Originally posted on BucsDraft.com News  |  Last updated 2/1/12

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.


MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
2017 NFL Mock Draft
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Huskies, Buffaloes go back-to-back with amazing plays

Rolando McClain suspended indefinitely by NFL

Kerr has great response to latest Barkley criticism about Warriors

Helfrich, Kelly spoke about possibility of Kelly returning to Oregon

Paul Maurice: Game plans won’t work trying to stop McDavid

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Nats considering Ian Desmond reunion

Eric Dickerson: Rams would be better off without Jeff Fisher

Sheriff: Joe McKnight shooting suspect fired from inside car

Revis insists he has 'a lot' of football left, still loves game

Report: Siemian misses practice Friday, Lynch likely to start

Report: Five teams chasing Chris Sale, asking price high

Best of Yardbarker: CFB Championship Week chaos

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Box Score 12/2: High-kicking it into the weekend

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Eugene Monroe opens up about NFL’s drug policy

Ideal MLB offseason blueprint for every team

Eight NFL teams facing must-win games in Week 13

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

Sporting life: Gifts for real fans (that aren't ugly NFL Christmas sweaters)

New faces help Spurs continue unparalleled success

The Pirates prepare for rarely chartered waters in dealing Andrew McCutchen

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Everything you need to know for CFB Championship Week

Jeff Fisher is the unkillable cockroach of NFL head coaches

Four teams to keep an eye on at the 2017 Winter Meetings

Porzingis reshapes Knicks by elevating his game

TailGreater: Your championship week playlist is set

Clarification: Why the rules near the crease need to be fixed

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker