Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said the team looks for three things in defensive draft prospects. They have to love football, have to be fast, and have to be physical.
Washington edge rusher Joe Tryon checks all the boxes. He loves football, he’s fast and he’s physical. Tryon ran a 4.65 at the Huskies pro day at 6-foot-5, 259 pounds. While he opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tryon worked hard on his physical training to prepare for his pro day and for his rookie season.
Washington edge rusher Joe Tryon – Photo by: USA Today
Tryon is serious about football and has a great work ethic. He also hails from Washington where the Bucs have two other Huskies defenders on their roster in nose tackle Vita Vea and defensive lineman Benning Po’toae.
Now that the Bucs added an edge rusher to rotate with Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaquil Barrett – and eventually replace the 32-year old Pierre-Paul in time – what’s next for Tampa Bay? Let’s take a look at some of the other positions and draft prospects the Bucs could target on Day 2 with the No. 64 pick – unless GM Jason Licht trades up in the second round.
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Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond
The Aggies’ all-time leading passer got better every year under head coach Jimbo Fisher. With 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions last year, Mond ended his senior season with a bang, winning the Senior Bowl MVP. Mond is a pocket passer with a good arm and good mobility.
Florida QB Kyle Trask
Reminding some of former Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson, Trask is a touch passer with a decent, but accurate arm. He’s a classic pocket passer without much athleticism, but he knows how to go through his progressions and win.
Stanford QB Davis Mills
With just 11 career starts in college, Mills is tough to evaluate. He tested well at his pro day, but that athleticism doesn’t always show up on tape. Yet he’s smart, has a strong arm, has good size and decent pocket presence. He’s just raw and needs a lot of work before he’s ready to start.
North Carolina Javonte Williams
Williams is a tackle-breaking runner with good hands and the size (5-9, 220) to be a feature back. He’s likely gone within the first 10 picks of the second round, but he would look awesome in red and pewter.
North Carolina RB Michael Carter
North Carolina RB Michael Carter – Photo by: USA Today
If the Bucs can’t draft Williams, his Tar Heels teammate would be a nice addition. Carter was actually North Carolina’s leading rusher the last two years and has better hands out of the backfield. He’s a younger version of Giovani Bernard, who also went to UNC.
Memphis RB Kenneth Gainwell
Gainwell has the best hands of any running back in the draft. He can run receiver routes downfield, tote the rock and make defenders miss with sub 4.5-speed. The Bucs liked Antonio Gibson in the second round last year, and Gainwell could be better.
Virginia Tech RB Khalil Herbert
Herbert hails from Bruce Arians’ alma mater. Keep that in mind. He doesn’t excel at one thing, but does a lot of things – running, catching, returning kicks – well. He could be a late third round pick or an early Day 3 selection.
LSU WR Terrace Marshall, Jr.
Marshall might not make it to No. 64 as he has a good mix of size (6-2, 205) and speed (4.40). He’s a dangerous red zone weapon and showed he could be a No. 1 receiver last year without Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson.
Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore
Moore is only 5-foot-9, 178 pounds, but he’s blazing fast (4.35). He produced 2,441 yards and 16 TDs on 189 catches. He’s a big-play waiting to happen – just like Bruce Arians likes his receivers.
Notre Dame TE Tommy Tremble
Tremble is a throwback tight end who loves to block, and he’s damn good at it. He’s got decent hands and 4.63 speed, but wasn’t used much as a receiver. If the 6-foot-3, 241-pound Tremble was bigger and more productive, he could be a first-rounder.
UCF TE Jacob Harris
UCF TE Jacob Harris – Photo by: USA Today
At 6-foot-5, 219 pounds, Harris is more of a wide receiver than he is a tight end. But he is a good blocker and an emerging target in the passing game. Harris ran a 4.39 at his pro day and posted a 40.5-inch vertical. The UCF weapon averaged 20.1 yards per catch in college and had eight TDs last year.
Notre Dame OT Liam Eichenberg
Eichenberg is a nasty finisher who played left tackle for the Fighting Irish. His sub-34-inch arms might force him to move inside to guard, where he would flourish. Eichenberg might be off the board quickly in the second round, so he might not be there at No. 64.
