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April 22, 2010 @ 3:00 pm
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McCoy Is A Buc!

Written by Charlie
Campbell
Charlie Campbell

Charlie
Campbell

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Tampa Bay has selected Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy with the third-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. McCoy fills a big need for the Bucs and provides Tampa Bay with the potential for an interior pass rusher. McCoy, a three-year starter and team captain, had 14.5 sacks in his career.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have taken Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy with the third overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound McCoy was the second defensive tackle chosen after the Detroit Lions took Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh with the second overall pick. For months the Buccaneers were hoping that McCoy or Suh would be available when it was their turn to pick. When the St. Louis Rams made Sam Bradford the number one overall pick it ensured that Tampa Bay would get either Suh or McCoy.

McCoy fills a huge need for the Buccaneers. The Bucs were looking for a dominant defensive tackle that can stuff the run and get after the passer. McCoy, 22, could give the Bucs a superstar defensive tackle that the team has missed since the days of Warren Sapp, who was drafted in the first-round of the 1995 NFL Draft. McCoy's strength is his lightning fast first-step, and his ability to put pressure on the quarterback. A number of draft pundits, including NFL Network's Mike Mayock, rate McCoy as the top defensive tackle and some suggest he is the best player in the draft.

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik and head coach Raheem Morris will build the Bucs defense around McCoy. In 2009, Tampa Bay went 3-13 with the 27th-ranked defense in the NFL and the 32nd-ranked run defense. Morris will plug McCoy in as a three technique defensive tackle. The same position that Sapp played in former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 defense. McCoy is expected to jump-start the pass rush for Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have not had a double-digit sacker since Simeon Rice in 2005.

McCoy had 14.5 sacks in his career with Oklahoma. He totaled 83 tackles, 33 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, two forced fumbles, and one interception in his career. At the NFL Scouting Combine, McCoy recorded 23 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.96 seconds with a vertical jump of 30.5''.

Last year, McCoy had six sacks, and did not record a multi-sack game during 2009. McCoy ended the season with 34 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, two passes batted away, and one forced fumble. As a sophomore McCoy had a career-high of 6.5 sacks with 30 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, two passes batted away, one interception, and no forced fumbles. McCoy was a leader on the Sooners defense that helped Oklahoma win the Big 12 and advance to the BCS National Championship Game as the number one ranked team in the nation.

Oklahoma lost in the National Championship Game that year to Florida. McCoy had a disruptive first half of the game with an interception on a pass from quarterback Tim Tebow that he returned 12 yards. McCoy also had four tackles and one tackle for a loss in that contest.

McCoy, a three-year starter and a two-year team captain, redshirted his first season in Oklahoma and did not play. In his redshirt freshman season in 2007 he broke into the Sooners lineup and recorded 19 tackles with two sacks, 6.5 tackles for a loss, and one forced fumble.

One thing the Buccaneers liked about McCoy was that their belief that he helped his teammates produce a pass rush. The double-teams and attention that McCoy commanded opened up opportunities for his fellow defensive line mates to rush the quarterback. Defensive end Jeremy Beal had 11 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss in 2009. In 2008, Beal had 8.5 sacks with 15.5 tackles for a loss.

The last time a defensive tackle was taken with the third overall pick was in 2001 when Cleveland took Gerard Warren out of Florida. The last time the Bucs selected a defensive tackle in the first round of the NFL Draft was in 1999 when Tampa Bay selected Anthony McFarland out of LSU.

The Buccaneers have a history of drafting players out of Oklahoma early. Tampa Bay selected defensive end Lee Roy Selmon out of Oklahoma with the number one overall pick in the 1976 NFL Draft. Selmon went on to write the record books for the Buccaneers, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame. Drafting McCoy makes it nine times the team has taken a defensive linemen in the first round, the most of any position. The next closest was offensive linemen with six.

The most recent first-round pick out of Oklahoma that Tampa Bay selected was guard Davin Joseph (23rd overall) in 2006. Joseph made the Pro Bowl as an alternate after the 2008 season.

Drafting McCoy marks the third straight season that the Bucs have drafted a player from the Big 12 in the first round. Aqib Talb (20th overall) and Josh Freeman (17th overall) were the last two first-round picks in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Talib played at Kansas and Freeman played at Kansas State. The last time that the Buccaneers were drafting in the top five was in 2007 when they selected defensive end Gaines Adams with the fourth-overall pick.

With the drafting of McCoy the Buccaneers now have five defensive tackles on their roster. That group is comprised of Chris Hovan, Ryan Sims, Roy Miller, and Dre Moore. Miller was a 2009 third-round pick and Moore was a 2008 fourth-round pick. Veteran starters Hovan or Sims are candidates to be released to open up a roster spot and free up salary.  

Pewter Report's Eric Dellaratta contributed to this story.

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