The East/West Shrine game is just 4 days away. This game will feature some of the NFL’s future players. All the NFL teams have sent their scouts to Tropicana Field, where the game will be taking place. These scouts are eyeing their team’s future. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking at these players to help improve on their 5-11 season from last year. Here are the offensive players that the Bucs have their eyes on.
The Bucs have decided they are keeping Jameis Winston as their starting quarterback. That means they need a backup because they are not bringing back Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Buccaneers need to go younger.
The quarterback the Bucs have their eyes on is Oklahoma State Taylor Cornelius. Cornelius stands at 6’6” and weighs in at 232 pounds. He is a protectable NFL quarterback and, like Winston, a dual-threat quarterback. Last year he threw for 3,978 yards, 32 touchdowns, and only 13 interceptions. On top on those stats, he rushed for 406 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. He would fit into Bruce Arians’ offense.
The Buccaneers have not had a running game since the days of Warrick Dunn and Mike Alstott. If they are going to be a more balanced offense, they need to find a running game. In 2018 their opponents knew they didn’t have much of a running game and focused on the pass. The Bucs primarily used two backs Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers. They also drafted Ronald Jones, but he never seemed to pan out.
There are three running backs the Buccaneers are looking at. The first one is Maryland running back Ty Johnson. Johnson has great speed and hands. He also could be used as a kick returner. He had two kick returns a year ago for the Terrapins.
The second back is Pittsburg Darrin Hall Jr. He is very similar to Peyton Barber but much faster. He was known for breaking out for long runs and breaking tackles inside the tackle box. He also has decent hands. He finished at Pitt with 2.189 yards and 21 touchdowns.
The third and final running back is Nebraska’s Devine Ozigbo. Ozigbo is a power back. He likes to punish defensive players. Even though he is a big back, he has great hands. He had 49 career catches for 488 yards. 23 of those receptions and 203 yards came in his senior season. His rushing stats are 2,196 yards and 21 touchdowns. Any of these backs would help Winston and the passing game.
The Buccaneers have two stud wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The status of DeSean Jackson is still in question, even though head coach Bruce Arians would like to keep him. The Buccaneers are also focusing on three wide receivers, starting with Old Dominion’s Jonathan Duhart. Duhart overshadowed Travis Fulgham, who played in the senior ball last week. Duhart is 6’3” and had 74 catches for 1,045 yards and 9 touchdowns. Where he excels is his leaping ability and physicality. This helps in the red zone.
The next one is Fresno State’s KeeSean Johnson. Johnson is known for his sure hands. He had 275 receptions, 3,463 yards and 24 touchdowns at Fresno State. He is not a great but a good athlete with good but not great speed. He will be the receiver who makes the big catches when they are needed.
The last receiver is UC Davis Keelan Doss. Doss is a real playmaker in the red zone. He doesn’t have great speed but will make the middle of the traffic catches for first downs. He had 233 receptions, 2,833 yards, and 16 touchdowns. All three of these gentlemen would fit well in the Buccaneers’ offense.
The Buccaneers were told all season that they had a bad offensive line. They will need help to protect Winston and establish a running game. The line will need to open holes for the backs. This is a big upgrade that the Bucs need to make. If their offense is going to get better, it starts with the line. Here are 5 offensive linemen the Bucs are looking at.
The first is a guard from the University of Kentucky, Bunchy Stallings. Stallings played both guard and center for the Wildcats. He was part of the big force to help running back Benny Snell, who was one of the top running backs in the nation. Stalling is a mauler in the run game but needs to work on his pass protection.
The next one is also a guard from North Carolina State, Tyler Jones. He is small in stature but is really athletic. He has strong hands and quick feet. He might be better internally because of his size.
The third is Michigan’s Juwann Bushell-Beatty. Bushell-Beatty was a tackle, but because of his lack of quick feet they moved him to guard. He has a huge wingspan, which makes him a good pass protector. He was an immense help in the Wolverines’ run game.
The fourth one is a tackle from San Diego State, Ryan Pope. He was a late bloomer but helped in the run game. Pope has a big athletic body but will need coaching as he moves into the next level.
The last one is a tackle from the University of Miami, Tyree St. Louis. St. Louis is great in the run game. He is better on the right side of the line where he can use his power.
These players all have good qualities that can help the Buccaneers. The Bucs are going to have to start with the line if they are going to have a better 2019! The line will set up everything. If they are looking at quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers, they will need the line. Let’s see who the Buccaneers will look at this Saturday.
Info courtesy of Pewterreport.com.