior. He has a lot of speed and athletic ability, but he is just not very physical or tough. A "you-first" grab tackler. He had six picks, but I still question his overall ball skills. Punt return skills are a real plus. He isn't there yet, but he has too much physical talent not to play. I project him in the third or fourth round.

WHAT OTHER SERVICES ARE SAYING:

"Porter's timed speed and natural hands are his best assets. He was a productive returner and Porter shows good ability as a gunner on special teams. He isn't known for tackling ability, or a desire to make plays vs. the run. Porter is rail-thin, but additional weight would take away his best quality — speed. He lacks consistency recognizing the play as it develops and will never be more than marginal in run support. Yes, he has great hands and a good eye to make the big play, but he's more of a sub package type of defensive back than one who can play all four downs." — NFLDraftscout.com

"Porter has the athleticism to be an NFL starter but needs time to improve his technique. He had an excellent week at the Senior Bowl, practicing with great intensity; he did not play with that same fire in college. Porter projects as a good nickel corner who could contribute as a kickoff returner." — Sportingnews.com.

MATTHEW POSTINS' BOTTOM LINE: Cornerbacks are expected to help out just a bit more in run support these days, so Porter's reputation for being a bit soft against the run is concerning. Still, he's plenty fast and knows how to find the football in coverage, as evidenced by his interceptions at Indiana. He's not a player for which I would spend a first- or second-round pick. But if he were to fall into the third round, he would represent a pretty good value to the Bucs, if they haven't already addressed the position, which I believe at some point in the draft they will. Given the age of Ronde Barber (33 on opening day) and the relative depth at the position, they'll have to.


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.


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