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Friday, April 12, 2013
McShay: Bucs might pull surprise

By Pat Yasinskas

In Friday’s NFC South chat, I saw a lot of questions about what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might do in the draft if they don’t make the trade for cornerback Darrelle Revis.

Right after I wrapped up the chat, I got on a conference call with ESPN draft expert Todd McShay. I asked him to assume (for the sake of conversation) that the Bucs do not make the trade for Revis and that they’re still sitting there at No. 13. Then I asked if they should trade up into the top five to try to get Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner or if they’d be just as well off staying put and taking a cornerback like Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes or Washington’s Desmond Trufant.

McShay’s answer kind of surprised me. He said he doesn’t envision the Bucs trading up and suggested they might not even take a cornerback.

“I’m told they love Rhodes and they love [West Virginia receiver] Tavon Austin,’’ McShay said. “If both of those guys are on the board and they don’t get Revis, I don’t know which they’d go with.’’

So, which way would McShay go?

“I would take Tavon,’’ McShay said. “I have Rhodes in the second round, so I’m the wrong guy to ask. I’d much rather get Tavon, who is a playmaker. This draft is deep in cornerbacks. They can come back in the second round and get a good starting cornerback.’’

McShay went on to say he thinks guys like Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks and Boise State’s Jamar Taylor could be very solid cornerback picks for the Buccaneers in the second round.

I’m not doubting McShay, but I’m not sure Austin really would be the best option for the Bucs at No. 13. They already have starting receivers in Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. That means Austin would be a slot receiver and the Bucs already have decent options there with Kevin Ogletree, Steve Smith and Tiquan Underwood.

Of course, the Bucs could end up giving up their first-round pick in a trade for Revis and that could make all this a moot point.