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May 5, 2011 @ 10:54 am
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Top 10 Undrafted Free Agents For The Bucs

Written by Charlie
Charlie Campbell


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Who are some of the top undrafted players that the Bucs should sign? Here is a top 10 list of undrafted players that could impact the Bucs in 2011 and beyond.

The 2011 NFL Draft is over and this year will be different than any other year with undrafted players that turn out to be diamonds in the rough. Last season, the Bucs benefitted from the undrafted ranks by signing the likes of running back LeGarrette Blount and wide receiver Preston Parker. Tampa Bay figures to hit the undrafted ranks for a few signings once free agency starts.

With that in mind, Pewter Report has put together a top 10 list of undrafted free agents. The top 10 players are not ranked by who is the best football player, but rather who could have the biggest impact on the Bucs roster and on the field in 2011.

Allen looks the part at 6-foot-4, 273-pounds and has quality speed as his 4.78 40-yard dash time indicates. He falls into the ‘looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane’ category and that is why he went undrafted.

Last year, he totaled 64 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks and one forced fumble. Playing next to Ndamukong Suh a year earlier he totaled five sacks with 8.5 tackles for a loss.

Perhaps getting passed over in the draft will wake Allen up and signing him for practice squad competition could awaken Allen to realize the athletic skill set he was blessed with.

The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Tolliver could serve as a potential replacement for veteran free agent Maurice Stovall. Like Stovall, he’s a big wide out that presents a large target in the open field and a good option on jump balls.

The offensive MVP of LSU’s Cotton Bowl victory over Texas A&M, projects as a quality special teams option. Poor quarterback play limited his production at LSU, where he only caught 41 passes for 579 yards and five touchdowns in 2010 and produced 126 catches for 1,820 yards and 12 touchdowns in his Tigers career.

Tolliver is a long-strider that has deceptive speed as he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52. He was one of the standouts at practice and in the East-West Shrine Game. It was surprising that he wasn’t a late-round pick.

The Bucs were fans of Maehl throughout the draft process. At 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, Maehl has decent size and deceptive speed. He was timed at 4.56 in the 40-yard dash, but averaged close to 14 yards per catch with several catches over 50 yards during his senior season. Maehl is a crisp route runner that knows how to get separation from coverage. He is a hard-worker and the type of player that will drive the wide receiver room from the bottom up.

The Bucs could sign the Oregon standout who caught 77 passes for 1,076 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior. Maehl is a gritty football player that would definitely be a player that could challenge to contribute as a core special teams player.

The Bucs hosted Webber before the draft and like his skill set. Webber is a very physical receiver. He blocks defenders with violence and is very aggressive at winning jump balls in a similar manner to Bucs wide receiver Mike Williams.

The 6-foot-2, 218-pound Webber has the size and speed that the Bucs look for. As a senior, he caught 101 passes for 1,429 yards and 10 touchdowns. In his collegiate career, Webber totaled 180 catches for 2,376 yards and 16 touchdowns. It wouldn’t be surprising at all for the Bucs to sign Webber with the plan of developing him on the practice squad.

Burney is a smaller cornerback that is a gritty football player. He projects as being a slot cornerback that could come in nickel situations. The main reason for Burney to go undrafted is his size, 5-foot-9 and 179 pounds, along with a slower 40-yard dash time 4.79 seconds.

After starting 38 games in his first three years, he played only five games as a senior with 30 tackles and two interceptions. Burney has some ball skills as evidenced by his 11 career interceptions in 43 starts. He finished his career with 359 interception return yards, which ranks second in ACC history.

Watching Burney at the Senior Bowl was reminiscent to watching Ronde Barber at practice in Tampa Bay. Obviously Burney is not the caliber of Barber entering the NFL, but his game looks like it is molded after Barber. Burney could be a good understudy for the Bucs legend as a developmental corner.

When trading opens up again, Tampa Bay could explore trading backup Josh Johnson. Considering the loss of the offseason to learn offenses and work with new coaching staffs, it will be a tough to find a team willing to give up a mid-round pick for Johnson. It wouldn’t be worth it for the Bucs to trade their backup signal caller for a sixth- or seventh-round pick. Regardless of Johnson’s future the Bucs will need a fourth quarterback for training camp and the preseason to compete with Rudy Carpenter for the third quarterback roster spot.

At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Devlin has NFL size and quality arm strength. He was very productive and knows how to protect the football. Last year, he threw for 3,032 yards with 22 touchdowns and three interceptions. For his career, the Penn State transfer completed over 65 percent of his passes for more than 6,500 yards and 42 touchdowns.

