The Buccaneers went defense for the second straight pick on Sunday, trading up in the fourth round to select USC defensive end Kyle Moore.
“Obviously, it’s great to be a Buccaneer right now. It’s just an awesome feeling I have,” Moore said. “I got a call earlier in the week and the coach told me he was going to come get me. I didn’t know when, but I watched it for the first four rounds and then they traded up to get me. It’s all good. I’m happy.”
Tampa Bay traded one of its three seventh-round picks (No. 229 overall) to Dallas to move up three spots to select Moore with the 117th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-5, 272-pound Moore could be considered a younger version of Kevin Carter, who spent the past two seasons with the Bucs before hitting the free agent market this offseason.
Moore joins Gaines Adams, Stylez G. White, Jimmy Wilkerson and Louis Holmes in Tampa Bay's stable of defensive ends in defensive coordinator Jim Bates' scheme, which is being implemented after the departure of Monte Kiffin and his Cover 2 system.
“Man it is honor to play on that defense because I watched that defense growing up, and watched the guys that have came out of there,” Moore said. “From linebackers, to corners, to defensive linemen. Simeon Rice when he was there, watching him, and all the great linebackers. I liked watching all the guys on Tampa Bay. I know they had stars like Derrick Brooks. It is a great defense and I would love to be apart of it. Hopefully I can help that defense to be aggressive and dominant.”
As a senior, Moore recorded 30 tackles (nine for a loss) and a team-leading five sacks in en route to being named USC's Most Inspirational Player. However, Moore, who has played left and right end, acknowledges he has plenty of room for improvement.
“I know I need to work on the run. I need to work on that and get better at that, but I’m pretty confident that I can play the run," said Moore. "I just have to work on it. Everybody has something that they need to work on, but I know I can get to that quarterback pretty well, so I’m okay with that.
“I guess (sacks) are big with the league, but compared to my sack total (in 2007) with two and then last year I had five – and I had a sack and a half taken away from me during the season. Then I got one in the Senior Bowl. Guys have to remember that in our defense we only have 50-60 plays in a game. I’m not making any excuses, but compared to teams that have 90 plays, we just don’t have a lot of plays to get to the quarterback. A lot of teams didn’t want to throw against us. They were just running the ball. That’s probably the reason for my sack total. There just wasn’t a guy that had double-digit sacks on my defense this year.”
During the offseason, Moore ran a 4.81 time in the 40-yard dash, bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times and posted a 30.5-inch vertical jump.
Moore, who was born in Germany and lived overseas as part of a military family, started 24 of the 50 games he played in during his collegiate career. He notched 76 tackles, seven sacks, four recovered fumbles, two interceptions and eight passes defensed.