Expect some growth
Time: 6:40 p.m. Sunday
Jon Gruden didn't talk much about wayward quarterback Jake Plummer on Sunday except for this:
"I'm going to grow my hair and grow my beard until I talk to him," Gruden said in an obvious nod to Plummer's mountain man look. "Call me, Jake."
By the way, he said the Bucs aren't done addressing quarterback. He also said he'd be interested in signing Florida quarterback Chris Leak for this weekend's rookie mini-camp.
Time: 5:52 p.m. Sunday
At least I've heard of Marcus Hamilton and Kenneth Darby, the Bucs' final two picks.
At least one more entry to come from Gruden's post-draft press conference.
The last two picks
Time: 5:30 p.m. Sunday
The two seventh-round compensatory picks are upcoming. I don't expect the Bucs to do much with them.
I haven't been real impressed with Sunday's haul, outside of Tanard Jackson. I think Greg Peterson was a complete reach. There were better linebackers on the board at the time Adam Hayward was selected, and Chris Denman seems a throwaway pick. Brandon Siler of Florida, a possible bargain in terms of production at the pro level, just went midway through the seventh round. He would have been a better pick than any of those guys.
The grade on this draft is dropping quickly.
Time: 4:37 p.m. Sunday
The nickname of seventh-round pick Chris Denman? "The Mortician." Can't wait to ask him how he got that name.
P.S. Brandon Siler of Florida is still on the board.
Time: 3:40 p.m. Sunday
Adam Hayward, the Bucs' sixth-round pick, related his experience meeting veteran Derrick Brooks during his pre-draft visit to Tampa Bay.
He got a little ribbing from Brooks, as Hayward wore a suit to the visit.
"When we were in the linebacker room during the meeting I had a suit on, and he just made fun of me," Hayward said. "It was kind of weird to see that they were just normal people, you know? Just having fun and loving the game."
So what do you say when a future Hall of Fame linebacker is giving you grief about your attire?
"Nothing, really," Hayward said. "You just laugh. He was making jokes because I was really suited up. He said, ‘You're serious. You came out ready to go.' It was weird to hear Derrick Brooks crack a joke on me."
But meeting Brooks was a big deal for the California native, as he had photos of Brooks on his walls in college.
"I try to base my play on him," Hayward said. "I just want to fly around and make plays, just like him. It's crazy that I'll be getting advice from such an amazing linebacker."
The reason for the transfer
Time: 3:30 p.m. Sunday
After speaking to Adam Hayward, I found out the reason for his transfer from Colorado State early in the 2004 season — family issues. He did not elaborate, but he played just one game that season before transferring to Portland State, and he said the situation distracted him from football.
Time: 3:10 p.m. Sunday
Adam Hayward is the Bucs' sixth-round pick, a big, but fast linebacker out of Portland State.
Don't know much about him, but judging from his bio I like this pick better than Peterson in the fifth round. In fact, I might have liked this guy in the fifth round.
He fits the mold the Bucs like, as he's quick and versatile (he played offense and defense in college). I'd be interested to know why he left Colorado State after sophomore season. His starts dropped from eight in 2003 to one in 2004, so I'm guessing he lost his job at strong safety.
Time: 2:40 p.m.
It's time to give the offense just a little love with this newly-acquired sixth-round pick. A few to consider:
Tennessee FB Cory Anderson. This guy is huge (268 pounds) and could make the position a pure blocking position once Mike Alstott retires.
New Hampshire WR David Ball. A personal favorite. A Joe Jurevicius-type with sure hands and Jerry Rice's collegiate reception record.
Oregon T Adam Koets or Ohio State C Doug Datish. Either would be great value for the pick.
Pittsburgh QB Tyler Palko. He's got that funky throwing motion, but the Bucs coached him at the Senior Bowl, and you know how the Bucs love to pick those Senior Bowl players. UTEP's Jordan Palmer will also be there, a player I had in my mock draft 2.0.
The under tackle
It's quite obvious that the Bucs view Kevin Carter as their solution at under tackle for 2007.
While talking about fifth-round pick Greg Peterson, Bucs defensive line coach Larry Coyer told us that Carter was working out well on the inside.
"He brings a joker mentality to the table, so to speak," Coyer said. "He can play up and down the line. He's a veteran defensive end — proven, run or pass. We looked at him inside in the camp (first organized team activities) and once he got a couple of days under his belt, he was what he used to be when he was younger and he went in there in nickel situations."
