Jalen Ramsey Buccaneers' Top Target In NFL Draft? Tampa Bay 'Lukewarm' On Vernon Hargreaves

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Feb 22, 2016 09:26 AM EST
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Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey
Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey is reportedly the Tampa Bay Buccaneers favorite for the ninth pick in the draft but is unlikely to fall to them."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers improved their record by four games this past season, but still finished in last place in the NFC South with a 6-10 record. The Buccaneers offense finished fifth in the league in terms of yards per game, which was a big step, but while Tampa Bay's 'O' took a big step forward their defense took a small but significant step backwards, dropping from eighth to tenth in term of yards allowed per game and allowing 240 passing yards per game.

Bucs GM Jason Licht will look to continue to build Tampa Bay's roster both through free agency and the 2016 NFL Draft and one player to keep an eye on for the Buccaneers at the ninth pick is Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey. If Ramsey is available with the ninth pick he will be the Buccaneers' top choice, according to Charlie Campbell of Walter Football.

It's unknown if Ramsey will slide to the Tampa Bay at nine, as many project him as the top corner in the draft and see his ability to play both safety and corner as a huge plus. The Cowboys also reportedly have Ramsey at the top of their board, but do have other needs to fill this offseason.

While the Buccaneers are reportedly sold on Ramsey, they are said to be "lukewarm" on Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. Hargreaves is expected to be a top 15 pick in the draft, and is considered the second best corner in the draft behind Ramsey.

ESPN's Mel Kiper projected the Buccaneers to select Hargreaves in his latest mock draft, and it will be interesting to see if the Tampa Bay's front office gains any more interest in the Gators corner before the draft. One other player Buccaneers fans should pay attention to is Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd, as "there's some interest there," according to Campbell.

Floyd is considered one of the biggest boom-or-bust players in this year's draft class, and will need to add weight in his first couple seasons in the league. The Buccaneers are also looking for pass rushers this offseason, and Floyd could fill that hole, but is considered high risk early in the draft. The Buccaneers are interested in the Bulldogs linebacker, but it's unknown if they would be willing to use a first round pick on him.

Floyd is unlikely to be on the board past the first round of the draft, but if he somehow falls to Tampa Bay in the second round, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Buccaneers take the pass rusher.

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