Head Coach Tony Dungy has often used late-round picks on defensive linemen
When the first round of the 2001 Draft evolved into a run on defensive linemen, the Buccaneers happily looked on. The scramble for passrushers and run-stuffers allowed the Bucs, who were very well stocked on the defensive line, to nab Kenyatta Walker at the 14th overall pick.
Still, Head Coach Tony Dungy believes you can never have enough quality players in the trenches, and so it was no surprise to see the Bucs use a later-round pick on the position. They did so with their second sixth-round choice, spending the 183rd pick on Mississippi State DE Ellis Wyms.
Wyms showed strong pass-rush skills at MSU, totaling 10 sacks for his career. The 6-3, 280-pound end also compiled four-year totals of 120 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two passes defensed.
Under Dungy, the Buccaneers have often used later-round draft picks to try out defensive line prospects. Recent examples include DE John McLaughlin in the fifth round in 1999, DT James Cannida in the fifth round and DE Chance McCarty in the seventh round in '98, DT Anthony DeGrate in the seventh round in '97 and DT Jason Maniecki in the fifth round in 1996.
Though only one round remains in this year's draft, the Bucs still have three more selections on the board. Tampa Bay will make seventh-round picks at number 205, 223 and 234.
The Bucs have used three of their five picks on defensive players so far, taking Akron CB Dwight Smith in the third round and Colorado State S John Howell in the fourth round.