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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

QBs will impact Bucs



   LSU"s JaMarcus Russell had a stellar workout Wednesday. The Detroit Lions are fielding offers for their No. 2 overall pick from teams interested in taking Notre Dame's Brady Quinn. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers might be close to being traded from Green Bay to Oakland in exchange for receiver Randy Moss.

   There's a lot of posturing at the top of the NFL draft and it figures to eventually have an impact on the Bucs.

   Tampa Bay owns the No. 4 overall pick. If Russell and Quinn go in the top three picks, it means a player like Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson or Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas could be pushed down to the Bucs.

   On the other hand, if Oakland completes a deal for Rodgers, the Raiders could forget about Russell and select Johnson with the No. 1 overall pick.

   The Cleveland Browns reportedly have been ordered by their ownership to select a quarterback. That could be problematic for the Browns if a team like Miami, Houston or Minnesota traded ahead of them and landed the Lions No. 2 pick.

   It's still more than a month to the NFL draft, so there will be a lot of smokescreens and speculation. But quarterbacks always have the highest value, which is a good thing for Tampa Bay.

   Meanwhile, the Bucs have three more major needs to address in free agency - safety, guard and linebacker. Carolina linebacker Chris Draft is scheduled to visit the Bucs today. The Bucs could be looking to replace Shelton Quarles, who might be forced to retire due to health reasons.

   Tampa Bay also has an interest in Denver guard Cooper Carlisle after losing Sean Mahan to the Steelers. Former Colts safety MIke Doss has visited, but the Bucs appear to be waiting for the market to settle at that position.

   As the calender moves closer to April, look for the free agency action to slow down as the teams turn their focus to the NFL draft.

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


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