Ten years of No. 20
We're all about predictions and forecasting in sports media, so, in an effort live up to that stereotype, I did a little research to see what kind of player the Bucs might expect to uncover at pick No. 20.
If history is an accurate indication, the Bucs have a chance to come away with a solid player -- or not.
There have been some very productive prospects picked in their slot over the years. That should be somewhat comforting for those of you who are sweating what kind of star power the Bucs can find picking 20th overall. But here's the bad news: a few teams have managed to screw up royally at No. 20, so there's no guarantee the Bucs will get this right.
I went back 10 years for the purpose of this exercise and researched the 20th pick each year. Let's take a look:
2007: Texas CB Aaron Ross, Giants -- Started nine regular-season games and three of four postseason contests, including the Super Bowl. Pretty solid pick.
2006: Penn State DE Tamba Hali, Chiefs -- A starter in all games in the past two seasons, netting a combined 15.5 sacks. No quibbles here.
2005: LSU DE Marcus Spears, Cowboys -- Hard to say he has lived up to his status as a first-team All-America selection his senior year, but he has been a decent full-time player for Dallas.
2004: USC DE Kenechi Udeze, Vikings -- Was coming along with five sacks in 2007 before being diagnosed last month with a form leukemia.
2003: Georgia OT George Foster, Broncos -- Didn't fit into the Broncos' blocking scheme and was traded to Detroit in 2007, where he has been an off-and-on starter.
2002: FSU WR Javon Walker, Packers -- As far as the Raiders are concerned, Walker's turned out just fine given the $55-million contract they just gave him. A dangerous receiver when healthy.
2001: Arizona State S Adam Archuleta, Rams -- First five seasons were very solid, though he's slipped the last couple years, bouncing from Washington to Chicago.
2000: Oklahoma OT Stockar McDougle, Lions -- Has battled injuries and changed teams twice in the past three years. Missed all of '07 with an Achilles injury for the Jaguars.
1999: North Carolina DE Ebenezer Ekuban, Cowboys -- Fairly productive with 19 sacks in his past three seasons; Missed all of '07 for the Broncos with an Achilles injury.
1998: Tennessee CB Terry Fair, Lions -- Injuries derailed his career just a few seasons in, with a neck injury in 2005 ultimately ending his final attempt at a comeback.