The Buccaneers have given the early nod outside at corner to Vernon Hargreaves III and Carlton Davis so far. This doesn’t go without saying that neither player has excelled to the point that their starting roles are rock solid. Hargreaves III has had his struggles with injuries and on field play and Carlton Davis is just entering his second year in the league.
The Buccaneers invested in Davis and M.J. Stewart, who is potentially heading to safety, a year ago despite Hargreaves III’s presence and there’s little reason to believe they won’t look to further address the position in this up coming draft as well.
Amani Oruwariye out of Penn State by way of Tampa, Florida could be a target for the Buccaneers to help out a secondary that lost Brent Grimes.
Amani Oruwariye’s Career
Oruwariye’s career has taken a different path than many other potential NFL Draft picks. Oruwariye did not become a starter until his season year despite a very good junior season that saw the Tampa native earn 2nd team All Big Ten honors.
Oruwariye began his season year as the starting corner and earned 1st team All Big Ten honors showcasing his skills with three interceptions and twelve pass breakups. Oruwariye’s senior season earned him a spot at the Senior Bowl earlier this year.
By far the biggest thing working for Oruwariye is his size and ability to be physical with receivers. Oruwariye showed a propensity to handle receivers well at the line of scrimmage and redirect them. Has shown better results in man coverage, fitting well with the scheme the Buccaneers will be running under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
At the point of reception is where Oruwariye showed his skillset the best raking in 7 interceptions and swatting away another 20. Oruwariye’s length allows him to disrupt passes within a wide radius of the receivers body.
Attitude at the line of scrimmage mixed with his size has been a recipe for success in college, the physicality should help him translate well to the NFL in that aspect.
The biggest strike against Oruwariye is his lack of speed. If beat off the line, Oruwariye will struggle to make up ground. From a technique stand point, Oruwariye has a lot of work to do. Oruwariye struggles to flip his hips and and change direction. Oruwariye would struggle mightily if mismatched up in the slot.
Coverage aside, tackling was a bit spotty for Oruwariye despite good willingness to mix it up in the run game. Struggles with backpedaling and change of direction limit him scheme wise to an extent.
Why The Buccaneers Need Him
At 6’1”, the Buccaneers need another tall lengthy receiver in a division that has teams regularly trotting out multiple 6’1+ receivers such as the Atlanta Falcons. Hargreaves III may be getting the first shot outside alongside Carlton Davis but there is an absolute need for another lengthy corner in this secondary.
With Todd Bowles wanting to play more aggressively and putting corners in press man coverage, more bodies need to come into camp capable of doing so. Oruwariye fits the bill in a division like the NFC South where opposing teams have physically imposing receivers. Oruwariye may not beat out Hargreaves III or Carlton Davis day one, but more talent is needed and with Hargreaves III being in a make it or break it season, it’s necessary to have a potential back up plan ready.
Will It Happen?
Possibly. Amani Oruwariye’s draft stock puts him anywhere from the end of round two after some speed questions to early day three of the draft. With him being a scheme reliant corner, it’s very possibly that the Buccaneers could get him at a place of value that makes plenty of sense for both parties.