Originally written on BucsDraft.com News  |  Last updated 11/10/14

Continuing to build up our analysis of how the 2012 NFL Draft may line up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, we next look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers young core on defense.  Like the young core offense, the "young core" defense is the group of players with five or fewer years of experience -- that is, the players who have not yet reached their second contract.  These are the players who will carry the team to the playoffs for the next four to six years.

The defensive group below is composed of all players with 5 or fewer years of NFL experience from the Buccaneers current roster (as of 1/30/2012).  In addition, I have added the practice squad players who have already been offered contracts for next season.

2012 Young Core Defense

DE: Crowder, Tim (5, IR); Bennett, Michael (3); Wilson, E.J. (2, IR); Te'o-Nesheim, Daniel (2); Reed, Nick (2); Johnson, George (1, IR); Clayborn, Adrian (0); Bowers, Da'Quan (0) DT: Okam, Frank (4); Miller, Roy (3); Price, Brian (2); McCoy, Gerald (2, IR) OLB: Black, Quincy (5); Hayes, Geno (4); Watson, Dekoda (2); Cutrera, Jacob (2, IR); Curran, Rennie (0) MLB: Hayward, Adam (5); Foster, Mason (0); Balogun, Mike (0) SS: Asante, Larry (1) FS: Lynch, Corey (4); Jackson, Tanard (4); Grimm, Cody (2, IR) CB: Talib, Aqib (4, IR); Mack, Elbert (4); Biggers, E.J. (3); Lewis, Myron (2); Holland, Devin (0, IR); Gaitor, Anthony (0); Black, Ahmad (0)
Unlike the young core offense, this group does have some fifth year players: two at linebacker and one at defensive end.  The Buccaneers have selected a linebacker each of the past two drafts (Watson, Foster) and selected two defensive ends in the 2011 draft (Clayborn, Bowers).  Foster, Clayborn, and Bowers earned a significant amount of playing time last season while Watson earned two starts and was a standout on special teams.  It would be surprising for the Buccaneers to take another defensive end in 2012.  A third straight year with a linebacker selection?  Not surprising at all.
In the interior the Buccaneers have plenty of youth.  For now, this unit appears to be well stocked.
I think the most focus of the 2012 draft will be put on the defensive backfield.  The Buccaneers have spent two draft picks each of the past two years on defensive backs (Lewis, Grimm, Black, and Gaitor), with Biggers added in the 2009 draft.  Yet, at times last season the defensive back play was less than stellar.  With Talib, Mack, Lynch, and Jackson reaching the crossover point out of the young core, I expect the Buccaneers to continue to spend draft picks in the defensive backfield.
According to the two-deep at Rutgers, new Tampa Bay Head Coach Greg Schiano played a 4-3 style of defense.  This matches the current Buccaneers roster and player assignment scheme, so I do not expect any targeted positions due to changes in scheme on the defensive side of the ball.
The final anlysis for the defense is a selection on the front line seems highly unlikely given the past two drafts.  A linebacker or two and defensive backs would seem to be where more talent is needed.


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: Yankees reject A-Rod's request for apology meeting

Jim Harbaugh has landed three recruits in 24 hours

Report: NFL tried to catch Patriots in the act

John Harbaugh: Bill Belichick is best coach of this century

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Jennings suffers horrific Achilles injury

Van Gundy rips Bulls management about Thibs

NFL warns Seahawks about 'obscene gestures'

Lane Kiffin will remain with Alabama in 2015

Colts LB Andrew Jackson arrested on DUI charge

Sam Shields: Dez Bryant catch should have counted

Irina Shayk dumped Ronaldo over cheating rumors?

Mike Napoli almost retired because of sleep apnea

WATCH: 'Saturday Night Live' takes on Deflategate

Should Tom Izzo be worried about his Spartans?

Five potentially fatal flaws for Seahawks in the Super Bowl

WATCH: Urban, OSU students send message to Mark May

The five best Super Bowl matchups ever

WATCH: Mike Riley gets big welcome at Nebraska game

Leonard Fournette's brother commits to LSU

Bledsoe not happy about other QBs trashing Brady

Red Sox P Joe Kelly predicts he will win Cy Young Award

WATCH: Bill Belichick drops 'My Cousin Vinny' reference

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Gordon tests positive for alcohol

Report: A-Rod's apology meeting request gets rejected

Harbaugh rapidly landing recruits

WATCH: 'SNL' spoofs Deflategate

NFL tried to catch Pats in act?

Bill Nye: Belichick didn't make sense

Is it time for Tom Izzo to worry?

Jennings suffers horrific injury

Seahawks GM: I love Lynch's act

Lane Kiffin staying with Alabama

Belichick goes 'My Cousin Vinny'

Belichick: Patriots followed 'every rule'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.