Sports

2012 NFL Draft: Bucs Pick Mark Barron, Dolphins Pick Ryan Tannehill, Panthers Pick Luke Kuechly

| by Alex Groberman

After a crazy series of trades and picks that nobody saw coming, things cooled down a bit to close out the top 10. The teams picking at Nos. 7-9 all held on to their selections and, ultimately, they simply wound up addressing the holes we all figured they would look patch up.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Mark Barron out of Alabama with the No. 7 overall pick. Tampa Bay was clearly looking to upgrade the secondary heading into this draft and, with Morris Claiborne off the board, this move makes sense. Barron’s stock was rising in the days leading up to the draft, so it really shouldn’t come as a shock that he wound up as a top 10 pick. (Of course, our big prediction heading into Thursday night was that Barron would dip into the 20s. Make of that what you will.)

The Miami Dolphins selected Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A&M with the No. 8 overall pick. Again, we knew this move was coming so this isn’t particularly surprising. Miami had been spurned by every pro quarterback it chased this during this offseason, so the organization did what it needed to do in order to get a quarterback that can be sold as a franchise guy. We’ll see what happens.

The Carolina Panthers selected Luke Kuechly out of Boston College with the No. 9 overall pick. We had Kuechly going slightly lower, but this pick makes a ton of sense. He’s arguably the most slept-on defensive stud available in this draft, and he’ll instantly upgrade a Carolina unit that was 25th in the league in total tackles last year. (He led the nation in tackles.)

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