Skip to main content

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL Draft: Defensive Backs to Watch

A few cornerbacks and safeties to keep an eye on when the NFL Draft kicks off.


NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock's top 5 players at the cornerback position.

Early on:** The Buccaneers used their first-round pick on a cornerback last year, selecting Vernon Hargreaves with the No. 11 pick. But that doesn't meant the Bucs are out of the market for a defensive back this year. In his first, and only, mock draft,'s Scott Smith predicts that Tampa Bay will take Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with their first-round pick. While Hargreaves and Brent Grimes, both starters for the Bucs in 2016, are on the smaller side, Humphrey is 6 feet tall, 197 pounds and renowned for his tackling ability. Ohio State's Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley, along with LSU's Tre'Davious White, Washington's Kevin White and USC's Adoree' Jackson could also be selected in the first round. A handful of safeties could be first-round pick as well, including LSU's Jamal Adams, Ohio State's Malik Hooker and Michigan's Jabrill Peppers. Adams is considered to be a top-five pick by many major outlets.


Mid-round picks:** The second round might not make Budda Baker a "mid-round pick" but if he slides past the first round, he would be an excellent fit in Tampa Bay. He's a somewhat undersized safety at 5-foot-10, but compares his style of play to former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders. Another safety to keep an eye on in the second, third or fourth round is Iowa's Desmond King, who performed well during the Senior Bowl. Should the Buccaneers target a corner in the middle rounds of the draft, Washington's Sidney Jones could be a player to keep an eye on. Jones is recovering from an injury and will reportedly be sidelined for another four to six months. He could potentially fall from a first-round pick all the way to the third round because of the injury. The Bucs don't necessarily need a starter right now and could find great value in stashing Jones on the bench while he recovers.  

Late-round steals: Lamar's Brendan Langley is still a very raw prospect. He's a former wide receiver still learning the ropes as a defensive back. Although the began his college career at Georgia, the majority of his reps came at Lamar against lower-level competition. But he has a big frame, is very athletic and flashed some at the Senior Bowl. The cornerback intercepted six passes this past season and also shined as a return man, bringing back two kicks for scores. He could be available in the sixth or seventh round. Also keep an eye on Louisiana Tech safety Xavier Woods and Florida State cornerback Marquez White.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Latest Headlines