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NFL Draft 2011: Tampa Bay Bucs Preview

The first round of the NFL Draft is scheduled for tonight at 8:00 PM in Radio City Music Hall, and the excitement is gearing up to see who the Tampa Bay Bucs take with their picks this year. Last year, the Buccaneers focused pretty strongly on defensive players, taking Gerald McCoy and Brian Price in the first two rounds, and this year it sounds as though...well, they could go any which way.

Most analysts believe that the Bucs want to target a defensive end with their first round pick, getting someone that can help them with their pass rush, but the Bucs have been very hesitant to give away any inkling of their thought-process. As head coach Raheem Morris noted recently in the St. Petersburg Times, everyone wanted the Bucs to take a defensive player in 2009, but they ended up going with Josh Freeman instead. They have their own internal ideas of what players their team needs, and sometimes they don't line up with what the outside world thinks.

The Buccaneers have the 20th overall pick tonight in the first round, and defensive ends Ryan Kerrigan and Cameron Jones are two of the top players the Bucs could target with this pick. While Bucs fans seem to love Ryan Kerrigan, some analysts have been skeptical of his upside based on his mediocre athleticism. He's a safe pick, but not necessarily a sexy one.

For full scouting reports on Ryan Kerrigan, Cameron Jones, and other possible first round picks, check out the draft board over at Bucs Nation. Also, we'll be updating this stream with full coverage and analysis of the Bucs' moves through the NFL Draft, so keep checking back for more news.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.