The Bucs’ starting cornerback group returns fully intact for the 2022 season. But for two of them, it could be their last year with the team.

Tampa Bay locked up Carlton Davis to a three-year deal earlier in the offseason. However, both Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting enter the final years in their rookie contracts. Murphy-Bunting has struggled with consistency issues and missed a majority of last season with injury. But Dean, who had injury issues of his own, really started to show that he could become a consistent top corner in the NFL.

In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, when it comes to press man coverage, there is no corner more effective than Dean, at least when it comes to yards per coverage snap. Allowing just 0.34 yards per coverage snap, Dean tops the list. He allowed completions on just over one-third of his targets while in coverage in 2021.

Last season, Dean took a huge leap in his coverage ability. He let up just 33 receptions on 63 targets for  347 yards. The former Auburn product allowed just one touchdown while coming up with two interceptions. That was good for a 74.5 coverage grade. Quarterbacks targeting him were afforded just a 60.7 passer rating in 2021. That landed just outside of the top 10 for his position.

As far as his turnaround in coverage, Dean attributes it to becoming more technically sound and knowing his assignments. He’s spoke about understanding the mental aspects of the position better. That allows him to be in the right position to make plays.

Dean really turned a corner in 2021. If he continues his stellar play in 2022, the Bucs choice on whether to re-sign him or Murphy-Bunting will become much simpler. With Dean’s speed and Carlton’s shutdown ability, the Bucs are in good shape at corner going forward.

 

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About the Author: J.C. Allen

J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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fredster
fredster
12 days ago

I predict SMB is riding the pine this year and Logan Ryan takes his job. Dean and Davis are both solid but both need to stay healthy for me to get excited.

Swash
Swash
12 days ago

Dean’s ceiling is the sky.
huge step up last year, he slowly gets better and better.

scubog
scubog
12 days ago

Many folks are critical of the secondary and in particular the trio of Davis, SMB and Dean who were the opening (night) starters for less than a half of play. For the vast majority of the season our starting group wasn’t even on the field or playing more hurt than maybe we realize. Of course in Bucville, none of that matters when satisfying the narrative is more important than facts. The secondary was often made up of players who were signed during the week and lined up on Sunday. Even Richard Sherman recently complained about it. In a group that… Read more »

Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  scubog
12 days ago

Very valid for last year. I remember that painfully. Hope we don’t repeat that by having a preventive plan and execution for the secondary this season.

plopes808
plopes808
Reply to  scubog
11 days ago

Last year was definitely a rough one injury wise. It didn’t help either that JPP was playing hurt most of the year and our pass rush suffered. Here’s hoping this years injuries resemble something closer to 2020 than 2021.

plopes808
plopes808
11 days ago

Dean seems like a shoe in (knock on wood) but SMB has a lot of work to do this year to hold onto his spot. Especially with Logan Ryan looming, threatening to take his job this year. I’ve been reading a lot of good things about our new rookie as well. As TB12 says, “nobody’s spot is safe” which is weird coming from the guy with the most secure spot in the league.. but I digress because it rings true.