The Bucs kicked off their rookie mini-camp on Friday with all eight draft picks, 13 undrafted free agents and a host of try-out players in attendance. Here are some key observations from the Pewter Report staff.

Bucs Offensive Rookie Report

The standouts at the Bucs rookie mini-camp from the offensive side of the ball were running back Rachaad White and a couple of undrafted wide receivers. We’ll get to them in a moment. Understanding that players are only in shorts and helmets, there wasn’t a ton to absorb from watching second-round pick offensive lineman Luke Goedeke.

What I will say is that Goedeke had good footwork in drills consisting of running on the ladder and pulling from the left side of the offensive line to the right side. He’s a very big man, and it was apparent that assistant coach Harold Goodwin was directing a lot of attention his way. Goodwin was vocal with him multiple times, singling him out when voicing instructions.

Seeing White in person for the first time was an interesting spectacle. He is much bigger than I expected and has a muscular build despite his very smooth running style. White just looks like he could become a star running back. Nothing seemed too big for him on the first day and he was very attentive on plays that he wasn’t even in on the rep for.

Bucs RB Rachaad White

Bucs RB Rachaad White – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

You could see him often pointing things out, discussing it with teammates and asking the coaches about it too. I liked his alertness and how involved he was mentally. The guy just loves playing football. White had a very good pass blocking rep and caught every ball thrown his way, which was a good start.

With tight end Cade Otton, the team’s fourth-round pick out with an ankle injury, all eyes were on sixth-round pick Ko Kieft. The Minnesota mauler lived up to his moniker of being a stout blocker. As previously stated, we’re not going to see a ton of physicality at this point of the year during a non-padded mini-camp. But Kieft was sound in his blocking technique and stonewalled seventh-round pick Andre Anthony on a play. Receiving-wise he caught the accurate passes that were thrown his way. He mainly ran short routes out to the flats.

Undrafted wide receivers Jerreth Sterns, Kameron Brown and Deven Thompkins stood out. First off, they had to deal with bad quarterback play. I respect anyone that’s trying to make it to the next level, but there were a ton of inaccurate balls from try-out QBs Aqeel Glass and Peyton Ramsey. Passes were overthrown, late, behind or the timing was so off that the receivers had to slow down to just catch it.

Sterns impressed the most. At 5-foot-7, he relies on his quickness and athletic ability to make up for his lack of size. Not only did he catch everything in front of him on multiple routes, he caught a ton of difficult passes in the middle of traffic with many defenders around him. Both Brown and Thompkins showed a solid ability to run efficient routes and looked way more comfortable than other receivers in their group. – By Matt Matera

Bucs Defensive Rookie Report

The first impression of new Bucs defensive tackle Logan Hall is that he’s quite a big man. Hall is every bit of 6-foot-6, as head coach Todd Bowles said after practice. The 6-foot-2 Bowles said that he has to strain his neck when looking up at Hall in person. But it’s not just his height. Hall is a big man. He’s up to 290 pounds after playing last year at Houston at 270 pounds.

“You walk up to him, he’s a big man,” Bowles said. “I rarely look up to anybody. With him being 6-foot-6 and me being 6-foot-2, I really have to snap my neck to actually look up at him.”

Keep in mind that Gerald McCoy, the last 3-technique defensive tackle the Bucs drafted early, was 295 pounds when he left Oklahoma. Hall is not undersized. That’s evident at first glance. And at just age 22, he’s only going to get bigger and put on more muscle in time.

Hall is also more athletic than McCoy, running a 4.88 to McCoy’s 5.04 in the 40-yard dash. And Hall’s 3-cone drill time of 7.25 was in the 90th percentile of all defensive tackles tracked on MockDraftable.com.

Bucs DT Logan Hall

Bucs DT Logan Hall – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Hall’s 4.44 time in the 20-yard shuttle was also slightly better than McCoy’s 4.48 time back in 2010. It’s also clear that Hall is more fluid and can redirect better in certain drills.

But we’re going to end the comparisons of Tampa Bay’s second-round pick, who hasn’t played a down yet in the NFL, to McCoy, a six-time Pro Bowler right there. Hall looked the part in a helmet and cleats on his first day of rookie mini-camp, and that’s not just Pewter Report’s observation. That’s Bowles’ observation, too. The new Bucs head coach lauded Hall’s work ethic.

“He’s a very humble guy, but he works hard,” Bowles said. “He worked very hard and that showed today. Obviously it was shorts and a t-shirt, but we like the hard work in him. He puts in the work and he puts in the time and I like that about him.”

