TAMPA — Greg Schiano began the offseason saying he wanted to improve the Bucs' porous secondary and create some competition for beleaguered starting quarterback Josh Freeman.
By the time his head hit the pillow Friday night, Tampa Bay's coach could put a check in both of those boxes.
Having traded their first-round pick to the Jets as part of the package for cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Bucs finally got off the sideline Friday in the NFL draft.
With the 11th pick in the second round (43rd overall), the Bucs selected Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks. Then in the third round (73rd), Tampa Bay took North Carolina State's Mike Glennon, only the third quarterback off the board behind Florida State's EJ Manuel (Bills, No. 16) and West Virginia's Geno Smith (Jets, No. 39).
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Banks thought his chances of joining the Bucs evaporated after the trade for Revis on Sunday. But the Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation's top defensive back simply became the latest piece in the team's attempt to retool the worst pass defense in the league last season.
"I didn't think they would pick a corner after taking Darrelle Revis," Banks said. "That's where I wanted to go, like forever. They kind of hurt my feelings when they picked up Revis, but I'm glad they picked him up now because I get to play with him. But it's just a blessing to play with those guys: Revis, Dashon Goldson, Mark Barron — those types of guys. Oh, wow, I'm just stunned right now. It's a blessing."
Banks likely fell in the draft because of his poor time (4.6 seconds) in the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. But what he lacks in speed, he has more than compensated for with leadership and ball skills. His 16 career interceptions tied a school record.
Banks, 23, projects as a nickel corner with veteran Eric Wright moving into the slot when opponent's switch to three-receiver sets. He's the cherry on top for the Bucs, who signed Goldson, the 49ers Pro Bowl free agent, re-signed Wright to a restructured contract and traded for Revis.
"We felt like we've improved the entire talent of that position and obviously, that was a key focus for us as an organization," general manager Mark Dominik said. "We've increased the size, physicality and ball skills, also. We're very excited about what our secondary looks like."
Schiano has plenty of familiarity with Glennon, the one-time Virginia high school player of the year whom he tried to recruit to Rutgers five years ago.
"I remember exactly what I said to him. And he didn't really like the answer, but I wanted to play in the ACC," Glennon said.
Glennon, at 6 feet 7, 225 pounds, has the arm strength to function in the Bucs offense, which puts a premium on play-action passing and driving downfield. Moreover, he played in a pro-style offense at N.C. State and learned a lot backing up current Seahawks starter Russell Wilson for three seasons.
"I just learned everything he does behind the scenes," Glennon said. "He does everything the right way. He works tremendously hard. He always tries to find something to do. He never wastes a minute and always wants to get better. There's a lot I took away from Russell; not as much as stuff you see on Sundays, but how he prepares."
If there's a knock on Glennon, it's his lack of accuracy. He completed just 58.5 percent of his passes last season, but Schiano has an explanation for that.
"The thing with the accuracy, if you watch, he had an extraordinarily high number of dropped passes," Schiano said. "Certainly not every throw is on the spot, but that's something we took into account."
What was Schiano's assessment of his team's two draft picks on Friday?
"Excellent. I think we really got better," he said. "We didn't perform at the level we needed to win consistently (last season in pass defense). … I think we took something that really was a weakness and I believe it will be a strength."