After scouting the East-West Shrine Game last week in St. Petersburg, Fla. general manager Jason Licht, director of player personnel John Spytek, director of college scouting Mike Biehl and the Bucs scouts hit the road to travel to Mobile, Ala. for the Senior Bowl. The Bucs have drafted several players from the Senior Bowl in years past, including cornerback M.J. Stewart, offensive lineman Alex Cappa and wide receiver Justin Watson last year, tight end O.J. Howard in 2017, defensive end Noah Spence in 2016 and offensive linemen Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet in 2015.
While the East-West Shrine Game features players that typically are mid-to-late-round draft picks, as well as undrafted free agents, the Senior Bowl features players that could be first- or second-round picks, in addition to Day 3 selections.
Here are 12 offensive players that will play at the Senior Bowl that would help the Bucs in 2019. On Monday, PewterReport.com will preview 12 defensive players that Tampa Bay will be targeting at the Senior Bowl practices.
PewterReport.com will be attending the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile. Stay tuned to the website and @PewterReport on Twitter for coverage.
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*Warning: Some highlight videos may contain profanity.
Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson – 6-7, 245
With Jameis Winston entrenched as the starting quarterback, the Bucs will be looking for a backup quarterback, and unlike Drew Lock or Will Grier, Jackson, who is a junior, will enter the NFL as a pure backup candidate. Jackson has a funky release and needs to work on his accuracy, but threw for 6,999 yards with 49 touchdowns and 24 interceptions while completing 55.8 percent of his passes at Buffalo. Jackson is a big pocket passer with decent mobility and reminds some scouts of former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman from a physical standpoint.
Memphis RB Tony Pollard – 6-0, 208
Pollard was a part-time running back, part-time receiver and full-time kick returner at Memphis where he returned seven kicks for touchdowns. Pollard, who spilt carries with Darrell Henderson for the Tigers offense and rushed for 941 yards and nine touchdowns with a 6.8 career average, has great quickness, acceleration, body control and contact balance and hands. He’s a better outside zone runner than he is a banger between the tackles due to his size. He has a slippery running style, he’s a willing blocker and nice hands, evidenced by 104 catches for 1,292 yards (12.4 avg.) and nine receiving touchdowns. Pollard would be an ideal third-down back in Tampa Bay or elsewhere.
North Dakota State RB Bruce Anderson – 5-11, 210
Anderson, a three-time national champion, rushed for 2,896 yards and 24 touchdowns in his Bison career, including 1,216 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior, and 924 yards and nine scores as a senior. Anderson is a slashing runner with good contact balance. Anderson also brings special teams value and averaged 26.2 returning kicks and returned two for a touchdown at North Dakota State. Anderson has the versatility to help on special teams and as a complementary back at the next level.
West Virginia WR Gary Jennings – 6-2, 215
Originally had Missouri deep threat Emanuel Hall in this preview, but he pulled out of the game. At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Jennings has good size to go along with his deceptive speed. Known as the “other Mountaineers wide receiver” opposite David Sills IV, who had just under 2,000 yards and 33 touchdowns combined over the last two years, Jennings had quite the career at West Virginia catching passes from Will Grier. After catching 97 passes for 1,096 yards and one touchdown as a junior, averaging 11.3 yards per catch, Jennings exploded as a vertical weapon as a senior, hauling in 54 receptions for 917 yards and a career-high 13 touchdowns. He caught the game-winning touchdown with seconds left against Texas, and had seven catches for 225 yards and two TDs in a 59-56 loss to Oklahoma.
Wisconsin G Michael Deiter – 6-6, 328
Deiter started all 54 games, setting a Wisconsin record, with most of his starts coming at left guard. Deiter also has started a season at left tackle and has played center, which increases his versatility at the next level. With equal parts tough guy and technician. Deiter, who was featured in PewterReport.com’s 2019 Bucs’ 6-Round Mock Draft, does a great job of getting to the second level in the running game and has the maturity and experience to be a Day 1 starter.
Wisconsin G Beau Benzschawel – 6-6, 317
Benzschawel came into the 2018 season with more hype than teammate Michael Dieter, but seems to have lost some ground in terms of his draft stock. Benzschawel earned consensus All-American honors, but NFL scouts rate Deiter higher due to his versatility. Like Deiter, Benzschawel blocked for All-American running back and Doak Walker Award winner Jonathan Taylor.
Washington State LT Andre Dillard – 6-5, 306
Dillard was a three-year starter at left tackle for Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. Dillard is an accomplished pass protector, but needs some work as a run blocker. Washington State’s offensive line schemes weren’t complicated, which could make Dillard’s transition to the next level. Dillard needs to show that he can pass protect with the best of them and that he has more physicality than scouts think. He currently grades as a second-round pick.
Boston College G Chris Lindstrom – 6-4, 305
Lindstrom is in the running to be the top guard off the board in April. He’s a very stout run blocker with quick, active feet and hands in pass protection that allows him to mirror his opponents. Lindstrom is a blue-collar worker that likes to his physical with his opponents. He’s a smart protector on passing downs and does a good job of picking up twists and stunts. Lindstrom grades as a solid second-round pick heading into the Senior Bowl.
Kansas State RT Dalton Risner – 6-5, 308
Risner, an All-American right tackle for the Wildcats, was a four-year starter and a two-time team captain. Risner can win with technique or power and has great balance as a run blocker or pass protector. He has his champions in the scouting community that feel he can be a 10-year starter at right tackle, while others question his athleticism and feel he’s best suited to play guard at the next level. The Senior Bowl will help determine the position Risner will play at the NFL level.
Elon RT Oli Udoh – 6-5, 356
Udoh is a massive right tackle that had a great week in St. Petersburg at the East-West Shrine practices and is being called up to the Senior Bowl. Udoh, who is featured in PewterReport.com’s first 2019 Bucs’ 6-Round Mock Draft, has big, heavy hands that can maul opponents in the run game as well as lock down defenders in pass protection. Udoh’s stock is on the rise and he could move from being a Day 3 pick to a Day 2 pick with a good week in Mobile.
Oklahoma G Ben Powers – 6-4, 313
Powers is a very athletic, mobile guard that excels at pulling either within the interior of the line or on the edge around the tackle. Powers, an underrated All-American, has been a three-year starter and blocked for two Heisman Trophy winners in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Powers is a good technician who does a good job walling off defenders in the run game and mirrors well in pass protection, too. The Senior Bowl could be a great platform for Powers to make a move up to the second round.
Northern Illinois LT Max Scharping – 6-6, 320
Scharping has been a four-year starter at Northern Illinois with his first two years at right tackle before moving to left tackle as a junior. The Huskies had one of the best lines in terms of pass protection, allowing the fewest sacks in the nation in 2017 and Scharping was a big reason why. Scharping is a decent athlete, but wins with desire, technique and his long arms. NFL scouts like his ability to play either left or right tackle as well as his size to play both at the NFL level.