NFC South: Robert Ayers

On the Clock: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

March, 27, 2009
3/27/09
11:24
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Team Needs: Defensive line, quarterback, wide receiver

 
  Joe Robbins/Getty Images
  Florida State's Everette Brown would greatly improve the Buccaneers' pass rush.
Dream scenario: Tampa Bay's calling card has been defense since the days of Tony Dungy, but the offseason focus of new coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik has been on the offense with the Bucs adding tight end Kellen Winslow and running back Derrick Ward. That's brought the offense up to a respectable level. But, after an offseason purge of veterans, the defense doesn't have a lot of new pieces. The Bucs can't wait any longer to address this and there's a desperate need for help up front. In a perfect world, the Bucs will have a choice among Florida State defensive end Everette Brown, Tennessee defensive end Robert Ayers and Mississippi defensive tackle Peria Jerry. They can't go wrong with any of those, but the rule of thumb is you take the pass rusher first, so Brown or Ayers could be the pick.

Plan B: There's been speculation the Bucs could target Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman. But Morris and Dominik need to win quickly and Freeman is one of those guys who might not be ready for a year. The Bucs can get by with Luke McCown as their starter, especially with the offense they've built around him. Give McCown a deep threat like Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey and the Bucs just might already have their quarterback for the present and future.

Scouts Inc. take: "If [Kansas State quarterback] Josh Freeman is available, the Bucs almost have to take him. Jon Gruden was fired because he couldn't develop a quarterback of the future. This is a chance to get that. The Bucs might have to wait a year until they play Freeman, but you don't pass up a quarterback like that if you still have quarterback needs." -- Jeremy Green, Scouts Inc.

Who has final say: Dominik has the final say, but he and Morris are essentially a package deal. Morris and the veteran staff he has hired are going to have a lot of input and it shouldn't be difficult to form a consensus. Morris and Dominik are very much on the same page about how they want to build this team.

Next On the Clock: Chicago Bears, March 29.

Previous On the Clock: Philadelphia Eagles. The team-by-team series.

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