Four try-out players impressed the Buccaneers enough to earn contracts with team following last weekend's rookie mini-camp. Miami center John Rochford, South Florida wide receiver Amarri Jackson, Troy defensive tackle Chris Bradwell, and Fresno State running back Clifton Smith.
Rochford has been mostly a center for Miami, but he also spent time as a long-snapper and fullback. In his senior season the 6-foot-2, 273-pound Rochford started every game for the Hurricanes at center.
Jackson played three seasons for the Bulls and compiled 70 receptions for 891 yards and four touchdowns. The Sarasota product Jackson, impressed throughout the weekend, and has the size attributes that head coach Jon Gruden likes in his wide receivers. Jackson (6-5, 202) hauled in 22 passes during his senior season for 256 yards with two touchdowns.
Bradwell is the second undrafted free agent from Troy to sign with Tampa Bay. Prior to the last weekend's camp the Buccaneers signed cornerback Elbert Mack. Bradwell appeared in four games for Florida State as a freshman before leaving the Seminoles. He played in community college before ending up at Troy. Bradwell (6-4, 280) made 36 tackles with four sacks as a senior.
Smith had an injury-plagued career at Fresno State. Prior to his senior season he only had two carries and one reception. Last season Smith had 100 carries for 625 yards and scored two touchdowns. He also caught 33 passes for 352 yards. One of his best attributes is his punt return ability. Smith averaged 16.6 yards per return and took five returns in for touchdowns. In his career he brought back 47 punts for 782 yards.
Of the four players Rochford may have the best chance to make the team. The Buccaneers do not have a natural center backing up free agent addition Jeff Faine. Tampa Bay has been cross-training guards Dan Buenning, Arron Sears, and third-round pick Jeremy Zuttah for the center position.
Want the inside scoop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2008 offseason plans? Want to find out who the Bucs are targeting in free agency and the NFL Draft this year? Subscribe to PewterReport.com's Pewter Insider by clicking here.
LISTEN to Pewter Report's Jim Flynn each Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. on the Pewter Pulse with Dan Sileo on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal, and catch Pewter Report's Scott Reynolds each Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. on the PewterReport.com Buccaneer Blitz with Steve Duemig on WDAE 620 AM The Sports Animal.