Gerald McCoy could have say in Bucs' draft

Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in the 2010 draft. He also might have a lot to say about what the Bucs do in the 2011 draft.

It’s common for NFL teams to get the input from key players when they’re making key choices. With the No. 20 pick in the first round, a lot of people are expecting the Bucs to target a defensive end. It makes a lot of sense because the Bucs didn’t have much of a pass rush this past season.

It would make a lot of sense for the Bucs to ask McCoy for his thoughts on some of the defensive ends in this year’s draft and hear who he might like to play next to. After all, McCoy and defensive tackle Brian Price, last year’s second-round pick, are a big part of the defensive foundation the Bucs are looking to build around.

We don’t know exactly what McCoy thinks of the defensive end prospects, but we do know he already has been doing some lobbying for a guy who plays another position: safety Quinton Carter. He’s a close friend of McCoy’s. The two played together at Oklahoma and are represented by the same agent.

Carter is viewed by most as a second-round pick and the Bucs hold the 51st overall pick. With Tanard Jackson suspended for at least the first few games, the Bucs have a need at safety and Carter could fill that. Carter has the credentials and is coming off a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. He also has been widely praised as a high-character guy.

McCoy’s not the quiet type, and you can bet coach Raheem Morris and general manager Mark Dominik are going to be hearing a lot more from him about Carter.