Matt Peterson tracks the offseason needs of every team in the league. Today’s franchise, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers [full archive here].
Season Recap: The Bucs were expected to be a very competitive team in 2011, but failed to meet expectations. Head Coach Raheem Morris was fired after a 4-12 finish, and former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano was brought in to take over the underachieving team. Tampa Bay spent big in free agency bringing in Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson. The “offseason winner” doesn’t translate to wins, but the Bucs will be improved and should finish with more victories in 2012.
1. Linebacker: Mason Foster played well during his rookie year and has one of the positions locked down. Questions remain at the outside positions. Luke Kuechly is one of the best defensive players in this draft and could be a surprise selection for the Buccaneers at pick #5.
2. Safety: Talented, but often troubled, free safety Tanard Jackson was released this offseason, leaving Cody Grimm and Larry Asante as the starting safeties. Preferably, both are better served as backups. There isn’t much depth after safety Mark Barron, who will be drafted early in the first round. George Iloka and Brandon Taylor are possible picks in round two and three.
3. Cornerback: The Buccaneers have some talent at cornerback but with many questions. Aquib Talib has been rumored to be on the trade block and Ronder Barber is 37 years old. If the Bucs decide to move Talib, they will need another cornerback. Morris Claiborne, the best defensive player in this years draft, will likely be available at pick #5 and would be a great addition to the Buccaneers secondary.