Buccaneers Silver Lining: Offensive Rookies


Though this season has gone in a bad direction for the Buccaneers, there still is a silver lining. The rookie class currently on the roster is performing well in some regards and looks to be a strength moving forward. Here is a look at some of the key contributors.

Guard Cody Mauch

The second round pick out of North Dakota State has come on to start every game this season. Though his play has had it’s fair share of ups and downs he has accumulated enough play for us to determine what his floor is.

With 715 snaps in a new position he’s seen stellar games in pass protection. Scoring as high as 83.7 according to PFF. Again, he’s also had some lows. The worst being a 2.8 graded game against the 49ers. With only four games being graded under 60 he can play well. With a full season under his belt I fully believe his pass protection will become better and more consistent.

On the year he has allowed six sacks, three hits and 21 hurries. Now that sounds like a lot but once you eliminate those four games we spoke about above his numbers clean up well. They look much better at only one sack, one hit, and five hurries.

The run game though he has struggled. His highest PFF grade has ben a 65 and he has averaged 46.6 this season. Another year in the system and some tweaks to his technique and he could easily improve for next year.

Tight End Payne Durham

Durham has only seen 30 snaps and six targets thus far. With four receptions, 33 yards (8.3 yards per reception) he’s only now really getting involved in the passing game. He shines well in pass blocking though. With an overall grade of 76.3 by PFF. So, for now, the verdict is still out but the flashes we have seen are good.

Wide Receiver Trey Palmer

It’s hard to expect anything out of a sixth rounder at times. But Trey Palmer is maturing and playing well given his draft billing. He’s seen 41 targets, for 25 receptions, giving him a reception percentage of 61%. With 227 yards he’s averaging a good 9.1 yards per reception, and has hauled in three touchdowns. He’s dropped two passes and fumbled once but it’s small in the grand scheme of things.

He’s also shown versatility. Lining up in the slot 58% of the time and out wide 41.4% of the time. Couple that with the fact that his grades across all depths of the field are very similar show the consistency he brings to the position.

He’s going to continue to grow and should remain a solid number three receiver for the team for the near future.

Final Thought

These three players represent some building blocks the team can use moving forward. Though none of them are jumping off the stat sheet they stand a good chance to improve and become bigger contributors for following seasons. So fans shouldn’t be disappointed in their play. They will get better.

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