1. Bucs

NFL draft: Defensive backs

Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, who had seven interceptions last season, is an excellent special teams player with six career kickoff returns.
Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, who had seven interceptions last season, is an excellent special teams player with six career kickoff returns.
Published May 7, 2014

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Defensive backs

Draft facts

When: Thursday (Round 1), 8 p.m., ESPN, NFL Network; Friday (Rounds 2-3), 6:30 p.m., ESPN, ESPN2, NFLN; Saturday (Rounds 4-7), noon, ESPN, NFLN,

Where: Radio City Music Hall, New York City

Bucs picks (round/overall): 1/7, 2/38, 3/69, 5/143, 6/185, 7/221.

Bucs watch party: Thursday, Raymond James Stadium. Gates C & D open 6 p.m.

First-round draft order: 1. Texans, 2. Rams (from Redskins), 3. Jaguars, 4. Browns, 5. Raiders, 6. Falcons, 7. Bucs, 8. Vikings, 9. Bills, 10. Lions, 11. Titans, 12. Giants, 13. Rams, 14, Bears, 15. Steelers, 16. Cowboys, 17. Ravens, 18. Jets, 19. Dolphins, 20. Cardinals, 21. Packers, 22. Eagles, 23. Chiefs, 24. Bengals, 25. Chargers, 26. Browns (from Colts), 27. Saints, 28. Panthers, 29. Patriots, 30. 49ers, 31. Broncos, 32. Seahawks

Who the Bucs have

Mark Barron, SS (6-2, 213): Second-year pro is a physical presence in the run game. He had 88 tackles, two sacks and two INTs last season.

Dashon Goldson, FS (6-2, 200): Intimidating enforcer was suspended one game and fined more than $500,000 for illegal hits to the head. Had one INT but can contribute more.

Alterraun Verner, CB (5-10, 187): Verner has a height disadvantage, but makes up for it with speed, technique and ball skills.

Johnthan Banks, CB (6-2, 185): The second-round pick played well as a rookie, and he and Verner, 25, are quickly bonding.

Mike Jenkins, CB (5-10, 197): The former USF and Bradenton Southeast star returned home after a one-year stint with Oakland and will compete with Banks for a starting CB spot.

D.J. Moore, CB (5-9, 190): Moore performed well as the nickel cornerback for the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers. He also can play safety.

Top five draft prospects

Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State (6-0, 202): Had seven INTs last season. Also an excellent special-teams player with six career kickoff returns.

Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville (5-11, 207): Big hitter who knows how to take the ball away. Finished with seven career INTs.

Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State (5-11, 199): Won the Thorpe Award as the nation's top DB. Not overly physical or fast, but supremely confident cover man.

Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech (6-0, 190): Suffered a sports hernia that cost him much of last season but very productive when healthy.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama (6-1, 208): Suspended a couple games for NCAA violation. First season as a full-time starter resulted in 51 tackles, 2 INTs.

Under the radar

Keith Lewis, DB, Virginia-Lynchburg (5-11, 197): Can play either safety position. Impressed a handful of teams at his pro day by running 4.21 40.

Free agency

The Bucs had arguably the best cover cornerback in the NFL, but with the $16 million they saved by cutting Darrelle Revis, they were able to sign multiple free agents, including Pro Bowl player Verner, Jenkins and Moore.

Stay updated on the Buccaneers

Stay updated on the Buccaneers

Subscribe to our free Bucs RedZone newsletter

We’ll deliver a roundup of news and commentary on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers weekly during the season.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

Best guess

The Bucs have nice depth in the secondary but Lovie Smith is always on the lookout for cornerbacks. The Cover 2 variety can be found in later rounds.

Rick Stroud, Times staff writer


This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge