TAMPA, Fla. Ben Gedeon Jersey . - Lovie Smith is well aware of Tampa Bays shaky track record in the NFL draft, as well as the role recent failures have played in the Buccaneers missing the playoffs the past six seasons. The franchises third coach in four years has spent the last two months overhauling the roster through free agency. Now, Smith and first-year general manager Jason Licht are counting on filling more holes with an infusion of young talent. Barring a last-minute trade to move up or down in the selection process, the Bucs have six picks in this weeks draft, beginning with No. 7 overall. Needs include wide receiver, offensive line, and possibly targeting the clubs quarterback of the future. As expected, Smith and Licht have given little indication of how they may be leaning. "I think if we had to play tomorrow, we could line up a pretty competitive team at every position, but youre always trying to upgrade," Smith said. "There are some positions we would like to upgrade, but Ill be saying that every year, and thats the way you should always be thinking." The Bucs have signed career backup Josh McCown to be their starting quarterback. They also acquired six other projected new starters in free agency: defensive end Michael Johnson, cornerback Alterraun Verner, centre Evan Dietrich-Smith, tackle Anthony Collins, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and tight end Brandon Myers. To ensure long-term success, though, Smith and Licht are adamant they have to build through the draft. The Bucs, who havent made the playoffs since 2007, have only one player remaining on the roster who was drafted in 2009 or 2010 — the first two springs of the reclamation project the team launched under former GM Mark Dominik and ex-coach Raheem Morris. It helps that its two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, the third overall pick in 2010. But an inability to nurture other young prospects into productive pros ultimately led to the demise of Dominik and the two coaches he worked with: Morris and Greg Schiano, who was dismissed in January after just two seasons. "Is it hard to make up, and is it a hindrance? Thats probably one of the reasons why Jason and I are both here right now," Smith said of failed drafts in general. "If you have to have one guy remaining you would like for it to be Gerald, of course," Smith added. "Our plan is for us to do better on the draft and make that our foundation. I feel like well do that." Five things to remember as Smith and Licht continue to put their stamp on the Bucs: QB? MAYBE: While the consensus is Tampa Bay has a pressing need is for a speedy receiver to play opposite Vincent Jackson, the Bucs lack a clear-cut quarterback of the future. McCown is 34. And, theres no indication Smith and Licht consider second-year pro Mike Glennon the long-term solution. So if Johnny Manziel is available at No. 7, would the Bucs balk at selecting a player who would almost certainly bring a circus-like atmosphere to town? "In terms of fan interest and selling tickets, we are lucky to work for the Glazers, who have hired us both to make us a better football team. ... We are just going to make the best football decision, whats best for our football team," Licht said. "I think Lovie and his staff can handle the rest of it." IF NOT A QB, THEN WHO?: Clemsons Sammy Watkins and Texas A&Ms Mike Evans are among the top-rated receivers . Most people feel Watkins will be long gone by the time the Bucs turn comes. WELL-PREPARED: Smith spent the past year out of football after being fired by the Chicago Bears following the 2012 season. Being off gave him more time than usual to watch college games, thus get a head start on evaluating talent for the draft. DONT BE SURPRISED: The Bucs have one pick in every round except the fourth. They may be tempted to trade out of the seventh spot, dropping lower in the first round while adding additional selections in later rounds. That seems more likely than moving up into the top five. NEED VS. BEST PLAYER: Licht offers this spin on the traditional draft-day strategy: "Our team needs in September are going to be totally different than they are right now. The player you take you may not think we have a need for him now, but a lot of times youre thankful you have them when the season starts." ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL Joe Berger Jersey . -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are bringing back quarterback Chad Henne -- and making him the starter. Jaleel Johnson Jersey . Mission accomplished. Now the Royals will take the field on Saturday with a World Series lead for the first time in team history when they play Game 4 of the Fall Classic against the Giants at AT&T Park. http://www.vikingsnflfansclub.net/Black-Friday-Latavius-Murray-Jersey/ . -- Top-ranked Stacy Lewis birdied the last three holes and five of the final six Thursday for an 8-under 64 and a share of the lead with Mi Jung Hur in the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. extended his run as NASCARs most popular driver with his 12th consecutive win.Earnhardt was presented with the NASCAR Sprint NMPA Most Popular Driver Award at Friday nights season-ending awards ceremony. Earnhardt last year broke a tie with 16-time winner Bill Elliott for most consecutive years as winner.He thanked his fan base, known as JR Nation, and said joining Twitter this year made him more aware of how determined his fans are to help him win the award. He said hed wake up each day and check his Twitter timeline to see it is just full of these fans, I voted, I voted, Earnhardt said. That was probably the most humbling experience. I got to know my fans in a whole new way this year.Completing the top 10 in total votes for this years award were (listed alphabetically): Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart and Josh Wise.Keselowski feigned shock over Earnhardts win while Earnhardt accepted the trophy.Darn, Really thought I had it this year! he posted on Twitter.Only 17 drivers have won the most popular driver award since its inception in 1956. Elliott removed his name from consideratiion following his 16th victory in 2002. Michael Floyd Jersey. Earnhardts streak began the next season.His fan base this year was able to celebrate a banner season in which he opened the year with a victory in the Daytona 500. Earnhardt won four races and finished eighth in the final point standings.He was also honoured Thursday with the prestigious Myers Brothers award, which recognizes the winner for their contributions to the sport.After accepting the award Friday, Earnhardt revealed he gave his speech for the first time without prepared remarks. He said he didnt like how he sounded last year in accepting most popular driver — it didnt seem genuine to me, he said — so he went off the cuff on the stage this time.I hope my remarks came across well because I genuinely do appreciate all the effort from the fans, Earnhardt said. It really is overwhelming to be able to continue to win this award. This was a good year because of all the victories we were able to deliver on the race track. The other years, it was difficult to accept the award because of our performance.I feel like I have a good idea in other forms of sport or celebrity, and our fans are truly the most loyal, most devoted, most vocal. 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