When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers go "on the clock" this Thursday evening, probably at some point between 7:45 and 8:00 p.m. ET, the most relevant action will take place in the team's Draft Room at One Buccaneer Place.
As soon as the Buccaneers' first-round pick is phoned in, however, all attention will shift to the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, where roughly a dozen top prospects will be waiting in person to hear their names called. If Tampa Bay happens to select one of these players - and since the team's pick is #3 overall, there is a decent chance this will happen - a potentially amazing career will begin with the symbolic donning of a baseball cap.
That player will be at One Buc Place by Friday afternoon, but Buccaneers.com isn't willing to wait that long. Instead, the Buccaneers' official web site is going to be on hand, in New York, when the franchise-changing announcement is made.
Team management has made no secret of how important the 2010 NFL Draft is to the franchise's future. Among the team's stockpile of 11 picks are three of the first 42 in the draft and four of the first 67. The Buccaneers are working to build a new foundation of talent and character, a core of players to usher in another era of lasting success, and they expect a good piece of that foundation to come from this week's draft.
Thus, the decision to give Buccaneer fans a direct connection to the action in New York, complete with live video feeds and exclusive interviews during Thursday's first round. This will mark the first time that Bucs have sent an in-house reporting team to the actual draft headquarters.
Coverage from New York will begin at 4:00 p.m. ET with a live video look-in from Radio City Music Hall. With additional reporting from One Buccaneer Place and the Official Draft Party at Raymond James Stadium, Buccaneers.com will have wall-to-wall draft coverage before, during and after the first round.
The Buccaneers.com team on hand in New York will also be seeking exclusive interviews, most notably with the newest Buccaneer, assuming he is one of the young men on hand for the draft. The stream of Tampa Bay's pick being announced will also be carried live on Buccaneers.com, with analysis to follow.
Of course, team coverage of the draft won't end on Thursday. The Buccaneers' first-round pick will hold a press conference at One Buc Place on Friday afternoon, which will also be carried on Buccaneers.com. The draft then resumes with Rounds Two and Three on Friday evening and the final four rounds on Saturday. Tampa Bay's official web site and the Buc fans' true inside source will cover the action from beginning to end.
The NFL Draft comes along once a year, but opportunities such as the one facing the Buccaneers this week are rare. Thursday night's first round in New York could be the start of something very big in Tampa, and there's only one place for the team's official site to be: Right in the thick of the action.