Mahan Adds to O-Line Depth

Three picks into the second day of the NFL Draft, the Buccaneers have devoted all of their attention to the offensive line, most recently grabbing Notre Dame G Sean Mahan

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Notre Dame G Sean Mahan was the third consecutive offensive lineman drafted by the Bucs

In 1990, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted C Tony Mayberry with their second fourth-round pick, then devoted their fifth-round choice to G Ian Beckles. By 1991, both players were in the Bucs' starting lineup, where they would stay for years.

Tampa Bay one-upped that strategy this April, also grabbing a tackle, West Virginia's Lance Nimmo, in the fourth round. The team then used its second-fourth round pick on a center, Northwestern's Austin King, and its fifth-round pick on a guard, Notre Dame's Sean Mahan. Their may not be any immediate openings in the Bucs' starting lineup, but the Bucs hope they have once again locked up several solid players for the future.

The 6-3, 301-pound Mahan joined the team at pick number 168 overall, after the fourth-round grabs of Nimmo and King. Last year at Notre Dame, Mahan helped the Fighting Irish offense average 143.8 rushing yards per game.

The Tulsa native was pleased with his draft fortunes.

"It's great," said Mahan, shortly after learning of his NFL destination. "All along I was kind of hoping for the Buccaneers. It's a great organization with a great coach and obviously a lot of success in their program. I am just happy to be a part of it.

"I had talked to a lot of teams, but I knew that the Bucs were very interested. Honestly, I just got a call about a minute before I was drafted by Tampa Bay. It was a little shocking."

Echoing the thoughts of Nimmo and King, Mahan said he was excited by the opportunity to work with the Bucs' respected offensive line coach, Bill Muir.

"He is a great guy," said Mahan. "I met him at the Combine, and he came to our Pro Day at Notre Dame. He is very professional, very nice and seemed to know a lot about football and seemed to be a great coach."

Mahan believes the Bucs will be pleased with the selection, as well.

"I think I am just a smart player with great physical attributes," he said. "I am always cool under pressure. I'd say my strong points are my athletic ability and football smarts."

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