The final day of East-West practices before the big (ha) game on Saturday was much lighter than the two previous days.
The players were just in shells today, meaning they only had their shoulder pads and helmets on, no lower body pads. Because of this, there was suppose to be limited contact – I say “suppose to” because there’s a play I’m going to show you where that was not the case.
Still, with another day in the playbook and another day of playing with their teammates, the prospects from both the East and the West sides were able to show their stuff.
I said it was suppose to light contact day on Thursday, but on this play, Louisville defensive tackle DeAngelo Brown decided he was going to go for a little extra circular activity.
Brown has been the interior lineman to watch this week. There was already NFL buzz around him before Thursday because he’s been able to get such great leverage off the line of scrimmage due to his shorter size. But what has been important to note is that he still showed good strength at that size.
The clip above was something all of the remaining scouts took note of because, with his smaller size, his shorter arms could have be seen as an issue. But in the clip above, he proved that he could still engage offensive lineman, be patient in run support, rip off his assignment on command, and make the hit in the backfield.
If the Bucs were to look at an interior defensive lineman to help Gerald McCoy, Brown could be their guy. However, his stock might be rising too high.
With contact at a minimum, it was once again a day for playmakers to stand out.
On day one of the Shrine practices, Yancey was chosen specifically by the coaches to participate in a drill as the “best man” from his group. In the drill, he ended up making a nice catch through contact over NC State’s Jack Tocho.
After a couple quite days, Yancey really came to life again with a handful of great catches. The clip above was one where he was able to find a soft spot in the zone off press coverage, and ran a good route thatcan be seen on Sundays.
To me, Yancey would still be behind Quincy Adeboyejo, Jalen Robinette and Gabe Marks in terms of wide receiver options for Tampa Bay, but he could be a guy they take a flyer on in the later rounds.
If you’ve read any of my pervious recaps from the Shrine Game practices, you can most likely remember me mentioning Shepherd wide receiver Billy Brown.
Well, I’m going to do that again.
Simply put, Brown could not be covered by any of the defensive backs he went up against this week on the West team. It will be interesting to see how effective he will be against the East side defensive backs, but I don’t think the result of hit routes will be any different. I expect him to have the same amount of success come Saturday.
After Thursday’s practice I was able to catch up with Brown and I asked him if any of the teams he has talked to this week have asked about moving to tight end. He laughed and said, “Yes, all of them.”
I then asked him if he has ever played tight end and he said, “No, never. The last time I had my hand in the ground was when I was playing defensive end in high school.”
So the fantasy of turning Brown into an H-back, mismatch nightmare hit a slight bump in the road with no blocking background to Brown’s resume, but the dream isn’t dead. Anytime you have a payer who can win that consistently between the hash marks, it’s not as much about the coach’s preference, but rather, how they can get the most out of the talent they acquire.
Overall the defensive backs for the West side played pretty well on Thursday. Missouri cornerback Aarion Penton got his second interception of the week in practice, and the two UCLA corners Goforth and Moreau were playing well, too.
However, the star of the day was Oklahoma State Cowboys cornerback Ashton Lampkin.
Lampkin made two really nice plays in the red zone drill, which are hard to do. In the first is the clip above, he was able to out-muscle the speedy Gabe Marks out of his cut to force a throw away out of the back of the end zone.
And here was the second good play by Lampkin breaking up the pass on the taller Robinette on a fade route. pic.twitter.com/EJopVq2qfu
The second clip was even better. Lampkin was able to get good position on the best receiver on the West team, Jalen Robinette, and broke up a fade pass without drawing an interference penalty.
Quincy Adeboyejo, Avery Moss, Joey Ivie and Jack Tocho were held out of practice today. They were still hanging around their position groups listening to coaching in street clothes, so whatever their injuries were did not seem serious.
That’s all from St. Pete this week. Next week PewterReport.com will be in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl where we’ll be giving you wall-to-wall coverage of everything Bucs related.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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