You don't want this to be your draft day story...We're hearing how the draft in 2012 will guarantee the Bucs one of three great players at either the Corner, Running Back, or Wide Receiver position. The Bucs need some help at all three, but probably could use veteran help at Wide Receiver, so we can rule out Justin Blackmon for now if we have to.
That leaves us Morris Claiborne CB from LSU, and Trent Richardson, RB Alabama.
Claiborne is supposed to be a shut down corner in the NFL, a rare prize. Richardson is far better than last years Alabama RB Ingram, he is more in the line of another Adrian Peterson as far as the impact he will have. He has size, speed, hands, you name it. He is the complete picture.
But everyone says you can get better value than a RB at the #5 spot. That the difference in talent from round 1 to 2 at Running back is far less than the difference at cornerback; in other words, you can find a great back in rounds 2 and beyond, but a great CB needs to be found in the top.
But lets take a look back, shall we? The Bucs used the #5 pick in 2007 on Gaines Adams, to replace a need, rather than take a better talent, Adrian Peterson. OF course that is not hindsight, which would be to say they could have taken Marshawn Lynch who went at 12 to Buffalo, or Darrelle Revis at #14 to the Jets. Thats hindsight, Peterson was in a lot of people scopes, but theres that old mantra again, you dont draft a running back or safety at the top of the draft.
Well why not? Trends are made to be broken. Imagine if the Bucs HAD Peterson? Look what hes done at Minnesota with a washed up Donovan McNabb?
Need more proof? Raiders select Darren McFadden with #4 pick in 2008.
In 2005, the Bucs were one of two teams who made the dare and picked a RB high in the first round.
Ronnie Brown went to Miami at #2.
Cadillac Williams went to the Bucs with the No.5 pick, but his career is a mystery. What would have happened had he not had bad knees? Again however, Richardson is rated higher. d
Mind you, then there is Reggie Bush, taken no.2 by the Saints, but isnt Bush having a great revival in Miami? Was he used properly at New Orleans? And Bush is no Trent Richardson, he lacks Richardsons size, which is a big deal.
In 2001 The Chargers took LaDainian Tomlinson with the #5 pick.
The year prior, Jamal Lewis was taken by the Ravens, same #5 spot the Bucs are picking. These are career backs, they are game changing, season changing running backs. Your only option is to get one of these guys once theyve developed from another team, but the best ones will be franchised. Or is it?
Michael Turner was taken in the 5th round of 2004 by the Chargers. He went via free agency to Atlanta where he is a feature back.
Brandon Jacobs, round 4. 2005
Frank Gore round 3, 2005
Darren Sproles round 4, 2005
Maurice Jones-Drew, the leading rusher for 2011, was taken in round 2 of the 2006 draft.
Chris Henry went in round 2 of 2007,
while Ahmad Bradshaw was taken the same year by the Giants; in round 7.
Want more star power? round 2---Matt Forte and Ray Rice; 2008.
So there is something to be said for taking your time and getting your running back in later rounds, the odds are against you it would seem if you take your running back in the top5, but tell that to Jamal Lewis, LT, or Adrian Peterson.
How the Bucs attack these areas in Free Agency will tell us more before the draft gets here.