- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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ESPN Stats & Information is listing cornerback, defensive end and tight end as the three top draft needs for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bucs could trade for New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis before the draft. But, no matter where the help comes from, Tampa Bay needs improved play from its cornerbacks. The Bucs simply couldn’t match up with wide receivers last season. On passes thrown to wide receivers, Tampa Bay’s defense ranked last in yards per game (203.7), 31st in yards after the catch per game (72.5), tied for 30th in yards per attempt (9.2), and 28th in completion percentage (62.8).
Although the Bucs clearly have big hopes for defensive end Da'Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn is coming back from injury, it wouldn’t hurt to add another pass-rusher. Last season, the Bucs sacked or put opposing quarterbacks under duress on 17.4 percent of their dropbacks. That rate was the worst in the NFL.
The Bucs have a glaring hole at tight end. Dallas Clark, last year’s starter, remains a free agent. While a Clark return remains at least a possibility, the Bucs need to add an all-around tight end. Last season, Clark played only 586 snaps -- 32 tight ends around the league played more than Clark.