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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Defensive End Or Cornerback The More Pressing Need For Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

We're just a few short days away from the start of the 2011 NFL Draft, beginning on Thursday evening with round one. Who will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select with the 22nd overall pick that night? Well, the clamor all offseason has largely revolved around the Bucs need to improve the interior of their defensive line with a highly regarded defensive end prospect. However, if you're one to believe the recent reports of Tampa Bay all but deciding to cut Aqib Talib sometime in the near future, then perhaps you believe that cornerback is just as pressing a need.

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The NFL writers for SB Nation just filed their final mock draft of the season, so let's see which direction they turned with the Bucs selection at No. 22:

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20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue. In desperate need of a defensive end, the Bucs will value Kerrigan's intangibles and hustle over Adrian Clayborn with this pick.

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I certainly don't think the Bucs and their fans would be upset by this pick, but the crop of defensive line talent being so deep this year, I'm not sure this is the best approach for Tampa. Perhaps a stud cornerback in round one, followed by a still highly regarded DE prospect in round two would be a better strategy. Like I said though, the selection of Kerrigan would be a safe, solid pick.

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We'll see what transpires later this week, but for the time being, join the conversation at either Bucs Nation or SB Nation's Mocking the Draft as the speculation heats up in the final few days before the draft.

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