T Chris Colmer could be a mainstay on the Bucs' line for years to come
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' draft-pick signings are picking up steam, the not-too-surprising result of a Thursday "deadline." Players may not report to the team's training camp, which opens Thursday, unless they are under contract.
That won't be a problem for third-round tackle Chris Colmer or seventh-round fullback Rick Razzano, each of whom finalized his first NFL contract early Wednesday evening. Those two signings followed the completion of a deal for second-round linebacker on Wednesday morning.
The Buccaneers are now almost halfway through the contract work for their largest draft class in 13 years, and it would be no surprise if more signings followed shortly. The team is hoping to have its entire group of rookies in camp on time, and there remain seven deals to complete. Still to sign are first-round running back Carnell Williams, third-round tight end Alex Smith, fifth-round safety Donte Nicholson, fifth-round wide receiver Larry Brackins and a trio of seventh-rounders in wide receiver Paris Warren, safety Hamza Abdullah and wide receiver J.R. Russell.
Buccaneer players who are under contract are expected to report to camp in Celebration, Florida between noon and 2:00 p.m. on Thursday. The team's first practice is on Friday morning.
The 6-5, 310-pound Colmer was the 91st player chosen overall and the team's highest-drafted offensive lineman since the Buccaneers selected tackle Kenyatta Walker in the first round in 2001. An All-ACC first-team choice as a senior in 2004, Colmer made an impressive recovery from a rare nerve condition to return to elite form as a senior. Starting all 11 games for North Carolina State, he allowed only two sacks all season. In 2002, before he missed a season with Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, Colmer set a school record with 151 knockdown blocks and helped the Wolfpack offense gain 391.8 yards per game.
Razzano, the first of four seventh-round picks by the Buccaneers, is a powerful lead blocker who thrives on contact. The 5-11, 250-pound Ole Miss product also proved to be a sure-handed receiver, catching 41 passes for 312 yards and a touchdown, including 26 during his 2002 sophomore season. Over the course of four seasons with the Rebels, Razzano played in 43 games with 24 starts and carried the ball 50 times for 143 yards and one score.