On the defensive front, the Bucs need help at both end and tackle. In your opinion, which position offers more immediate impact?
Chris Steuber, Scout.com Draft Analyst: The defensive line is deep in this year's draft. There are a lot of quality prospects at the defensive end and defensive tackle positions and the talent runs deep. But since the Bucs hold the No. 3 overall pick, there's a strong chance they will address their need for an interior force in the opening frame with the selection of Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy. And they could turn around in the second round and use one of their two selections in the second frame to draft a defensive end like Greg Hardy (Ole Miss), Willie Young (NC State), George Selvie (South Florida) or Jason Worilds (Virginia Tech). It's a phenomenal draft if you need to correct your defensive woes.
Tyler Frazier, Bucsblitz.com co-publisher: By having the third overall selection in this year's draft, the Buccaneers will have plenty of players to choose from to stick on the defensive line. While defensive tackles may be taken earlier in the draft, the defensive end position definitely could offer more of an immediate impact. It is much harder for a tackle to step right in and make an immediate impact, while a quick defensive end could terrorize offensive lines immediately in his rookie season.
Matthew Postins, Bucsblitz.com contributor: Steuber's opinion on the quality of defensive tackles and ends in this draft appears to be shared by Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff, who told the Sporting News on Monday that the draft is chock full of pass rushing ends. The Bucs up front in 2009 were just woeful. How bad? They felt they could do without their No. 4 overall selection from two years ago, Gaines Adams, and traded him to the Bears. Tyler made the point about ends making an impact earlier. Let me resurrect some information I researched a few years ago. For ends that are taken in the Top 10 of the NFL Draft the past 16 years, the average number of sacks recorded during the rookie season was six. I'd rather take my chances with a tackle in the first round, because that position is much harder to fill in the long term. Think about what the Bucs have done inside since the departure of Warren Sapp. They've had to make do with players like Dewayne White and Jovan Haye. Both are serviceable players, but neither possessed Sapp's dominance. The top two tackles in this draft – Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy – possess that level of potential dominance and, to me, provide a better return on any team's investment in the first season. I'd rather roll the dice on those two in this draft than an end this high. The Bucs need a dominant tackle in the Cover 2, and they'll have access to at least one of those players. If this draft is as deep at end as both Steuber and Dimitroff believe it to be, then wait for an end in Round 2 and reap the value that selection may bring – especially if it's a hometown boy like Selvie, who would be a tremendous fit, speed-wise, in the Cover 2, and would benefit from lower expectations.
For the next several days, Bucsblitz.com will focus on some of the players the Buccaneers could have interest in going into April's Draft. As the Scout.com network continues its NFL Draft coverage this week, Scout.com and Bucsblitz.com experts explore whether the quality of the draft's defensive linemen warrant a high selection by the Bucs.