The Bucs didn't have to wait long to be on the clock and select RB Cadillac Williams last spring
Okay, so you know the Annual National Football League Player Selection Meeting – a.k.a. the 2006 NFL Draft – is next weekend, April 29-30.
(You do know that, right?)
This seminal offseason event won't pass you by; at the least, you'll log on or tune in at various times over the weekend to see who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have selected.
But do you know what time the draft starts on Saturday? How about Sunday? Is it 11:00 a.m. both days, or noon? Or is it 11:00 on Saturday and noon on Sunday, or vice versa? This is kind of an important piece of information if you're hoping to see the Houston Texans' first pick hold up that traditional "Number 1" jersey on stage at the Radio City Music Hall.
Here's the skinny: The draft starts at noon E.T. on Saturday and at 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday.
And if you want to see the Buccaneers make their first-round pick, what time do you tune in then? That's a trickier question, as it depends on the speed of the selections ahead of Tampa Bay, and also assumes that there are no trades that alter its 23rd-pick placement. However, armed with information from last year's draft, we can make an estimate as to when the Bucs will execute their first pick, if they do hang tight at number 23.
In 2005, the first round didn't end until five hours and 47 minutes after the San Francisco 49ers went on the clock with the first pick. Amazingly, as long as that was, it was two hours and 13 minutes shorter than it could have been, given that there were 32 picks made and each one had a hypothetical time limit of 15 minutes.
On average, the selecting teams used 10.84 of their 15 allotted minutes. If you assume a similar rate in 2006 (let's round up to 11 minutes to make it simpler), then the 23rd pick would be on the clock at approximately 4:02 p.m. ET.
So, to quote Biggie, "If you don't know, now you know."
What else might you need to know in preparation for next weekend's draft? Let's take a look. And just to make it fun, let's do it in quiz form. See how many of the 10 questions you can handle before referring to the answer key below. There are no prizes at stake here, so relax and enjoy. (Psst…you didn't hear it here, but if you happen to click on that NFL.com link in the right column that says "Draft Fact Sheet," you might find some help.)
And understand that we're employing the "need" in "need to know" rather loosely!
1. The NFL has held a draft every offseason since early in its existence. What number draft is this one?
a. 64 b. 71 c. 78 d. 82
2. How many picks will be made overall by all the teams in this year's draft?
a. 220 b. 255 c. 280 d. 310
3. Which of the following teams does not currently own a first-round pick?
a. Arizona b. New England c. St. Louis d. Washington
4. The Bucs are scheduled to pick 23rd this year. Who went 23rd overall last year?
a. WR Matt Jones b. QB Jason Campbell c. CB Fabian Washington d. DE Marcus Spears
5. The Buccaneers have never made the 23rd overall pick before, but they have previously executed three choices in the 20-25 range. Which of these four players was not chosen with an overall pick between 20 and 25?
a. Doug Williams b. Ray Snell c. Rod Jones d. Marcus Jones
6. The two representatives who will man the Buccaneers' table at draft headquarters in New York are Video Director Dave Levy and a former Tampa Bay player. Which player is headed to the Big Apple for the draft?
a. Kevin House b. Hardy Nickerson c. Jimmie Giles d. Doug Williams
7. Last year, the first six picks the Bucs made were players from huge NCAA football programs: Auburn (Cadillac Williams), Nebraska (Barrett Ruud), Stanford (Alex Smith), North Carolina State (Chris Colmer), Wisconsin (Dan Buenning) and Oklahoma (Donte Nicholson). The sixth, however, was from Pearl River Community College (Larry Brackins), of all places. Sometimes the Bucs go looking for draft talent in some obscure places. Which of these schools has NOT produced a Tampa Bay draft pick?
a. Central Arkansas b. Azusa Pacific c. Lenoir Rhyne d. La Verne
8. The Buccaneers made 12 draft picks last year and, at least for now, are slated to make 10 more this year. Obviously, that's an opportunity to dramatically rebuild the team's core of youthful talent. When was the last time the Buccaneers made at least 10 picks in two consecutive years?
a. 1979-80 b. 1985-86 c. 1992-93 d. 1997-98
9. Which team will select "Mr. Irrelevant" this year?
a. Buffalo b. Oakland c. Pittsburgh d. Seattle
10. How many players from Florida schools have the Bucs selected in the last five drafts?
a. 1 b. 4 c. 7 d. 9
1) b. 71. The first draft was held in 1936.
2) b. 255. There would be 256, but Miami used one its 2006 fifth-round pick in the 2005 Supplemental Draft last summer. With seven rounds of 32 picks each, you get 224 picks (223 in this case), and the league added 32 compensatory picks.
3) d. Washington. The Redskins traded their 2006 first-rounder, among some other picks, to Denver last year to get the Broncos' first-rounder in 2005. Denver has subsequently traded that pick to San Francisco. Atlanta is the only other team without a first-round pick, having traded it to the New York Jets for defensive end John Abraham.
4) c. Fabian Washington. The Oakland Raiders made that pick. Jones went 21st, Campbell went 25th and Spears went 20th.
5) a. Doug Williams. He was chosen 17th overall in 1978. The Bucs traded down out of the top spot to get that pick, in the process also acquiring the answer to …
6) c. Jimmie Giles. Giles and Levy are veteran draft-day representatives, and they'll be answering the phones in New York again this year. Giles was acquired in that '78 trade that gave Houston the pick it needed to draft FB Earl Campbell.
7) d. La Verne. Shirley we jest? Nope. There is a school named La Verne and in 1984 it sent WR Maurice Harper to the San Diego Chargers in the 12th round. That's the only La Verne draft product ever, though, so the Bucs have not had to scout that school. However, they did take WR Tyree Davis out of Central Arkansas in the seventh round in 1993 (that's the last player drafted from that school), LB John Samuelson out of Azusa Pacific in the eighth round in 1983 (that school is best known for producing Christian Okoye) and WR Chip Sheffield out of Lenoir-Rhyne in the 12th round in 1977.
8) c. 1992-93. The Bucs selected 13 players in the 1992 draft (including Courtney Hawkins, Craig Erickson and Santana Dotson) and another 10 in the 1993 draft (including John Lynch, Horace Copeland and Chidi Ahanotu). Of course, true draftniks would have known that the answer was likely to be somewhere in the early 90s, because the draft has been shortened since then. Whereas it was once 12 rounds long, it was shortened to eight rounds in 1993 and then to seven in 1994, where it has stayed.
9) b. Oakland. And we know this for a fact, because the 255th and final pick, which belongs to the Raiders is a compensatory pick. Compensatory picks cannot be traded, so Oakland will definitely pull the trigger on the last draft choice in this year's proceedings, and that man is always known as "Mr. Irrelevant."
10) a. 1. Yes, believe it or not the Bucs have taken only one player from the state's own wealth of collegiate talent over the last five years, two fewer than the number of Ivy League players they've drafted in that span. In fact, Florida tackle Kenyatta Walker in 2001 was the last Florida player drafted by Tampa Bay. Rest assured, that is nothing but a statistical fluke. In the five drafts before that, the Bucs selected seven players from Florida colleges.