Where Hall, who is wearing No. 90, which is Jason Pierre-Paul’s old jersey, will need some work is eliminating a false step in his pass rush. That’s something that showed up on his Houston film at times, and also showed up a bit in Friday’s practice.

We’ll go a step further and say that Hall’s athleticism definitely showed up in defensive line drills, where he towered over the other Bucs defensive linemen, including Kobe Smith, who was on the practice squad last year.

Smith wasn’t the only former practice-squader in attendance. Outside linebacker Elijah Ponder and safety Troy Warner were other rostered Buccaneers on the practice squad that took part in the mini-camp.

Bucs CB Zyon McCollum

Bucs CB Zyon McCollum – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Hall’s athleticism was only overshadowed by that of fellow draft pick Zyon McCollum. The fifth-round cornerback out of Sam Houston lived up to his ridiculous testing numbers on the field. His movements were fast, agile and smooth, and McCollum’s instincts were also on display as he reacted well to both quick passes in the flat and deeper throws downfield. McCollum’s athleticism really shows up in his ability to turn and run with receivers downfield.

Outside linebacker Andre Anthony, the team’s seventh-round pick, looks the part athletically. He moves well on the field, but his biggest question mark is questionable instincts. One day of rookie mini-camp is not going to be able to properly assess that. Anthony will be competing with Cam Gill and Ponder for a roster spot, and Gill has the clear inside track.

One of the more noteworthy try-out players on defense is linebacker DeCalon Brooks out of Florida State. Brooks is the son of Bucs legend Derrick Brooks. But after recording 46 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble as a freshman in 2018, Brooks rarely saw the field, logging just four tackles last year and eight in 2020. Brooks didn’t really stand out on Friday, and at 5-foot-10, 222 pounds with scant production in college, he’s a very long shot to make it in the NFL. – By Scott Reynolds

Bucs Special Teams Rookie Report

Rookie punter Jake Camarda, the Bucs’ fourth-round pick, has a booming leg. It’s as strong as advertised, and he impressed with both distance and hang time on Friday.

Kicker Jose Borregales, who spent last year on the practice squad, was also in attendance for the rookie mini-camp. He’ll be competing with veteran Ryan Succop for the team’s kicker role this year. The Bucs like Borregales, who was a Lou Groza Award winner at Miami. He was one of Tampa Bay’s protected practice squad players each week last year.

White was returning punts on Friday, as the Bucs have said they will try to integrate him to their special teams during his rookie season. Thompkins and undrafted free agent signee Kaylon Geiger, Sr. were also returning punts at the start of practice. – By J.C. Allen

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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Spitfire
Spitfire
15 days ago

Sounds good! I have a feeling White will have a bigger impact this year than most expect, especially the way Brady has always favored a RB with reliable hands, the fact that he can hopefully do more with it running the ball than Bernard will put him on the field more and more as the season goes. McCollum I have a feeling is also gonna find his way on the field. With as many packages as Bowles runs with extra DBs, he’s gonna get his shit on the field. If he can study hard and catch up to NFL speed,… Read more »

Eddie
Eddie
15 days ago

Thank you for taking us to the Rookie Mini camp. Very good write up. Stern may make it on to the field as slot. Brady love to throw to short, quick slot receivers with strong hands that can read defense as he does

BUC 727
BUC 727
14 days ago

It’s most likely just me, but I feel that it’s disrespectful and premature to give a rookie JPP’s #90. Just wait til we have a major injury on the DL in camp, and cal JPP while he’s eating lobster, while getting a massage and watching Bridgeton. k

scubog
scubog
Reply to  BUC 727
14 days ago

I suspect JPP has been advised that the team is not going to sign him. Probably rightfully so. Too bad. He’s likely done.

surferdudes
surferdudes
Reply to  BUC 727
14 days ago

It is you. The NFL is a brutal game, and even a more brutal business. JPP is not on the Bucs roster, Hall is. JPP had a good long career that quite frankly should’ve ended before last year. This has nothing to do with respect, it’s all business. Years down the road unless Hall accomplishes what Sapp, or Brooks did for the Bucs some other young stud will be wearing #90 for Tampa.

Captain Sly
Captain Sly
Reply to  BUC 727
14 days ago

Disrespectful! Too Funny! Maybe we all missed the JPP #90 jersey retirement ceremony or maybe you’re confusing #90 with #99. Either way nobody’s being disrespecting by simply moving on. The Bucs wouldn’t feel “disrespected” if JPP signed with the Saints now would they. Come On now, Disrespected! lol

Horse
Horse
14 days ago

Thanks for the up date Matt. Was Licht and Arians out there too? Any Buc Starters working out on their pwn while Rookie OTA was on going?