By the time the final round of the 2010 NFL Draft rolled around on Saturday - the unprecedented third day of manic player distribution - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had already gone a long way towards meeting their most pressing roster needs. By sheer numbers, however, they were only a little over halfway done.
With five picks to spend in the seventh round on Saturday afternoon, the Bucs would seemingly be on the clock more often then they weren't. Earlier trades of Byron Leftwich, Marques Douglas and Luke McCown, plus a compensatory pick granted by the NFL meant Tampa Bay was scheduled to choose at picks number 210, 217, 225, 232 and 253. The team had made six picks through the first six rounds.
However, a shrewd trade improved the Bucs' draft situation for 2011 without diminishing the impact of this year's class. After making its first two picks of the round, Tampa Bay traded the next two, numbers 225 and 232 overall, to the Denver Broncos for a fifth-round pick next year.
That still left three selections to be made, and the Buccaneers began that process with a player from the same school that supplied their sixth-rounder, Virginia Tech. Following the selection of Hokies punter Brent Bowden, Tampa Bay dipped back into the Blacksburg pool to get safety Cody Grimm.
Following seven picks later was Florida State linebacker Dekoda Watson, the fifth defensive player taken among Tampa Bay's first five selections. The Bucs then shipped their next two selections to the Broncos and waited for number 253, a compensatory pick that could not be traded. When that spot, the third-to-last pick of the draft, rolled around, Tampa Bay finished the day with the choice of Stanford DE Erik Lorig
Grimm (6-1, 203) played linebacker at Virginia Tech but projects as a safety with the Buccaneers. He is instinctive, tough and a high-effort player who could have a future at his new position in the professional ranks and is considered a good bet to stand out on special teams. Grimm served as a reserve during his first three seasons with the Hokies but moved into the starting lineup as a senior and produced 106 tackles, four sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, five passes defensed and 12.5 tackles for loss. He is the son of former NFL great Russ Grimm, a four-time Pro Bowler on the offensive line with the Washington Redskins.
With the successes of Derrick Brooks and Geno Hayes in their system, the Buccaneers obviously know they can look to Florida State for fast, rangy linebackers who fit the Cover Two. The latest link in that chain could be Watson, a 6-1, 226-pound playmaker who was a captain for the Seminoles last season. Watson started 32 of the 46 games he played at FSU over four years, 31 one of them on the strong side and one on the weak side. He produced 184 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 32.5 tackles for loss, eight passes defensed, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries, one of which he returned 51 yards for a touchdown. Another strong special teamer, he also blocked three kicks, two of which he recovered and returned himself.