FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots
• Buccaneers defensive tackle and Oklahoma alum Gerald McCoy was asked about the prospects of Tampa Bay drafting Sooners pass rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo while he was at the Pro Bowl this week.
“He can rush,” McCoy said of Okoronkwo. “He can rush. He’s a real rusher, not just running around guys. He has a gamut of different moves. If we can get him, then that’s great. I can help him out and school him up. He has what it takes.”
McCoy doesn’t think the 6-foot-1, 243-pound Okoronkwo is big enough to play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.
“I don’t think so,” McCoy said. “He’s a stand-up guy. That is what he did for the past two years. But if we get him and need to put his hand it the dirt, we can make it happen.”
• North Carolina defensive ends Bradley Chubb and Kentavius Street have been getting a lot of attention this offseason as draft prospects, but the interior defensive linemen that played in between them – defensive tackles B.J. Hill and Justin Jones – both had a very good week in Mobile, Ala. at the Senior Bowl. Jones was perhaps a bit more dominant in one-on-one pass rushing drills, but both Wolfback defenders, who tip the scales at over 310 pounds, made a very favorable impression.
However, the top defensive lineman at the Senior Bowl was Fort Hays State defensive tackle Nathan Shepherd, who is from a Division II school. Shepherd, who was profiled in last week’s SR’s Fab 5, weighed in at just under 6-foot-4, 310 pounds. He broke a bone in his hand during the practice on Wednesday and won’t play in the game, but opened plenty of eyes with his size, strength and ability to penetrate. Check out this rep against UTEP guard Will Hernandez, who had a fantastic week in Mobile.
97 beats Hernandez here. pic.twitter.com/Iz0xpPOzLa
— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) January 23, 2018
• If Tampa Bay doesn’t draft Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson in the first round there could be two great options in the second round. UTEP guard Will Hernandez is huge at 6-foot-2, 340 pounds and has good lateral movement for such a big, strong man. He’s a small school guy that really stood out and helped raise his stock.
The other guard that was noteworthy was Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn, who was profiled in last week’s SR’s Fab 5. The 6-foot-2, 303-pound Wynn played left tackle for the Bulldogs last year, but has a future at guard in the NFL because of his size. Wynn is tremendously quick and athletic, and is a very good technician.
• Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter, defensive coordinator Mike Smith, offensive coordinator Todd Monken, special teams coordinator Nick Kaczor, offensive line coach George Warhop, safety coach Brett Maxie didn’t attend the Senior Bowl this year. However, tight ends coach Ben Steele, running backs coach Tim Spencer, offensive line assistant coach Butch Barry, defensive line assistant coach Paul Spicer, cornerbacks coach Jon Hoke, and offensive quality control coach Zack Grossi were in attendance in Mobile to watch the practices along with general manager Jason Licht and the entire Bucs scouting staff.
• There is no news on the contract front with regards to extensions for Buccaneers players, and apparently there is no rush. The team doesn’t mind waiting until the summer or training camp to get some deals done.
The Bucs would like to work out a long-term contract extension for tight end Cameron Brate instead of offering the restricted free agent a one-year tender. Tampa Bay would also like to get a long-term deal done for wide receiver Mike Evans, who is entering his fifth-year option year.
The team also wants to re-sign cornerback Brent Grimes and wide receiver Adam Humphries, both of who are free agents, but is undecided about guards Kevin Pamphile and Evan Smith. While running back Doug Martin is expected to be released this offseason, the Bucs haven’t made up their minds as to whether to offer a contract to third-down back Charles Sims, who will be a free agent in March.
Tampa Bay is also looking into the possibility of doing some early contract extensions for members of the 2015 draft class, including left tackle Donovan Smith, center Ali Marpet and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander. Those extensions may or may not happen this year, but the team is laying the groundwork for them.
• Bucs linebacker Adarius Glanton suffered a broken leg in the Monday Night Football Game on December 17, but word has it that it was a clean break and is healing nicely. One member of the Bucs organization told me that if you had to break a bone, you would want to break it like Glanton broke his leg.
There is a good chance that Glanton, a special teams ace who showed a lot of promise last year with an extended look on defense, could be ready to go by training camp. Glanton is a restricted free agent this offseason and despite the injury the Bucs are expected to tender him a one-year offer.
• We’ll have a new Pewter Nation Podcast next week on PewterReport.com wrapping up our Senior Bowl coverage, in addition to a new PewterReport.com 2018 Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft on Monday.