North Dakota State OT Dillon Radunz
Bucs general manager Jason Licht has drafted two small school left tackles – Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa – and moved them to guard in the NFL. Radunz might be the third, although he has enough size at 6-foot-6 to stay outside and provide depth at tackle.
Tennessee G Trey Smith
Smith battled blood clots in his lungs that stymied his development. It’s a medical red flag that might take him off some draft boards or cause his stock to slide. The big, powerful mauler would be a great fit in Tampa Bay’s power run scheme. He’s a risk, but one that could pay off in the draft.
Notre Dame G Aaron Banks
At 6-foot-5, 325 pounds, Banks is a big, physical guard. He started 30 games at left guard and one game at right guard, earning All-American honors in 2020. He’s a good scheme fit for Tampa Bay.
Michigan G Jalen Mayfield
Mayfield has good tape, but tested poorly at his pro day. What he does bring when he puts it all together is the ability to play both guard and tackle. Versatility is key in the trenches of the NFL.
Alabama C Landon Dickerson
Alabama C Landon Dickerson – Photo courtesy of Alabama
Dickerson loves football and has great charisma and leadership ability. Even better is his 6-foot-6, 333-pound frame and mauler’s mentality. If Dickerson, who is coming off an ACL tear, can stay healthy he’s a Pro Bowl center. The Bucs should draft him if he’s there at No. 64.
Oklahoma C Creed Humphrey
While Dickerson wins with his football I.Q., size and strength, the undersized Humphrey wins with technique and hand placement. He was mostly a shotgun snapper in college, so he’ll have to transition to regular snaps in the NFL.
Washington DT Levi Onwuzurike
Joe Tryon’s linemate at Washington, Onwuzurike is a strong, physical tackle with great burst off the ball and quick hands. He’s a bit undersized at 6-3, 290 pounds and played out of position at nose tackle last year. But he’s built to play the three technique and could be a fit at No. 64 in the draft.
Iowa DL Chauncey Golston
Capable of playing defensive end in base defense or defensive tackle in nickel defense, Golston is an active player who led Iowa in sacks last year with 5.5. He’s got a great motor and a very good football I.Q. that puts him in the right place at the right time. He had three interceptions for the Hawkeyes, which is unheard of for a defensive lineman.
Tulane DL Cam Sample
At 6-foot-3, 267 pounds, Sample is built like Golston and can play inside or out along the defensive line. He’s an emerging pass rusher, registering five of his 10.5 career sacks last year. Sample has a high motor and had a great week at the Senior Bowl.
Notre Dame ILB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah
The Bucs view Owusu-Koramoah as a linebacker rather than a safety. He has the talent to go early in the second round, but if he’s there at No. 64 Tampa Bay would likely pull the trigger on the defensive stud.
Purdue ILB Derrick Barnes
Purdue LB Derrick Barnes – Photo by: USA Today
Barnes is a fast, physical linebacker that also has experience as an edge rusher. With great leadership ability and a solid football I.Q., Barnes would be an ideal eventual replacement for Lavonte David in the draft while being a stellar special teamer in the meantime.
North Carolina ILB Chazz Surratt
A former quarterback, Surratt is learning to play linebacker after playing on defense the last two years at UNC. He’s fast, smart, a very good blitzer and he’s getting better at dropping into coverage.
Georgia CB Tyson Campbell
Five cornerbacks were drafted in the first round, and Campbell figures to be the next one off the board. He’s long (6-1, 193), fast (4.36) and physical. The Bucs would love to get him, but he’ll likely be long gone by pick No. 64.
Syracuse CB Ifeatu Melifonwu
At over 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, Melifonwu has ideal size to play in Todd Bowles’ press-man scheme, especially with 4.48 speed. The Syracuse cornerback used his 42-inch vertical to break up 10 passes and record a pick last year.
Minnesota CB Benjamin St-Juste
Cornerbacks keep getting bigger, and St-Juste, who played with Antoine Winfield Jr. at Minnesota, is 6-foot-3. Although he didn’t record a pick in college, he had a great week at the Senior Bowl due to his length and athleticism.
TCU S Trevon Moehrig
The Horned Frogs used Moehrig as a match-up safety in the slot. At 6-foot-1, 202 pounds with 4.5 speed, Moehrig excels in coverage, but needs to work on being a better run defender near the line of scrimmage.