TAMPA, Fla. - Like we said, expect the unexpected. That was sort of the way it went for the Bucs in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft.
They didn't sit on the 5th overall pick in the first round. Instead, they traded down two spots with Jacksonville, and ended up selecting Alabama strong safety Mark Barron with their first overall pick.
Barron received high marks from quite a few draft experts and coaches. Bucs head coach Greg Schiano said that Barron was too impressive on tape on turn down.
What the experts and coaches like about Barron is that he can cover ground, come down inside the box at the line of scrimmage and cover the gaps on runs. He is a leader, having served as Captain of the Crimson Tide team for the past two years.
Foremost, Alabama head coach Nick Saban has tutored a defense along with Kirby Smart that prepares Alabama players for a pro-style defense.
Then about two hours later, the Bucs traded their 2nd round pick to Denver and swapped fourth round picks to move up to #31 in the first round. It was there they selected Boise State running back Doug Martin.
Unless you've been an avid viewer of Boise State football, you may not have even heard of Doug Martin. On the other side of the Mississippi River, they have.
Martin is a 5-9, 223 pound running back that not only has speed to get to the corners; he has the size to pound the football inside.
He is the "cow-bell" type running back Schiano said he wanted. A guy who can carry the rock every down.
Hopefully Martin is the guy.
So, the Bucs end up with two first round selections and two players that were not even on many of our radar screens, if any of us.
We'll be back at it again tomorrow as the draft continues with rounds 2 and 3.
The Bucs will only be picking in the 3rd round unless they pull off another unforeseen trade.