High Hopes for Draft Picks
From this point forward, it’s all about the X’s and O’s.
All the hype and speculation is over. With the 2019 NFL Draft is the rearview mirror, the Bucs organization looks forward to developing the young talent they acquired.
With OTA’s kicking off this week, Phase 3 of the offseason brings back a sense of normalcy to One Buc. Football players can get back to being football players again.
Offseason Training Activities are the next and biggest stage for the NFL’s rookie class, but it is a challenge being met with force for the Bucs draftees.
According to head coach Bruce Arians, Devin White, the team’s crown jewel draft selection, has been making an instant impact thus far. After just the first day at OTA’s, in which White practiced with the 1st team defense and intercepted QB Jameis Winston, here’s what Arians had to say about his new defensive cog:
I think all the young kids jumped out there right away… they looked like they fit right in. I was really impressed with Devin’s interception.
White immediately made his presence felt, creating the turnover on just the 2nd play of practice. That is why the Buccaneers drafted the LSU linebacker with their premium top-5 selection, to make gamechanging plays. Now, the practice field is a far cry from being an impact on Sunday’s, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Arians wasn’t the only one to speak highly of White’s game, however. Former All-Pro linebacker and teammate Lavonte David, a mainstay in Tampa Bay’s defense for years now, raved about what the rookie is already bringing to this team:
There’s something about those LSU guys, man. All of them bring a certain type of energy, a certain type of swagger, you know? We’re glad to have him here, he’s happy to be here. He’s ready to step in and contribute right away. The first day he’s talking, flying around, and caught an interception the 2nd play of practice, so that’s a big positive sign.
White’s early success has been apparent, but don’t let that distract you from Tampa Bay’s other draftees shining as well.
Both Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean, Tampa’s 2nd and 3rd round draft selections, have been doing what they were drafted to do: take the football away and create turnovers.
On a squad severely lacking secondary playmakers, Murphy-Bunting and Dean look to change that narrative for a young Bucaneers defensive back unit.
It was reported that both DBs recorded interceptions during rookie minicamp. Dean and Murphy-Bunting have also been getting 1st team defensive work during OTAs, taking the place of Vernon Hargreaves III and rotating with 2nd year CB Carlton Davis, which is an entire story in itself.
Tampa Bay’s young draft picks have been making their presence felt, something missing in previous rookie classes. The new coaching regime is hopeful for the rookie class to come in and be instant impact players.
The expectations have been high with former Coach of the Year Bruce Arians, but the young Bucs have been living up to par. Going forward, it’ll be seen if the young defensive player’s early success will translate to Sunday’s, and ultimately, wins.
The future of this franchise depends on it.
What are your expectations for this 2019 rookie draft class? Be sure to tell us down below in the comments!