Today's draft-related electronic conversation between Sports columnists Gary Shelton and John Romano:
GS: I hate to interrupt, John, because I'm sure you're doing your 17th mock draft of the week. Or you're getting ready for your next Star Trek convention. Either way, do you see the Bucs finding a star today?
JR: As a matter of fact, I'm doing both. I have Lt. Uhura going to the Steelers and Mr. Sulu to the 49ers. As for the Bucs, no, I don't see a star sitting in the lobby waiting to be picked at No. 19. Which is why I would consider trading down.
GS: Trading down? Would you consider trading in your car for a 1973 Pinto? Would you consider trading in your bacon for more toast? Would you trade in your plane tickets to Paris to go back to Starkville?
JR: Whoa there, fella. Nobody makes fun of bacon when I'm in the room. All I'm saying is it is harder to find a star the later you get in the first round. So, for a team with more than a few needs and no second-round pick, it makes sense to me to explore a possible trade.
GS: The scary thing is, I agree with you. You should be willing to move backward, but only as a last resort. After all, the Bucs once drafted Derrick Brooks at No. 28, the Ravens once took Ray Lewis at No. 26 and the Vikings took Randy Moss at No. 21. If the Bucs have that sort of conviction about a player, they have my permission to stand firm and take him.
JR: On the other hand, the Bucs once drafted Keith McCants at No. 4, the Packers took Tony Mandarich at No. 2 and the Redskins took Heath Shuler at No. 3. It has nothing to do with this conversation, I just wanted to prove I could use Google, too.
GS: You're a confusing man to have a conversation with, John. If the Bucs are going to avoid every position where there has been a bust, they might as well stay home. You do agree that the earlier you draft, the better chance you have, right?
JR: Ah heck, if you're going to start throwing logic at me, I'm going to take a nap. My point is the stars you mentioned at the tail end of the draft are the exceptions rather than the rule, so I'd be wary about having a strong conviction about a player at No. 19. Now then, we are running out of space. If the Bucs can't pull off a trade, what should they do with the pick?
GS: That's where the good scouts make their money. If they think Josh Freeman can be another Ben Roethlisberger, they take him. If they think Peria Jerry is big enough, they take him. But before they pick, someone is going to mention the name of Percy Harvin again. If you ran the Bucs, would he be a legitimate option?
JR: My gut feeling is Harvin is a luxury player. A very nice option for a team that already has other weapons. I wouldn't put the Bucs in that category, so I would stick with defense. But what do I know? I once thought Chevy Chase was a better pick than Bill Murray.
GS: I remember winning that argument. Then again, debating the thespian abilities of Murray vs. Chase is kind of like arguing about the Peach Bowl, isn't it?
JR: Or the 19th pick of the draft.