Though his first two NFL seasons were abbreviated by injuries, CB Rod Babers was a top performer at Texas
For the third time in a week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have added to their defensive backfield.
After bringing in free agent cornerback Juran Bolden last Tuesday and re-signing unrestrictred free agent safety Dexter Jackson on Friday, the Bucs were at it again on Monday, signing former Detroit Lions cornerback Roderick Babers.
Injuries have cut short each of Babers' first two NFL seasons, but he was a fourth-round draft pick by the New York Giants in 2003 and has shown promise in his limited work with the Lions. The 5-9, 192-pound corner has good speed, shows fluid movements and was a very productive collegiate player at Texas.
Babers was the 123rd player drafted in 2003, and he went to training camp with the Giants before being released on the final cutdown. The Lions claimed him off waivers and kept him on their active roster, getting him into game action by the end of the month. In his first two NFL games, Babers racked up five special teams tackles.
The Lions then began to work Babers into their defensive rotation in October, and he recorded thre solo tackles in his first regular season action, against Dallas on October 19. However, he suffered a shoulder injury against Chicago on October 26, then aggravated the injury in the Lions' rematch with the Bears on November 11, ending his season.
Babers made the Lions' active roster again last season but ran into injury problems even earlier in the season. This time, a broken collarbone suffered against Philadelphia on September 26 sent him to injured reserve after he had appeared in two regular-season contests. He was released by the Lions on March 1, 2005.
At Texas, Babers and Nathan Vasher, a fourth-round pick of the Chicago Bears in 2003, formed one of the nation's best cornerback duos. A four-year letterman and three-year starter, Babers recorded 131 tackles, five interceptions, four sacks, three forced fumbles and 48 passes defensed during his Longhorn career. As a senior, he was an all-conference first-team choice and a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award.
A football and track star in high school, the 24-year-old Babers hails from Houston, Texas.