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With the 2006 NFL Draft drawing closer, has been able to identify some of the draft prospects that the Buccaneers have visited with either at One Buccaneer Place or at the player’s college campus.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have worked out at least three quarterbacks, and there is a chance that the team could use a second-day draft pick on a passer, especially because Tampa Bay has three extra compensatory picks.

The Buccaneers have worked out Grambling State quarterback Bruce Eugene, who was profiled in a recent edition of SR’s Fab Five. Eugene was recruited to Grambling by Doug Williams, who is now the Bucs’ personnel executive and the Tigers’ former head coach. He is an option late on the second day.

Tampa Bay is believed to have worked out UAB quarterback Darrell Hackney, but given his stature (5-foot-11) and the fact that he did not show well at the Senior Bowl, this could be a smokescreen of some sort or some misinformation.

The Bucs have also worked out Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley, who is more athletic and mobile than either Eugene or Hackney, although he is not quite the passer Tampa Bay typically prefers. But with the Bucs taking an interest in Seattle’s scrambling quarterback Seneca Wallace, a restricted free agent, this year, and having interest in Nebraska’s Jammal Lord two years ago, the interest in Shockley is not surprising.

Tampa Bay had local USF product Andre Hall in for a visit, but is unlikely to draft a running back due to the team’s current depth. Aside from being a 1,000-yard rusher, Hall does have great hands and can also be a factor in the return game. The team has also expressed some interest in Jerious Norwood (Mississppi State), DonTrell Moore (New Mexico) and Wali Lundy (Virginia), but it is unknown if any of these players have been in for a visit with the Bucs.

The Buccaneers have visited with several wide receivers and are expected to draft at least one wide receiver during the 2006 NFL Draft. Several of the receivers that Tampa Bay has met with, such as Wisconsin’s Brandon Williams, Akron’s Domenik Hixon and Western Michigan’s Greg Jennings, have the ability to do punt returns, kick returns or both.

Jennings figures to factor into the second round, along with wide receiver Maurice Stovall, who has also visited One Buccaneer Place. Tampa native Greg Lee (Pittsburgh) stopped by One Buccaneer Place, but the team is not as enamored with him as it is with other receiver prospects. Tampa Bay has also had Monmouth receiver Miles Austin in for a visit and he is an option in the seventh round.

Tampa Bay does have a strong interest in UCLA tight end Marcedes Lewis, but it is unclear whether they have had him in for a visit yet. The Bucs are considering him with their first-round pick. However, the Buccaneers have brought in Notre Dame tight end Anthony Fasano for a visit, and he is a viable candidate in the second round.

Tampa Bay has targeted several offensive linemen this offseason and has either had campus visits or visits at One Buccaneer Place with several prospects, including Miami (Fla.) tackles Eric Winston and Rashad Butler, USC tackle Winston Justice and guard Taitusi “Deuce” Lutui, Minnesota guard Mark Setterstrom, Miami (Oh.) Todd Londot, and Oklahoma guard Davin Joseph. Lutui is an option in the first round, while Joseph and Winston are possibilities in the second round. Butler, Setterstrom and Londot are all second-day candidates.

The Bucs have also shown interest in Boise State offensive tackle Daryn Colledge, Boston College tackle Jeremy Trueblood, Auburn tackle Marcus McNeill and Cornell guard Kevin Boothe, but is unsure if these players have visited One Buccaneer Place. McNeill is an option in round one or two, Colledge and Trueblood are options in rounds two or three and Boothe is a possibility in rounds three or four.

Expect Tampa Bay to come out of the 2006 NFL Draft with two offensive linemen, including one on the first day – possibly in the first round.

Tampa Bay brought in Tampa native Brodrick Bunkley (Florida State) for a visit, but this sought-after defensive tackle will likely be gone in the first 13 picks. The Bucs have also brought in North Carolina State defensive end Manny Lawson for a visit this month, and will consider the speedy sackmaster in the first round.

The Bucs also like Lawson’s teammate, defensive tackle John McCargo, who could be an option in rounds 2-3. It is unclear whether McCargo, Penn State defensive end Tamba Hali and Virginia Tech defensive end Darryl Tapp have been brought in for visits, but Tampa Bay has shown a strong interest in these players.

The Bucs may also have some interest in late-round/free agent defensive tackle Chase Page (North Carolina).

Tampa Bay brought in Florida State linebacker Ernie Sims, and would love to see him fall to them in the draft. He is the team’s top-rated linebacker after Ohio State’s A.J. Hawk.

Two local, Tampa Bay-area prospects – D’Qwell Jackson (Maryland) and Oliver Hoyte (N.C. State) have visited with the Buccaneers, but the team has little interest in Hoyte and Jackson likely won’t get drafted because Tampa Bay views him as a middle linebacker and just spent a second-round pick on Barrett Ruud last year.

Tampa Bay has shown a great deal of interest in DeMeco Ryans (Alabama) and Chad Greenway (Iowa), but it is unclear whether either of those players have been brought in for visits.

The stock of Fresno State junior cornerback Richard Marshall is still rising and he may not be on the draft board when Tampa Bay selects in the second round. But the Bucs do like this quick-footed, playmaker. He was among the first players the Buccaneers scheduled a visit with after the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Tampa Bay was well represented at his pro day in March with both position coaches and scouts.

Florida State cornerback Antonio Cromartie has visited One Buccaneer Place, but his minimal production at Florida State makes it improbable for the Bucs to draft him in round one, and he likely won’t be around in round two. However, Tampa Bay has brought in South Carolina cornerback Jonathan Joseph for a visit, and would consider him in the first round.

The Bucs also like Penn State’s Alan Zemaitas and have brought him in for a visit this month, along with Ohio corner Dion Byrum and Abilene Christian defensive back Danieal Manning. Tampa Bay also has some interest in Maryland cornerback Gerrick McPhearson and Pikeville corner E.J. Underwood, who transferred from Ohio State two years ago.

This story is intended to be read by Pewter Insider subscribers only. Sharing of the PI content with non-subscribers of this service can result in cancellation of your subscription to the service and/or further actions by the publishers.

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at:
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