The 2011 NFL Draft is finally here which means it is Mel Kiper's time to shine. He put out his final 2011 NFL Mock Draft his morning over at ESPN, and he thinks that the Bucs will try to replace Aqib Talib with a player that has fallen down his draft board. He has them taking Nebraska's Prince Amukamara. Here is their rationale.
Given how highly I think of him, I feel bad seeing Amukamara fall this far. But in a need game, there's always a player who falls a bit on draft night. For various obvious reasons, Tampa is now looking very thin at cornerback, and while before I saw the Bucs targeting a defensive end, if Amukamara somehow was still sitting here at No. 20, it'd be a pretty easy pick to make when you combine the need with the value.
The Bucs certainly need a cornerback if they plan to part ways with Aqib Talib as we are expecting. But they also need a defensive end, and I'm not sure they would pass on Da'Quan Bowers if he was still on the board, like he is in Kiper's projection.
The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft.