Rookies to watch out for in training camp


Good day everyone! With the start of training camp underway, let’s go over the rookies fans should look out for. The Buccaneers, as well as the fans, want Tampa Bay to take things to another level, especially coming off a poor performance in 2017, and after being the featured team on Hard Knocks. Sadly, the show only turned the Bucs reputation into being ‘soft’ and having a “soft training camp”. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the rookies that should be the biggest contributors to the team.


1. 2018 first round draft pick, DT out of Washington.

Vea will be someone to watch for, all season long. He has unbelievable strength matched with very quick, and dare I say, nimble feet. If you remember his high school days, you remember him as a very good running back.

Vita Vea will be hard to move with just one blocker, which should make things tough for opposing offensive lines, especially with All-Pro Gerald McCoy demanding consistent double teams.

Vea was not known for pass rushing at Washington, but he will take up room in the middle, and free up lanes for other players like McCoy and Jason Pierre-Paul.


2. With the first of our 3 second round picks, the Buccaneers selected Ronald Jones, RB out of USC.

Jones averaged 12.7 explosive runs per 100 carries while at USC. If Jones can stay healthy, I believe he could become the home run hitter we’ve so desperately been looking for. Jones should be one of the biggest contributors as a rookie on offense, if for no other reason then because of the position he plays. I will admit, I don’t see Jones as a three down back, mainly because of his size and lack of durability, but, I do believe Jones can learn to pass block and become effective, with and without the ball in his hands.


3. With the second pick of the 2nd round, Tampa Bay drafted CB M.J. Stewart in the second round of the draft, out of North Carolina.

I firmly believe Stewart is as physical as they come in the secondary, and he should easily handle smaller receivers and running backs this year.

Stewart is North Carolina’s all-time leader in pass breakups with 47, combined with 6 career interceptions.

I believe the Buccaneers will eventually move Stewart to safety at some point down the line, but for now, he should contribute at corner.

Considering the age of Grimes, 35, and Hargreaves lack of production, Stewart could have a major role in 2018.


4. With our final pick of the 2nd round, the Bucs drafted Carlton Davis, CB, from Auburn.

Davis has the edge over the other corners not named Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves.

Carlton has received much hype this offseason by fans and writers because of his size, standing at 6’1, as well as his ability to play press/man coverage effectively. Davis’ height is also a key factor because of the size of the receiver in our division, such as Falcons stud WR, Julio Jones.

I believe when teams go three receiver set, the defensive secondary will have Grimes and Davis on the outside with Hargreaves playing the Nickel position.


5. Our first pick in the third round was Offensive linemen Alex Cappa out of Humboldt State.

Cappa is massive, standing at 6’6 and 304lbs. He also brings an attitude with him that is necessary to play on the line. The only concern about Cappa how quickly he can familiarize himself with the NFL, especially considering he jumped from a division II school directly to the NFL.

Head coach Dirk Koetter does seem to have a lot of faith in Cappa considering the Bucs release of former offensive guard J.R. Sweezy this offseason. There is still no clear understanding whether Cappa will play guard or tackle should someone go down with an injury. He is definitely a player to watch during the preseason.


 6. In the fourth round, the Bucs snatched up S Jordan Whitehead from Pittsburgh.

Whitehead is a name you haven’t heard much this offseason because he was injured early on and has a lot of catching up to do in order to be on a level field with everyone else.

For Whitehead to see the field, he would have to beat out Chris Conte and Ryan Tandy for playing time. The only advantage both Conte and Tandy have over Whitehead is continuity and experience, because Whitehead is a more physical and explosive player then both of them

Whitehead needs to really get into the playbook these next few weeks if he is to grab an edge over the two incumbent veterans.

Well there you have it Bucs fans, this is my list of the rookies to most watch during training camp and preseason. 


Edited by Harmeet Kapur