Do you think you know who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will select with the fifth pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft on Thursday night? Is it the same pick you would have predicted last week, or even 24 hours ago?
It may be nothing more than speculation and smokescreens, but the intrigue surrounding the early picks in this year's draft have ramped up over the last few days, especially considering that the first two selections are essentially already in the books. The Buccaneers may be mum on their own draft strategies and desires, but given their position in the middle of the top 10 they figure to be prominent players in whatever drama transpires Thursday night.
And, indeed, it is likely to be dramatic. The last three times the Buccaneers have picked in the top 10 – 2010 (Gerald McCoy), 2007 (Gaines Adams) and 2005 (Cadillac Williams) – the selections have been fairly easy to predict, at least within a player or two. This year, despite the mass agreement of the mock drafters just a few days ago, alternate storylines seem to be sprouting by the hour as the first round approaches.
In other words, this is going to be too good to miss.
And, of course, there's no reason to miss any of it. Buccaneers.com promises to be your eyes and ears for everything that transpires regarding Tampa Bay's first-round draft efforts on Thursday. That includes on-location reports in New York City, exclusive interviews with key Buccaneer figures in Tampa, a behind-the-scenes look inside the team's draft room and, to cap the evening, the first exclusive interview with the newest Buccaneer at the Radio City Music Hall.
The live coverage from New York City on Buccaneers.com will begin at 6:15 with a report from outside the Music Hall as the invited draft prospects enter draft headquarters on the red carpet. Before that, Rachel Ramirez will take you inside the draft room at One Buccaneer Place for a look at how the Buccaneers set up their draft boards. As the evening progresses, more live look-ins will set the scene in New York, culminating in the live introduction of the newest Buccaneers.
Meanwhile, Buccaneer fans by the hundred will be taking in the scene at Raymond James Stadium in the biggest, most immersive Official Draft Party yet. The draft coverage will continue from that location as well, as former Buccaneers Cheerleader Milly Figuereo interviews prominent current Tampa Bay players and the Buccaneers Radio Network broadcasts on-site throughout the evening. For more information on the Buccaneers Official Draft Party Presented by Miller Lite, please click here.
The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft is due to begin at 8:00 p.m. ET, with the Indianapolis Colts going on the clock a few minutes later. Even with the Colts virtually assured of taking Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and the Washington Redskins, picking second, essentially locked in on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, it's likely the first two teams will take a little time enjoying the spotlight. Each pick in the first round carries a time limit of 10 minutes, so Tampa Bay could go on the clock anywhere from approximately 8:20 to 8:50. Obviously, a trade up or down by the Buccaneers would change that, but Buccaneers.com will be ready to report no matter when the team's pick is made. Best of all, Buccaneers.com is first in line to speak to the team's newest player after he finishes his time on the stage at the Radio City Music Hall.
So get ready, because Thursday is going to be a big day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Join us at Raymond James Stadium for the Official Draft Party if you can. And wherever you are, stay on top of everything your team does in Round One on Buccaneers.com.