I think this is why the Bucs have done so little to address the under tackle position in the draft. I think they feel that Carter, along with Ellis Wyms, can handle the position. In doing so it opens up playing time for first-round pick Gaines Adams on either side of the ball. The only way the Bucs will address the issue now is via a trade.
I'm not entirely sure this is what Monte Kiffin had in mind when he said yesterday that the under tackle position needed to be addressed.
Greg who, part 2
What do the following players have in common:
Notre Dame's Derek Landri, LSU's Chase Pittman, Oklahoma State's Victor DeGrate, Oklahoma's Larry Birdine, Oklahoma's Rufus Alexander, Florida's Brandon Siler, Pittsburgh's H.B. Blades and Texas A&M's Justin Warren?
These were all defensive players still on the board when the Bucs took Greg Peterson. This pick is a complete reach. After talking to Peterson — who really seemed stunned that the Bucs had selected him in the fifth — they could have had him in the seventh round or even after the draft.
If the Bucs like him, that's fine. But he wasn't on ESPN's Top 10 list of DTs or DEs when he was picked. Huge red flag.
Time: 1:12 p.m. Sunday
Greg Peterson, a defensive end from North Carolina Central, was the Bucs' fifth-round pick.
This guy is considered a small-school sleeper, and the fact that I'm having trouble finding information about the guy is a red flag to me. It sounds like a guy they could have gotten later. I mean, Florida's Brandon Siler is still on the board.
Time: 1:05 p.m. Sunday
Sadly, one of my mock draft faves has been selected.
Jacksonville — a team that was rumored to be interested in him — took Missouri's Brian Smith in the fourth round.
Smith was an incredibly productive defensive end at Missouri before injuries derailed him, but I'm happy to see the Jags taking a chance on him.
He's projecting as a linebacker in college and hopefully he'll be given the time to get fully healthy and make the adjustment.
I covered one of Smith's state championship games when he was in high school at Ryan High School in Denton, Texas, and the guy was a terror. What's more insane is that the end on the opposite side was Florida's Jarvis Moss, the Broncos' first-round pick. It was an embarrassing wealth of riches for that program, which went to four straight state finals and won two state championships in the first part of this decade.
Morris a great fit
Time: 12:20 p.m. Sunday
I already like Raheem Morris tons more than last year's secondary coach, Greg Burns, who replaced Mike Tomlin. Morris doesn't seem in awe of anybody, as Burns did a year ago.
He just finished speaking about fourth-round pick Tanard Jackson, a player that he sees as a possible competitor at safety. Morris made it clear that no one's job is safe after last year's 4-12 record.
"Anybody we pick in this draft is going to push (the veterans)," Morris said. "When we talk about our room we look for people that will push each other. Jimmy Lake (assistant defensive backs coach) is trying to replace me every day. My room is not going to waver or fear, and they shouldn't. But they better come to work on Monday.
"There's always a battle for positions in our room."
He's not worried about personnel, either. Morris was here with Tomlin for a few years before he went to Kansas State last season as defensive coordinator.
"Most of these guys were hand-picked by either myself or Mike Tomlin," Morris said. "We all had some kind of a factor (in picking) these guys. They're all the same kind of character workers and they all bring something to the table. Whether they bring their best to the table when it's time to perform, that's the key."
Bucs trade down
Time: 11:19 a.m. Sunday
Jon Gruden said late Saturday a trade for that fourth-round pick might happen, and it did, as the Bucs traded their fourth-round pick (102nd overall) to Minnesota for the Vikings' fourth-round pick (106th overall) and the Vikings' sixth-round pick (182nd overall).
Nice deal for the Bucs as they're able to add an extra pick.
Moss to New England
Time: 11:12 a.m. Sunday
NFL Network is reporting the Randy Moss trade will go through soon, as Moss is in Foxborough undergoing a physical. The Patriots are giving up a fourth-round pick for Moss.
Didn't anybody tell Al Davis that the Patriots now have two No. 1 picks in 2008, thanks to a trade yesterday. Doesn't anybody realize just how much better they made the Patriots today. Fourth-round pick? I'm insulted.
Is this the NFL or my fantasy football league.
Los Angeles Raiders?
Time: 11:10 a.m. Sunday
NFL official Gene Washington just referred to the Oakland Raiders as the "Los Angeles Raiders." Does he know something we don't? I mean, I know the NFL wants a team in L.A., but let's not be that brazen about it.
He just corrected himself and the Raiders took Michael Bush.