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  • The 2001 Draft...

    how happy was everyone when we drafted Kenyatta Walker? an OT that most felt should have went top 5 (considering he was rated by some higher than Davis and invited to the draft). I like looking back at how players were viewed coming out and its mind boggling how many times the word franchise came out with him




    I think Tony Dungy is the happiest man in the NFL right now. He started the day with the 21st pick in the first round. He ended the day with a Pro Bowl left tackle. Those are rare, you know.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ins...g_final_apr21/

    No team has done more this offseason to try to get to the Super Bowl than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    They signed free agent Brad Johnson, the quarterback they feel can get them over the hump offensively, and then drafted Florida's Kenyatta Walker on Saturday to help protect the team's five-year, $28 million investment.

    Left tackle was the only weakness the Bucs felt they had not addressed during a busy winter in which they signed Johnson, claimed Ryan Leaf off waivers and upgraded one of the NFL's top defenses by luring free agent Simeon Rice.

    To get Walker, the second offensive tackle taken in the draft, general manager Rich McKay traded up seven spots from No. 21, swapping first-round positions with the Buffalo Bills and also giving up Tampa Bay's second-round selection, No. 51 overall.

    "We feel extremely fortunate based on the way we rated this player," McKay said. "He fits what we wanted to do in the early rounds."

    The Bucs paved the way Friday to address the left tackle situation, which has been a trouble spot since Paul Gruber broke his leg in the 1999 regular season finale and retired last fall.

    The team released defensive end Chidi Ahanotu, clearing more than $5 million of salary cap space and putting them into a position where they could afford to move up and get Walker or continue pursuit of free agent left tackle Richmond Webb.

    Incumbent Pete Pierson will head into training camp as the projected starter this fall, however Walker will get an opportunity to earn the job.

    "Right now, I just want to contribute to this team anyway I can and do my best," Walker said by telephone from New York. "I want to go out there and play, and even though I'm going to make a couple of mistakes, keep my head up."

    Leonard Davis of Texas was the first offensive lineman selected, going to the Arizona Cardinals on the second pick. When Cincinnati didn't take Walker fourth overall, the Bucs felt they had a shot at the 6-foot-4, 302-pound native of Meridian, Miss. -- though not at No. 21.

    McKay began making calls to teams drafting ninth on down and worked out a deal with Buffalo after Jacksonville opted for defensive tackle Marcus Stroud over Walker with the 13th pick.

    "After Jacksonville picked, I didn't know where I could end up," said Walker, a fourth-year junior who gave up his final season of eligibility at Florida to enter the draft.

    "It shows how much they liked me to come and get me. If you think about it, they may have been able to wait until the 21st pick. The way this draft was going I might have still been there. You never know."

    Walker played right tackle in college, however the Bucs are confident he has the athleticism to make the switch to the left side. There's no question about his pass-blocking skills after three seasons at Florida, and offensive line coach Chris Foerster said the Gators also ran the ball enough for the team to gauge him as a run blocker.

    "I'm hard-pressed to find a negative," Foerster said.

    "I like his approach to the game. He plays every snap. And what you really saw [on film], was in the big games this guy shows up. Obviously he's got an adjustment to make coming to the NFL, but the guy stood up in the big games and said he was going to play against the good players."

    The Bucs insisted they wouldn't hold themselves hostage to addressing a particular need with their pick. But Walker, the first offensive lineman Tampa Bay has taken in the first round since Charles McRae in 1991, is considered a prospect capable of anchoring a line for a decade or more.

    "There will be a transition time, but I don't think it will be very long," McKay said of shifting Walker from right to left tackle. "He's a great athlete and has excellent feet and balance. We don't envision it to be a monumental change."

    Walker's disappointment in not being picked sooner was tempered by going to a team that figures to be a Super Bowl contender. It didn't hurt, either, that Tampa is only a two-hour drive from the Florida campus.

    "I think things happen for a reason. I can't help but be excited," Walker said, adding that going 14th instead of in the top 10 won't necessarily be a motivation for him to have an outstanding rookie season.

    "I was going to have something to prove anyway, just being that high of a draft pick," he said. "Being a rookie, you have something to prove regardless. Right now, I don't think it's proving anything to somebody else. It's proving to the team that picked me that everybody was right on their staff, that I am a great player and I will be in Tampa Bay for a very long time."
    here are where the experts thought he would do

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/foo...xperts_picks2/

    Scott from this site had him going 4th overall

    tell me Bucs fans (and be honest)....were you thrilled when we ended up drafting him? curious


    -sig by jkpigskin

  • #2
    To this day I vividly remember yelling at the TV when the Bucs logo popped onto the screen as "on the clock" after that trade. I was yelling for them to take Steve Hutchinson who, though a G, was arguably the safest pick in the draft. Hutchinson was rated very highly and most experts saw him as a can't miss.
    "If everyone liked the same thing everyone would be after your grandmother."

