The Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought over 45 undrafted players in to their rookie mini-camp on a try-out basis. Five were signed and two undrafted free agents that were previously signed to contracts in late April were released.
When evaluating the try-out candiates and determining which players to sign, Bucs head coach Raheem Morris said that he and his staff are looking for unique traits or maximum effort guys.
"Either he brings something completely different that you didn't have, and it's just something else, something that you can use as a toy, a luxury so to speak," said Morris about the tryout players who make the cut. "Or, he comes in and just blows you away with effort. You say, 'Wow, how did this guy not get drafted? How was he not high on our list before? We were wrong on that one?' It's okay to say that, because we weren't the only team that was wrong. All those guys coming in get a chance to be in the building, you get a chance to meet them and really see them, how they work, how much they love football."
The five try-out players that were signed as undrafted free agents are:
FB Rendrick Taylor (Clemson) â€¨
CB Darrell Pasco (Georgia Southern)â€¨
WR Chris Brooks (Nebraska)â€¨
G Lee Grimes (Texas A&M)â€¨
DE George Johnson (Rutgers)â€¨â€¨
Taylor, a 270-pound fullback from Clemson, stood out to the Bucs coaching and scouting staff because of his size and athleticism. Taylor, who came to Clemson as a 225-pound wide receiver, got lost in the shuffle with all of the talent in the Tigers program, but the Bucs do have a need for another fullback as Chris Pressley is the only true blocking back on the roster.
The 6-foot, 170-pound Pasco had an interception and a great pass break-up during the rookie mini-camp. He had 10 picks at Georgia Military School and transferred to Georgia Southern where he had two INTs over his final two years and two fumble recoveries, one of which was returned 85 yards for a touchdown.
Brooks, who is 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, did not have a standout career at Nebraska and didn't stand out to Pewter Report during the rookie mini-camp other than dropping a couple passes. He finished his college career with 17 catches for 210 yards and two scores.
Grimes was one of the biggest players in the rookie mini-camp, measuring 6-foot-6, 309 pounds. He was a two-year starter at right tackle and has the versatility to play tackle and guard at the next level.
At 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, Johnson looks the part as an outside edge rusher, but he must work on bending his knees more and playing with better pad level. In 38 games at Rutgers, Johnson had 13 sacks, 31.5 tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions and one forced fumble.
The two players that the Buccaneers released were:â€¨â€¨
G Vladimir Richard (Tennessee)
â€¨DE Matt Featherston (Texas A&M)
Last year, the Buccaneers saw three try-out players – running back Kareem Huggins, offensive tackle Demar Dotson and guard Marc Dile – make their roster.