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Sudden but not unexpected rise of CBs could be good for Bucs
Posted Apr 8, 2013 by Roy Cummings
Updated Apr 8, 2013 at 11:52 AM
BY ROY CUMMINGS
TAMPA – Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik noted a few weeks ago that cornerbacks always have a tendency to climb up draft boards as draft preparation increases and draft day draws near.
The reason for the annual jump, Dominik said, is the universal need for cornerback help throughout the league and the fear some teams have of missing out on what they judge to be the cream of the crop.
Well, not long after March turned to April, a couple of cornerbacks who had previously been pegged as late first- or early second-round talents began showing up in the middle rounds of mock drafts.
One such climber is Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes. Rated just a couple weeks ago as top-40 talent by most scouts, Rhodes is now predicted to go 12th overall to the Dolphins in both Walter Football’s and ESPN analyst Todd McShay’s mock drafts.
Another climber is Washington product Desmond Trufant. Like Rhodes he was rated a second-round pick just a couple weeks ago, but McShay now has him going 21st overall to the Bengals while counterpart Mel Kiper has him going 19th overall to the Giants.
Noted independent scout Chris Landry is now giving Trufant a first-round grade as well and Scouts Inc., which does a lot of the legwork for ESPN’s draft pages, has him rated the 22nd best prospect.
What it all means is hard to tell, because the draft seldom if ever goes the way the analysts predict it will and this year’s draft is proving to be more difficult than most to gauge.
But it could mean that the Bucs, who pick 13th overall, won’t have to do what so many thought necessary just a week or two ago and trade up or down or reach for the starting caliber corner they need so badly.
With cornerbacks seemingly climbing draft boards just the way Dominik predicted they would a few weeks ago, the cornerback they need could suddenly show up right in their target range come draft day.