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Bucs trade up, pick Kansas State QB Josh Freeman

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded up two spots to take Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman with the 17th pick in Saturday’s NFL Draft.

Freeman was ranked 17th in the nation last season in total offense with 279.08 yards a game. He passed for 2,945 yards, 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

This is the second straight year the Bucs have drafted a quarterback. They took Josh Johnson in the fifth round in 2008.

This is the third time in team history the Bucs took a quarterback in the first round. They took Doug Williams in 1978 and Trent Dilfer in 1994.

The Bucs swapped first-round picks with the Cleveland Browns. They also gave the Browns a sixth-round pick.

Freeman is the fifth quarterback on the roster, joining Luke McCown, Brian Griese, Byron Leftwich and Johnson.

The Bucs signed Leftwich to a two-year contract earlier this month, meaning Freeman willl not be expected to make much of an impact in 2009.

The Bucs don’t draft again until the third round Sunday.