Like Autumn Thunder, in the distance. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are making loud noise in their haste to rebuild the front seven on the fly. After using the 20th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft to pick Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn general manager Mark Dominik decided to take a gamble on a top ten talent that was free falling (insert Tom Petty song here) in Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers. Bowers who played through a troublesome knee injury and opted for surgery leading up to the draft, isn’t 100% but the risk versus the reward was just too much for Dominik and the Bucs to pass up.
In the third round, the Bucs continued to retool their front seven by adding a highly competitive tackling machine in Washington’s Mason Foster, a versatile linebacker who can play all three positions.
The Bucs instantly got bigger up front with the addition of Clayborn and Bowers on the edge as both are in the 280-pound range. The addition of Foster who will most likely battle incumbent weakside linebacker Geno Hayes is a beast and at 245-pounds is bigger then any player who has played the position for the Bucs over the past 16 seasons.
But what stands out more so is the character of all three players chosen thus far. All three have had to over come some type of stigma associated with them whether is was medical concerns from birth like Clayborn, or just dealing with the loss of loved ones in a short span like Bowers has had to do with the loss of his father and his mentor, in the untimely passing of Gaines Adams or just dealing with the naysayers like Foster has dealt with, all have come through such adversities to become leaders both on and off the football field.
Their competitive fire and intense fiery demeanor has allowed them to become unquestioned selfless leaders. That bring a tireless work ethic and passion for the game.
Add the aforementioned three players from this tears draft to defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Brian Price who were picked in the first and second round respectively, of the 2010 NFL Draft and the Bucs front seven has got all the potential in the world. Yes, we here at Bucs Central understand “potential” is a dirty little word. But for the first time in quite a while the Bucs have the players in place to once again become a feared and dominant front seven.