Utah WR Paris Warren played a big role in Utah's powerful offense
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wanted to be busy on draft weekend this year, using various trades to acquire a total of 12 selections. They get their wish, and then some, when the third round began.
Thanks to a small trade down in the fifth round, the Bucs had three picks in a span of 11 spots early in the seventh round. In addition to their own selection, number 221 overall, they had number 225 thanks to last year's Jason Whittle trade and number 231 as a result of the fifth-round deal.
They were ready. In rapid succession the Bucs drafted Mississippi fullback Rick Razzano, Utah wide receiver Paris Warren and Washington State safety Hamza Abdullah.
Razzano is a physical fullback who loves to hit and could prove to be an outstanding blocker for Cadillac Williams and the rest of the Bucs' backs. Warren was on the receiving end of many Alex Smith passes at Utah and also ran the ball on occasion in the Utes' unpredictable offense. Abdullah had a breakout senior season with the Cougars, proving to be strong in coverage.
Razzano played four seasons at Ole Miss, appearing in 43 games and starting 24. The 6-foot, 240-pound fullback rushed 50 times for 143 yards and one touchdown during his career but was used more prominently as a lead blocker and passcatcher out of the backfield. His receiving totals included 41 receptions for 312 yards and a score.
Razzano's blocking helped the Rebel offense rack up 351 yards of offense per game, including 158.9 on the ground. He provided lead blocking for Vashon Pearson, who gained 827 yards on 158 carries.
Last season, Razzano appeared in 10 games and started nine, rushing 15 times for 58 yards and catching eight passes for 69 yards. His top offensive totals came during his 2002 sophomore season, in which he rushed 26 times for 60 yards and a touchdown and added 23 receptions for 180 yards.
Razzano hails from Milford, Ohio.
Four picks later, at number 225, the Bucs picked up their second receiver of the day, drafting Utah's Paris Warren. As Alex Smith's favorite target with the Utes, Warren was extremely productive on the college level, particularly during his 80-catch senior season. Utah also handed the ball to Warren or sent it his way with a direct snap on occasions, which is how he ended up with 48 carries for 281 yards and three touchdowns over the 2003-04 seasons.
In his final game, Warren set a Fiesta Bowl record with 15 receptions in Utah's dominating victory over Pittsburgh.
An excellent open-field runner, Warren turned his 80 catches into 1,076 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. As a junior, in his first year at Utah after transferring from Oregon and sitting out a season, he caught 76 passes for 809 yards and four scores. At Oregon, he redshirted one year and played primarily on special teams in 2001. He played his high school ball in Sacramento, California.
The 6-2, 213-pound Abdullah was primarily a reserve and special teamer at Washington State during his first three seasons, but he took over the starting free safety spot as a senior and was one of the Cougars' more productive defenders.
After making 21 tackles in reserve duty as a junior, Abdullah posted a career-high 70 stops as a senior and added one interception, four forced fumbles and eight passes defensed. His teammates awarded him with the Laurie Niemi Award, given for courage, spirit and attitude. Abdullah was an all-league selection as a prep in Pomono, CA.
Those three picks put the Bucs near the end of their dozen-player draft haul. The Bucs will make one more selection, picking at number 253 overall, just two picks shy of the last slot.