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Bucs GM Allen has mixed draft record

TAMPA — This will be the Bucs' fifth draft under general manager Bruce Allen.

You can argue whether coach Jon Gruden is pulling the strings. But let's assume Allen is nobody's puppet and making all of the tough calls in the war room.

How has he done? You be the judge.

Among 40 picks since 2004, Allen has selected 10 players who started last season. That includes Cadillac Williams, the offensive rookie of the year in 2005 who played just three games before suffering a devastating knee injury.

To break it down further, there was one from 2004 — Michael Clayton; three from 2005 — Williams, Barrett Ruud and Alex Smith; three from 2006 — Davin Joseph, Maurice Stovall and Jeremy Trueblood; and three from 2007 — Gaines Adams, Arron Sears and Tanard Jackson. Jackson, a fourth-rounder, is the only one of those picked on the second day of the draft.

Seventeen of the 40 players are no longer with the Bucs. In fact, only Clayton and safety Will Allen remain from the 2004 draft.

Certainly, the Bucs GM fares much better in the early rounds. Nine of the 10 starters produced were selected in the first three rounds. Three of them are offensive linemen: Joseph (first round in 2006), Trueblood (second in 2006) and Sears (second in 2007).

Of course, several promising players lost their chance to be starters because of injury or ineffectiveness.

Clayton, a first-rounder, appeared to be a brilliant pick after he led all rookies with 80 receptions for 1,193 yards and seven touchdowns. But he has just one touchdown since and lost his starting job to Ike Hilliard. Allen emerged as a starter in 2005 and 2006 before losing his job last season to Jackson.

Likewise, Williams, a first-rounder, appeared to be on his way to the Hall of Fame when he rushed for an NFL-record 434 yards in his first three games, a feat that sent his shoes and gloves there. But he gained just 3.5 yards per carry during a sophomore slump, and a torn patellar tendon in his right knee might force him to miss most of two seasons.

Wisconsin guard Dan Buenning, a fourth-rounder in 2005, started as a rookie before suffering a torn ACL in 2006 and has been a backup ever since.

Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski was pressed into service after a season-ending injury to Chris Simms in 2006. He went 3-8 as a starter and will have to fight to earn a roster spot this year.

A few mid-round picks stand out as probably Allen's worst.

Offensive tackle Chris Colmer, a third-rounder in 2005, missed a season in college because of Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, a nerve disorder that causes weakness in the muscles. It returned during his rookie season, and his career was essentially over.

Linebacker Marquis Cooper (third in 2004) and cornerback Alan Zemaitis (fourth in 2006) didn't pan out, in part because of recurring injuries. Zemaitis lasted only one season.

All 10 of the Bucs' draft picks from 2007 are on the roster. That could change by the time final cuts are made in September, but it certainly has the makings of a solid class.

Of the 40 players selected during the past four drafts, none has made the Pro Bowl.

Not yet, anyway.

The Bucs have five picks in this weekend's draft, one in each of the first five rounds.

How will Allen do? If history is any indicator, the first few names called by the Bucs could be exceptional as rookies. But the later rounds might not be as kind.


Mocks galore

Seems everyone with a Web site does a mock draft, but these are a few predictions for the Bucs' No. 20 pick from some reputable sources:

Todd McShay, Scouts Inc.
CB Aqib Talib, Kansas

Don Banks, SI
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tennessee State

Mel Kiper, ESPN:
CB Mike Jenkins, USF

Pat Kirwan,
CB Antoine Cason, Arizona

Bucs GM Allen has mixed draft record 04/19/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 24, 2008 1:09pm]
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