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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs Bolster Safety Depth

The Buccaneers kick off day two of the 2001 Draft with Colorado State safety John Howell


Colorado State safety John Howell was the Bucs' fourth-round pick

Tampa Bay went back to the concept of defensive depth on the second day of the draft, selecting safety John Howell of Colorado State with the 117th pick overall.

Howell played free safety for the Rams and is considered an aggressive tackler, hard hitter and efficient blitzer. Currently, the Buccaneers' starter at free safety for the past two years, Damien Robinson, is an unsigned unrestricted free agent. If Robinson is not re-signed, third-year Florida State product Dexter Jackson is expected to step into the starting lineup.

Howell is the second straight defensive back taken by the Buccaneers, following Akron CB Dwight Smith, selected in the third round. The team kicked off its draft on Saturday with the selection of Florida T Kenyatta Walker at the 14th pick overall in the first round.

"I can't wait to get down there and get started," said Howell, reached immediately after learning he was to be the newest Buccaneer.

More information on Howell will follow in Draft Central.

The Buccaneers have six picks remaining, one in the fifth, two in the sixth and three in the seventh.

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