2010 NFL Draft: With Third Pick in the Featured Columnist Mock Draft...

Sydney HunteContributor IIFebruary 10, 2010

ATLANTA - DECEMBER 31:  Safety Eric Berry #14 of the Tennessee Volunteers takes a breather during the Chick-Fil-A Bowl against the Virginia Tech Hokies at the Georgia Dome on December 31, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  The Hokies beat the Volunteers 37-14.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

He's being compared to Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu in some circles. 

In his Jim Thorpe Award-winning junior year at Tennessee, he had 83 tackles.  In 2008, as a sophomore, he had seven interceptions returned for 265 yards and two touchdowns.

Tennessee strong safety Eric Berry has put up big-time numbers in college.  There's no reason not to think that he won't do the same in the NFL.

First a disclaimer: defensive backs, let alone safeties, are rarely picked in the top three.  But Berry adds another dimension to a Tampa Bay backfield that needs a boost—19 interceptions for just 275 yards. He has also developed an ability to get to the quarterback, with three QB hits in his junior season.  For a team that allowed 400 points and over 365 yards per game this past season, Berry can certainly use his abilities to control the opponents' passing attack and help a Bucs squad that is hoping to take a step forward after a disastrous 2009.

In a perfect world, the Buccaneers would like to take someone like Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy to beef up their defensive line. But Ron Clements has the Rams taking Suh at No. 1 and Michael Schottey thinks the Lions will snag McCoy with the No. 2 pick.  Look for Tampa Bay to go with the next best thing—Eric Berry.