The Bucs are going back to the Cover 2 (thankfully), and the advancing age of Ronde Barber may necessitate the Bucs drafting another corner to pair with Aqib Talib for the foreseeable future. Talib notwithstanding, the Bucs typically take DBs in the middle rounds. Which Cover 2 corners represent good values for a team like Tampa Bay?
Chris Steuber, Scout.com NFL Draft Analyst: The cornerback position lacks the initial impact in the draft, but has solid depth throughout. There are plenty of cornerbacks that fit what the Buccaneers want to do defensively; some names to keep an eye on in the middle rounds: Devin Ross (Arizona), Stephan Virgil (Virginia Tech), Brian Jackson (Oklahoma), Alterraun Verner (UCLA), Myron Lewis (Vanderbilt) and Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (Indiana University of Pennsylvania).
Tyler Frazier, Bucsblitz.com co-publisher: Out of all the positions in the draft, cornerback is perhaps the weakest. This does not mean the Bucs could find someone to come in and make an immediate impact though. One player that the Bucs could take a shot at is Javier Arenas out of Alabama. Arenas excelled in college and could become even more successful in the NFL if placed in the right system, and the Cover 2 scheme appears to be a perfect fit. Arenas has the potential to be a heck of a kick returner as well. Arenas is already familiar with the Tampa Bay area since the 5-9, 195 pound corner played his high school ball at Tampa Robinson. In 2009, Arenas registered 70 total tackles, five sacks and five interceptions for the National Champion Crimson Tide.
Matthew Postins, Bucsblitz.com contributor: A guy like Arenas is probably out of the Bucs' price range, in terms of the type of selection they would need to use to get him on the team. But that's the right idea. The Bucs need at least one impact player for the secondary out of this draft, and don't limit that to cornerbacks. Sabby Piscitelli's poor season means the Bucs will be trolling for safeties as well. The Bucs aren't scared off by projects, either. Remember that Tanard Jackson was a corner in college and was converted to safety in the NFL. So, just about anyone with talent and ability is on the table.
One corner I'm intrigued by is another local kid, South Florida's Jerome Murphy, who stands 6-feet and boasts the physicality that's an asset in this defense. It will be interesting to see how he clocks in at the scouting combine in the 40-yard dash. A 4.5 or better makes him a solid fit for the Bucs' quick defense, and he's likely a third-round pick. If you're seeking a safety, there's a guy well down the list at Scout.com that I think is worth a look. Baylor's Jordan Lake is only the 36th ranked safety on the board. But he stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 203 pounds. Plus, he can bring the pain, if you know what I mean. I saw a couple of his games this year and he's definitely worth a late-round flier. He won't get a lot of attention, but as we all know, sometimes it's the players taken late that become stars.