Published April 15, 2013
| Sports Network
So much of Tampa Bay's draft day will be tied up in the Darrelle Revis sweepstakes.
The Bucs are the leader in the clubhouse and perhaps the only horse in the race to acquire Revis, unquestionably the best cover cornerback in football when healthy, from the New York Jets.
Revis, though, is coming off an ACL injury and the Jets would like at least the 13th overall pick from the Bucs and perhaps more.
Corner is clearly a need in Central Florida and Revis is the type of lockdown defender who could enable Greg Schiano to get exotic on defense.
The Buccaneers also need plenty of help in other areas. Defensive end Michael Bennett fled to Seattle in free agency while fellow 2012 starter, defensive tackle Roy Miller, moved upstate to Jacksonville.
Meanwhile, Mike Sullivan's offense remains inconsistent and the jury remains out on strong-armed quarterback Josh Freeman. The offense line was shaky at times in 2012 but that could have been due to a litany of injuries and players like Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph should be back. Tight end, though, needs help since the 33-year-old Dallas Clark is a free agent and on the downside while Luke Stocker is just a blocker.
If Tampa Bay can't snare Revis, expect Florida State corner Xavier Rhodes to be in play with the 13th pick. The Bucs are also reportedly enamored with West Virginia slot receiver Tavon Austin and BYU pass-rushing specialist Ezekiel Ansah.
2012 Record: 7-9
Top Needs: CB, DL, TE, WR
First Three Picks: No. 13, No. 43, No. 73
Number of Selections: 8 (1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 6)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - Mark Barron (S, Alabama); 2012 - Doug Martin (RB, Boise State); 2011 - Adrian Clayborn (DE, Iowa); 2010 - Gerald McCoy (DT, Oklahoma); 2009 - Josh Freeman (QB, Kansas State); 2008 - Aqib Talib (DB, Kansas); 2007 - Gaines Adams (DE, Clemson); 2006 - Davin Joseph (G, Oklahoma); 2005 - Cadillac Williams (RB, Auburn); 2004 - Michael Clayton (WR, Louisiana State); 2003 - none.