Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Buccaneers ranked last in the NFL in passing defense last season. Obviously, their secondary is a top priority come draft day.
Last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers allowed 4,758 passing yards -- the most in the NFL. They also allowed a total of 410 completions -- also, the most in the NFL.
Needless to say, the Bucs were horrid against the pass. Last year they helped shore up the secondary with the selection of strong safety Mark Barron. This time around, it seems as though the problem still remains. And the logical choice is to look at the cornerback position.
CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Rob Rang agrees. In his latest mock draft, he has the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the No. 13 selection, taking cornerback Dee Milliner from Alabama.
Though more than just the cornerbacks are at fault for Tampa ranking dead last in the NFL in passing yards allowed in 2012, there is no better spot to start to correct the problems. One of the trademarks of Greg Schiano's Rutgers' teams was stellar play at cornerback and the 6'1, 198-pound Milliner has the length and physicality to fit perfectly.
Milliner is widely regarded as the best cornerback in this year's draft class, so the only question for Tampa Bay, if indeed they do have their sights set on cornerback, is whether or not Milliner will last until No. 13.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar doesn't believe so, and thus has the Buccaneers taking the second-ranked cornerback on his big board, Xavier Rhodes from Florida State.
Rhodes is an interesting pick from Kadar, especially considering Rob Rang does not even list him as a first round selection. But Kadar points out that the difference between Rhodes and the top cornerback of the draft is not that large.
After trading Aqib Talib, the Buccaneers' secondary was in shambles. Xavier Rhodes may seem like a reach here, but the gap between him and Milliner is not as big as some think. He's a rangy cornerback who would step in and upgrade this secondary immediately.