The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to trade a first-round pick for cornerback Darrelle Revis. The deal would make the Bucs a dangerous team defensively in 2013.
Revis seems destined to dealt by the New York Jets and Tampa appears his most likely destination. NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal cites a report from Sports Illustrated's Peter King, stating the Buccaneers are willing to trade their first-round pick for the star cover man.
He is certainly worth that to Tampa Bay's defense. Revis can turn a solid group into a unit that will frighten opponents in the new season.
In 2012, the Buccaneers were the stingiest run defense in the NFL. They yielded a mere 82.5 yards per game on the ground.
Yet the defense still ranked 23rd in points and 29th in yards surrendered. The chief problem was a pass defense that ranked bottom of the league.
The Buccaneers gave up 297.4 yards per game through the air in 2012. They had spent years operating the zone-based coverage of the famed 'Tampa-2' scheme.
However, they couldn't successfully adapt to the more physical, press techniques favored by new head coach Greg Schiano. Fixing the defensive backfield has to be his main priority.
However, Schiano won't find a cover man of Revis's caliber with the 13th overall pick in the draft's first round.
The top corner prospect is Alabama's Dee Milliner. He is likely to be gone by the time the Bucs make their choice. All four of the latest mock drafts on NFL.com, have Milliner taken with either the fourth, fifth or sixth pick.
The Buccaneers need Revis in a division loaded with quality quarterbacks. The NFC South features Drew Brees, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan. The Atlanta Falcons field the most dangerous passing offense in the league, thanks to Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White.
Brees can still rely on Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles. While Newton's connection with Steve Smith remains a potent one.
If the Bucs are going to improve on last year's 7-9 mark, stopping these pass attacks will be vital. Revis remains the best one-one-one cover ace in the entire NFL.
He is extremely aggressive at the line and stays locked on his receiver. The 27-year-old also still retains the agility to trail his receiver deep.
The Bucs could even trust Revis to take away his receiver and cover one side of the field. That would free the rest of the secondary to play a safer zone coverage.
With Revis in the lineup, the Buccaneers would immediately boast a tougher pass defense.
If Schiano combines Tampa's stout run front with more competent coverage, he will have a dangerous defense to supplement his young offense. That's a group that features a powerful O-line and youthful and dynamic runner Doug Martin.
A more dominant defense makes the Bucs a contender in the South in 2013. That's certainly worth giving up a first-round pick.