TAMPA — Even after the draft ended, the Bucs weren't done adding players.
The team was busy recruiting undrafted free agents Saturday evening, with the seemingly imminent signings of Mississippi QB Jevan Snead, former Florida State WR Preston Parker and Tennessee LB Rico McCoy.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Snead will be the Bucs' fourth quarterback behind Josh Freeman, Josh Johnson and Rudy Carpenter. Snead delivered a shocking decision by declaring for the draft with one more season of eligibility, and the decision did not pay off as he went undrafted. Snead struggled last season, throwing an SEC-high 20 interceptions.
Parker played last season at Division II North Alabama. He had 62 catches for 791 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore at FSU in 2007 but was dismissed by the Seminoles early last year after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence. It was his third arrest since 2006.
YES, A PUNTER: The Bucs used their sixth-round pick on Virginia Tech punter Brent Bowden. They hadn't selected a punter since 1992, when the draft was 12 rounds and they used their 12th-round pick on Klaus Wilmsmeyer of Louisville, who didn't make the team.
Bowden has a shot at being the starter. He will compete against Sam Paulescu, who joined the team in December after Dirk Johnson was injured. Paulescu averaged 35.5 yards on 24 punts, while Bowden averaged 43.8 last season for the Hokies, with 20 downed inside the 20-yard line.
"That's a weapon if it's used right," coach Raheem Morris said. "A lot of people don't like to give punters credit, and kickers, until they don't do their job. We value that highly and think that's a great pickup for us."
Back in the days when the draft was longer, the Bucs took punters in four consecutive drafts, from 1986 to 1989.
BRING A LIFE JACKET: The addition of draft picks each year puts veterans in jeopardy of losing their jobs, but Morris said his returning players know that's a part of life in the NFL. "This is a competition-driven league," he said. "Every year, there's another 253 players coming in the draft. It's going to be competitive. You've got to fight them off. We like to (use) the term, 'Take them out to deep water and drown 'em.' "
TAKING A PASS: Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount drew interest from the Bucs during the predraft process, but the controversial prospect ultimately went undrafted. GM Mark Dominik said the team looked into the possibility of adding Blount but decided against it. Blount was suspended for most of last season for punching an opposing Boise State player after a season-opening loss and going on a subsequent tirade.
"I think he's a great kid," Dominik said. "We just made a decision on what we were going to do. With that, I would say that LeGarrette Blount is going to sign in the National Football League, and he's going to play. But we made a decision with this football team … and we drafted some guys that we're really excited about being a part of this football team."