The selection of LB Adam Hayward in the sixth round gives the Bucs' six new assets on defense
Another pick, another defensive addition. That's been the story of the 2007 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who with their most recent pick stuck with the theme, selecting Portland State linebacker Adam Hayward. After taking a defensive lineman, a linebacker and a defensive back on the first day of the draft, the Bucs have repeated that trifecta on Sunday.
The Bucs wasted little time using their seventh pick of the draft (the 182nd overall selection) to select the explosive linebacker.
Considered one of the premier outside linebackers in Division I-AA, Hayward is a speedy athlete who has been labeled a classic Cover 2 linebacker. His exceptional coverage skills have impressed some scouts enough to project him as a strong safety in the scheme as well.
The 6-0, 235-pound Hayward is a fundamentally sound defender who possesses excellent pursuit skills and is also a pass-rushing force off the edge.
After transferring from Colorado State at the conclusion of the 2004 season, Hayward flourished at the outside linebacker position for Portland State – a role he assumed after initially playing as a reserve rush end.
As a senior in 2006, Hayward turned in a breakout season, leading the Vikings with 104 tackles to go along with 9.5 sacks and 16.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He also forced three fumbles and recovered another while registering seven passes defensed.
That impressive performance earned Hayward consensus All-American and unanimous All-Big Sky honors. He was also named the league's defensive player of the year and was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award.
In 22 games at Portland State, Hayward started 11 times and recorded 123 tackles, 11 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. He forced four total fumbles with one recovery and tallied seven passes defensed.
The Buccaneers own three more picks in this year's draft, all of which are scheduled to come in the seventh and final round of the draft.