Bucs general manager Mark Dominik met with Pewter Report and the Tampa Bay media for roughly 22 minutes and didn't reveal too much about the team's draft plans or the decision to not trade for either WR Santonio Holmes or WR Brandon Marshall. Here are some highlights from Dominik's press conference:
• Dominik discussed the Bucs' meeting with both Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy, saying that both players came from really strong backgrounds and were two really good kids that handled themselves well on and off the field. He also said that when evaluating the defensive tackle position that he and the team's scouts went back and evaluated the recent reports that the Bucs had on defensive tackles that were drafted by other teams to see where they went right and where they went wrong in their evaluations.
• He said the Bucs are taking a different approach when evaluating wide receivers and looking at how each player runs each route and ranking them based on their route-running ability, too.
• Dominik said this year's draft has twice as many first-round talents as last year's draft did. “First-round grades … this draft class can go into the 40’s in terms of real talent where you feel like you are walking out with first-round talent," Dominik said. "I’m excited about the third- and fourth-round talent. I want to say around 22-23 [first-round grades last year]. It was right around that. This is a very talented class. I think everybody feels that way. Todd McShay and Mel Kiper feel the same way a Bill Polian does in Indianapolis. This is a very talented class.”
• Dominik also discussed how the Bucs won't necessarily draft the best player available and will balance that with drafting for need. “I balance it between needs and talent. I think every club leans – as probably as much as everyone wants to say that they took the highest-ranked player on the board – every club has a factor of needs into that selection. I think you have to do that. If you go into the fifth round and you take a punter and the highest-rated player is a punter in the sixth round, I doubt you are going to take another punter just because he’s your highest-rated player. There is a needs balance that every team operates with. Every team wants to take the highest-rated player on the board at every time, but you have to factor what can help your football team – not only in 2010, but going forward.”
• Dominik discussed the role of outside consultant and NFL scout Bill Rees – a story that PewterReport.com broke on Wednesday. He said that Rees has scouted last year's 3-13 Buccaneers team and between 100-150 players in this draft.
• Perhaps the most telling quote from Dominik, who understands the pressure that this supposed "can't miss" draft has, was when he said, “I think it wouldn’t be unfair for me to say that this class will have a big impact on the success of this football team going forward. If this draft class doesn’t succeed, I probably don’t, either.”
Read more from Dominik later this afternoon on PewterReport.com.