Buccaneers UDFAs Set to Make a Big Impact?


The NFL Draft is over Buccaneers fans, now it’s time to evaluate the draft picks AND the Undrafted Free Agents. UDFAs are always hard to judge. Fans of teams will always try to talk up guys that their favorite team managed to get. But, there is still a reason that these guys weren’t drafted by anyone.

I’m not saying that UDFAs can’t make any impact whatsoever, but the odds are against them. Christian Izien was of course a quality pick up considering he was a UDFA, but I also remember hyping up Sean Tucker. That being said, I think the at least one of the current UDFAs can make an impact like Izien did.

I think the guy that is getting the most hype is LB Kalen DeLoach from FSU. Now, I did originally just think it was a bunch of FSU homers that insist every one of their players lays golden eggs. These are the same people that still want to watch Famous Jameis play football despite it being one of the worst experiences in football. However, they may be on to something here. DeLoach is an extremely fast LB and was able to notch 7 sacks last year (which would be more than most of our edge rushers). He is an extremely athletic player that has consistently made plays.

However, there is a problem with his size. I mentioned before how Lavonte was knocked for his size before the draft, but DeLoach looks and plays more like a safety. He is 5′ 11″ and weighs 210, really small for a LB. That sort of size and weight means that he avoids blockers a lot of times and he could be a detriment in the run game. But I trust Bowles to scheme up some blitz packages with him.

The other guy I think can make an impact is CB Tyrek Funderburk from Appalachian State. He was actually projected as a 6th-7th rounder by Lance Zurlein, so the Buccaneers may have gotten a small steal here. But he is a very fast CB, which makes sense as he was also a track star. Not only that, but he also got 11 interceptions over four years with the Mountaineers. And while he has had plenty of lapses in coverage, his speed has allowed him to recover better. I think he will make the team as a special teamer due to his speed. I think as a gunner he would be extremely effective, especially since that will be more important with these new kickoff rules.

UDFAs may not seem like the most exciting aspect of the draft, but there have been plenty of gems that have come from here, even on the Bucs like Shelton Quarles. Jason Licht also did manage to get Christian Izien who had plenty of good plays throughout the season. We shall see when the 2024 season starts.

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