The Tampa Bay Bucs will be sending their scouts and new coaches, including head coach Bruce Arians, to the East-West Shrine Game this week, which takes place in the team’s backyard at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Bucs have found some talent before at the East-West Shrine Game, most recently tight end Antony Auclair.
The East-West Shrine Game features players that typically are mid-to-late-round draft picks, as well as undrafted free agents. Here are 12 defensive players at the East-West Shrine Game practices that would help the Bucs in 2019. On Monday, PewterReport.com will preview 12 offensive players that Tampa Bay will be targeting at the East-West Shrine Game practices.
PewterReport.com will be attending the East-West Shrine Game practices. Stay tuned to the website and @PewterReport on Twitter for coverage.
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Table of Contents
Texas DE Landis Durham – 6-3, 255
Texas A&M has produced some good defensive linemen over the years, and Durham was a two-year starter that was very productive. He recorded 22.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks over the past two years, along with three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Durham is a relentless pass rusher with long arms and a strong motor. He notched 10.5 sacks as a junior and then had seven as a senior. With a stronger statistical finish, Durham could have landed in the Senior Bowl. Durham is viewed as either a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 rush linebacker at the next level.
Sam Houston State DE Derick Roberson – 6-4, 250
Roberson was a Texas commitment that transferred to the Bearcats and had a tremendous senior season. He recorded 68 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss, 15 sacks and five forced fumbles last year at Sam Houston State. Roberson recorded 123 tackles, 23 sacks, eight pass breakups, seven forced fumbles and one interception in his three-year career for the Bearcats.
Angelo State DE Markus Jones – 6-3, 260
Was dominant at the Division II level, as a two-time Lonestar Conference Defensive Player of the Year Honors, and Gene Upshaw Award winner, which honors the best Division II lineman. Jones was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Jones led all NCAA defenders with 36.5 tackles for loss in 2018, in addition to 17.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles, two blocked kicks and 84 tackles. Jones has a nice mix of speed and power and will test his skills against better completion in St. Petersburg.
Arkansas DT Armon Watts – 6-5, 298
Watts was a late bloomer at Arkansas, only playing in six games in his first three years in college. Emerging as a starter in 2018, Watts used his strong hands and athleticism to record seven sacks from the defensive tackle position. Watts also recorded 49 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and deflected two passes at the line of scrimmage. Watts could be a late-round steal that could increase his draft stock with a good showing in St. Petersburg.
Maryland LB Tre Watson – 6-2, 236
Watson had 108 tackles, five interceptions, three tackles for loss, three pass breakups, one fumble recovery, one sack and one defensive touchdown in his lone season at Maryland after transferring from Illinois. Playing for defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson, Watson was a three-year starter, recording 188 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, 2.5 sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery. Watson is a thick, fast linebacker with a great feel for dropping in coverage. Watson is a local product and a former Tampa Catholic High School standout.
Kentucky CB Derrick Baity – 6-3, 190
Baity might be the most talented cornerback at the East-West Shrine Game. At 6-foot-3, with long arms, Baity was the top cover cornerback for Kentucky in 2018, and finished his career with 148 tackles, six interceptions, 25 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recover. Baity wins with his size and can really high-point the ball. He’s physical in coverage and an aggressive tackler. While not a burner, Baity has decent recovery speed and uses his length to hassle receivers. Baity is a Tampa native and attended Plant High School.
Mississippi State DB Jamal Peters – 6-2, 220
Peters is a dynamic athlete with experience at cornerback and safety. He’s got a tremendous mix of speed and striking ability and loves to attack the ball and the ball carrier. Peters was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs and recorded 99 tackles, three interceptions, including a pick-six, and 10 pass breakups at Mississippi State, in addition to two forced fumbles and a fumble recover. Peters was also a very good special teams player for the Bulldogs.
Troy CB Blace Brown – 6-0, 191
Brown started his career at wide receiver before switching to cornerback as a sophomore. He had six picks in 2016 and then had five, including a pick-six, as a junior. Teams stayed away from Brown and he only had one INT as a senior, but it was a big one that sealed Troy’s 24-21 upset of LSU in Death Valley. Brown, who is lauded for his football IQ, finished his Trojans career with 111 tackles, 16 pass breakups, 12 interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and half a sack.
Miami CB Michael Jackson – 6-1, 205
At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Jackson is a physical specimen that is really put together. He’s a confident, smooth athlete with good hands and good leaping ability. After being a part-time starter his first two years, Jackson emerged as a starter as a junior and recorded the only four interceptions of his Hurricanes career. Jackson is a good tackler, but didn’t force a fumble. Yet he recovered two, including one for a touchdown. Jackson is also a good blitzer off the edge, evidenced by his 3.5 sacks over the past two years. Jackson had 97 tackles, 11 passes defensed and four interceptions at Miami, but didn’t record a pick as a senior.
SMU CB Jordan Wyatt – 6-1, 195
Wyatt was a ballhawk at SMU since his days as a freshman. The four-year starter has solid hands and very good instincts that allowed him to record 11 career interceptions, including four picks in both he 2016 and ’17 seasons. He also had a pair of pick-sixes in each of those seasons, and forced a fumble on a corner blitz sack and then recovered for a touchdown. Wyatt is a good tackler and a good athlete. He recorded 146 tackles, 21 pass breakups, 11 picks, eight forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries for the Mustangs.
Temple S Delvon Randall – 6-1, 215
Randall, a three-year starter for the Owls, is a versatile safety capable of playing in the box or in the defensive backfield where he shows off his range in coverage. He had three straight seasons with at least 65 tackles and four interceptions at Temple. Randall finished his collegiate career with 246 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 12 interceptions, 11 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one sack and one touchdown. Arians coached at Temple and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles played for the Owls and will both be watching Randall closely.
Wyoming S Andrew Wingard – 6-0, 214
Wingard is a big, physical safety that had a tremendous amount of production at Wyoming with 454 tackles as a four-year starter. He tackles a bit high, but is relentless and usually gets the ballcarrier down. Wingard can play deep in coverage, but is best around the line of scrimmage and is an active blitzer. He had 25 tackles for loss, 10 interceptions, eight pass breakups, five forced fumbles, four sacks and one fumble recovery for the Cowboys.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
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