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NFL Mock Draft 2013: Which corner should the Buccaneers take in the 1st, if any?

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If the draft's top CB isn't available, what should Tampa do next?


There's little question that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need help in the secondary. Despite taking safety Mark Barron with their first pick in 2012, the Bucs are still desperately thin in the defensive backfield and ranked dead last against the pass in 2012. Tampa also gave up 30 touchdown passes and 7.9 yards per attempt.

They parted ways with Aqib Talib, Eric Wright (as well as Talib) was suspended for violating the league's substance abuse policy, and Ronde Barber will be 38. So there has been little doubt that Tampa would take a corner as soon as possible in April's draft, but which corner will that be? The top rated CB as of now is Dee Milliner of Alabama, and that's where Rob Rang of CBS Sports sees the Bucs leaning. However, Rob's counterpart at CBS, Dane Brugler, thinks that Milliner will go to the Browns at 6th overall. That's why he has Tampa going with Xavier Rhodes out of Florida State:

Even before the Buccaneers traded Aqib Talib to the Patriots, the cornerback position was a weak spot for Tampa Bay. Rhodes doesn't have elite speed, but he plays quick, physical and smart with potential to be one of the best bump-and-run corners at the next level.

Rhodes, one of the many underclassmen in the draft, had eight interceptions in his career for the Seminoles over 38 games. He'll be one of the top corners taken and would join Barron as the future of Tampa's secondary. That is if they decide to go that way.

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