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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs Hickey defends recent draft history



Bucs college scouting director Dennis Hickey played a little defense for the team's recent draft history Wednesday.

Since 2004, only two of 32 players selected during that span have earned starting jobs and only Tanard Jackson remains with the club. Worse yet, 17 of those players are no longer with the franchise.

"I know a lot of people have given up on them, but some players take longer to develop,'' Hickey said.

One of those players is receiver Dexter Jackson, a second-round pick in 2008. Former Bucs coach Jon Gruden said Tuesday that the Bucs 'reached,' for Jackson, but Hickey said the team had a second-round grade on the Appalachian State receiver.

Jackson was a bust as a kick and punt returner, was inactive for nine games and did not catch a pass as a rookie.

"It's the ultimate second guess, right,'' Hickey said. "But we evaluated (Jackson) and we took him at a position that we felt he deserved to be taken at.

"And we're excited about Dexter. A lot of people want to judge everyone off their first year, but we think Dexter has made a lot of progress and we're excited about him.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:31pm]


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