The Buccaneers did not wait until the last week before training camp to start signing their draft picks. On Friday, Tampa Bay started the process of getting their rookie draft picks under contract by announcing the signing of seventh-round pick running back Cory Boyd.

The 6-foot-, 213-pound Boyd rushed for 2,267 yards (4.9 avg.) and 23 touchdowns while catching 117 passes for 1,303 yards (11.1 avg.) in 46 games (27 starts) at South Carolina.

As a senior, Boyd rushed 180 times for 903 yards (5.0 avg.) and scored nine touchdowns. He also hauled in a career-high 36 passes for 405 yards (11.2 avg.).

Prior to training camp, the Buccaneers must trim their roster to 80 players. With that in mind, the Bucs released rookie free agent John Rochford. The center from Miami, Rochford, was signed to a contract after trying-out for Tampa Bay at its rookie mini-camp on May 2-4. Rochford was mostly a center for Miami, but he also spent time as a long-snapper and fullback. In his senior season the 6-foot-2, 273-pound Rochford started every game for the Hurricanes at center.

During the rookie mini-camp, Boyd sprained his knee and has been limited in participating in practice since then. Boyd, who was an offensive leader at South Carolina and is a downhill runner that lacks top-end speed (4.52 40-yard dash), will compete with Earnest Graham, Michael Bennett, Warrick Dunn, Clifton Smith, Cadillac Williams (if healthy) and Kenneth Darby for a roster spot.

Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2008 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft this year? Subscribe to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.

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