Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A Little More Info On (March 28)...

Wherein we take a look back at the previous two weeks and provide some additional notes on the news at hand…This week, a little more to contemplate regarding compensatory picks, free agent LBs and the Bucs' offense

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The trade for G Sean Mahan cost the Bucs their seventh-round pick in 2009, but they have picked up three other seventh-rounders through additional deals

Here's something new we've been doing on Buccaneers.com this offseason.

Each weekend, or every other weekend, we'll do a quick recap on some of the team's recent news, with a little bit of extra information that wasn't included the first time around. Unless it was a particularly news-thin fortnight, in which case we won't.

That's pretty much it. So let's move right along with a little more info on…

…compensatory picks:

Earlier this week, the NFL revealed which teams will be getting the 32 compensatory picks that are the product of last year's action in free agency. Because they gained more than they lost on the open market last year (as determined by a complex formula used by the NFL Management Council), the Buccaneers were not awarded any compensatory picks for the second straight year.

That likely came as no surprise to Tampa Bay management, which undoubtedly was not expecting any comp picks for this draft. However, there was some useful information for the Buccaneers that came about as a side effect of the extra selections being announced. Namely, the compensatory pick issue was the last piece of the puzzle for the NFL in putting together its full draft order. Now the Buccaneers, and all 32 teams in the league, know exactly where they are slotted between picks number 1 and 256.

Previously, the Buccaneers knew only that they were picking 19th in the first round; that their second-round pick (#50 overall) was now in the clutches of the Cleveland Browns thanks to the Kellen Winslow trade; and that their third round pick would be 17th in the stanza and 81st overall.

The exact slotting of the Bucs' fourth, fifth and sixth-rounders, and their trio of seventh-rounders, was still to be determined. The number of compensatory picks that fell between each round would affect everything that came later.

Now the complete draft order is set. The Buccaneers will be making the following picks:

**Round****Pick in Round****Overall Pick Number**
11919
31781
420120
519155
618191
78217
720229
724233

The Bucs are part of a four-team 'segment' that rotates between picks 17 and 20 each round. That pattern is obvious in the above table; the Bucs start out 19th, then move up to 18th (their missing second-round pick), then to 17th and then back to 20th to start the process over in Round Four.

Of course, the pattern breaks down in the seventh round because Tampa Bay has already traded away its own pick in that round but acquired three more from other teams. The eighth pick in the seventh round used to belong to Jacksonville and was acquired in a draft-day trade last year. Tampa Bay swapped second-round picks with the Jaguars in 2008 and netted an extra fifth-rounder in the '08 draft and that seventh-rounder this year. The pick from Chicago was obtained in last year's trade of guard Dan Buenning and the Baltimore selection comes from the swap of defensive end Marques Douglas in late August. The Bucs' own seventh-rounder was sent to Pittsburgh to reacquire guard Sean Mahan.

The announcement of the compensatory picks also answers one other question: Which team will select 'Mr. Irrelevant.'

That's the honorary (and gently humorous) title given each year to the last player chosen in the draft. Kansas City was awarded the last of the compensatory picks to go on the end of Round Seven (number 256 overall) and will thus take Mr. Irrelevant. Compensatory picks cannot be traded.

**

…the competition at linebacker:

Last week, the Buccaneers added to their defensive depth – and the wide-open competition at linebacker – by signing former Buffalo Bills starter Angelo Crowell. It was announced that Crowell will battle for the starting spot on the strong side, which had belonged to the recently-released Cato June.

The Buccaneers signed June for that spot in 2007, continuing a long-running tradition of filling that opening with free agents. Since 1995, when Derrick Brooks was drafted and stepped in on the weak side, the Buccaneers have had nine different primary starts at strongside linebacker in a 14-year span. In only one of those years was the starter a player the Buccaneers had drafted.

Here's the rundown of the Bucs' starters at strongside linebacker from 1995-08:

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