Devlin is a serious candidate to push Carpenter, a fellow undrafted signal caller, for the third quarterback job and would be a quality signing for Tampa Bay.

Locke went undrafted due to a variety of injuries that he suffered with the Wildcats. Locke, a track star, offers excellent speed as running back and special teams contributor. 

Locke is a speed back that is a threat to score every time he touches the football.  In his career at Kentucky, Locke ran for 2,618 yards with 22 touchdowns on 518 carries with an average of 5.1 yards per carry. He also caught 95 passes for 883 yards for three touchdowns. He also was the Wildcats' kick returner and returned 54 kicks for 1,464 yards and two touchdowns (27 yard average). As a senior, Locke played in nine games and ran for 887 yards with 10 touchdowns and an average of 5.3 yards per carry.

Locke could be the second coming of a Clifton Smith type player, but I believe that Locke has the ability to contribute more to the offense as a change of pace back. He has good hands as a receiver and was a real mismatch at the Senior Bowl. The Bucs don’t have much speed at running back, so Locke could add to the offense. He also could challenge Micheal Spurlock for kick return duties. 

Another player that could provide competition and depth for Tampa Bay is Harvey. The Bucs could use a thumper in the middle of their defense and that is Harvey’s nickname. Harvey fell in the draft due to his lack of height, but Harvey was massively productive. 

Harvey was a dynamic blitzer with 21 career sacks to go along with 420 tackles, 36.5 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one interception. He is a hard hitter and is a real force as a run defender in the tackle box. As a collegiate player, Harvey was similar to NFL veteran linebacker London Fletcher. 

The Bucs have a lot of moving pieces at the linebacker position so having Harvey compete would be worth the signing. 

At this point everybody knows Herzlich’s story well. The cancer survivor was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. He lost the 2009 season due to his illness. Herzlich returned quickly in 2010, and after a slow start was playing better at the end of the season. The 6-foot-4, 244-pound linebacker could serve as Sam (strongside) linebacker in the Bucs scheme, or a Mike (middle) linebacker on first and second down. Herzlich is an instinctive football player that has 10 interceptions in his past two seasons. 

Herzlich would be worth signing considering the Buccaneers could lose four linebackers in free agency: Barrett Ruud, Quincy Black, Adam Hayward, and Niko Koutouvides. He could provide good depth and special teams while he regains his speed. I watched Herzlich working out in mid-April down in Sarasota at the IMG Academy, and he definitely has more size and strength than most of the linebackers on the Bucs 2010 roster. 

Henry led the nation with a 45.1-yard average per punt as a senior. That led to his winning the 2010 Ray Guy Award as the nation’s best punter. The most likely reason for Henry to go undrafted is that he is a three-step punter, meaning Henry takes three steps before punts the ball. In the NFL teams typically want their punters to take only two steps. While he takes an extra step, Henry never had a punt blocked in his career at Florida.

Henry routinely produced booming punts that changed the field position for the Gators. His career average was 43 yards over 165 punts with 68 being downed inside the 20-yard line. Henry also has the ability to be an emergency kicker. In 2010 he was 7-of-11 on field goal attempts. Henry’s booming leg was also used on kickoffs for the Gators.

There is no risk for the Bucs in signing Henry to provide some training camp competition to Robert Malone. Of all the undrafted free agents Henry has the best shot of being an impact starter for Tampa Bay in 2011, and in the long-term.

Last modified on Thursday, 05 May 2011 23:25

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  • avatar

    Out of the 10 guys listed, I would take all of them! This team needs young hungry talent. There is no way we will get all of them, but if I could hope for a few, I would like to see us sign, P, C. Henry (even with his 3 step kick) that can be worked on. WR, J. Meahl (hardcore special teams player to start), RB, D. Locke a track star/football player (you can't teach speed) and LB, M. Herzlich just because its a great story, and he very well be a "Blount" type steal. This really sucks that teams cannot sign these guys. Hell the last player drafted last week is the only rookie that got paid. Getting $3000. he gets for being last. These guys have to now wait, and have very little chance to make teams with the lockout, and that just sucks. Go Bucs love the picks!!!
  • avatar

    I like all these guys too, but I am sure DOM has a great list and will sign just as many as he can when he is able to.
  • avatar

    How about Cincy WR Armon Binns?
  • avatar

    Tolliver would be a good sign. I was surprised that he wasnt drafted and Henry is a no brainer if we can get him.
  • avatar

