Player News - Buccaneers

Date: Team: Pos:

Bucs traded up with the Jets to select LSU LB Kendell Beckwith with the No. 107 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

The Bucs surrendered their fourth- and sixth-round picks to move up. Beckwith (6’2/243) made 29 starts at middle linebacker for the Tigers, tallying 24.5 career tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles. He led LSU in tackles (91) as a senior and earned first-team All-SEC from the conference’s coaches, only to tear his left ACL in the Tigers’ second-to-last regular season game. When healthy, Beckwith is a two-down banger in the Benardrick McKinney mold who will likely leave the field on passing downs. Due to the knee injury, Beckwith is a candidate to "redshirt" his rookie NFL season.
Apr 28 - 11:42 PM

Bucs selected Penn State WR Chris Godwin with the No. 84 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

After adding DeSean Jackson in free agency and O.J. Howard in the first round, the Bucs nab yet another weapon for Jameis Winston with their third pick of the draft. Godwin (6’1/209) turned pro after three years as a Nittany Lion, finishing with a 154-2,421-18 (15.4 YPR) career receiving line. He only earned honorable mention All-Big Ten in 2016. Godwin’s stock soared Indy, recording a top-four SPARQ score among wideouts with a 4.42 forty and explosive 10-foot-6 broad jump. Godwin topped 1,100 yards at age 19 and scored 11 TDs last season as a 20-year-old. While he is still learning to use his speed and has room to improve after the catch, Godwin impressed with acrobatic plays on tape and stood out in Matt Harmon’s Reception Perception as this draft’s premier contested-catch receiver. Godwin is among the highest-ceiling prospects in a weak 2017 wideout class.
Apr 28 - 10:32 PM

Bucs selected Texas A&M S Justin Evans with the No. 50 overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft.

Evans (6’0/199) spent his junior and senior seasons in College Station after transferring from community college, starting both years and tallying six tackles for loss with five interceptions. SEC coaches voted him second-team all-conference in 2016. Evans also played special teams, averaging an impressive 28.5 yards per kick return as a senior. Physical with plus ball skills, Evans flashed combination free-strong safety ability with outstanding range on tape. He is a springy athlete with a 41 ½-inch vertical and 10-foot-9 broad jump. Evans’ main flaw is a tendency to miss tackles due to over-aggressiveness. Regardless, he is an upside prospect in the D.J. Swearinger mold.
Apr 28 - 8:33 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Bucs passed on a running back at No. 19 overall partly because Doug Martin has been "the most impressive player thus far" at offseason workouts in Tampa Bay.

Okay. Teams have done close to zero actual football work to this point in the offseason programs, but Martin reportedly is in great shape following his stint in rehab. He's still suspended for the first three games of the year, and the Bucs could easily address the running back spot on Friday evening. Taking TE O.J. Howard at No. 19 had more to do with an elite talent falling into their lap.
Apr 28 - 9:04 AM

Bucs selected Alabama TE O.J. Howard with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.

Howard (6’6/251) was a dominant combination tight end in Alabama’s pro-style offense, wrapping his career with a 114-1,726-7 (15.1 YPR) receiving line and earning PFF College’s No. 1 run-blocking grade in 2016. A truly dominant blocker, Howard’s tape reveals a fiercely physical player who seeks out contact in line and on the move. Athletically, Howard posted top-five SPARQ results among tight ends at the Combine with wideout-like 4.51 speed and a position-best 6.85 three-cone time. Howard dropped only three passes over his final two seasons and has been compared to Greg Olsen by Rotoworld draft guru Josh Norris.
Apr 27 - 10:29 PM

ESPN's Sal Paolantonio reports the Jets could select Alabama TE O.J. Howard at No. 6 overall.

Widely considered the best player in an unusually deep tight end class, Howard is a freak athlete at 6-foot-6, 251 pounds. The Jets haven't had a proper tight end for years, and lack weapons on offense. Were Howard to actually come off the board at No. 6, he would be the first tight end to go in the top six since Vernon Davis in 2006.
Apr 27 - 4:26 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Bucs have talked with "at least three teams" about moving back in the first round and possibly out of round one altogether.

Tampa Bay isn't alone in wanting to move back. It's far easier said than done because most teams want to keep their second- and third-round picks in what is perceived to be a draft class that lacks star talent but is thought to be extremely deep. Many teams in the second half of Round 1 will probably be working the phones on Thursday night trying to move back and stock picks.
Apr 26 - 9:54 AM

14-of-16 NFL scouts polled by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel named Alabama's O.J. Howard this year's top draft-eligible tight end.

Howard crushed the field, as Miami's David Njoku finished a distant second with just one first-place vote and Ole Miss WR/TE Evan Engram garnered the final first-place vote. The Journal-Sentinel used a "points" system based on the scouts' 1-5 rankings. That "points" system resulted in Howard at No. 1, Njoku at No. 2, Engram at No. 3, South Alabama's Gerald Everett at No. 4, and injured Jake Butt of Michigan at No. 5 among draft-eligible tight ends.
Apr 22 - 10:13 PM

Bucs DE Noah Spence could see time at strong side linebacker.

Spence played all his rookie-year snaps at end. The Bucs have a need on the strong side and could get him some time there in base sets. Spence has injury questions coming off labrum surgery, but projects for a bigger second-year role after rotating behind William Gholston and Robert Ayers.
Apr 22 - 8:20 PM

The Bucs will be the featured team on this year's season of Hard Knocks.

The Bucs campaigned for the gig, and got it. Although the show has gotten rather formulaic in recent years, it's still a fascinating look into training camp. The Bucs will try to present a team that's ready for a return to the playoffs after 2016's step forward.
Apr 18 - 1:25 PM

Bucs re-signed TE Cameron Brate to a one-year, $690,000 contract.

An exclusive rights free agent, Brate's return was a formality. WR Adam Humphries has also signed his ERFA tender. Coming off an excellent 2016, Brate has emerged as one of Jameis Winston's preferred targets in the red zone. Even with DeSean Jackson joining the Bucs' receiver corps, Brate could remain a low-end TE1 in 2017.
Apr 17 - 2:36 PM

Bucs exercised WR Mike Evans' fifth-year team option for 2018.

It was a no-brainer move, obviously. Evans has topped 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons and is still just 23 years old. GM Jason Licht knows it's going to cost a ton to keep Evans long-term and said on Monday the goal is to make Evans a lifelong Buc. Evans could become the league's highest-paid receiver when/if he signs an extension between now and next summer.
Apr 17 - 11:53 AM

Suspended RB Doug Martin is present for the start of the Bucs' offseason workout program Monday.

Martin has been out of rehab for awhile now and was fully expected to be present for day one of the offseason. This is just confirmation. Martin will be suspended the first three weeks of the regular season but is allowed to participate in training camp and the preseason. His future in Tampa Bay remains uncertain. The team may not make a decision until his suspension is done.
Apr 17 - 9:35 AM

Bucs re-signed QB Ryan Griffin to a one-year, $1.797 million contract.

Griffin was extended the low-level tender as a restricted free agent. He's expected to be the No. 2 this season after Mike Glennon left to sign with the Bears.
Apr 17 - 9:33 AM

The Bucs could ask suspended RB Doug Martin for a pay cut.

Martin has a $7 million salary, but will make only $5.7 million after his three game suspension. It’s possible the Bucs offer him an incentives-based restructure similar to what they did with J.R. Sweezy. Tampa isn’t committed to Martin, but strong ties with Dirk Koetter and GM Jason Licht are working in his favor. Martin is expected to attend offseason workouts next week.
Apr 14 - 8:06 PM


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