Well, that happened, but not in the manner that anyone in the media room at One Buc Place thought.
After the Bucs traded down from the fifth pick to the seventh with the Jacksonville Jaguars, a surprised group of local media watched Roger Goodell call the name of the Bucs’ newest member – Alabama safety Mark Barron.
Barron was not a name that had been openly associated with the Buccaneers throughout the pre-draft process, but he did confirm to ESPNFlorida.com that the Bucs brought him in for a pre-draft visit.
“I went down and had a visit with them. It went good. But, after that, that was pretty much it. We didn’t have too much communication back and forth.”
The Bucs brought in Barron for a workout after he underwent hernia surgery, and were satisfied there were no lingering issues from it.
When asked about the strength of his game, versatility was a word Barron brought up.
“I think the strength of my game is that I’m versatile, and I can do a lot of things and I can do them well.”
When you look at what Barron accomplished in college, it’s hard to argue against that. Barron is a prototypical NFL strong safety— a fearsome hitter with the physicality of a linebacker. However, he tallied 12 career interceptions, including 7 during the Crimson Tide’s 2009 national championship season. He also accumulated 237 total tackles during his four-year career at Alabama. He was a two-time team captain, a trait that Dominik has previously said he looks for in potential draftees.
When asked about concerns regarding his coverage ability, Barron pointed to his productivity in college as his defense.
“I feel like that’s a misconception about me. If you go back and count how many times I’ve been scored on in my college career, it probably won’t be more than three times. I’m saying, like three touchdowns. So I feel like that’s a big misconception about me.”
In joining a Buccaneer defense that finished dead last in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game in 2011 and twentieth in interceptions, Barron has a chance to become that big-play Alabama guy that many Buccaneer fans wanted on Thursday.
Source: Craig Smith – ESPNFlorida.com
He wasn’t kidding.
The Bucs traded up from the 36th overall pick back into the first round, selecting Boise State RB Doug Martin with the 31st overall pick. They sent the 36th and 101st overall picks (the latter of which was acquired in trade with Jacksonville) to Denver for the 31st and 126th overall picks.
Greg Schiano told ESPNFlorida.com that what he liked about Martin compared to other running back candidates on the board was the “totality of what he can do” in relation to blocking, running style, and ability to catch the football. Dominik called Martin a “three-down back”. Schiano also made reference Martin’s return ability when asked if Martin had the ability to make people miss. Martin had a 100-yard kickoff return against Arizona State in the 2012 Las Vegas Bowl.
Martin is coming off a pair of back-to-back seasons with 1200+ yards rushing for Boise State. He had a career high 1299 yards rushing in 2011. Compact at 5’9”, 219 pounds, Martin reminds Schiano of one of his bullish, hard-running former players: Ray Rice.
“I do see some of it,” Schiano said. “To tell you the truth, I do. I see a guy who runs hard and plays hard.”
While Martin might not have top-end, breakaway speed, he’s not slow either. He has been clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.48 seconds and had season-long touchdown runs of 84 yards in 2010 and 65 yards in 2011 for the Broncos.
Martin will pair with LeGarrette Blount in what the Bucs hope will be a strong one-two punch behind a new and improved offensive line. Martin referenced an interesting word when telling ESPNFlorida.com his thoughts about his new backfield mate Blount: partnership.
“I think it’s going to be an awesome partnership back there.”
Source: Craig Smith – ESPNFlorida.com