NFC South: Ron Brace
It's time for Tampa Bay's selection in the readers' mock draft.
This was one of the closest races in the entire NFC South as 14 different players received votes to be taken as the No. 19 pick. Let's put it in your hands to announce the pick.
John in Orlando writes: With pick #19 of the 2009 NFL draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select, Defensive Tackle Peria Jerry out of The University of Mississippi. In addition, the Bucs also take Smokin Joe Burnett somewhere in the 5-7th rounds. Perfect replacement to Ronde Barber, just saying
Kevin in Tampa writes: Buccaneers should take Peria Jerry. No question this is the Bucs biggest need. If they can't stop the run up the middle this could be a long season.
Eric in Paris writes: The Bucs should take The DT Peria Jerry from Ole Miss. Even if he's not the really big kind of tackle that Bates wants in his system, we really need help in the D-Line. Not sure Michael Johnson is worth this spot.
As I said, the voting was close. Peria won this election by eight votes. Illinois cornerback Vontae Davis finished second and Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman was third. There also was pretty strong support for Florida State defensive end Everette Brown, but many of you pointed out you think he might be gone before Tampa Bay's pick and I think that's entirely possible.
Florida receiver Percy Harvin and Boston College defensive tackle Ron Brace also were very much in the mix and a lot of you suggested the Bucs could trade down and still draft Brace. I like that scenario, but we'll deal with trades when they happen.
I'll be back in a little while with your pick for Atlanta at No. 24.
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
While the rest of the world was debating the real "Smash and Dash" last season, the Carolina backfield went in a different direction and dubbed itself "Double Trouble."
That's what the NFC South should do in the draft -- let flash go the same route as "Smash and Dash." What the NFC South -- and we're talking all four teams -- needs to do is forget all the hype fans and other teams are caught up in about offensive skill positions. Heck, just forget offense altogether (at least until later in the draft).
With its first draft pick, each NFC South team should go with a defensive player.
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are our final stop in the series of mini-mailbags (two questions per team).
James in Tampa writes: Pat,I'm a huge Buccaneers fan and I was just wondering if you see Tampa going after any of the big receivers or defensive linemen that are available?I think this is a team that needs every weapon and pass rusher they can get? What are your thoughts and predictions on this?
Pat Yasinskas: Wow, it's kind of nice to get a Bucs' question that doesn't involve the quarterback position. I think a defensive lineman (end or tackle) or a wide receiver is very possible in the first round. Not sure there's going to be good value for an end at No. 19 in the first round. If the Bucs decide to go defense with that pick, I say go with one of the tackles. B.J. Raji could fall after reportedly failing a drug test. Ron Brace or Peria Jerry could be available at that spot and either could be a big boost for a run defense that needs some help. But I truly like the idea of getting a receiver at that spot. The Bucs have Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton and that's a nice start. Bryant and Clayton are both big receivers and are good in the possession game. If you could throw a downfield receiver like Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey into that mix, I think Luke McCown suddenly would be in a position where he'd have a pretty strong chance to succeed as the starting quarterback.
Daniel in Jamestown, N.Y., writes: Hey Pat, say the Bucs stick with a defensive player in the first round, do you see them drafting a quarterback later on? The likes of Pat White even?
Pat Yasinskas: Not even a mini-mailbag on the Bucs would be complete without some sort of quarterback question. But I think Daniel might be on the right path here. I know there are schools of thought out there that the Bucs might take Josh Freeman or trade up to get Mark Sanchez. But I don't think Freeman's ready to start and I think the price tag to move up for Sanchez may be too steep. I definitely can see the Bucs taking a quarterback a bit later on. Not sure if Pat White's the guy for Jeff Jagodzinski's offense because he's undersized and isn't the classic drop-back passer. But I could see someone like Michigan State's Brian Hoyer or Purdue's Curtis Painter being a possibility in the middle or late rounds.