The Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulled off their first trade of the 2004 NFL Draft, but not until well into the second day of the proceedings. As the sixth round progressed, shortly after the Bucs had selected Yale TE Nate Lawrie, the Bucs shipped third-year fullback Darian Barnes to Dallas for a move up in the seventh round.
In addition to Barnes, the Bucs sent the 216th overall pick to the Cowboys. The Cowboys gave Tampa Bay the 206th pick overall, the fifth selection in the final round.
Before that move, the Bucs had simply stayed put at each of their picks in the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, taking, in order, LSU WR Michael Clayton, Washington LB Marquis Cooper, Ohio State S Will Allen, North Carolina G Jeb Terry and Lawrie.
Barnes (6-2, 250) first joined the Bucs in September of 2002 as a waiver claim from the New York Giants. The Giants had previously signed Barnes as an undrafted free agent out of Hampton that spring. Barnes played in 20 games over two seasons with the Buccaneers, primarily appearing on special teams and as a lead blocker. In 2003, he played in 14 games and shared blocking duties with fullback Jameel Cook after Mike Alstott was shelved early in the year with a neck injury. Barnes caught one pass for six yards and contributed seven tackles and a forced fumble on special teams. He also played in all three 2002 playoff contests.
Alstott has returned to practice with the team this spring and is expected to be at full strength for training camp. The Bucs also signed free agent fullbacks Greg Comella and Deon Dyer in March. Free agent tight end Dave Moore has also played fullback during his career.