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Draft Analysis: A look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2008 NFL Draft

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 A review of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2008 NFL Draft Class:

1 (20) Aqib Talib, CB  Starter
Aqib faired pretty well in his rookie season as he took over as the team’s primary nickel back. He finished the season tied with fellow CB Ronde Barber for the team lead in interceptions (4). With the emergence of KR Clifton Smith we never got to see Talib’s abilities on Special Teams, but the shear fact that he is slated to start opposite (or in place of) Ronde Barber speaks volumes for the type of athlete he will become for this defense. I still would have reached (or so they say) on WR DeSean Jackson if I were pulling the trigger last off-season, but Aqib Talib turned out to be a pretty safe bet.
2 (52) Dexter Jackson, WR  Backup
DJax performed pretty well during the pre-season, gaining positive yardage whenever he took the field on offense (rare) and even notched an 83 yard punt return for a touchdown against the Texans. The regular season arrived however and DJax folded (literally). He would return a kickoff or punt and look to get down prior to the oncoming hit. He obviously doesn’t have a returner’s mindset to succeed in the NFL. The jury is still out on him being a bust as he was a WIDE RECEIVER in college, not a returner. So until he gets a fair shake in that regard, his evaluation will be a bit incomplete.
3 (83) Jeremy Zuttah, OG  Backup
He filled in admirably for RG Davin Joseph to start the season. He also filled in when Arron Sears got a bit banged up. We got great value out of this pick and Zuttah will only improve with an eye on a starting job should someone go down. He played tackle sparingly in College, if he wants to start full time he may want to focus all of his energies there. Never-the-less he provides great depth.
4 (115) Dre Moore, DT  Backup
I know everyone wants to point at Dexter Jackson, but this was probably the most disappointing pick of the draft. The Bucs actually traded up for Moore who ended up on the Practice Squad all season. He was a slow starter in college, so there’s still the chance he can make an impact. It’s going to be now or never though with New Defensive Coordinator Jim Bates schemes that should suite the oversized defensive tackle.
5 (160) Josh Johnson, QB  Backup
He carried a clipboard the entire season. If the QB competition is truly that, a competition, we should really see a polished 2nd year QB give Luke McCown and Brian Griese a run for their money. He’s got the arm strength, accuracy, and mobility. More importantly he has the fan base behind him. Hopefully Jags gives him a fair shake this off-season.
6 (175) Geno Hayes, LB  Starter-to-be
Much wasn’t expected out of Geno when he was drafted. Being a Seminole fan I wasn’t even excited about the pick (a 1 tackle performance against the Gators after running his mouth prior to the game will do that to a fan). He did impress throughout Training Camp and even had a splash play during the season when he blocked a punt. His season got shortened due to injury however. I would say he’s panned out thus far as a 6th round pick considering Cato June and Derrick Brooks got released in favor of his promotion. This season presents a ridiculous challenge for Geno.
7 (238) Cory Boyd, RB  Released
The highlight of Boyd’s career, if you can call it one, was fighting with CB Aqib Talib at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium. We certainly didn’t need another RB last off-season so the cards were never in Cory’s favor to make the team. Such was the case as he got cut prior to the start of the Pre-Season. He's currently on the Broncos roster.