LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 25: Wide receiver Leonte Carroo #4 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights outruns linebacker David Santos #41 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the game at Memorial Stadium on October 25, 2014 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Rutgers 42-24. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
The Buccaneers will be drafting for defense in 2016, but there are some offensive players in this year’s Senior Bowl that could help Tampa Bay’s offense. The Bucs could use a speed receiver to play opposite Mike Evans and future starters at left guard and right tackle, and a reserve center.
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Here are some players Tampa Bay that might be a good fit in Dirk Koetter’s offense:
Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo – 6-1, 215
Carroo is a sure-handed receiver that finished his Scarlet Knights as the all-time leading touchdown producer with 29 scores. He only dropped two passes in his Rutgers career and finished his junior season with 1,086 yards and 10 touchdowns on 55 catches (19.7 avg.). An ankle injury cost him several games during his senior season, but he still managed to catch 809 yards and 10 scores on 39 catches in 2015.
Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard – 5-10, 191
Shepard caught 233 passes for 3,482 yards and 26 touchdowns in his Oklahoma career, including 86 receptions for 1,288 yards and 11 scores as a senior. While not the biggest receiver, Shepard is very quick, runs great routes and has solid hands. His game is reminiscent of Tyler Lockett’s although he’s not the return specialist Lockett is, nor is he as fast and as explosive.
Ohio State WR Braxton Miller – 6-2, 215
The quarterback-turned-receiver holds the Ohio State record for the most touchdowns accounted for with 88 (rushing, receiving, passing), and ranks second all-time at Ohio State with 8,609 total yards. The ultra-athletic Miller missed the 2014 season with a shoulder injury and lost his starting QB job. He returned in 2015 as a receiver, catching 26 passes for 341 yards and three touchdowns and 42 carries for 281 yards and a score. Miller has great hands and speed, but he needs work on his route running.
Cincinnati WR Chris Moore – Photo by: Getty Images
Cincinnati WR Chris Moore – 6-2 190
The Tampa, Fla. native has 24 touchdowns in his Bearcats career and had 39 catches for 823 yards and seven scores as a senior after notching 26 receptions for 570 yards and six scores as a junior. The speedster is capable of some monster games, including six catches for 140 yards and two TDs against Houston in 2015 and three catches for 221 yards and touchdowns covering 60, 78 and 83 yards against Ohio State and three receptions for 218 yards and touchdowns of 59, 77 and 82 yards against Appalachian State in 2014.
Baylor WR Jay Lee – 6-3, 215
Lee was a two-year starter for Baylor’s high-powered offense and caught 101 passes for 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns. Lee is a big receiver and has good speed for his size. He had a career-long 87-yard touchdown against Texas Tech during his senior year. Lee played in the shadow of Corey Coleman the last two years at Baylor, but has the chance to make a real name for himself at the Senior Bowl.
Indiana OT Jason Spriggs – 6-7, 305
Spriggs was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Hoosiers where he helped Indiana set a school record for rushing yards with 3,163 yards in 2014, while helping Tevin Coleman rush for over 2,000 yards. The athletic Spriggs only surrendered two sacks as a senior on 526 pass attempts. Spriggs has the ability to play either left or right tackle in the NFL.
Stanford OT Kyle Murphy – 6-7, 301
Murphy was a two-year starter at right tackle before moving to left tackle as a senior to replace Andrus Peat, a first-round pick of the New Orleans Saints last year. Murphy, who has an ideal NFL frame, helped block for future NFL stars quarterback Kevin Hogan and running back Christian McCaffrey.
North Dakota State OT Joe Haeg – 6-6, 310
Haeg was a four-year starter for the Bison with the first two years at right tackle and the last two at left tackle after Paul Cornick and Billy Turner headed to the NFL. Haeg is trying to follow in Turner’s footsteps as the next North Dakota State lineman to stand out at the Senior Bowl. Haeg has a long wingspan, a great NFL-sized frame and good power.
Georgia OT John Theus – 6-6, 303
Theus has been a starter for the last two and a half years for the Bulldogs and is a very good run blocker, blocking for the likes of Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb the past two seasons. Theus may not have the pass protection skills to play left tackle in the NFL, but has the size and power to play right tackle at the next level.
Michigan State C Jack Allen – Photo by: Getty Images
Michigan State C Jack Allen – 6-2, 296
Allen is one of the strongest players on the Spartans team and was a four-year starter. He only allowed three sacks during his illustrious All-American career. Although not a huge NFL prospect, Allen is incredibly quick and is adept at pulling and lead blocking in the running game. His game is similar to that of Tampa Bay center Joe Hawley.
Stanford G Josh Garnett – 6-5, 321
Garnett was the Outland Trophy Award winner and also claimed the Morris Trophy Award, which is given annually to the best offensive lineman in the Pac-12. Garnett played as a freshman and started the last two years. Garnett is a big, physical guard capable of mauling his opponents, but also has decent quickness in pass protection.
Notre Dame G Nick Martin – 6-5, 301
Martin, the brother of former Notre Dame star and Dallas Pro Bowl lineman Zack Martin, has experience at center and guard. Martin started 11 games at center as a sophomore in 2013 before starting three at center and 10 at left guard the next year. Martin started every game at center and was a team captain in 2015. He’s a tremendous run blocker that only gave up one sack as a senior.
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Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
Nice job Scott. 2 areas I would like to see us upgrade.
Would not be opposed to using our first round pick on an offensive lineman if rated higher then any defenders available. Dotson, and Cherilis aren’t the long term answer at right tackle, Mankins is on his last legs, Brawley a late addition who I like, but could look for an upgrade there too.
Some of the new coaching staff was at the teams practice and off course probably talk to these players. As I see if Tampa could get 4 of 5 on the offensive side of the ball through the draft as well as undrafted College FA’s Tampa will have an Improved Team on both side of the ball. There are a lot of steals in this draft. Go Bucs-Go informaTION
I don’t think we need a future starter at LG and RT. I have to believe that Pamphile will be the guy at one of those spots. I think he played well at LG when he replaced Mankins in the Jaguars game. Also, Dotson has at least two years of solid play left. I would like to see us draft a lineman somewhere between the 3-7 round for depth, but it is not a dire need. As Winston develops, he is going to make whoever is blocking look better.
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