Bucs Draft Tracker
First round (No. 4 overall) — DE Gaines Adams, Clemson
Second round (No. 35 overall) — OG Arron Sears, Tennessee
Second round (No. 64 overall, from Indianapolis) — S Sabby Piscitelli, Oregon State
Third round (No. 68 overall) — LB Quincy Black, New Mexico
Fourth round (106th overall) — S Tanard Jackson, Syracuse
Fifth round (141st overall) — DE Greg Peterson, N.C. Central
Sixth round (182nd overall) — LB Adam Hayward, Portland State
Seventh round (214th overall) — OT Chris Denman, Fresno State
Seventh round (245th overall, compensatory pick) — xxx
Seventh round (246th overall, compensatory pick) — xxxx
Notes: The Buccaneers 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).
Tampa Bay continued its assault on the defensive side of the ball on Day 2 of the NFL Draft..
First, in the fourth round the Buccaneers took Syracuse cornerback Tanard Jackson, a player that is projected to be a safety in the Bucs' system.
Then, in the fifth round the Bucs took another defensive end, North Carolina Central's Greg Peterson.
The Buccaneers got Jackson a little later than scheduled, as they traded down with Minnesota in the fourth round, and in the process acquired a sixth-round pick.
Then the Bucs parlayed that sixth-round pick into another small-school prospect, linebacker Adam Hayward of Portland State.
The Bucs finally went back to offense early in the seventh round by selecting Fresno State offensive tackle Chris Deman (6-foot-6 ¾, 304 pounds).
Jackson said after his selection that he felt "very comfortable" with the Bucs and their staff after being coached by the Bucs at the Senior Bowl in January.
"I mean getting to know Raheem (Morris) and coach (Monte) Kiffin for that week that I was down there it definitely helped me out," Jackson said. "I learned a lot from them."
At 6-foot, 192 pounds, he's considered a physical corner that is best suited for a zone scheme like Tampa's Cover 2. Additionally, scouts believe he has the hitting ability to make the move to free safety and drew comparisons to former Cardinals DB Aeneas Williams, a solid pro who played both corner and safety.
Safety is where the Bucs have told Jackson he has the best shot to make an impact on the team, Jackson said.
"I'm very confident with it (moving to safety)," Jackson said. "It's a comfort thing with me. I'm confident in my ability to move positions. I first experienced it at the Senior Bowl and Tampa Bay pretty much put me out there, that they saw me as a safety in the NFL."
Morris said he had to contain his excitement about Jackson during the Senior Bowl, especially when Jackson's play and ability to pick up the Bucs' system matched up with his performance on film and prompted his selection.
"When a guy is tough and aggressive and he's making the types of tackles that he's made on film, you immediately start thinking about the transition (to safety)," Morris said.
Peterson (6-5, 271) was a surprise to most draft experts, as he was pegged as a late-round selection or even a priority free agent. He had a solid senior season at N.C. Central, where he registered 48 tackles and 7 ½ sacks to earn first-team all-conference selection in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Peterson currently weighs about 285 pounds and said he's been as heavy as 297 pounds at the collegiate level. That could lend him to being a candidate to playing on the inside at the under tackle position, which he played at N.C. Central.
But he seemed noticeably stunned after the selection.
"I really didn't know where I stood (entering the draft)," Peterson said. "I was anxious to see where I was going to go. I wasn't really expecting to get drafted in the fifth, but it happened, so I'm glad it happened."
Peterson is the first N.C. Central player to be drafted since cornerback Robert Massey, who was taken in the second round of the 1989 Draft. He's just the seventh N.C.C. player ever selected.
Bucs defensive line coach Larry Coyer said Peterson was a dominant player at the Division II level and brings two strong attributes to the table.
"He's got great get-off, natural ability to move his body well, and he uses his hands naturally well," Coyer said. "Those are two great attributes. And the third thing he can give you is long chase plays. For a big guy he chases all over the field."
Hayward (6-0, 235 pounds) changed uniform numbers five times, played six different positions and played at two different colleges in his career. But he emerged as one of Division I-AA's premier linebackers after transferring from Colorado State University.
He played mostly strong-side linebacker at Portland State, and his senior year he earned Division I-AA all-America honors, Big Sky Conference defensive player of the year and was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan award.
Hayward also has playing time at safety, tailback and flanker. He has sub-4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash and was a high school sprinter. Scouts say he can be used as a weak-side linebacker in the Cover 2, or potentially a strong-side linebacker to take advantage of his cover skills. Scouts wonder about his ability to avoid contact while pursuing the football, as he seems more apt to engage contact and try to go through blocks, even when overmatched and there's an avenue around the blocker to the football.
Hayward seemed positively stoked to be drafted by the Buccaneers, as he admitted that players like Derrick Brooks and Shelton Quarles were his role models.
"Truthfully, I started crying because I didn't believe it," Hayward said. "I was looking at the clock and I saw Tampa was up there and I was like, ‘Man, I just feel like I'm going to go there.' And then my phone rang and I said, ‘That only means one thing.'"
Hayward finished with 104 tackles, 9 ½ sacks and 16 ½ tackles for a loss in his all-American season.
Denman was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs, and he is considered a better run blocker than pass blocker. Despite his current size, most scouts believe that he must add bulk to his frame to reach his full pro potential. For that reason, some scouts believe he'll be a better fit inside at the pro level.