    I fully believe that Florida punter Chas Henry should be one of our first priorities. Its a game of field position and he routinely BOOMS it and has excellent placement inside the 20. I cant believe he went undrafted but if we land him, i will be ecstatic! For the people who think he shouldnt be #1 on this list... rethink your judgement.
  • avatar

    WOW, did not realize Locke went undrafted. I say, in no particular order: 1. Derrick Locke 2. Raymond Webber 3. Terrance Toliver 4. Chas Henry
  • avatar

    Even from a piece about undrafted free agents, Horse manages to inject a criticism of our young starting DT in his commentary. I've come to accept that no matter what the subject, somehow you will be thinking, "Oh yeah, but McCoy sucks, was a reach and then a bust." How about a moratorium (kinda like a cease-fire) on the McCoy bashing until he plays a full 16 games? You might recall that the young Warren Sapp couldn't beat out Santana Dotson his rookie year. Most think he turned out to be pretty good.
  • avatar

    Scubog, Done deal. I hope he pans out.
  • avatar

    Well I have a list of over 200 names of players that went undrafted. Those ten players would really inhance the rosters and the players would really have to earn their slot on this 2011 team. Thanks for the insite of what is avable. I feel that the 53 players that you mention in an article , Is just a steping stone that some of these undrafted players or a veteran FA or 2, may jump over some of these players that you mention was a solid locked to make the 53 man roster. But we will see. I also believe that if Tampa wanted to trade Josh Johnson prior to the draft, they didn't have any insite, and with Pat Delvin Qb, would have been a win win sistutation to pick him up in Round 7, and get another draft choice maybe a 5 or 6 Rd player to select an late round offensive line man like several who went undrafted like Rated player-OC TCU-Jake Kirkpatrick at 6-2/301 who was rated at 106;OT Stanford Derek Hall at 6-5/305 which was rated #129;OC Missouri-Tim Barnes at 6-4/310 rated at 132, also if they wanted another SS-Dom DeCicco from Pittsburgh at 6-3/230 which was rated at 146. These are only a few players that would have helped TB in the draft, If Tampa had traded J Johnson prior to the lockout. These are all quality players, and I hope Tampa will go out and sign these players,That would be a great haul if the 10 players that was mention and these players also. They may not make the grade, but it does give some options. GO Bucs
  • avatar

    Dominik and Morris should try to select a couple OL UFAs for Pat Morris to work with. He helped develop Donald Penn as an UFA for the Vikings. Maybe we will get lucky. We should also take a hard look at LBs and DBs UFAs
  • avatar

    The young men that are left that I like are: Schulyar Oordt- TE, Derrick Locke-RB, Scott Lutrus-LB, Kristofer O'dowd-C, Deunta Williams-SS, Kendrick Burney-CB.
  • avatar

    C'mon Charleee you are a professional and you cannot even get a first and last name right, it is TERRENCE TOLIVER not Torrence Tolliver. For anybody who watched Terrence he is a heck of a WR that did not put up big numbers because our QB play has sucked the last few years. Terrence is and will be better than Stovall and he would be an excellent pick up. Should have been drafted!!
  • avatar

    10. This could be McCoy description 9. Umm? I'd keep Stovall over this guy 8. Why even list him; he won't be a Buc. 7. See No. 8. 6. We already have mostly small guys with thug Talib gone. 5. Keep JJ;nobody will him what he thinks he is worth. 4. How convenient that his size wasn't listed. No opinion here. 3. See No. 4. 2. Great story and i wish you the best, but not NFL material. 1. Finally i agree with PR. Charlie, this is pretty weak. There has to be better players than what you have listed. Where are the OT's, OG's, Center's, sleeper DT?
  • avatar

    HORSEY: 10. WOW, way to give McCoy a couple years to prove himself.... moronic.------------------------------------------ 9. Why, what has Stovall done? Toliver has serious ability and is a huge target. No harm in bringing him in to camp-------------------------------------------------------------- 8. Jeff Maehl.. I would not list him either. He has no clue how to run a route.------------------------------------------------------------ 7. Never have seen him but how is he small at 6'1"? Sounds like a physical agressive WR, why would you not want a guy like that competing?---------------------------------------------------- 6. I AGREEE. They have enough smaller DBs.----------------------------------------------------------------- 5. JJ is not a free agent this year, but if they can get a decent draft pick for him, he might be traded so they would have to bring someone else in. Besides better to go into camp with an extra QB becuase if injuries.-------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. Size??? He is 5'9" 190. In the NFL most players put about 10-15 pounds on within the first 1-2 years. So a game breaking, very shifty, fast 200 lb back is too small for you?? It is EXACTLY what the Bucs need to compliment Blount.-------------------------------------------------------------- 3. Mario Harvey would be great in camp to provide LB depth. Plus he has attitude and is a football player. His height should not matter that much at all. I am not sure why he dropped, the guy is a tackling machine with attitude. he is 6' and 250 and runs UNDER 4.5. He took games over. Rumor is he is on Pittsburg radar as well and they know a whole lot more about LBs than most. ------------------------------------------------- 2. I don't know Herzlich but apparantly HORSE has studied him and determined he can't make the NFL, it's final then!---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Yes, they need to get HEnry in to compete at punter, the guy has a great leg. AND I agree, there needs to be some O-Lineman. The Bucs are loaded with talent in the interior but they need another OT if Trueblood leaves.
  • avatar

