Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Three and Out

The Bucs finished a busy weekend of drafting with three picks late in the seventh round: Oregon CB Justin Phinisee, Clemson DE Charles Bennett and Michigan TE Tim Massaquoi


Oregon CB Justin Phinisee had four interceptions as a senior

The NFL barreled toward the end of its 2006 draft around 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, but not before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected three more players among the last 21 picks.

The Bucs were on the clock three times in a 10-pick span, taking Oregon cornerback Justin Phinisee at number 235 overall, Clemson defensive end Charles Bennett at 241 and Michigan tight end Tim Massaquoi at 244. The draft ended about 30 minutes later, at 6:04, when the Oakland Raiders took Maine wide receiver Kevin McMahan at pick number 255.

The 5-11, 200-pound Phinisee was a standout on the Ducks' defense as well as one of the PAC-10's top punt returners. In four seasons he compiled 143 tackles, three sacks, seven interceptions and 19 passes defensed. Phinisee also finished his Oregon career with a 12.4-yard punt return average.

After switching positions frequently over his four seasons in Corvallis, Phinisee settled in at cornerback as a senior and produced his finest season. In addition to 55 tackles and seven passes defensed, he picked off a career-high four passes and returned them a total of 206 yards. While none of those four long returns resulted in a score, Phinisee did reach the end zone on a 69-yard punt return against Arizona, helping him finish the season with a 12.0-yard average.

Phinisee hails from Compton, California. He was a conference MVP as a quarterback in his senior year, rushing for 866 yards and 18 touchdowns and throwing for 738 yards and six TDs.

Bennett, the second defensive end taken by the Buccaneers in Day Two, emerged as a speed-rushing weapon for the Tigers in his last two seasons. Starting 22 games in 2004 and 2005, he racked up 101 tackles, three interceptions, 8.5 sacks, 26.5 tackles for loss and four passes defensed. Those two seasons were nearly identical, as he had 48 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions as a junior and 53 tackles, 3.5 sacks and one interception as a senior.

Bennett is 6-3 and weighs 244 pounds but has room on his frame to grow. Some predraft analysts predicted he would switch to linebacker on the NFL level. He is particularly good at getting off the line and around the corner toward the cornerback.

Bennett played his high school ball in Camden, South Carolina and was named one of the top 16 prep defensive ends as a senior by USAToday.com.

Massaquoi, a converted receiver who grew to 6-3 and 259 pounds, was a two-time first-team all-conference player at Michigan. Over four seasons he appeared in 47 games and made 29 starts, compiling 46 receptions for 489 yards and two touchdowns.

Last year, Massaquoi missed two games due to a broken wrist but returned to the lineup and finished the season, appearing in nine games. His top receiving totals came in 2003 when, in 13 games and eight starts, he grabbed 15 passes for 159 yards and two scores. He is considered a good route-runner and a very tough competitor who has worked hard to improve his blocking.

The Buccaneers did not make any trades during this year's draft and thus began and ended the two-day affair with 10 picks. Seven of those picks came on the second day, as the Bucs also took Penn State CB Alan Zemaitis in the fourth round, Stanford defensive end Julian Jenkins in the fifth round and Toledo QB Bruce Gradkowski and North Carolina State tight end T.J. Williams in the seventh round.

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