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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A Model Class

The Bucs have 12 picks in this year’s draft, ranging from number five to number 253...A look at the types of players that could be netted at each spot


In the 1996 draft, T Fred Miller was selected with the 141st overall choice, a pick the Buccaneers own this spring

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers head into the 2005 NFL Draft with a dozen picks, which should give the team its largest draft class since 1992, when the process still had 12 rounds. In '92, the Bucs added seven players who made the roster for a reasonable amount of time, including an eventual starting quarterback (Craig Erickson), a defensive rookie of the year (defensive tackle Santana Dotson), another starting defensive tackle (Mark Wheeler), a nasty blocking tight end (Tyji Armstrong) and a productive receiver (Courtney Hawkins).

It did not prove to be the best draft class in team history, nor was it anything close to the worst. The Bucs hit on some of their 13 picks, and missed on a few. Their 10th and 11th-round picks (linebacker Elijah Alexander and running back Mazio Royster) made the team; their sixth and seventh-round picks (linebacker James Malone and S Ken Swilling) did not.

Most years, most teams' drafts end up that way, a mixed bag, hopefully slanted to the positive. But it is possible to really nail a draft from beginning to end? Well, the Bucs may have gotten close last year, though it's too early to tell. The quick evidence: All eight players drafted by Tampa Bay last spring played during the 2004 regular season. The point is, the Buccaneers could find a helpful player at each of their 12 draft spots.

How would you feel about a draft that netted a Pro Bowl running back; a 95-catch receiver; an interception-happy cornerback; a starting quarterback; a productive reserve defensive tackle; a starting right tackle; a starting linebacker; a bruising, change-of-pace running back; a starting guard; a starting center; a backup quarterback and another speedy, productive receiver?

That's an amalgam of a class we can produce from the last 10 years using the picks the Buccaneers currently possess in this year's draft. Barring trades, Tampa Bay will select fifth, 36th, 71st, 91st, 107th, 141st, 144th, 178th, 203rd, 221st, 225th and 253rd. Those slots, over the last 10 years, can be used to pick this stitched-together team (in order of draft choice):

  • 5: RB LaDainian Tomlinson (San Diego, 2001) * 36: WR Chad Johnson (Cincinnati, 2001) * 71: CB Donnie Abraham (Tampa Bay, 1996) * 91: QB Brian Griese (Denver, 1998) * 107: DT Joe Salave'a (Tennessee, 1998) * 141: T Fred Miller (St. Louis, 1996) * 144: LB John Holecek (Buffalo, 1995) * 178: RB Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala (Pittsburgh, 1998) * 203: G Paul Zukauskus (Cleveland, 2001) * 221: G Tom Nutten (Buffalo, 1995) * 225: QB Matt Mauck (Denver, 1995) * 253: WR David Givens (New England, 2002)

That is probably the best all-around team we can fashion from the list of slot-specific picks from the past 10 years, but it is not the only interesting group. Instead of Tomlinson, would you like to substitute Jamal Lewis or Kerry Collins? Would you trade out Abraham for Duce Staley or Ben Leber? Want a change-of-pace back late in the third rather than a passer? Try Brian Westbrook. Even at the end of the seventh round you've got choices, if you'd rather have a productive defensive tackle like Alfonso Boone than Givens.

Every draft is going to have its boom and bust players, so any extensive list like this one is going to have hits and misses, no matter which teams were making the picks. To pull out an all-star team from the Bucs' draft slots may be a bit misleading, but it is certainly encouraging. At the very least, it is interesting information, so here is a look at the full list of players drafted in the Bucs' current slots over the last 10 years. Interpret it as you wish.

Pick No.2004200320022001
5S Sean TaylorCB Terence NewmanCB Quentin JammerRB LaDainian Tomlinson
36DT Junior SiaviiS Eugene WilsonWR Josh ReedWR Chad Johnson
71DT Randy StarksWR Nate BurlesonLB Ben LeberDB Bhawoh Jue
91DE Tony HargroveTE Visanthe ShiancoeRB Brian WestbrookS Cory Bird
107LB Kendyll PopeCB Dejuan GroceFB Omar EasyLB Monty Beisel
141T Jake ScottDE Kenny KingLB Andra DavisTE Billy Baber
144TE Sean RyanLB James DavisWR Herb HaygoodT Marques Sullivan
178T Marco CavkaDB B.J. TuckerT Matt AnderleS Tony Driver
203T Drew StrojnyWR Kareem KellyWR Jamin ElliotG Paul Zukauskus
221T Tony PapeWR Keenan HowryLB Maurice RodriguezDT Ennis Davis
225QB Matt MauckT Todd WilliamsWR Darrell HillT Brian Crawford
253DE Isaac HiltonWR DeAndrew RubinWR David Givensn/a
Pick No.200019991998
5RB Jamal LewisRB Ricky WilliamsRB Curtis Enis
36WR Todd PinkstonLB Mike PetersonT Anthony Clement
71DT Darwin WalkerWR D'Wayne BatesWR E.G. Green
91CB David MacklinS Tony GeorgeQB Brian Griese
107DE Junior IoaneLB Nate StimsonDT Joe Salave'a
141TE Dave StachelskiG Reggie NelsonG Doug Karczewski
144RB Michael WileyLB Khari SamuelS Kerry Cooks
178DE John FrankCB Tyrone BellRB C. Fuamatu-Ma'afala
203DB Damen WheelerT Scott CurryDT Henry Slay
221LB Lester TownsWR Sulecio SanfordDE Angel Rubio
225S Rashidi BarnesDT Ryan HaleCB Tony Darden
253DT Alfonso BooneFB Jim Finnn/a
Pick No.199719961995
5CB Bryant WestbrookDE Cedric JonesQB Kerry Collins
36RB Tiki BarberS Lawyer MilloyDE Shawn King
71RB Duce StaleyCB Donnie AbrahamS Chris Hudson
91LB Mike VrabelRB Reggie BrownG Brenden Stai
107DE Pratt LyonsDE Kendrick BurtonTE Tyrone Davis
141DB Van HilesT Fred MillerLB Stephen Boyd
144DT Andre PurvisS Greg MyersLB John Holecek
178C Daniel PalmerLB Tom TumultyLB Eddie Mason
203DB Hudhaifi IsmaeliQB Spence FisherWR Eddie Goines
221LB Jon HesseCB Reggie RuskG Tom Nutten
225DB Byron CapersDE Johnie ChurchP Bryne Diehl
253n/aRB Michael Hicksn/a

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