The 2001 Buccaneer draft review The Bucs had the 21st overall selection in the 2001 draft but made a draft-day deal with the Buffalo Bills to move up seven spots in the 1st round. The price was a 2nd rounder/ The remaining rounds of the draft saw them select alternately 20th, 23rd, 22nd and 21st. The additional 7th round pick came from Atlanta for QB Eric Zeier. DRAFT ANALYSIS - The need to draft a left tackle forced the Bucs' hand in trading their 2nd round pick to move up and take Kenyatta Walker. It just did not work out. Dwight Smith and John Howell were both good picks and the two sixth round selections, Cook and Wyms, both also contributed to the success of the Bucs over the next few years. So because of the Walker mistake, the overall rating for this draft is a low one.
Kenyatta Walker
Dwight Smith
John Howell
Russ Hochstein
Ellis Wyms
Dauntae Finger
1 - T - Kenyatta Walker - Florida Started for most of his six seasons in Tampa but never fully came to grips with the attitude necessary to play left tackle in the NFL and was always under fire from the coaching staff, media and fans alike in the Bay area. 3 - CB - Dwight Smith - Akron Spent two seasons as the Bucs' nickel back and will now always be known for becoming the first defensive player to score two touchdowns in a Super Bowl. Moved into the starting free safety role in 2003 and played two seasons as a starter before leaving for New Orleans as a free agent. 4 - S - John Howell - Colorado State Played four seasons in Tampa Bay colours mostly as a back-up safety to John Lynch and also on special teams. Did make eight starts over that time because of injuries to starters ahead of him on the depth chart. 5 - G - Russ Hochstein - Nebraska Finally was active for a game in his second season as a Buc but it proved to be his only one as he was released in early 2002. Wound up with the Patriots and won two Super Bowl rings in 2003 and 2004 with the AFC East team. 6 - FB - Jameel Cook - Illinois Solid blocking full back who proved an adept receiver in his limited opportunities to touch the ball for the Bucs. Eventually moved to Houston as a free agent in March 2006 and came back briefly with the Bucs at the end of 2008. 6 - DL - Ellis Wyms - Mississippi State Spent most of his six seasons in Tampa as a back-up on the defensive line but did start eight games at defensive tackle in 2006 after Anthony McFarland was traded to the Colts. Ranked third on the team in sacks in the 2002 Super Bowl season with 5.5 despite not starting a single game. Was signed to a six-year contract extension in February 2004 but was waived in the 2007 pre-season. Went on to play further seasons as a back-up for Seattle and Minnesota. 7 - TE - Dauntae Finger - North Carolina Was released during training camp - never played a down for the Bucs. 7 - S - Than Merrill - Yale Was released during training camp - never played a down for the Bucs. Re-signed in the 2002 off-season however and played the 2003 NFL Europe season as part of the Bucs' allocation but was once again cut from the team in camp. 7 - DE - Joe Tafoya Was released during training camp - never played a down for the Bucs. Wound up playing in Chicago and Seattle.
Than Merrill
Jameel Cook