Draft history of Bucs with Senior Bowl

In just over a week, the Bucs, along with the rest of the NFL, will descend upon Mobile, Alabama for the Reese’s Senior Bowl. There, more than 70 seniors from programs across the college football landscape will make one last plea for increasing their draft stock ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Senior Bowl has long been a showcase that the Bucs have taken seriously as they have attracted many showcase attendees over the years.

Current Bucs who attended the Senior Bowl

The current Bucs roster has nine players who have committed to the Senior Bowl at some point. That includes five of the eight players the Bucs selected over the past year. Those picks were defensive lineman Logan Hall and offensive guard Luke Goedeke in the second round, running back Rachaad White in the third round, punter Jake Camarda in the fourth round, and cornerback Zyon McCollum in the fifth round.

In 2021, linebacker KJ Britt was selected in the fifth round by the Bucs after they were able to watch him play in the Senior Bowl. The year before, Ke’Shawn Vaughn was similarly selected by the Bucs in the third round. In 2019, safety Mike Edwards and outside linebacker Anthony Nelson attended the Senior Bowl before becoming Bucs draft picks in the third and fourth rounds, respectively. But the history of Bucs general manager Jason Licht and its reliance on the Senior Bowl goes back much further.

Bucs GM Light has a long history with Senior Bowl

Bucs LG Ali Marpet and LT Donovan Smith – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Licht’s inclination to select Senior Bowl players doesn’t stop at those nine players. In addition, in 2021, the Bucs selected seventh-round linebacker Grant Stuart. In 2018, Tampa Bay took cornerback MJ Stewart in the second round, offensive guard Alex Cappa in the third round, wide receiver Justin Watson in the fifth round.

The year prior to the tight end, OJ Howard attended the Senior Bowl before the Bucs made it to him in the first round. Then Tampa Bay doubled and even tripled with Senior Bowl selections taking safety Justin Evans in the second round and defensive lineman Stevie Tu’ikolovatu in the seventh.

All told, over the course of Licht’s nine years of service as general manager of Bucs 22 of his 64 draft selections (or just over a third) were former Senior Bowl participants. Perhaps Licht’s greatest success in picking players coming out of the Senior Bowl occurred in 2015 when he picked both offensive tackle Donovan Smith and guard Ali Marpet in the second round. Both were instant starters as rookies, and those two would play side by side on the left side of the Tampa Bay offensive line from 2017 through 2021.

Marpet retired in 2021, one year away from a Super Bowl and after receiving his first Pro Bowl selection. Smith has been the Bucs starting left tackle for eight years now and is entering the final year of his second contract with the team.

This year’s Senior Bowl offers plenty of options to meet Bucs’ needs

The 2023 Senior Bowl will likely feature at least one future Bucs player given Licht’s tendency to pick players from the showcase and the team’s differing needs in the roster. You could make an argument that as the roster stands right now, the team could use help on offensive tackle, offensive guard, defensive line, outside linebacker, inside linebacker, cornerback, and safety.

Here is a list of prospects currently in the Top 100 The big board of Pro Football Focus set to attend the Senior Bowl that may be of interest to the Bucs:

  • Guard O’Cyrus Torrence – Florida – 27th
  • Rand Andre Carter II – Army – 35th
  • Edge Will McDonald IV – State of Iowa – 37th
  • Offensive Equipment Cody Mauch – NDSU – 43rd
  • Assault Gear Darnell Wright – Tennessee – 44th
  • Rand Keion White – Georgia Tech – 56th
  • Rand Isaiah McGuire – Missouri – 61st
  • Defensive Tackle Karl Brooks – Bowling Green – 65th
  • Linebacker Daiyan Henley – Washington State – 67th
  • Rand Derick Hall – Maroon – 69th
  • Attack tackle Matthew Bergeron – Syracuse – 71st
  • Defensive tackle Keaanu Benton – Wisconsin – 72nd
  • Rand Adetomiwa Adebawore – Northwest – 75th
  • Linebacker DeMarvion Overshown – Texas – 79th
  • Rand Isaiah Foskey – Notre Dame – 85th
  • Offensive Gear Blake Freeland – BYU – 87th
  • Offensive Tackle Dawand Jones – Ohio State – 90th
  • Rand Byron Young – Tennessee – 93rd
  • Guard Steve Avila – TCU – 95th

Senior Bowl practices will run from Tuesday, January 31 through Thursday, February 2, with game play starting on Saturday, February 4, 2023.

#Draft #history #Bucs #Senior #Bowl

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