The 2017 Senior Bowl is happening tomorrow, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been in attendance all week to evaluate players in practice, and get a chance to talk to them. We don’t know who they prefer at this point, and
Keep in mind that Senior Bowl hype is often that: hype. It may or may not carry over into the actual draft, mostly based on whether Senior Bowl performances are actually visible on the tape.
Still, let’s look at three Senior Bowl prospects who would fit the Bucs’ plans.
WR Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
This guy has apparently dominated three days of Senior Bowl practice, despite his small-school background and also that whole no one actually knowing his name before this week, thing.
Kupp’s fast, has solid size at 6’2”, 198 lbs., put up a ridiculous 428 grabs for 6,464 yards and 73 touchdowns and just all-around looks like a good, productive player. Oh also, he had three punt return touchdowns in his career, so he could fill yet another role.
S Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
You don’t see a lot of 6’4”, 219 lbs. safeties. And when you do, you think of Mark Barron: box players who can thump, and who aren’t really deep coverage guys.
That’s not the case with Melifonwu, who Mike Mayock said stood out for his range at the Senior Bowl, and had four interceptions in 2016. He’s a tackling machine who can basically do it all — but I’m most interested in his ability to cover the back end. Safeties who can roam sideline to sideline can change an entire defense, and the Bucs haven’t had one of those since Tanard Jackson left.
For a bit more background on him, check out Cat Scratch Reader.
DT Montravius Adams, Auburn
Gerald McCoy is still going strong, but the Bucs need added depth at the position, and preferably a long-term successor for McCoy as well. Adams could fit the bill: he’s quick and disruptive and has the potential to turn into a very good, disruptive defensive tackle. He also has a little more size than the Bucs’ current defensive tackles, which is what Mike Smith prefers.
Here’s what Mayock said of him on Tuesday:
When he keeps his pad level down he can be a monster inside. You don't see many people with that size with those type of movement skills. He's got superior short-area quickness and comes off the ball both in the run and the pass game. In the one-on-one drills nobody could block him on Day 1. He was dominant.