The biggest consolation prize for a 3-13 record is a high draft pick the following year, and that's exactly what the Buccaneers will have in 2010. In fact, five of Tampa Bay's 2010 NFL Draft picks will be inside the top 99 selections as it stands right now.
A day after Tampa Bay's 20-10 loss to Atlanta to end the 2009 season, the Buccaneers turned an eye towards getting better in 2010. With the team finishing with a 3-13 record, Tampa Bay's main emphasis for improvement will come via the draft, where the Bucs have a total of 10 draft picks, courtesy of a few trades, including dealing defensive end Gaines Adams to Chicago for its second-round pick in 2010.
As it stands right now, the Buccaneers will have five draft picks inside the top 99 players in 2010. The NFL will determine how many compensatory draft picks to issue - if any - and those start in the third round, so the Bucs' fourth-round pick (number 99 overall) may get pushed down a few slots.
Tampa Bay will have the third overall pick in the draft, plus high picks in rounds 2-4. The Bucs have the following picks in the first four rounds of the draft:ROUND 1
- 3rd overallROUND 2
- 35th overallROUND 2
- 42nd overall or 43rd overall (from Chicago - depending on coin flip with Jacksonville - both team finished with identical 7-9 records and .496 winning percentages)ROUND 3
- 67th overall ROUND 4
- 99th overall (may be later due to any compensatory draft picks the league issues at the end of the third round)
"We have 10 big-time draft picks," Bucs head coach Raheem Morris said. "We have three really high ones, and you never know what we will do in the draft. Maybe we can go find some more Sammie Stroughters. That's got to be the priority there."
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