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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The argument for Bucs drafting Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

Florida Football Insiders



Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

In the final hours now before the 2018 NFL Draft begins, most of the real work is done and teams are now preparing for the chaos of the actual pics and possible trades and maneuvering.

As it stands, Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold and number 7 overall pick, currently. Now, earlier in the week, we theorized that the Bucs would be well advised to consider trading down, especially if one of the top QBs is there for someone to try to trade up and grab.

However, if they intend on keeping the pick, there’s a good possibility they will have their choice of quality defensive backs. And, in that case, there is a compelling argument that former Alabama Crimson Tide Corner Minkah Fitzpatrick should be the top choice.

Fitzpatrick was a consensus All-American in 2017, with 60 tackles, including eight for losses and one INT in his junior season. He decided to forgo his final year of eligibility.

The bloodlines alone from having played for Nick Saban’s Dynasty at Alabama is compelling. Particularly, Fitzpatrick helped anchor a Tide defense that has played in the National Championship game in his last two years, including their overtime victory over Georgia this past January for the title.

Coincidentally, the Bucs took another member of the tide last year the first round, when they picked tight end OJ Howard at 19th overall. They also previously took a Bama safety in Mark Barron in the top 10 of the 2012 draft. And Tampa Bay has drafted more players from Alabama than any other program in franchise history going into tonight with 14.

In March, the Bucs re-signed veteran corner Brent Grimes, and also have their 2016 first round pick, Vernon Hargreaves, as well. However, Hargreaves was the 11th overall pick and has been a disappointment so far, in two seasons. The team has basically admitted to his struggles and relegated him to “slot corner” and not on the field for all of the defensive pass situations.

Would the Bucs be willing, with other needs like running back, offensive line, pass rusher, etc., to go back to defensive back at the top of this draft just two years later?

They just might.

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