Bucs need to hit on draft picks

April, 30, 2014
Apr 30
8:06
AM ET
It’s been well documented that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers currently have only one player they selected in the 2009 and 2010 drafts on their roster.

That’s defensive tackle Gerald McCoy. But guys like Josh Freeman, Arrelious Benn and Brian Price are long gone from Tampa Bay. The failure of so many draft picks is one of the reasons former coach Greg Schiano and general manager Mark Dominik are gone and why the Bucs have been so active in free agency this year.

“Is it hard to make up and is it a hindrance?’’ coach Lovie Smith said Tuesday. “That’s probably one of the reasons why [general manager] Jason [Licht] and I are both here right now, so that’s just a part of it.’’

Despite all of the movement in free agency, Smith said the team’s plan is to build through the draft.

“Our plan is for us to do better on the draft and make that our foundation,’’ Smith said.

Although they’ve brought in a lot of veterans, the Bucs expect their first-round draft pick (No. 7 overall) to play right away.

“As a general rule, the seventh pick, you want them to play fairly soon,’’ Smith said. “There’s no rebuilding around here. We’re trying to put together a roster to be able to win as quick as we possibly can. The seventh pick normally plays fairly soon.”

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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