From the moment Bucs OLB Joe Tryon was drafted, it was easy to envision a clear path to playing time for the rookie. The Bucs depth at the outside linebacker position was lacking in 2020, and Anthony Nelson offered little as a pass rusher. These weaknesses led to Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul playing a massive percentage of snaps, with Pierre-Paul finishing the season playing almost 90 percent of the Bucs defensive reps.

Tryon’s presence will at least somewhat alleviate the situation in 2021. How much he’s able to contribute is yet to be determined, as the Washington product has yet to get on the field through a couple weeks of the Bucs offseason program. Tryon is recovering from a knee scope after suffering a minor injury while working out before the draft. His practice debut is much anticipated, and not just by fans either.

“Well, he definitely passes the eye test,” outside linebacker coach Larry Foote said. “He’s got all the height, weight, measurements. Just watching him on film, the guy is 6’5, he can bend, he can move. He’s got a great motor, plays with high energy and just his DNA jumps off the tape. Loved the way he plays and he’s going to fit in with what we’re trying to build here [with] his mentality. He should have no problem fitting in. Just looking at his size, you can do a lot with him. He’s agile, so Todd Bowles is in the kitchen right now cooking up some stuff for him.”

Nelson played 30 percent of the Bucs’ defensive snaps last year, but recorded just a single sack, the lone tally of his career. Tryon figures to get at least as much opportunity on defense as Nelson did, especially if he’s able to get on the field by mandatory mini-camp. Unlike many first rounders, Tryon will need to be a special teams mainstay for the Bucs this season.

“You love everything about Joe [Tryon] – great athlete, smart, can run, [has] size, physical,” special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong said. “You love everything about [Tryon]. He’s a really sharp kid. I think that he could fit in punt, punt return, kickoff coverage, field goal block, etc. Obviously as you look at his tape at the University of Washington, he has played a ton of different roles on defense out there, so obviously he is a sharp kid and can do it. I think he could do a hell of a job.”

On paper, there is no reason Tryon couldn’t shine on special teams. He can run and tackle, and he already plays the game like a bull in a china shop. But we need to remember Tryon hasn’t been in a game setting since 2019. Almost two years has passed since Tryon has played at game speed, so bumps in the road should be expected. It’ll take him awhile to master the defensive side of things, let alone absorb special teams assignments and techniques.

Still, in a year where Bucs coaches know what to expect from the majority of the roster, the excitement of the unknown with Tryon highlights the offseason. With the rookie set to return to the field soon, all eyes will be on his play this offseason. Tryon is the Buc with the best chance to add something to the team from a year ago. A potential upgrade on a team with no real holes could be another boost to Tampa Bay’s chances of repeating.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
Subscribe
Notify of
10 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Barnz1
15 days ago

Not getting ahead of myself with Tryon. I doubt he offers much this season. Let’s put in perspective as I know you’re an analytics guy Jon. Coming out of college – Pass rush win rate: Nelson – 23.5% (surprisingly higher than Winovich and Chase young and slightly behind Nick Bosa), Tryon – 14% Pressure rate: Nelson – Could not readily find it for Nelson but was leader in the nation with pressures so would’ve been high. Tryon  12.2% (17th in his draft class which isn’t great). Ojulari was 2nd with 20.7% as comparision. PFF grade: Nelson – 87 in 2017… Read more »

drdneast
Reply to  Barnz1
15 days ago

Thanks for backing up my eyesight with some good stats. I really do believe the loss of two preseasons has hurt Nelsons development so hopefully he can get a complete set of practice games under his belt to hone his craft. All I know is when Nelson is in the game I see him constantly around the QB causing disruption.

drdneast
15 days ago

Ledyard, don’t sell Nelson short. Due to an injury and Trumps Virus, Nelson hasn’t had a preseason yet to sharpen his craft and although he doesn’t have a lot of sacks, if you look at the tape he is always around the QB hurrying him into rushed throws. In fact, if you watch the SB tape, you can see Nelson hit Mehomes twice as he was getting rid of the ball and both passes fell short. Now I’m not saying Nelson is going to develop into the next AJ Watt, but he does have time to grow. If he can… Read more »

scubog
Reply to  drdneast
14 days ago

“Trump’s Virus” huh? Trump’s vaccine too. Your comments are much more credible when you stick to football.

I too see Nelson around the QB and think we don’t yet know what we have in the youngster.

fredster
Reply to  scubog
14 days ago

Don’t mind him he can’t help it with his Trump derangement still in full swing. Brainwashed idiot that can’t just come here and talk football has keep on with the politics and Trump hate. One track pea brain. Even flip flopping Fauci now admits it probably came from a China lab. No shit!

mark2001
Reply to  fredster
14 days ago

Brainwashed idiots really believed much of anything he said. Trump admitted he denied the disease and covered up the facts because his supporters couldn’t deal with the truth. Was the medical community deceptive in their mask speak early, because they feared knotheads would hoard them so medical professionals couldn’t get them? Yes, they were, though if the ability to treat sick people safely means anything, it is obvious why. Let it go.. Other than warp speed, Trump didn’t tell you anything constructive to deal with these deaths. He lied to you because you couldn’t handle the truth.

Last edited 14 days ago by mark2001
mark2001
Reply to  scubog
14 days ago

Hey…give him credit for warp speed, and give him credit for denial and outhouse medical speak. The bottom line is that hundreds of thousands died that didn’t have to because of his coverup and denial. So give him credit for those deaths, as well, giving him the title of the president with the most American deaths on his hands.

scubog
Reply to  mark2001
14 days ago

Can’t we just stick to football? I’m sick of the political nonsense…..and COVID19.

Horse
Reply to  scubog
14 days ago

Drdneast, Got to agree with Scubog on Virus comments; Past president didn’t create the virus; his leadership at times was good and other times costly. in all fairness I think we should move on and leave out politics.

Horse
14 days ago

Looks to me he can handle another 10-20 pounds easily on his body as he develops into an NFL OLB/DE. I hope JPP takes him under his wings. Go Bucs!