By Tom Krasniqi
Being a draft pick doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a roster spot in the NFL. Remember wideout Dexter Jackson, who was taken in the second round by the Buccaneers a few years back? It’s very rare that a tryout player gets a contract to go to training camp. Very long odds indeed.
That’s the uphill climb facing the 57 tryout players at this weekend’s Bucs rookie minicamp, which is wrapping up here at One Buc Place. “Overall, really good effort. Great attitude, a fun group of guys to be around”, says Schiano. “Now, there’s some tough decisions to make and we’ll make them, then get back to work on Monday”.
The Bucs will have to make those decisions on who to keep in the next 24 hours. Some players did stand out more than others. Between draft picks, undrafted free agents and tryout players, there were 80 players on the field this weekend at the rookie minicamp. Remember, the Bucs signed 13 tryout players after last year’s rookie minicamp so there’s always hope.
News & Notes:
- Undrafted free agent CB Deveron Carr has stood out so far. Carr has good size (6-0,190lbs) and speed (4.36 in 40). “He’s long. He can run well. Plays press coverage very well. We need to work on him with his zone technique and some off stuff. Real nice prospect to work with”, says Schiano after Saturday’s practice.
- Carr says about 5 teams were bidding for his services when he chose to sign the Bucs, who gave him a reported $20,000 bonus to sign. That’s a large sum of money for an undrafted free agent but the Bucs really like his skill set.
- Schiano says he’s always been a fan of former USF TE Evan Landi, whom Schiano coached against from his Big East days: “He’s gonna get a shot”. Maybe he earns the right to return? He did make some plays during the weekend and the Bucs could use another tight end. The Bucs signed Landi as an undrafted free agent after the draft.
- Schiano was pleased with the play of DT Akeem Spence, one of the team’s 4th round selections. Spence is known as a strong guy who can be a run-stuffer but he also flashed some ability in the pass rush drills and Schiano liked what he saw: “Akeem certainly did some nice things. I’m really excited to coach him”.
- The other 4th round pick, DE William Gholston, also flashed in pass rushing drill. In fact, he literally sacked one of the members of the team’s coaching staff which drew some chuckles from those in attendance.
- Former Plant HS quarterback Robert Marve is one of 57 tryout players this weekend. He had a crazy college career, which included 3 torn ACLs. Marve believed he helped himself during the rookie minicamp: “It’s a blessing to be here. I had a lot of fun. I thought I played very well”.
- Random observations about some tryout players: DE/LB Marvin Booker from Rutgers showed an explosive first step off the edge and consistently got around his man in pass rush drills. DT Andre Neblett from Temple also flashed some ability and G Jeremy Lewis from the University of Miami did a nice job in pass protection. The team is focused on finding offensive and defensive linemen because it’s hard to find those guys during the season. Booker, Neblett and Lewis certainly made good cases for themselves over the weekend.