Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL draft: Strengthening defense starts at tackle

TAMPA — The dismantling of the 2008 defense began where breakdowns of any sort are most damaging: at the core. The Bucs were beaten at the point of attack, which in the NFL is the trenches.

The injury-riddled, outmanned line was exposed as the Bucs' final four opponents — Panthers, Falcons, Chargers and Raiders — amassed eye-popping offensive totals during a stretch of losses that cost them a playoff berth. Watching opponents average nearly 400 yards of offense in a monthlong span was something rarely seen in these parts.

With the draft nearly upon us, it's time to look at several positions that will command much of the Bucs' attention.

Defensive tackle is as good a place to start as any.

Breaking down the Bucs' needs

First in a five-part series analyzing the positions commanding the Bucs' attention during the draft:

. Today: Defensive tackle — Boston College's B.J. Raji, left, heads the class.

Tuesday: Cornerback

Wednesday: Linebacker

Thursday: Receiver

Friday: Quarterback

NFL draft

When: 4 p.m. Saturday (rounds 1-2); 10 a.m. Sunday (rounds 3-7)

TV: Saturday — ESPN (4 p.m.), ESPN2 (9 p.m. to conclusion); Sunday — ESPN (10 a.m. to conclusion)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL draft: Strengthening defense starts at tackle 04/19/09 [Last modified: Sunday, April 19, 2009 10:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger


    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season


    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium


    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater


    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    Corey Dickerson is doing everything he can to garner All-Star votes heading into tonight's voting cutoff, going into play Wednesday leading the AL with 101 hits and rapping two more his first two times up, and scoring two more runs.