The 20th overall pick has been traded three times on draft day since 1993 according to the NFL, but Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik said the team is in what is historically a hot spot to deal in the 2011 draft.
Drafted 20th overall is a luxury in the mind of the Buccaneers after drafting third overall in 2010. Dominik said the Bucs will "let the draft come to us, as we did on the second and third day last year." He underscored that the team always stays true to its overall draft board, and that could again lead to unexpected picks as was the case in 2010, when UCLA DT Brian Price was the team's second-round pick, following third overall pick Gerald McCoy, a similar, gap-penetrating defensive tackle.
But the thesis of his commentary was this: The Bucs aren't abandoning their youth movement. Dominik said the team is pleased with the direction of the franchise -- hard to argue results after their unexpected 10-6 finish -- and noted that team's that have made the decision to "go young" including the Packers, have seen immediately dividends.
The presence of select veterans, including recently re-signed CB Ronde Barber, helps support the fresh-faced roster led by 2009 first-round pick Josh Freeman. Dominik said the Buccaneers plan to build around Freeman and pointed out that he's younger than the team's two star rookies in 2010 -- WR Mike Williams and RB LeGarrette Blount -- a reminder that he's just scratching the surface of what the franchise considers immense potential.