Oklahoma G Davin Joseph was credited with 108 knockdown blocks in 2005
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have begun their 2006 draft class with the selection of Oklahoma guard Davin Joseph. An athletic, intelligent and strong lineman who plays with an aggressiveness borne of his defensive roots, Joseph should offer the Bucs even more push on a rapidly improving offensive line.
Expect last year's first-round pick, running back Cadillac Williams, to be thrilled. The 6-3, 311-pound Joseph is an outstanding run-blocker who should be able to open holes for the defending NFL Rookie of the Year. Joseph marks the third straight offensive player taken by the Buccaneers in the first round, following Williams in 2005 and wide receiver Michael Clayton in 2004.
Joseph is the sixth offensive linemen drafted in the first round in Buccaneers in franchise history but the first interior linemen in such company since 1982, when the Bucs snapped up Penn State guard Sean Farrell 17th overall. Joseph is also the highest-drafted offensive lineman for the Buccaneers since tackle Kenyatta Walker, who went 14th overall in 2001, and by far the highest-drafted linemen since Head Coach Jon Gruden's arrival in 2002.
The selection addresses an area the Bucs have spent the better part of two years improving: The running attack. Just this offseason, the Bucs have re-signed four of their own free agent linemen and added two from other teams, guard Toniu Fonoti and tackle Torrin Tucker. Joseph, who was a consensus first-team all-conference pick in 2005, gives that front line another shot of talent. Last year, he registered an impressive 108 knockdown blocks while helping the Sooners average 355.1 yards of offense per game.
Joseph is an in-state selection, having starred at Hallandale High School in the town of the same name in South Florida. He was the Broward County Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and was recruited by the Sooners as a defensive lineman.
Buccaneers.com will provide additional information on Joseph shortly, including thoughts from Gruden following his press conference, which will be carried live on Buccaneers.com.