After moving down because of a trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked Mark Barron, a safety from Alabama, with the seventh overall pick in the draft.
The man coverage liability limits Barron's long-term potential. He will never develop into the Troy Polamalu-Ed Reed class of safeties. There is a whole class of excellent, productive defenders just below Polamalu and Reed, however, and Barron should join that group sooner than later. Drop him deep, and you will get some interceptions and dependable support coverage. Stick him in the box and he will beef up the run defense. Use him in a Giants-style "heavy nickel" defense with three safeties, and he can provide mistake-free coverage in short zones while providing a potential blitz weapon.
The pre-draft scuttlebutt has the Dallas Cowboys eager to select Barron. The Cowboys also selected big, hard-hitting safety Roy Williams back in 2002. Barron is better than Williams. That is hardly faint praise: Williams played in five Pro Bowls, though the last few were reputation selections. Barron provides all the hits, better pass coverage, and despite his combine remarks, a lower probability of having an illegal tackle named in his honor.