RB Corey Boyd ran for over 900 yards as a senior at South Carolina last fall
Early on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked up a late seventh-round pick from the New England Patriots in exchange for a simple seven-spot move down the board. That pick eventually netted the Buccaneers another pair of legs for a running back position that currently has a lot of undefined roles.
With the 238th pick in the draft - Tampa Bay's last of seven - the team selected South Carolina RB Cory Boyd.
The 6-1, 213-pound Boyd is a tough, muscular runner who is at his best pounding between the tackles. Though he is described as a north-south runner, Boyd has enough quick-cut ability to find cutback lanes and get out into the open field.
Earlier in his career at South Carolina, he also saw action at fullback and proved to be a competent blocker. Boyd is also an adept pass-catcher out of the backfield and can make people miss after the catch.
Last year, the Gamecocks' offense struggled with problems under center, but Boyd still ran 180 times for a team-leading 903 yards, averaging 5.0 yards per tote. He also caught a career-high 36 passes for 405 yards, averaging 11.2 yards per catch, which is excellent for a running back. The nine touchdown runs Boyd posted in 2007 tied for sixth on South Carolina's all-time single-season list.
In all, Boyd played in 46 games at South Carolina, starting 27. He finished his collegiate career with 2,267 yards and 23 touchdowns on 464 carries (4.9 avg.) and 117 receptions for 1,303 yards and five more scores.
The Buccaneers concluded their draft with a running back for the second straight year. Last spring, Tampa Bay's final pick in the 2007 draft was Alabama running back Kenneth Darby, who remains on the roster.
The Bucs' current roster also features 2005 first-round pick Cadillac Williams, who was the NFL Rookie of the Year in '05 but missed most of the 2007 season due to a significant knee injury. Williams is confident he can return from his injury, but he hasn't played since the fourth week of the '07 season and will remain a question mark until he suits up next fall.
The Bucs also return running back Earnest Graham, who emerged as a legitimate force last season after Williams' injury and the one that felled Michael Pittman a week later. Graham ran for 898 yards and 10 touchdowns and averaged 4.0 yards per tote. In addition, the Bucs re-signed Michael Bennett just before the start of free agency and lured former Bucs start Warrick Dunn back to Tampa in March.