Yet other Bucs fans weren’t wowed by the selection.
Perhaps it was just Tryon’s lone year as a starter at Washington that makes them wary of Jason Licht’s latest first-rounder. Noting Licht’s recent successes in the draft, especially with first-round picks like nose tackle Vita Vea, linebacker Devin White and right tackle Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay’s G.M. should be given the benefit of the doubt, however.
Some of the Bucs fans that aren’t impressed with the addition of Tryon are likely fans of Tampa Bay’s Jason Pierre-Pierre and believe the veteran is a good edge rusher. Yet there are some striking similarities between Tryon’s size, production and athletic testing compared to Pierre-Paul when he was a first-round pick out of South Florida in 2010.
Let’s go to the tale of the tape between both pass rushers – and your opinion of Tryon just might be changed.
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Bucs OLB Joe Tryon – Photo courtesy of Washington
Tryon and Pierre-Paul are both 6-foot-5, and the Washington product weighed 259 at his pro day. Pierre-Paul weighed 270 at the NFL Scouting Combine coming out of USF in 2010.
Tryon has 34-inch arms and Pierre-Paul’s arms are slightly longer at 34 3/4 inches. Tryon’s hand size is 10 1/4 while Pierre-Paul’s is 10 3/8.
Tryon ran a 4.68 in the 40-yard dash, while JPP was a tick slower at 4.78. The Bucs rookie was also slightly faster in the 10-yard split, edging out the veteran 1.64 to 1.68. Tryon also had a faster time in the short shuttle, running a 4.36 compared to Pierre-Paul’s 4.67 time. Both edge rushers had identical 7.18 times in the 3-cone drill.
Tryon proved to be the more explosive athlete, posting a 9-foot, 6-inch broad jump and a 35-inch vertical. Pierre-Paul had a 9-foot, 5-inch broad jump and a 30.5-inch vertical. Tryon also had 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, while Pierre-Paul recorded 19 reps.
Overall, it’s fair to say that Tryon’s athleticism is at least on par with that of Pierre-Paul’s – if not better in some areas. The college production of both of the pass rushers has some striking similarity, too.
Pierre-Paul played three years of college football with his first two seasons at the JUCO level. He dominated his freshman year at College of the Canyons with 14 sacks, 19 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one interception and one fumble recovery. The next year he was at Fort Scott Community College where he notched 70 tackles, 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Bucs OLB Jason Pierre-Paul – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
But once JPP got to the FBS level he had one season of good, but not great production. In his lone year at USF as a junior, Pierre-Paul posted 45 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and a had pick-six. He was drafted 15th overall to the New York Giants in 2010.
Tryon had 20 tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and one pass breakup as a freshman, seeing limited snaps. As a redshirt sophomore, Tryon posted 41 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks and a pass defensed.
From a statistical standpoint, Tryon’s sophomore year at Washington compares favorably to Pierre-Paul’s junior season at USF. So was he a reach at No. 32, as some might suggest? No, not at all.
Will Tryon have the same level of success that Pierre-Paul, a four-time Pro Bowler, has had? Only time will tell.
But based on similar size, athletic testing and college production, it’s easy to see why the Bucs drafted Tryon to contribute now and eventually replace the 32-year old Pierre-Paul down the road.
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org