Bucs' Hickey assesses draft's depth

In the second part of this question and answer session, Tampa Bay Buccaneers director of scouting Dennis Hickey talks about the Bucs' preparation for the NFL Draft this weekend, along with which positions look deep in this draft.

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How do you evaluate the job you did on second day draft pick last year?

Dennis Hickey: I think there's been some guys who performed the way we expected. And there's been some, like in all things, where you don't get everything exactly right. But what we can control is this year, and so we're working hard to get this 20th pick right, and get the next pick, the 52nd, right, and then the 83rd. Whether we move up or down, whenever we pick, we want to get that one right.

If you miss on a guy, can you go back and say we missed on this guy or that guy?

Dennis Hickey: Professionally we're always trying to get better. A prospect I didn't even draft or isn't even on our team, you're always looking at that. You don't want to stay stagnant, you always want to get better. And you're always learning. That's how I approach it.

How will the time change on draft selections change your approach to the draft?

Dennis Hickey: I think it will be a little more, in the past with 15 minutes, a lot of teams, you have more time to make trades or at least try to get something going. I think there's more of time element now. From our perspective, it doesn't change that much. We're still going to have our guys lined up and we'll be ready when it's time.

What goes on in that time frame between picks, inside the war room, who's talking, whose putting in the final analysis?

Dennis Hickey: Once we get about five or six picks away pull out the players that we're going to consider there, and we just kind of talk through them, go over their medical, talk to the area scouts, talk to the coaches. But most of the work has already been done in that way, so that we have clear heads, where we have time to go back and look at tape where we have disagreements, that's done in this last week and this week. We try to eliminate as much of that as possible.

Are there disagreements sometimes?

Dennis Hickey: Yeah, and what you have is, each position or each scout, there's a lot of different opinions. But when it's all said and done, it's an organizational pick, everyone's on board with it and we move forward with that.

Are you as surprised as some of the viewers are with some of the trades or the picks that are made?

Dennis Hickey: It doesn't really affect us. We still have our pool of players and maybe there's a player we're targeting to move up in the draft or moving back, we just adjust.

What's a bigger day for you, draft day or the season opener?

Dennis Hickey: Oh, season opener. That's what it's all about. It's about winning games. That's the fun part. This is the role that I play in our organization, but it's all about winning games here.

Some analysts have suggested there may not be a first-round worthy receiver in this draft. Do you agree with that?

Dennis Hickey: Each player we grade we line up where we feel within our grading system and each player individually.

What's the deepest position in this draft?

Dennis Hickey: You'd have to say this is an unusual year for offensive tackles. It's very deep there. And pretty much that's by far the one that stands out in this year's crop.

Have you prioritized the team's needs?

Dennis Hickey: We look at our team and we like our team. We're returning a lot of players from our NFC South Champion. So going into it, we're looking for the best player and we feel like we want to bring in more competition, better players and just upgrade our roster.

Where does cornerback stand on the list of priorities?

Dennis Hickey: You can take any guy at any position that can help your football team, that's how we look at it. It's a good year for corners, a very solid year.

How tough is it to trade down?

Dennis Hickey: It takes two parties and sometimes that's hard, depending on what's happening, whether the player is there. And sometimes you don't know what other teams are thinking about certain players. It's always hard. You have an idea in preparation for that. But you have to have a willing party.


The Buccaneers are nearly a week away from being on the clock. Who will they select? Bucsblitz.com may not know that, but it does know which players the Bucs have met with and worked out privately. Get that information, plus find out how, according to Scout.com's Adam Caplan, you can detect a team's intentions on draft day by looking at the volume of visits and workouts at a particular position. Click here to access this exclusive feature.


Bucsblitz.com's Matthew Postins is unveiling his final Bucs mock draft this week, day by day. On Thursday you can find out his second-round pick. But right now you can access his selections for rounds 3, 4 and 5:

Round 3.

Round 4.

Round 5.


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