The following capsules are on players that have confirmed to Bucsblitz.com that they have met with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week:
KELLEN DAVIS, TE (6-foot-6, 259), MICHIGAN STATE
Projected selection: Fifth or sixth round. Davis is not ranked among Scout.com's Top 20 tight ends.
Statistics: 32 catches for 513 yards and six touchdowns.
How he fits with the Bucs?: Well, the Bucs are looking for tight end help, as only Alex Smith will be under contract come Feb. 29. They're already rumored to be courting former Falcons TE Alge Crumpler. Davis is very athletic. He played some DE at MSU and even worked on special teams units, so he can come in and contribute, at the least, on kickoff and punt coverage. The yards per catch his senior year was solid, as the Bucs need to get the ball downfield to their tight ends more often. His height also makes him a valuable red zone target. Where I think scouts may downgrade him is on his college production and his speed. But, because of that, he could be a valuable bargain to any team late in the draft. I don't see him being selected higher than the fifth round, no matter what happens this weekend. Missouri's Martin Rucker and USC's Fred Davis will get more attention, and that's fine. So far, the scouting reports I've seen express pleasure in Davis' development. He could be a good fit for the Bucs, so long as they don't reach to get him.
ALEX HAYNOS, TE (6-foot-7 1/2, 262), MARYLAND
Projected selection: Sixth or seventh round. Scout.com ranks him as its No. 14 tight end.
Statistics: 27 catches for 287 yards.
How he fits with the Bucs?: Haynos seemed an intelligent prospect when I talked to him on Thursday, so he knows he faces an uphill battle. He only made four starts as a traditional tight end last season for the Terps. If you're looking for positives, know that he was considered a great blocking tight end at Maryland and the Bucs will need that as Anthony Becht and Jerramy Stevens head into free agency (Becht was their best blocking TE last season). Scout.com has him listed as the No. 14 TE in this draft. He won't cost a team much to select him, but they likely won't get that much out of him.
JOHN SULLIVAN, C (6-foot-4, 303), NOTRE DAME
Projected selection: Third round. Scout.com ranks him as its No. 3 center.
Statistics: 33 career starts for the Irish.
How he fits with the Bucs?: The Bucs could face life without John Wade next season, as the center can void his contract. If so, the Bucs will have just one center — Dan Buenning. He has no NFL starts. Drafting a player like Sullivan could be risky, too. But I highlighted him in my "Bucs Combine Crib Sheet" for a few reasons. He's big (he said he tipped the scale at 303 pounds on Thursday), and the Bucs are seeking to improve their girth at the position (Wade is listed at 300, but he isn't considered that physical). That size allows Sullivan to take on large defensive tackles and hold his blocks longer, and that extra second or two could mean a bigger hole for players like Earnest Graham and Michael Bennett to run through. Additionally, Sullivan said he took on more responsibility at Notre Dame his senior year and he understands the mental part of the job. It's unclear if Buenning does because he's never done it. I think Sullivan could be a potential fit in the mid-rounds, but it's unclear if he could come in immediately and start. If Wade leaves, that's what the Bucs might need Sullivan, or any center they draft, to do.
DONALD THOMAS, G (6-foot-3 1/2, 294), CONNECTICUT
Projected selection: Fourth or fifth round. Scout.com ranks him as its No. 12 guard.
Statistics: Didn't start playing organized football until 2004.
How he fits with the Bucs?: Here's another player I highlighted earlier this week. Thomas didn't start playing football until his sophomore year of college and has gained 50 pounds since then. He could very well tip 300 pounds by the draft (if he doesn't already, but his listed weight is 294 pounds). Thomas reportedly performed well in two All-Star games, but really needs to have a great combine this weekend to earn a spot in this draft (some are saying he needs to run a sub 5.0 40-yard dash). Whoever drafts him will need to give him time to develop. The Bucs are set at guard with Davin Joseph and Arron Sears, so whomever they draft automatically becomes depth. With the linemen the Bucs have under contract already, Thomas might face an uphill battle making the team.
Matthew Postins covers the Buccaneers for BucsBlitz.com and the Charlotte Sun-Herald in Port Charlotte, Fla. An award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he appears frequently on Scot Brantley Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WHBO 1470-AM in Tampa-Clearwater.