The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a strong presence at the Florida Gators pro-day. Head coach Raheem Morris, director of college scouting Dennis Hickey, and linebackers coach Joe Baker are in attendance. ESPN and NFL Network are at the event mainly to watch Gators quarterback Tim Tebow.
The Bucs contingent is more focused on the other talent that the Gators are sending to the NFL. Middle linebacker Brandon Spikes is a prospect that is projected to go in the first three rounds. Spikes did not work out completely at the NFL Scouting Combine. He will be running the 40-yard dash in Gainesville after skipping the run at Indianapolis. Tampa Bay has a pre-draft visit scheduled with Spikes.
Other defensive prospects that are draft candidates for Tampa Bay include: cornerback Joe Haden, safety Major Wright, defensive end Carlos Dunlap, and defensive end Jermaine Cunningham.
The Gators have one of the top interior linemen in the draft in guard/center Maurkice Pouncey. He is expected to be drafted late in the first round or early in the second round.
Hickey and Morris could have a close eye on a couple of Gators wide receivers. Riley Cooper and David Nelson are working out in drills with Tebow, and on their own.
While the Bucs have an important contingent in Gainesville it doesn't mean Tampa Bay will pick any of those players. A year ago Morris went to the pro-day and watched wide receiver Percy Harvin. The Bucs passed on Harvin with their first-round pick and Harvin went on to become the NFL's Rookie of the Year.
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