Adams Looks to be Good Fit in Tampa

Gaines Adams wasn't sure where he was going to be selected Saturday, but deep down he felt like he was the best defensive end and pass rusher in the 2007 NFL Draft.

DE Gaines Adams Profile

So when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked him with the fourth overall selection, he wasn't really that shocked.

"I talked with Coach (Jon) Gruden and (defensive coordinator Monte) Kiffin and they showed a lot of interest in me," Adams said. "We had a good time together. We talked football a lot and I told them that I would fit in great with them."

Gruden said Adams will play at right end, which is the same spot held by former All-Pro Simeon Rice. It's uncertain how the two will co-exist.

But for his part, Adams is excited about playing with one of the best in the league and learning from him.

Rice, like Adams, had the label of being one dimensional and strictly being a pass rusher coming out of college.

"He's a tremendous pass rusher," Adams said of his new teammate. "They said the same things about him, and look at him. He's a great player, run stopper or pass rusher. That's a key example; they said the same things about him."

The staff of the Buccaneers hasn't yet told Adams what his role will be. There were even thoughts that the newly acquired end could be traded to another team before day's end.

"That was something I didn't have control of," he said. "I'm a Buc right now. I'm enjoying this day. I'm just ready to get down there and get this started."

But Adams hopes he stays in Tampa. He thinks it's a good marriage.

"I feel like I'll fit in great," Adams said. "Being with Simeon Rice and those other guys who are there, they've got a tremendous record with that defense and I'm just ready to get started with them. …

"We haven't talked about (my role) yet. I'm going to go in and work hard, and hopefully, one day, I'll be starting." If nothing else, Adams is fully aware of what Buccaneers have with their newest member.

"I bring a hard worker," he said. "I'm willing to learn. I'm a dedicated guy that loves football."

*Gaines Adams was the number-four selection of the NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs. Adams tied for the highest draft choice by a Clemson player in history and the highest since 1939 when Banks McFadden was the number-four selection of the NFL draft by the Brooklyn Dodgers.

*Adams number-four selection ties for the third highest draft selection by any Clemson athlete in any sport. Kris Benson was the number-one pick of the major league baseball draft in 1996 by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mark Lisi was the number-three selection of major league soccer in 2001 by D.C. United. In addition to McFadden and Adams at number-four, Billy Koch was the number-four choice of the Toronto Bluejays in the Major League draft of 1996.

*With Adams selection, Clemson is one of just three schools nationally to have a top 15 NFL selection each of the last two years. Tye Hill was the number-15 choice of the St. Louis Rams last year. In addition to Clemson, Florida State and Ohio State are the three teams with a top 15 selection each of the last two years. Obviously, two of the three coaches with a top 15 selection the last two years are Bowdens, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden and Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden.

*Ten Schools have had at least one first-round selection each of the last two years. Three of the 10 are ACC Schools. In addition to Clemson and Florida State, Miami (FL), Florida, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee and Texas are also on the list.

*Clemson has now had at least one first round draft choice each of the last two years. This is the first time since the 1997-99 drafts that Clemson has had a first round pick in consecutive years.

*Gaines Adams is the third first-round selection under Tommy Bowden. The others are Rod Gardner (#15 in 2001 by Washington Redskins) and Tye Hill (#15 in 2006 by St. Louis Rams). All three earned their degrees from Clemson. Adams graduated in December of 2006.

*Adams will join his former Clemson teammate Charles Bennett as defensive ends on the Tampa Bay Bucs roster. Bennett played in three games as a reserve at Tampa Bay last year. Bennett was a seventh round pick by Tampa Bay last year.

*Adams is the seventh player in history drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs. The first Tiger taken by the Bucs was Jeff Davis, a fifth-round pick in 1982. Davis went on to become the captain of the Tamp Bay Bucs team from 1984-87. He played 83 games in six years for the Bucs.

*Prior to Adams, the highest draft pick from Clemson taken by the Bucs was Rudy Harris in 1993, who was a fourth-round choice.

*Clemson has had 12 former players appear in games for the Tamp Bay Bucs. The list includes Obed Ariri, K, 1984, Cliff Austin, RB, 1987, Charles Bennett, DE, 2006, Jeff Davis, LB, 1982-87, K.D. Dunn, TE, 1985-86, Rudy Harris, FB, 1993-94, Donald Igwebuike, K, 1985-89, Tracy Johnson, FB, 1996, Wardell Rouse, LB, 1995-96, Larry Ryans, WR, 1996, Darnell Stephens, LB, 1995-96, Perry Tuttle, Wr, 1984.

*Adams was the fourth pick of the draft, but he was the first defensive player taken. It marked the second straight year an ACC defensive end was the first defensive player taken in the NFL draft. Last year Mario Williams of NC State was the top pick of the draft.

*Adams was the 190th Clemson player in history taken in the NFL draft, the 21st first-round selection. Only Miami (FL) and Florida State have more first-round picks among ACC schools than Clemson. Top Stories