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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Cal WR DeSean Jackson visits Bucs



   For at least one day, the fastest receiver in the NFL draft belonged to the Bucs.

   Cal junior DeSean Jackson, who is commonly projected in mock drafts to be selected by the Bucs with the No. 20 overall pick, visited the team's facility Monday.

   The 5-foot-9 Jackson met with coach Jon Gruden, receivers coach Richard Mann and special teams coordinator/running backs coach Rich Bisaccia.

   Gruden has said the Bucs want to add a playmaker and increase their speed on offense. Jackson certainly fits the criteria, having scored 29 touchdowns in 36 games. Jackson ran the fastest time in the 40-yard dash among wide receivers at the NFL combine at 4.35. He also impressed scouts with his ability to catch the football at Cal's pro day March 11.

   Jackson could have an immediate impact on the Bucs' kick return game while providing an eventual successor to 36-year-old receiver Joey Galloway.

   The biggest negative on Jackson is that he weighs just 169 pounds and durability could be a concern.

   Gruden says he expects the Bucs to have a choice of several prospects at receiver and cornerback in the first round.

   ""Which (receiver) do you like?'' Gruden said. ""I mean the guy at Cal (Jackson) is 169 pounds. Is he going to be big enough? He's certainly fast as hell. He would be a hell of a returner. The guy at Indiana (James Hardy) is big. Every film you pick up, there's another touchdown. Is he fast enough? We've got (Maurice) Stovall. What the hell have we got him for? You don't want to stock guys. So that's a tough call. It always is, though.''

   One of Jackson’s biggest supporters is receiver Jerry Rice, who played for Gruden with the Oakland Raiders. Rice worked out with Jackson in Pensacola prior to the combine and attended his pro day workout. There are other connections to the Bucs. Jackson’s older brother, Byron, who played for the Kansas City Chiefs in '92-'93, was a teammate of Bucs quarterback Jeff Garcia at San Jose State.

   Jackson left Tampa Monday afternoon and will visit with the Philadelphia Eagles tonight and Tuesday.


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:00pm]


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