TAMPA — The Bucs went looking for an upgrade at cornerback, and Darrelle Revis represents as big an improvement as they could have hoped for.
But for all his Pro Bowl appearances, All-Pro honors and ability to shut down the NFL's elite receivers, Revis is not the final piece to this puzzle.
Even with Eric Wright, likely to start across from Revis at the other corner after renegotiating his contract, depth remains an issue at the position; one at which personnel issues deepened last season after suspensions and injuries.
That means this week's draft still has great importance for a team that fell 38 passing yards shy of allowing the most in NFL history.
Thanks to the Revis trade, the Bucs no longer have the No. 13 overall pick. So barring a trade, their first pick comes at No. 43. That likely is too late to grab the likes of Alabama's Dee Milliner, Florida State's Xavier Rhodes or Washington's Marcus Trufant. But it's high enough for a player who will immediately be able to fill the role of third cornerback.
Among them is Boise State's Jamar Taylor, a former teammate of Bucs running back Doug Martin who was coached by Chris Petersen, whose relationship with Bucs coach Greg Schiano helped lead to Martin's selection.
"(Taylor) was extremely consistent throughout the year," ESPN analyst Todd McShay said of the 5-foot-11, 192-pounder. "You look at the tackling, the ability to come up and support. He's not the biggest or strongest guy, but he's willing. His ball skills are adequate.
"But I think where he really stands out is the overall instincts; his ability to play in zone, man-to-man, read quarterbacks' eyes and read routes of wide receivers."
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said Taylor is his 51st-best prospect in the draft.
"I think he's a mid second-round pick," Mayock said. "He's got quick feet. He'll tackle, and like most Boise players, he's tough and understands the game of football. I think Jamar Taylor is a starting corner in the NFL."
• Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks, a lanky 6-2 cover man who also has kick-return ability.
• N.C. State's David Amerson, who projects well in press coverage, a staple of the Bucs defense.
• Oregon State's Jordan Poyer, a physical former safety who can play in the slot.
The bottom line: If the Bucs draft a cornerback, the acquisition of Revis means the drafted player likely won't have a primary role but a complementary one. And fortunate for the Bucs, there are more cornerbacks who fit the latter role than the former.
Stephen F. Holder can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @HolderStephen.