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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Post-draft thoughts

A couple of random post-draft thoughts we wanted to share.

The organization keeps downplaying the effort made by the Bucs to move up in the draft to position themselves to take receiver Calvin Johnson.

None of us were in the draft room Saturday morning, so maybe we'll never know. But based on what we hear, the Bucs did make a play to move up. One proposal, as told to us, had the Bucs offering cornerback Juran Bolden (who was released Monday) and defensive tackle Ellis Wyms to Detroit in a package that is believed to have included draft picks.

Bucs coach Jon Gruden and Detroit president Matt Millen both say there was no such talk, but our sources, and multiple other reports, indicate otherwise. We also hear the Glazer family was not agreeable to giving up early draft picks in any potential deal, so Gruden's and general manager Bruce Allen's hands appeared to have been tied to an extent.

On another topic, one of the observations we made during the draft was the Bucs' decision not to draft a player with experience as a conventional middle linebacker. Third-round pick Quincy Black did play a position similar to MLB, but New Mexico's scheme is quite unorthodox and nothing like the Bucs'.

Why is this an issue? Because with the departure of Shelton Quarles, who was released last week, the Bucs are thin at the position. Sure, third-year up-and-comer Barrett Ruud will be installed as the starter, something Gruden confirmed over the weekend. But if he gets hurt, and what about having depth?

Gruden said the team's thinking is that some in the bevy of linebackers the team now has are versatile enough to play in the middle if necessary.

"Hopefully we can have a football team that has that versatility," he said. "Not a lot of guys draft a guy just to be a run stopper, middle linebacker. That's not how we do business here. We think Quincy Black, (sixth-round Adam) Hayward, Ryan Nece, a lot of guys here can be a Mike linebacker. Shelton Quarles had never played the position and he did quite well."

So, apparently one of the things we'll have to watch in the coming weeks when offseason workouts start again is which players are taking snaps in the middle.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 2:45pm]


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