Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Turning to D: Bucs Take Alan Zemaitis

After using all of its Saturday picks on offense, the Bucs boosted their defense early on Sunday by selecting the productive Penn State corner, considered a perfect fit for the Cover Two


Penn State CB Alan Zemaitis (21) celebrated six interceptions in 2005

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who spent all three of their first-day picks on offensive players, didn't wait long on Sunday to address the defense. With the 25th pick of the fourth round, the Bucs selected Penn State Alan Zemaitis.

The 6-2, 205-pound Zemaitis is tough and instinctive, and he has the size to challenge the league's wealth of big receivers. He has been compared favorably to Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Henry and had scouts raving about his character.

The 122nd player selected overall, Zemaitis is the fourth player in the Bucs' 2006 draft class, joining Saturday picks G Davin Joseph, T Jeremy Trueblood and WR Maurice Stovall.

Zemaitis is considered a perfect fit for the Buccaneers' Cover Two style of defense and he's adept in zone coverage. The Bucs have a long history of solid mid-round scouting for defensive backs that work in Monte Kiffin's scheme since 1996, including Ronde Barber (third round), Donnie Abraham (third), Dexter Jackson (fourth), Dwight Smith (third) and Jermaine Phillips (fifth).

Zemaitis played four seasons at Penn State and started for three, opening 33 games from 2003-05. He was a playmaker in the Lions' sturdy defense, intercepting 12 passes over the last three seasons. Zemaitis was particularly productive as a senior, combining 51 tackles with six interceptions, 10 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. As a sophomore in 2003, he returned his four interceptions for a total of 207 yards.

Zemaitis' toughness was proved in 2003 when he recovered from a serious car accident to play the entire season. The accident, which occurred in late January, caused his head to bust through the windshield and led to head injuries and a fractured sinus bones. As a result, he had to wear a specially-padded helmet during his sophomore season, though it did nothing to slow down his production.

The Buccaneers have six more picks to execute on Sunday, with one in the fifth round, two in the sixth and three in the seventh.

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