Buccaneers Pro Day Rumblings

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are jetting cross-country to evaluate talent for the NFL Draft. Each Monday Bucsblitz.com will file its "Pro Day rumblings," a collection of Bucs-related news regarding pro days. Today's article includes information on USF's Mike Jenkins, Kent State's Jack Williams, TCU's Tommy Blake and Kentucky's Andre Woodson.

It looks like Buccaneers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin really likes South Florida cornerback Mike Jenkins.

Jenkins may not drop far enough for the Bucs to select him at No. 20 overall next month, but Kiffin made it sound like he would love to have that particular problem.

"He's a special guy," Kiffin said. "He's got great feet and great ball skills. You can see it. And he can help you on special teams, too. But you don't draft a guy in the first round for special teams. You're going to draft him to be a great corner."

Jenkins ran a sub 4.4 40 at the scouting combine and didn't run at USF's pro day last week, where Kiffin and several other coaches watched Jenkins and USF linebacker Ben Moffitt go through their paces.

I know from talking to Jenkins that he spoke to the Bucs at the scouting combine. And the Buccaneers have a solid need at cornerback now that Brian Kelly has signed with Detroit. If Jenkins were to, somehow, drop to No. 20, Jenkins would certainly match need with talent and be a solid selection that could make an immediate impact in the Bucs' nickel and dime pass packages. I could also easily see him as Ronde Barber's heir apparent.

MORE CORNERS: Staying on the subject of defensive backs, the Buccaneers took in Kent State cornerback Jack Williams' pro day workout last week, according to the Kent Record-Courier. Williams, who ran 4.49 and 4.55 at the scouting combine, ran a 4.33 and a 4.32 at the pro day, giving his stock a significant boost. At 5-foot-9, 186 pounds, he's going to be undersized for the position and most draft services are looking at him as a fifth-round pick.

Reports from the pro day stated that Williams lost nine pounds since the combine.

The Bucs might have also had their eyes on defensive tackle Colin Ferrell, a 300-pounder who ran a 4.83 and a mid 4.9 in the 40 and surprised with a 35-inch vertical. Right now Ferrell is considered a free-agent pickup after the draft.

SCOUTING A DAYTON QB: The Buccaneers may take in the workout of a former University of Dayton quarterback this week — and he's not related to former U of D QB Jon Gruden.

Kevin Hoyng — who at the moment is teaching middle school science as a substitute — will work out for NFL scouts next week, according to the Springfield News-Sun. He's trying make a NFL roster as a free safety.

He'll work out for scouts on Tuesday and then have a private workout with the Bengals on Friday.

The Buccaneers were among several teams to meet with Hoyng at the scouting combine.

At 6-foot, 192 pounds, he's considered too small to play quarterback in the NFL, despite holding four U of D records. But he reportedly ran a 4.5 40 last year and he's stayed in good shape to remain on the radar of NFL scouts.

The Bucs don't have a lot of need at safety right now, though they will need to find a replacement for Kalvin Pearson, who is likely to officially become a Detroit Lion this week. I don't anticipate the Bucs matching the Lions' offer to the restricted free agent.

WOODSON MAKES A COMEBACK: Former Buccaneers quarterbacks coach Paul Hackett gave Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson a good review after his pro day workout in Lexington, Ky., last week.

Woodson worked out for 25 teams.

Rich Brooks, his head coach for the Wildcats, called Woodson "the real deal." Hackett told reporters that Woodson has a great arm and all the base skills to succeed in the NFL.

Still, there are going to be questions about Woodson's release, which seemed slow to me at the Senior Bowl and looked no better at the combine. With the Bucs holding the rights to six quarterbacks, drafting a young quarterback would seem a low priority. But you never know. It's Gruden after all.

KEEP AN EYE ON BLAKE: According to reports filed from TCU's pro day last week, defensive end Tommy Blake is beginning to gain some momentum after a shockingly disappointing 2007 season in which he left the Horned Frogs twice and was diagnosed with depression and social anxiety disorder, the latter only revealed recently by Blake's agent.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Charean Williams, who took in the workout, wrote that Blake more resembled the terror he was his junior year, in which he had 16 tackles for loss and seven sacks and was considered by some to be a first-round pick.

Blake weighed in at 272 pounds — he's cut 15 pounds off his frame since weighing in at 287 pounds at the East-West Shrine game. His agent said Blake wants to shed another 12 pounds and get closer to his junior playing weight of 255 pounds.

Blake also ran a 4.75 40-yard dash. That's as fast as Virginia's Chris Long ran at the combine, but Blake's time was hand-held and Long's was electronically timed. In fact, many of Blake's workout numbers compared favorably with other ends considered first-round picks.

Now, Blake isn't going to be a first-day pick. But he could slip into the sixth round after a solid pro day workout.

The Bucs could use a defensive end opposite Adams, but they would likely have to hope that Blake falls out of the draft completely to acquire him. There were no reports that the Bucs were at the workout.

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.

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