    My Grandfather

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    • #3
      I have no idea why, but I remember wanting Santana Moss. Most everyone I knew was thrilled with the pick though. And the way every draft analysis and sports writer gave us the thumbs up, it sounded good to me so i ended up loving the pick too.....I was gullable then


      -sig by jkpigskin

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      • #4
        I didn't really follow the draft in 01 so I can safely say that I had no emotions towards the pick what so ever.

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        • #5
          I remember thinking that our offensive line troubles were over. Oh how wrong was I...

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          • #6
            We did win a Super Bowl with him as our RT. He may not have panned out as expected, but he definitely contributed, and I wouldn't change the pick if I looked back. You just don't argue against guys that helped us win a Super Bowl.

            To answer your question, I didn't become a Bucs fan until that summer, so I have no emotions like 24cadillac24.

            sig by BoneKrusher

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            • #7
              all Kenyatta did was stand there and be fat for our SB run. I would have picked Santanna Moss if I were the Bucs. I think its safe to say we would have still won a SB without the prescence of Kenyatta Walker..........


              and wow, some of you became Bucs fans really late....so you guys dont have the memroeis of the TB vs Green Bay rivalries in the 90's? The team playing in orange or the Rams vs Bucs Rivalries from 99-2000?


              -sig by jkpigskin

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              • #8
                Originally posted by -black View Post
                all Kenyatta did was stand there and be fat for our SB run. I would have picked Santanna Moss if I were the Bucs. I think its safe to say we would have still won a SB without the prescence of Kenyatta Walker..........


                and wow, some of you became Bucs fans really late....so you guys dont have the memroeis of the TB vs Green Bay rivalries in the 90's? The team playing in orange or the Rams vs Bucs Rivalries from 99-2000?
                I don't care if he sucked or someone else was better, we won a Super Bowl after drafting him, it's not worth arguing. As far as those rivalries go, we have had some pretty good games against St. Louis & Green Bay in the 21st century. I'd like to think we're developing a rivalry with Washington because we play them like twice a year.

                sig by BoneKrusher

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by -black View Post
                  all Kenyatta did was stand there and be fat for our SB run. I would have picked Santanna Moss if I were the Bucs. I think its safe to say we would have still won a SB without the prescence of Kenyatta Walker..........


                  and wow, some of you became Bucs fans really late....so you guys dont have the memroeis of the TB vs Green Bay rivalries in the 90's? The team playing in orange or the Rams vs Bucs Rivalries from 99-2000?

                  I remember Sterling Sharpe shredding the Bucs secondary for 3 TDs in the Old Sombrero. My brother and I had end zone seats for the game, he caught 2 TDs right in front of us. Still have a hat that my old man bought outside the stadium sitting in my office.
                  "If everyone liked the same thing everyone would be after your grandmother."

                  My Grandfather

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                  • #10
                    I didn't care about the Bucs until mid-2001 or the Draft til
                    04, so no emotions here.

                    bonekrusher on the sig magic
                    <beans> libid dont worry man i think fondling big black men is a perfectly worthy career goal
                    <JBond> laughing so hard I am crying

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                    • #11
                      wow, I feel lucky to be one of the fans who actually had to deal with dissapointment with the Bucs. I think it made me appreciate the 2002 season all the more. And its why the 2000 Monday Night game with the Rams is IMO the best regular season Bucs game of all time...

                      my fav game every was the 2002 NFC Championship game with the Eagles.....only because of the pain we had facing them in 2000, and 2001, and earlier that year when they beat us


                      -sig by jkpigskin

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                      • #12
                        I was honestly hoping for Backus. He didn't turn out to be the stud I thought he was going to be, though.
                        Last edited by Bradentonian; 04-06-2007, 03:25 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Bacukis isnt a hall of famer, but he def is solid


                          -sig by jkpigskin

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by -black View Post
                            wow, I feel lucky to be one of the fans who actually had to deal with dissapointment with the Bucs. I think it made me appreciate the 2002 season all the more. And its why the 2000 Monday Night game with the Rams is IMO the best regular season Bucs game of all time...

                            my fav game every was the 2002 NFC Championship game with the Eagles.....only because of the pain we had facing them in 2000, and 2001, and earlier that year when they beat us
                            While that 2000 MNF game is one of my favorites there will always be a soft spot in my heart for the week 1 game of the 97 season. That was the game where the Bucs kind of kicked the door in and entered the ranks of the respectable. For those that don't remember the Bucs beat the 49ers and knocked Steve Young and Jerry Rice out of the game.
                            "If everyone liked the same thing everyone would be after your grandmother."

                            My Grandfather

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by -black View Post

                              and wow, some of you became Bucs fans really late....so you guys dont have the memroeis of the TB vs Green Bay rivalries in the 90's? The team playing in orange or the Rams vs Bucs Rivalries from 99-2000?
                              I didn't really get into the whole NFL thing untill after the Yatta draft and to be honest I had hardly even heard of gridiron. Thankfully, Madden showed me the light and I like to believe I am a better person because of it.

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