Yardbarker Horiz

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Did Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik Orchestrate A Second 2010 Draft?

The short answer: He did, pretty much.  It was only a two day draft this time, targeting later-round players, held quietly at One Buccaneer Place on September 5th and 6th, 2010.  But already the impact is being noticed.

Day One, September 5th, 2010

This day was probably a typical Sunday at your house.  Across the United States, it was "The Day After" in the homes of NFL players:  you either made the cut, or were left on the outside of the 53-man rosters constructed by NFL teams.  At One Buccaneer Place, however, it was not a typical Sunday.  In fact, it was probably pretty noisy.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik has made no attempt to hide the fact he believes that good teams find and draft talented young players and develop them.  He has referenced Indianapolis and Pittsburgh as prime examples of this methodology and the lasting competitiveness it brings.  And Head Coach Raheem Morris has been right there with him on the philosophy, taking it to the field where young players have been making noise since DT Roy Miller and WR Sammie Stroughter opened eyes early in the 2009 season.

Dominik expects and gets a lot of feedback on potential players from his coaching staff, so it was probably not just Dominik and College Scouting Director Dennis Hickey in the building that Sunday pouring over the approximately 864 players (27 players -- 80 to 53 -- per 32 teams) released the day before. The review may have started on the 4th. We will never know. But the "draft" started on the 5th.

On the first day of this "second draft", Dominik landed:
Kregg Lumpkin (RB, 5'11", 220lbs) who was on the Packers practice squad since going undrafted in 2009.  A training camp injury made him a candidate for the Packers practice squad.  He may be a candiate for fullback.
Ted Larson (C, 6'2", 205lbs) who was drafted in the 6th round this past April by the New England Patriots.
Vince Anderson (CB, 6'2", 205lbswho went undrafted in 2009 but made the New York Giants practice squad.  He worked at safety in New York but the Buccaneers have him projected at Cornerback, the position he played in college.  He is on the Buccaneers practice squad.
George Johnson (DE, 6'4", 265lbs) who went undrafted in 2010 and is now on the Buccaneers practice squad.
Ryan Purvis (TE, 6'4", 260lbs) who was undrafted in 2009 and is now on the Buccaneers practice squad.


Day Two, September 6th, 2010

The next day (did they even go home??) was just as busy.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed:
Chris Bryan (P, 6'5", 220lbs) brought in from Australia and is now the starting punter. 
LeGarrette Blount (RB, 6'2", 247lbs) who was undrafted in 2010 and spent training camp with the Tennessee Titans.
Dezmon Briscoe (WR, 6'2", 207lbs) who was drafted this past April in the 6th round by the Cincinnati Bengals and is now on the Buccaneers practice squad
Derek Hardman (T, 6'6", 300 lbs) who went undrafted in 2010 and is now on the Buccaneers practice squad.
Will Barker (T, 6'7", 320 lbs) who went undrafted in 2010 and is now on the Buccaneers practice squad.

When the dust cleared, Dominik and Gang had signed 10 more young players.  Two of them were sixth round draft picks of other teams (one of which appears to be a sore point).  Bryan is currently the starting Punter.  And Blount showed promise against the Steelers.  If the rest make it to training camp next year the competition for roster positions could be the most intense in several years.

If Tampa gets solid production from Bryan, Blount, and Lumpkin this year, this "also-draft" could be a significant boost to the overall talent of the team. A boost which could get the Buccaneers back into the playoffs sooner than later!

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