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DE Clayborn the right fit for Bucs

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Dan Parr
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Posted April 28, 2011 @ 10:57 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

The first round played out perfectly for the Buccaneers.

A few of the top defensive ends were available when it was time for them to choose at No. 20 and Tampa Bay opted for DE Adrian Clayborn, filling a big need with a value pick and player that fits well in its 4-3 base defense.

He should be a starter from Day One and can play every down. Clayborn is stout enough to hold his ground vs. the run and, while he was less productive as a pass rusher during his senior season, he's powerful and quick. He has the ability to be very disruptive off the edge and the Bucs expect him to play right end.

There's little controversy attached to this choice, although Clayborn does have Erb's palsy, a birth condition that limits the strength and flexibility of his right arm. Clayborn said he discussed the situation with teams and the Bucs obviously were not overly concerned about it.

With Clayborn, and their top two picks from last year's draft, DTs Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, the Bucs will have a very young defensive line. If these three players develop, Tampa Bay will have a very effective front.

Don't be surprised if the Bucs add another young piece to the defensive line on Friday as well. They have to face Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and now Cam Newton six times each season and putting pressure on them will be essential.

The Bucs have not done a good enough job stopping the run or getting after quarterbacks in recent years.

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