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Could Vernon Hargreaves, Bucs be destined for each other?

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The fit is perfect. All Vernon Hargreaves III has to do is hang around long enough during the NFL draft.

Hargreaves, the University of Florida cornerback, is a perfect match for the needs of the Tampa Bay Bucs in the upcoming draft.

Although a pass rusher has also been projected for the Bucs in the upcoming draft, Hargreaves is a perfect fit. He is from Tampa, and the Bucs are in dire need of defensive backs. Hargreaves was already gone in some of the early mocks, but lately he has matched up fine with the Bucs’ third-round pick.

“I like when they have me going to Bucs,” Hargreaves told reporters at the NFL Combine. “Going back to my hometown. I like the mock drafts. I like seeing what people think of me.”

Hargreaves intercepted 10 passes and knocked down 27 while playing for the University of Florida. He points out that he has covered Amari Cooper, Kevin Benjamin and Jarvis Landry. “That’s not to say I’m ready,” Hargreaves said. “But it helps to have tracked them all.”

If he were taken by the Bucs, he would have deal with Julio Jones, Brandon Cooks and Benjamin.

“My ball skills, they’re natural,” Hargreaves said at the NFL Combine. “There’s nothing I’ve done (to nurture them). When the ball’s in the air, I just have to go out and get them.

“My confidence is extremely high. It always has been. I never doubt myself. The drive to be the best, that’s what keeps me going.”

It is possible the Bucs will draft a defensive end. However, cornerback and defensive end go hand in hand. The closer a defensive back covers a receiver, the longer an end has to rush to quarterback. The faster an end can rush the passer, the less time the defensive back can cover.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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