Barron Must Live Up To Draft StatusSeptember 3rd, 2013
Safety Mark Barron started his pro career coming off double hernia surgery last season. He got off to a strong start, but clearly hit a rookie wall and finished up as an every-game starter for arguably the worst secondary in NFL history.
Barron is one of the great X-factors of this Bucs season.
When you’re the seventh overall NFL Draft pick, as Barron was in 2012, you absolutely must become an impact player. The Bucs drafted Barron to be just that, and the guy’s been gifted two excellent mentors in Ronde Barber and Dashon Goldson. Plus, rockstar general manager Mark Dominik made a very bold statement drafting Barron ahead of Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly, an absolute stud who led the NFL in tackles and won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award last season. Joe can only imagine what the Bucs defense would look like with Kuechly at middle linebacker.
Barron is a quiet yet intense, football-crazed guy, almost the prototype “Buccaneer Man” under the New Schiano Order.
Everything is set up for Barron to take a giant step this season. He’s healthy, in year 2 of the Schiano defense, and the presence of Goldson frees the Bucs to use Barron in ways more suited to his strengths.
One reason Barron was drafted was to cover the athletic basketball tight ends in the modern NFL. On Sunday, he’ll get DJ Toes On The Line Kellen Winslow, followed by Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski. Joe wants to see Barron win a couple of those matchups.