TAMPA, Fla. -- A wild night in Tampa Bay just became wilder. After trading down and shocking almost everyone by taking safety Mark Barron at No. 7, the Bucs traded back into the first round to take running back Doug Martin at No. 31.
You don’t draft anyone in the first round to put him on the bench, especially at running back, where the shelf life is short. I think it’s safe to say Martin instantly leaps over LeGarrette Blount on the depth chart. Coach Greg Schiano has been sending out hints that the Bucs want to run the ball and he’s implied that Blount’s issues with fumbles and pass protection could be liabilities.
Those weren’t smokescreens, because the Bucs gave up their second-round choice and the fourth-round pick they got from Jacksonville to move back into the first round and get Martin. It’s a big price, but it’s justified.
Martin is an all-around back who had two 1,000-yard seasons and also caught 28 passes in each of his past two college seasons. There still will be some carries for Blount, especially in short-yardage situations. But I think it’s pretty obvious the Bucs brought in Martin to be their feature back.