How Will the Buccaneers Use Their New College Connections


Did you guys know it’s draft season?

The Buccaneers have reached deep into the college ranks to find their new coaches. There’s head coach Liam Coen and offensive line coach Brad Picucci from Kentucky, but there is also wide receivers coach Bryan McClendon from Oregon in 2020-21 and Georgia in 2022-present. A lot of the time, a college coach heading into the NFL will choose players from their team or they played frequently in the conference. Usually it’s a good thing (like Pete Carroll and Richard Sherman), but it can be bad (like Steve Spurrier and the Washington Gators). Hopefully it’s the former. But, former college coaches like going with the guys they know, obviously.

With Kentucky, there are several options. A lot of people have been saying running back Ray Davis. For obvious reasons, Davis is a beast. He would be a perfect complement to Rachaad White’s slippery style. I’ve talked about him a little bit already. But he was able to produce a lot of yards behind a mediocre line and with a QB that is kind of meh.

But speaking of that meh quarterback, Devin Leary could be a guy they draft in the later rounds. Now, I hate this man as a Tar Heel fan (screw the Wolfpack), but I wouldn’t hate drafting him. He is a very polished pocket passer. He sees the field incredibly well and is dangerous in the pocket. However, there is a massive but. I hate the short quarterback as a criticism. Plenty of short quarterbacks have proven they can thrive and do well in the NFL (especially Drew Brees), so it’s a dumb thing to continue to say.

However, I think his stature has played a role in his injury history. He’s had really bad luck regarding injuries. Fractured tibulas and torn pectoral muscles and other such injuries have plagued him. If you could promise me he can stay healthy, then I think he would be a solid late-round pick-up. He has proven to be really good when on the field. Him being on the field is unfortunately a big question mark.

For Bryan McClendon, he has his connections at Georgia and Oregon. Now, the most obvious connection for him being the WR coach is Brock Bowers. But that is not happening. Another guy who has potential is Ladd McConkey. Think Trey Palmer, but a smaller frame and better route running. He is very fast and twitchy. More of a gadget player, but is projected as a slot guy, which is a vital role on teams. Of course, there is a downside. Like Leary, he is not the most durable player. At 5′ 11″, he is also not good at contested catches. If he is not open, I would not try to force him the ball as I don’t think he could out-physical any big corner.

Right now, this team has a lot of SEC connections. With coaches from both Kentucky and Georgia, these are coaches that have seen some of the best college student/athletes at the time. I would not be surprised if the Buccaneers go very heavy on players that played in the SEC, either from these schools or from the ones the new coaches have played against. It does keep me up at night to think about the reaction if we draft players from that school on Gainesville though.

Want more from Devin? Click here, then follow him on Twitter.

Follow, Like and Subscribe to Bucs Report

For more on this and everything Buccaneers check back here hourly at