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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will The Bucs Need To Replace Aqib Talib In The Draft?

A few weeks ago, the Buccaneers' biggest draft need was unquestionably defensive end. That might still be the case, but with the recent trouble Aqib Talib has gotten into and Ronde Barber's age, cornerback is starting to become a little bit of a concern as well. Is that a position that the Bucs could target in the first round? Let's take a look at some of the prospects who could be available to them in the first round, and a tidbit from their profile over at Mocking the Draft.

Jimmy Smith, Colorado:

Smith is a two-year starter cornerback on the right side for the Buffaloes. According to the university, Smith only allowed 11 completions while in man coverage during his junior and senior seasons. Those kind of numbers make up for a lack of interceptions (three for his career). Smith has good speed and knows how to use it. Against Hawaii in 2010, Smith chased down a ball carrier who had nearly 20 yards on him. The senior plays best in man coverage but shows good awareness in zone play.

Brandon Harris, Miami:

For good and bad, Harris has skills that cannot be coached. His short area play is great he's incredibly instinctual for a early entrant. The bad trait that can't be helped is his height. Because of his size, some teams may only view Harris as a nickel cornerback in man coverage schemes. Still, he's relentless and remains confident against bigger receivers.

There will be other cornerbacks available to the Bucs as well, but none of them really warrant a selection in the first round. But in the second round, they could target guys like Virginia's Ras-I Dowling and Louisville's Johnny Patrick.

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