The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced on Thursday the signing of five of the team’s eight selections from their 2019 NFL Draft class.
Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting (second round), outside linebackerAnthony Nelson (fourth round), kicker Matt Gay (fifth round), wide receiver Scotty Miller (sixth round) and defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. (seventh round) all signed their rookie deals on the eve of Friday’s rookie mini-camp.
Murphy-Bunting (6-0, 195) was selected with the 39th pick in the draft, out of Central Michigan. In his three-year career, Murphy-Bunting started 25-of-38 games played, registering 104 tackles (3.5 for loss), 15 passes defensed, nine interceptions, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. In 2018, Murphy-Bunting was named first-team All-Mid-American Conference and earned the Chippewas’ Defensive Player of the Year award. In 2017, Murphy-Bunting recorded a career-high five interceptions. Murphy-Bunting will wear No. 26 for Tampa Bay.
Nelson (6-7, 271) was the 107th pick in the draft, out of Iowa. Nelson played in 37 games for the Hawkeyes, recording 119 tackles (31 for loss), 23.0 sacks, seven passes defensed, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery, which was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown. In his final season at Iowa – after posting 9.5 sacks, tied for the second-most in the Big Ten and tied for the 17th most in the FBS – Nelson was named second-team All-Big-Ten by the league’s media and earned third-team honors from Phil Steele, as well as the league’s coaches. He also earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for his effort against Minnesota, after matching a career high with three sacks. Edwards will wear No. 98 for Tampa Bay.
Gay (6-0, 232) was chosen with the 145th selection in the draft. Gay played two seasons at Utah, connecting on 56-of-65 career field goal attempts (86.2 pct.), while also making all 85 extra point attempts. Gay won the Lou Groza Award as the country’s top kicker in 2017 and was a semifinalist in 2018. A two-time All-American, Gay also earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in both of his seasons with the Utes. He ranks third all-time in field goals made, including establishing a school record for field goals of 50-or-more yards made (eight). His career 86.2 field goal percentage ranks second in school history while his 253 kicking points scored rank third. In 2018, Gay set a school record with 21 consecutive made field goals. Gay will wear No. 9 for Tampa Bay.
Miller (5-9, 174) was the 208th selection in the draft, out of Bowling Green. In his career, Miller started 34-of-45 games played, catching 215 passes for 2,867 yards for 23 touchdowns. A three-time All-MAC selection (first-team 2016, second-team 2018, third-team 2017), Miller finished his career tied for the third-most receptions in school history, while ranking third in receiving yards. In 2018, Miller posted a career-best 1,148 receiving yards, the third-most in a season in school history. His 104.4 receiving yards per game in 2018 ranked him seventh in the FBS. Miller will wear No. 10 for Tampa Bay.
Beckner Jr. (6-4, 296) was selected 215th overall, out of Missouri. Beckner played in 41 games for the Tigers, recording 120 tackles (32 for loss), 13.5 sacks, four passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and one interception, returned 49 yards. In 2018, Beckner led Missouri in tackles for loss (11.0), while ranking second on the team in sacks (3.5). He posted a career-best 7.0 sacks in 2017, which tied for the team lead. Beckner will wear No. 73 for Tampa Bay.
First-round selection Devin White and third-rounders Jamel Dean and safety Mike Edwards have yet to sign their rookie deals but are expected to participate in this weekend’s rookie mini-camp.
Possibly complicating the signing of White is the Bucs lack of salary cap space. Tampa Bay came into this week with the second lowest amount of cap space, thought to be just under $2 million.
– Part of this report is courtesy of the Buccaneers communications department