Safety has been a pressing issue for Tampa Bay over the past years, with veterans like Chris Conte and Keith Tandy seeing their departure while potential impact guys like J.J. Wilcox and T.J. Ward never worked out. This left the Bucs with a largely inexperienced positional group, being forced to deploy a ton of youth in 2018 in the form of Isaiah Johnson and Jordan Whitehead across from second-year player Justin Evans. Further injuries led to players like Andrew Adams and Josh Shaw jumping straight off the street and straight into the starting lineup.
Much like we have seen general manager Jason Licht do with the cornerback position, he flooded the safety position this offseason, adding Mike Edwards through the draft, Orion Stewert and Kentrell Brice through free agency and D’Cota Dixon and Denis through free agency.
While many undrafted free agents often have a huge uphill climb to make the team, let alone find significant playing time, Pro Football Focus believes Denis could be a potential steal for the team that’s been searching for their stud at the position for years.
“Denis turned in an underwhelming 59.9 overall grade at safety for Boston College a year ago, but his 90.9 overall grade in 2017 gives reason to believe he can turn things around in the NFL,” The article states, “At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Denis is extremely small for his position and doesn’t have elite athleticism to make up for it, either. The former wide receiver turned defensive back is still very raw and most likely needs to live in the weight room to see the field in the NFL, but if he can get back to his 2017 form, he’ll be quite the steal for Tampa Bay as an undrafted free agent.”
Denis first got playing time in his sophomore season, playing in seven games, but broke out as a junior. In his third year, Denis accumulated 83 total tackles, 10 passes defended, two forced fumbles and an impressive seven interceptions over 13 games with the Eagles.