The 2020 NFL Draft is over for the Buccaneers. After trading two fourth round picks and receiving seventh round picks as part of their returns, the Bucs turned in their cards on picks 241 and 245. With those, Tampa Bay selected outside linebacker Chapelle Russell from Temple and running back Raymond Calais out of Louisiana.
Russell - 6’2”, 235lbs - played in 44 games for Temple, accumulating 237 tackles - 19.5 for loss with three sacks - nine passes defensed, five fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, and a touchdown. Russell also suffered torn ACLs in both 2016 and 2017. Russell ran a 4.69 40-yard dash to go along with his 35” vertical and 121” broad jump.
Resilient, mentally tough linebacker whose ability to fight back after two ACL tears to the same knee should tell teams about his football character. Of course, the same ACL tears also tell teams that durability could be a major concern. Russell has had trouble keeping weight on in the past and weighed just 221 pounds at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January. His play speed and athleticism are both solid, but he lacks elite instincts as a playmaker to offset concerns about his size and consistency against the run. A trip into camp as an undrafted free agent could be his post-draft destiny.
Calais - 5’8”, 188lbs - is pretty fast with a 4.42 40-yard dash. He played in 49 games for Louisiana finishing with 236 carries for 1,845 yards and 15 touchdowns. Calais also had 17 receptions for 145 yards and one touchdown. He finished number one in the Sun Belt Conference in yards per carry with 7.6 in 2019. Another aspect of his game is as a kick returner. Calais had 99 returns for 2,493 - a 25.2 average - and two touchdowns.
Change-of-pace back with very good burst but below average size that could limit his NFL suitors. Calais is fairly talented (and courageous) as an inside/outside zone runner, but as a pro, he will likely be considered a gadget back who makes his living in open space. His play speed is what gives him a chance, but he needs to run with better patience to improve his control and elusiveness in the open field. He’s not much of a third-down option, but his history as a punt-team gunner works in his favor.