Kyle Moore played it cool Saturday.
But as the former Houston County standout sat through the opening hours of the second day of the NFL draft, the process starting to wear on him.
Moore’s suspense, however, ended relatively early Sunday when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected the Southern California defensive end in the fourth round.
“It was just difficult,” Moore said shortly after participating in a conference call with his new team. “I sat there and watched these teams passing on me, and I’m thinking, ‘I can’t wait to play you guys.’ I’m going to show every team that passed on me for another defensive lineman that they made a mistake.”
The Buccaneers traded up three spots in the fourth round to grab Moore with the 117th pick and end his uncertainty.
Moore said he believed he would be drafted anywhere between the second and fourth rounds, but as Sunday rolled on, he started to grow anxious.
“It was an extremely trying situation,” his mother, Deanna Moore, said. “I tried really hard to get to a place where I was at peace with (the draft process). At some point, you just have to put your faith in God and know there is a plan. But it was a very, very intense time.”
Deanna Moore grew tired enough of the process that she tried to find someone to go fishing with her Sunday afternoon. She knew it was wearing on her son, as well, and she asked if he wanted to leave the house.
Kyle Moore tried to go back to sleep at one point in the afternoon as the third round carried on.
“I was just hoping the call would wake me up,” said Moore, who watched as 14 defensive ends came off the board before him. “That would be a good wake-up call. I don’t know if I ever fell asleep.”
The Buccaneers’ call was a surprise for Moore, who had spoken at length with some other teams like the San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints. Moore said he had some conversations with the Buccaneers at the combine and at the Senior Bowl, but those conversations weren’t different than the ones prospects have with all the teams.
“I doesn’t matter now; I’m a Tampa Bay Buccaneer now,” Moore said. “I’m ready to go, and I’ve got a little motivation.”
The Buccaneers already have some young talent at defensive end.
Gaines Adams and Stylez White are entering their third year in the league and are likely entrenched as starters.
“He’ll be a great third defensive end in a rotation and will fill that role for Tampa Bay,” according to the NFL.com analysis of the pick. “He’s a steady and dependable guy.”
At 6-foot-5, 272 pounds, Moore could slide inside to defensive tackle, particularly with his ability to stop the run.
“I’ll do whatever they ask,” said Moore, who will report for a mini-camp on Thursday.
His mother was particularly excited about her son getting drafted by a team in the South. They made it a point to go to every Southern Cal home game, so the travel time to Tampa Bay will be a relief. They also get annual games at Atlanta, Charlotte and New Orleans and will play at Miami and Washington in 2009.
“We are ecstatic that he’ll be so close,” Deanna Moore said. “I relieved that he got drafted period, but thrilled that he’ll be so close.”