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NFL Mock Draft 2012: Mel Kiper Has Morris Claiborne To Buccaneers

As we get closer and closer to the 2012 NFL Draft and now that free agency has run it's course for the most part, mock drafts begin to settle in closer to what teams might actually do. For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the mock drafts haven't changed much, as ESPN's Mel Kiper gives the Bucs a guy most have pegged to them from the beginning in Kiper's latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

5 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

A great player, an instinctive corner, a high-character kid and a guy that can make a sagging pass defense better from the day they draft him. What's not to like? Claiborne is hands down the best cover corner available in the draft, and the Bucs still need plenty of help with age and uncertainty dotting their secondary. This is a safe pick and a guy that should be very good for a long time.

Even though the Bucs have signed some players in the secondary, the NFL has become a passing league and it seems like you can never have enough quality defensive backs on your roster. In the second round of the mock draft, Kiper has the Bucs sticking with defense and adding another linebacker.

36 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska

Slightly undersized, David is an elite playmaker and would go much higher if he measured out at a more conventional size.

For more on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit SB Nation's Buccaneers blog Bucs Nation. For more on the NFL Draft, visit SB Nation's Mocking The Draft.

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