The player: Quincy Black, LB, University of New Mexico
The measurables: 6-foot-2, 227 pounds, 4.42 40-yard, 2.58 20-yard, 1.53 10-yard, 41- ½ vertical, 10-foot-4 broad jump, 4.34 shuttle, 6.86 cone drill.
The resume: Began his college football career as a defensive end at Harper College before transferring to New Mexico in 2004. He earned All-Mountain West Conference first-team honors last year after notching 114 tackles and three interceptions.
Before Quincy Black went to the University of New Mexico in 2004, he went to Harper College in Palatine, Ill. His first year there, in 2002, he redshirted.
When Black shed his redshirt in 2003, there might as well have been an "S" underneath. Playing as a smallish defensive end at the junior college, he had 88 tackles, 16 ½ sacks and 28 ½ tackles for loss.
His weapon? Same as always — speed.
"When you put on New Mexico film, you saw him really run," Buccaneers linebackers coach Gus Bradley said. "He had great angles to the ball, great pursuit. (He) runs a 4.4 40 and then you saw it on film. He used that speed. I think that's what's so exciting."
Shortly after his selection with the 68th overall pick (third round), Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden was already rolling over ways to use Black. He mentioned using him like the Eagles sometimes use Trent Cole, as a end with his hand on the ground in certain nickel situations. He also mentioned Black as a blitz specialist, or even a special teams player.
For now, Gruden said, he plays to work Black primarily at outside linebacker so he can learn the system.
Black's speed — clocked at 4.42 at the scouting combine — and his 41- ½ inch vertical leap stick out on paper. The latter number is almost freakish, even for a basketball player. It's those two assets the Lobos put to good use the past two years, as Black became the heir to one of the more high-profile jobs in college football — the "Lobo" in the New Mexico defense, the same position current Bear Brian Urlacher brought to national attention.
It's a unique defensive format. Black, like Urlacher, set up nine yards from the line of scrimmage, making him a cross between a linebacker and a safety. The formation allowed him to make plays inside out and in space, the latter a basic trait in the Cover 2. In fact, most scouts tabbed Black as a good fit for the defense early in the scouting process, which led to a visit to Tampa Bay.
"I felt like I left a good impression on them," Black said.
Where he plays will be perhaps his biggest adjustment, as he'll have to learn to play about four yards away from the line of scrimmage, as the Bucs' linebackers do in the Cover 2.
Black made a good impression on everyone, as his draft stock steadily rose during the offseason. Entering the final month of the process, Black went from a player some thought would be taken in the sixth or seventh round to a player that was getting Day 1 attention.
That included the Buccaneers and head coach Jon Gruden.
"He's a rare athlete," Gruden said. "I think once we harness it a little bit toward one position just to get him taught, the basics and the fundamentals of what we want done, it will help him. He's going to be a creative player who we can use creatively."
Black seems to like that idea. At his last stop, he believes his unorthodox position on the field actually provided him with an exceptional football education.
"I think it made me more knowledgeable about the game," Black said. "It gave me an opportunity to see different levels of the defense and get the intricacies of it."
Want to know more about Quincy? BucsBlitz.com recommends this link to a story and podcast on the Scout.com network: