The Bucs’ rookie mini-camp gets started on Friday and they will have a couple of their draft picks under contract when it begins. Tampa Bay announced on Thursday that they have signed three of their late round picks from the 2021 NFL Draft with linebacker K.J. Britt, cornerback C.J. Wilcox and linebacker Grant Stuard.
Britt was picked in the fifth round out of Auburn, which came as a surprise to him after not much discussion with the Bucs. Though he missed all but two games last season due to a thumb injury, he persevered to get back in time for the Senior Bowl to play in front of scouts. That determination must have left an impression on the Bucs. Britt finished his college career with 119 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He also was a captain last year.
Wilcox played his college football at BYU and was the first of the Bucs’ two seventh-round picks. He ended up playing five seasons and starting in 26 games. Wilcox recorded 88 tackles with three for a loss and broke up eight passes. It all paid off for him in his final year where he earned first team Phil Steele All-Independent accolades.
Stuard was given the infamous “Mr. Irrelevant” title as the Bucs selected him with the last pick of the draft at number 259. He’s another team captain added to Tampa Bay’s roster after playing at Houston. He tallied 190 carer tackles with 14 tackles for loss, one sack, four pass breakups and a fumble recovery in four years there. Stuard also was a first Phil Steele All-Independent player.
He joins kicker Ryan Succop as another Mr. Irrelevant on the Bucs’ roster. Succop made history last year as the first Mr. Irrelevant to win a Super Bowl when the Bucs defeated the Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV.
Britt and Stuard have playing linebacker and being named team captain in common. Wilcox and Stuard having making first team Phil Steele All-Independent in common. But what all three players have in common is that how they play on special teams will determine if they make the roster.
The Bucs still have four more players from their 2021 draft class to sign, which are also their first four selections. They are edge rusher Joe Tryon, quarterback Kyle Trask, offensive lineman Robert Hainsey and wide receiver Jaleon Darden. Rookie mini-camp for the Bucs will go for two days on Friday and Saturday.