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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Johnson could go No. 1



Because we're sure you haven't heard enough about Calvin Johnson lately, we're here to chat about him some more.

In reality, you're probably getting sick of hearing about the Georgia Tech receiver who is all the rage as next weekend's draft approaches. But there's some interesting speculation making the rounds that the Raiders, owners of the No. 1 overall pick, are negotiating with LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell and Johnson. The Raiders have long been thought to be leaning toward picking Russell, so that isn't a surprise. But there are many around the league who could easily picture the Raiders opting for Johnson, particularly if they determine signing him won't be as tricky (or pricy) as Russell. The team with the top pick is permitted to negotiate with players before the draft, which the Raiders are wise to do. You might remember the Texans reaching a deal with top pick Mario Williams on the eve of the draft last year, bypassing the dynamic Reggie Bush in the process.

So, what does all this mean for the Bucs, who pick fourth? Well, for one, if true, this reduces the chances of a move by Tampa Bay to the No. 2 spot. If the player they truly want -- Johnson -- might not be there at No. 2, there's no sense in making the deal hoping he'll be there. Also, if Johnson goes No. 1, don't expect any movement by the Bucs. They'll likely be content to stay put and get the best of the players who fall to them, possibly Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas or maybe even the player they deem the best defensive prospect, perhaps Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams. If anything, they could move down.

Of course, things are so fluid right now that we're not making promises on any of this stuff, but these are some scenarios to keep in mind as we weed through the unpredictability of the next week.

In the meantime, for those of you who think you can bear more of Johnson, there will be a nice spread on him in Sunday's paper to kick off our week of extensive draft coverage. We'll also revisit some of the topics we've covered here in the past few days.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:44pm]


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