Adams Drafted No. 4 Overall

From eight-man football in high school to being the fourth selection overall of the 2007 NFL Draft, such is the strange journey of Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams.

Gaines Adams Scouting Report

At 12:55 p.m., Saturday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told the world from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had just picked Adams, which obviously brought an immediate smile to the Greenwood native's face.

For now, at least, Adams is a member of a team that is known for its defense. There continues to be speculation that Adams could be traded before the day is over.

"Unless something drastically changes, we expect him to be a Buc for a long time," said Tampa Bay coach John Gruden. "We wanted to upgrade our pass rush and we felt like we did that today."

Adams, a unanimous All-American selection, becomes the 21st Tiger to be selected in the first round and ties Banks McFadden for being the highest selection for a Clemson player.

Adams put together a most impressive senior season, where he finished with 62 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, six pass breakups, 25 quarterback pressures, two caused fumbles, three recovered fumbles and a most memorable return for a touchdown against Wake Forest.

Gruden told the media Saturday afternoon that Adams will play right defensive end, which happens to also be the same position currently held by former Pro Bowler Simeon Rice.

It's not clear how that will all play out.

"We're going to work that out," Gruden said. "We're going to play the best players. I'm a football coach. I want to win games. We have to take a look at who we think is the best football player on the board. We said we wanted to upgrade our pass rush."

"Unless something drastically changes, we expect him to be a Buc for a long time," said Tampa Bay coach John Gruden. "We wanted to upgrade our pass rush and we felt like we did that today."
Adams emerged as the most coveted pass-rusher in the draft. An elite-level athlete and only the second Clemson player ever to earn first-team All-America honors, Adams had 28 sacks, 44.5 tackles for loss and 66 quarterback pressures in 48 collegiate games. He also blocked two kicks, forced six fumbles, deflected 21 passes and returned his three fumble recoveries for 85 yards and a touchdown.

Last fall, Adams was one the most feared pass-rushers in the land, capping his career with ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors. The prototypical edge rusher in a Cover Two-type scheme, Adams has a very sudden move off the line and can change directions instantly and fluidly. He also uses his height and impressive wingspan to great advantage in knocking down passes and keeping blockers from locking onto his frame.

There had been controversy surrounding the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Adams over the last week or so when it was leaked to the media that he and a couple of other players getting ready to be drafted had admitted to smoking marijuana at one time or another.

Goodell said he personally apologized to Adams and the others Friday for the leak of information. Adams didn't want to discuss the matter with the media in New York.

Adams goes to a team in the Bucs that has five starters over the age of 30, which means he'll be counted on to make an immediate impact. It's the highest pick Tampa Bay has used on a defensive player since 1990, when it took Keith McCants fourth overall.

As one would expect, it's going to be a hectic day for Adams and as soon as CUTigers.com is able to get some comments from him, they will be posted immediately.

Stay tuned for further updates on Adams and the rest of the Tigers being drafted this weekend.

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