Yardbarker Horiz

2012 NFL Draft Countdown

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tampa Bay Continues Tight Grip On Draft Choices

Back on Halloween we did a mid-season assessment on how many Tampa Bay draft choices were still on the roster.  These counts consider both the active roster and players on injured reserve.  The breakdown was as follows:

(as of 10/31/2010):
  1. 8 - 2010 Draft Class
  2. 5 - 2009 Draft Class
  3. 4 - 2007 Draft Class
  4. 4 - 2008 Draft Class
  5. 3 - 2006 Draft Class
  6. 2 - 2005 Draft Class
  7. 1 - 1997 Draft Class
Now, with the completion of the 2010 season, we can check the direction of the various draft classes by checking the closing day roster:
  1. 8 - 2010 Draft Class
  2. 5 - 2009 Draft Class
  3. 4 - 2008 Draft Class
  4. 3 - 2007 Draft Class
  5. 3 - 2006 Draft Class
  6. 2 - 2005 Draft Class
  7. 1 - 1997 Draft Class
The only difference is a player lost from the Class of 2007.  That player is Sabby Piscitelli.

Piscitelli started most of 2009 then was shuffled out of the starting lineup when the Buccaneers signed Sean Jones during the 2010 offseason.  Jones ended up on the opening day starting lineup with Tanard Jackson as the starting safeties.  When Jackson was suspended by the NFL, 2010 Draft Class member Cody Grimm stepped in and became a solid performer.  It was reported that Piscitelli did not like losing his starting job nor did he like not getting the spot when it became available.

This shows a character flaw which Coach Morris (and GM Dominik as well) have been railing against for two years -- there is no entitlement on this team.  All playing time is earned, and the players which put the team in the best possible position to win will play on Sundays.

Later in 2010 against the Baltimore Ravens (11/28 to be exact), starting Safety Cody Grimm went down with a season ending injury.  Piscitelli was inserted and the next play TE Todd Heap streaked down the left hashmarks (Piscitelli's side) for a long catch-and-run touchdown.  Clearly a blown coverage.

Tampa Bay released Piscitelli on 11/30/2010.  If his play against Baltimore was any indication, he was probably on track to, again, not start the following weekend.  Either he became a locker room problem or the Buccaneers decided his skills had plateaued in their system and he was released.  Piscitelli was picked up by the Cleveland Browns on 12/2/2010 and played in 4 of their final five games, recording three tackles and an assist.

With 26 of their own picks (half that number coming from the Class of 2009 and the Class of 2010) on the roster, the Buccaneers have formed a solid core around which to build.  Look for this number to steadily climb into the 40s over the next several seasons.

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