With their first pick of the 2012 NFL draft, the Buccaneers drafted safety Mark Barron from Alabama. To be honest, this is quite the surprising pick. While Barron is easily the best safety in this year’s class, Barron doesn’t appear to have the same skill set of players like Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu.
There is no doubt that Barron is an absolute stud against the run, but he needs to improve playing deep against the pass, which is what makes him feel like a reach with this pick. Tampa Bay definitely needed to improve their defense, but cornerback, and not safety, was the position that many felt the Buccaneers would draft for.
What makes this pick even more surprising is that middle linebacker Luke Kuechly was still on the board with this pick. Considering that Kuechly is possibly the top defensive player in the draft, and the Buccaneers have a need at linebacker, it is surprising that they passed on him.
While Barron will be able to start from day on, and probably have a successful career in the NFL, the Buccaneers could have done better with this pick.