    How insane is this to be arguing over undrafted free agents who can't even be contacted by the teams. I do love the "second" draft since we have had some recent success. I wish the players and owners would save the money they're wasting on attorneys and just sit in a room with their massive egos outside and get this resolved.
  • avatar

    To all the people who say Herzlich will never be the same after cancer Id just like to leave you with one thought... Lance Armstrong.
  • avatar

    Omission: Josh Gatlin ia a CB.
  • avatar

    Ricardo Lockette/Jarred Fayson (speed WRs), Zach Hurd (back-up OG), David Mims (back-up OT), Josh Portis (development QB if Johnson is traded) Derrick Locke/Chad Spann (change-of-pace back), Henry Hynoski (a real FB), Josh Gatlin (yes from that Gatlin family, 6-1 196 4.39) Jeff Maehl/ Ramond Webber (possession WRs). Nuff Said!
  • avatar

    What about Alex Wujciak?!? I like him better than Mario Harvey!!!
  • avatar

    1) I just want football. 2) It's the owners fault.
  • avatar

    JDouble- You suck at reading comprehension. He wrote the top 10 guys that could impact the Bucs roster, not the top 10 best players available. If you think that some undrafted free agent offensive linemen will impact the field more than a new punter than you are bigger fool than most people think you are. You're probably a carpenter without much work to do in Texas. Maybe you should get some hooked on phonics so you can understand what you read.
  • avatar

    Agree fully on the punter. I don't even remember who we ended up with last year, but that's only because my drunken curses were too mangled to remember. A decent punter could easily take over for the turd piles we went through last year, and start day 1. Surprised at how many WR, and think that is the area we need the least help. I think we have some bigger need for some OG competition, or a change of pace RB
  • avatar

    I really hope we get Herzlich the guy was a beast before the cancer and even if he never produces at the level again he will be an excellent special teams player and is a great person. Also Noel Devine to return punts and be an option out of the back field?
  • avatar

    I agree with you on Chas Henry Charlie (4.). Here are 9 better ones (some are shared with JDouble). OL depth that could push our current backups. 2. Kris O'Dowd (JDouble shared) 3. David Mims 8. Zach Hurd 9. Willie Smith WR who could surprise as slot guy 7. Dane Sanzenbacher DE's who might beat out current guys and rotate in 5. Ugo Chinasa 6. Brandon Blair Depth LB with possible LB's leaving 10. Nick Bellore "Must sign" explosive 3rd down RB 1. Noel Devine (JDouble shared)
  • avatar

    #1 RB Chad Spann - N. Illinois #2 RB Nic Grisby - Arizona #3 MLB Mario Harvey - Marshall #4 MLB Mark Herzlich - Boston #5 OLB Mike Gee - IUP #6 FS Deunta Williams - NC Tarheels #7 MLB Tressor Baptiste - Texas AM Kingsville #8 WR Noel Devine - West Virginia #9 MLB Alex Wujciak- Maryland #10 C Tim Barnes - Missouri #11 RB Mario Fannin - Auburn #12 MLB Mike Lockley - Florida Atlantic #13 DE Marc Schiechl - Div ll #14 DE Christian Anthony - Grambling #15 MLB Josh Bynes - Auburn #16 DE Steven Friday - VT #17 DE Ryan Winterswyk - Boise #18 C Kris O'Dowd - USC #19 RB Derrick Locke - Kentucky #20 FS Brian Lainhart - Kent State
  • avatar

    Why on Earth would a guy that you admit "looks like Tarzan plays like Jane" be in your top 10 undrafted free agents for the Bucs? That has to be the stupidest thing I've ever seen from PR. Then your #1 guy is a punter......wow.
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