Thursday was the last practice in full pads before the Senior Bowl on Saturday, making it the last chance for the prospects to show off their skills in a non-game setting. Here are some of the potential Bucs who stood out on defense:

NORTH TEAM

DT Greg Gaines – Washington
Wait, a powerful and agile defensive tackle from Washington? Haven’t we heard this before? Indeed, Gaines was a teammate of Bucs nose tackle Vita Vea along the Huskies defensive line. He is a strong, strong, lineman that can win a battle just by pushing you back on a bull rush.

He of course is just more than a strong, it’s how well he can move that puts him over the top. Gaines proved on Thursday that he can excel in the pass rush and stop the run. He is normally one of the first players to disrupt the quarterback on a pass play. With uncertainty about whether Gerald McCoy will be on the team next year, Gaines would already have chemistry with one teammate, and can be versatile in his use.

CB Iman Marshall – USC
They say that cornerbacks play that position instead of wide receiver because they don’t have good hands. That is not the case for Marshall. Besides his playmaking ability on the interception, the best part of Marshall’s style of play is that he’s instinctual. He does a good job of balancing reading the quarterback and staying with his man all at the same time, Marshall will make the cut on the receivers route in anticipation before the receiver makes his move. He can be physical, but also beat you with finesse.

The Bucs were lacking in corner backs that had the ability to take the ball away. Marshall can plug in right away and adapt to a NFL style of league and let his natural skill take over.

SOUTH TEAM

LB Bobby Okereke – Stanford
It’s important to have athletic players on your team, but it’s also good to have players with a high football IQ. This may not come as a surprise with Stanford being his school, but Bobby Okereke is an intelligent football player. He’s also actually has both an undergrad and bachelor’s degree while also playing college football.

Okereke is a player that you can count on to be in the right place during the middle of a play. He’s excellent in tracking the ball carrier through both shedding blocks are making the stop one on one in open space. His arms are massive, measuring at 34′ 1/4″, which makes it easy for him to wrap up and get his hands in there to rip the ball out like he did in practice. The Bucs have more questions then answers at linebacker with Kwon Alexander coming off a torn ACL, Kendell Beckwith missing the entire season with an ankle injury from a car accident, and rookie Jack Cichy tearing his ACL also. Defensive coordinator likes to disguise his coverages and throw many different schemes at opponents, If the Bucs need to plug in some young talent at linebacker that will keep up with, Okereke can do it.

DE Carl Granderson – Wyoming
Granderson has a very quick get off after the ball is snapped. He also does a great job of using different rush techniques to cut to the inside, for example, the swim and rip moves. His speed helps him get by as he makes it tough for blockers to keep up with him, he has a motor that doesn’t stop until long after the whistle is blown. Granderson will keep going and wear you down as he goes along.

The Bucs have Jason Pierre-Paul and Carl Nassib at the edges, but Granderson can be great for depth. Todd Bowles may also have the team using a 3-4 defense, which means they will need fast players at the interior level, giving an opportunity to Granderson and the speed he delivers.PewterReport.com’s Senior Bowl coverage is sponsored by Lane Family Wellness. Not only does Dr. Tommy Lane offer chiropractic care for victims of car accidents and injuries, but together with Dr. Yvette Suarez, Lane Family Wellness also offers a new, revolutionary, non-surgical stem cell treatment for knee injuries called Viscosupplementation Therapy that helps people with chronic knee pain, arthritis and osteoarthritis.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I wouldnt mind Granderson in the 3rd. You can never have enough pass rushers

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  2. Granderson is no bigger than Spense and would never be able to hold the perimeter on running plays. Omenihu a DE from Texas is 6’6” and 275 and can knock down passes, is good against the run and was a star putting pressure on Georgia’s QB and getting sacks when Texas beat Ga in their bowl game this year. That is the kind of DE we need to replace PFF when he retires, not Granderson.

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  3. If you want a 250 lb DE take Polite from the Gators! However, unless the opposition has a LT like our Turnstyle D. Smith Polite won’t be able to get past most LTs in the NFL. However, if developed as an OLB in a 3-4 Defense and used in blitzes that would be a far different result and that is what BA will need to do with Spense just for when we lineup in a 3-4. We would have David on the other side so we don’t need anymore 250 lb. DEs!

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