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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs take troubled Syracuse WR Mike Williams in 4th round

24

April

The Bucs have selected Syracuse receiver Mike Williams in the fourth round.

Williams was suspended from the team in 2008 and quit after seven games after being reinstated last season. The reason for his decision was unspecified. In 2008, Williams was caught cheating on an exam and was ruled academically ineligible.

General manager Mark Dominik quickly made his way to the media room to explain some details about the decision. He said the Bucs spent more time evaluating Williams than any other player in the draft. They investigated his background thoroughly and have a plan for integrating him that they feel will keep him on the right path.

"I think we'll reap the rewards for that (extra effort)," Dominik said.

The 6-2, 221-pound target held a private workout prior to the draft and six teams attended. The Bucs were among them.

In 29 career games, Williams caught 133 passes for 2,044 yards, including a career season in 2007 when he caught 60 passes for 837 yards and 10 touchdowns.

If not for his off-the-field issues, Williams would likely have been drafted in the first two rounds. Some analysts rate him among the top two to three pure talents at the position in this draft.

"The guy is a first or second round talent," Dominik said. "There's no doubt about it."

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 4:00pm]

    

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