The Bucs have taken another step closer to getting their entire 2006 draft class under contract before the team reports to training camp on July 27.

On Tuesday, the Bucs signed seventh-round pick, defensive lineman Charles Bennett.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-3, 254-pound Bennett was the second of Tampa Bay’s three seventh-round draft picks in April. He played collegiatley at Clemson, notching 115 tackles and 9.5 sacks as a two-year starter.

In addition to that move, Tampa Bay also re-signed running back Earnest Graham, who was an exclusive rights free agent.

In order to make room for Bennett and Graham on their offseason roster, the Bucs released wide receiver Larry Brackins and tackle Todd Williams.

The release of Williams shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, the Bucs’ decision to release Brackins came as a bit of a surprise since the team invested a fifth-round pick on the former Pearl River Community College standout. Brackins, who possesses impressive physical attributes and natural playmaking ability, was considered a project by the coaching staff. With the Bucs loaded at the wide receiver position and Brackins lacking consistency, the team opted to end the experiment before they report to training camp on Thursday.

Tampa Bay currently has five draft picks – Bennett, quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, tight end Tim Massaquoi, defensive lineman Julian Jenkins and cornerback Justin Phinisee – under contract.

Bucs general manager Bruce Allen spent Tuesday in St. Louis meeting with agent Ben Dogra, who represents Tampa Bay’s first-round pick, guard Davin Joseph, and agent Tom Condon, who represents second-round pick, tackle Jeremy Trueblood.

Tampa Bay’s five remaining draft picks – Joseph, Trueblood, wide receiver Maurice Stovall (third round), cornerback Alan Zemaitis (fourth round) and tight end T.J. Williams (sixth round) – remain unsigned, but their agents have been in negotiations with the Buccaneers front office.

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