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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs visits with potential draft picks are fast and furious



The Bucs focus on the NFL draft already is producing some results.

Tampa Bay has completed 20 of their allotted 30 visits with potential draft picks.

The list of elite players who have visited One Buc Place recently includes several offensive linemen -- Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung and Idaho guard Mike Iupati.

Okung is considered the top offensive lineman in the draft and certainly worthy of a top five selection. The Bucs own the third overall pick in the draft.

If the St. Louis Rams pull the trigger on Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford with the first overall selection, the Bucs figure to have a chance to land either Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

Both Suh and McCoy are expected to visit the Bucs later this month along with Oklahoma State receiver Dez Bryant and Tennessee safety Eric Berry. Other players who have visited Tampa Bay include Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes and Oregon LaGarrette Blount. 

The 6-foot-5, 307-pound Okung already has visited with the Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks, He is scheduled to visit the Washington Redskins, who own the fourth overall pick, on Monday.

Aside from defensive tackle, Okung might have the most value to the Bucs. Both starting tackles -- Donald Penn and Jeremy Trueblood -- will be unrestricted free agents in 2011. The 6-foot-5, 331-pound Iupati would provide the Bucs with another hulking guard to place opposite Davin Joseph. The Bucs are still uncertain about the status of Arron Sears, who spent last season on the reserve, non-football injury list.

Since the Bucs weren't very active in free agency, they vowed to use the extra time to devote to the draft and they have done just that by completing two-thirds of their alloted visits more than three weeks before the draft.   


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:58pm]


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