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Epilogue to a Draft: Bucs Add 13 Undrafted Free Agents

Posted Apr 29, 2013

As usual, the Buccaneers' draft efforts continued after the last pick was made on Saturday, and on Monday the team revealed the list of undrafted players with whom it has agreed to terms


The 2013 NFL Draft officially ended at 7:27 p.m. ET on Saturday night when the Indianapolis Colts turned South Carolina tight end Justice Cunningham into the latest "Mr. Irrelevant."  In NFL draft rooms across the league, however, the action was just getting started.

 

That was certainly the case at One Buccaneer Place, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' team of scouts and coaches were working the phones, attempting to add more talent to their six-man 2013 draft class.  On Monday, the Buccaneers announced the fruits of those labors: 12 undrafted free agent who have agreed to terms with the team, including a trio of cornerbacks, a shot of depth for the offensive line and a pair of very big targets among three new wide receivers.

 

The Bucs' personnel men scoured the country to bring in this additional group of rookies, nabbing three players from the Pac-12, several from northeastern locations and one from the local University of South Florida.  Here is the list of undrafted free agents officially added by the Buccaneers on Monday:

 

Pos.

Player

Ht.

Wt.

College

CB

Deveron Carr

5-11

190

Arizona State

WR

Jerry Johnson

6-3

211

UCLA

TE

Evan Landi

6-3

236

South Florida

CB

Rashaan Melvin

6-2

193

Northern Illinois

WR

D.J. Monroe

5-9

175

Texas

LB

Willie Moseley

6-5

251

Buffalo

T

Brice Schwab

6-7

302

Arizona State

RB

Akeem Shavers

5-11

203

Purdue

G

Adam Smith

6-5

325

Western Kentucky

CB

Branden Smith

5-11

182

Georgia

T

Nick Speller

6-5

334

Massachusetts

T

Jason Weaver

6-5

305

Southern Mississippi

WR

Tim Wright

6-4

220

Rutgers

 

These 12 players. plus the Bucs' six 2013 draft picks will come to Tampa this weekend for a rookie mini-camp.  As usual, the remainder of the camp roster will be filled out by players participating on tryout contracts, several of whom will inevitably play their way onto the offseason roster and a shot at training camp.

 

While the 12 players announced on Monday did not hear their names called during the draft weekend, they will come to town with a very real opportunity to win a roster spot.  It is not uncommon for one or more undrafted free agents to make the 53-man roster in the regular season, as was the case last year with cornerback Leonard Johnson and tight end Danny Noble.  Noble eventually ended up on injured reserve (and fellow undrafted rookie Desmond Wynn spent all of 2012 on I.R. after sustaining a preseason injury) but Johnson earned a significant amount of playing time, starting six games in the second half of the season and snaring three interceptions.

 

Other notable players in franchise history who first joined the Buccaneers as undrafted free agents straight out of college include Karl Williams, Earnest Graham, Clifton Smith, Todd Yoder, Anthony Davis, Ryan Nece, Jeff Gooch, Rob Taylor and many, many more.  Current Buccaneers who started their NFL careers as undrafted free agents – not necessarily in Tampa – include both of the team's starting offensive tackles, Donald Penn and Demar Dotson.

 

Who among the current group has the best shot at following in the path of a Karl Williams or Earnest Graham?  That's impossible to tell before any of them have had even one Buccaneer practice, but there are some interesting numbers to consider.

 

Akeem Shavers, the running back from Purdue and the second Akeem from Big Ten the Bucs have added in the last three days, is a JuCo transfer who had 1,390 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in two seasons for the Boilermakers, averaging  4.8 yards per tote.  He joins an offensive backfield that has some apparent opportunity after Saturday's trade of LeGarrette Blount, though the Bucs also drafted Miami running back Mike James in the sixth round.

 

UCLA's Jerry Johnson (6-3, 211) and Rutgers' Tim Wright (6-4, 220) add quite a bit of size to the Bucs' spring receiving corps.  Johnson had a career-best 31 catches for 428 yards (13.8 avg.) last year for the Bruins while Wright caught 39 passes for 449 yards and two scores.  Texas' D.J. Monroe (5-9, 175) doesn't have the same size but was also a collegiate track star with blazing speed.

 

Evan Landi, who caught 72 passes for 846 yards as a tight end in his collegiate career and also spent part of last season as USF's backup quarterback, is the latest Bull to get a shot with the hometown NFL team.  Two starters from a strong Arizona State squad will make the trip East together in an attempt to catch on with the Buccaneers: cornerback Deveron Carr and tackle Brice Schwab.  Eastern Kentucky guard Derek Hardman made Tampa Bay's roster as an undrafted free agent in 2010; now Western Kentucky guard Adam Smith will give it a shot in 2013.

 

In the fifth round on Saturday, the Buccaneers made defensive end Steven Means the first player from the University of Buffalo they had ever drafted.  Apparently, the Bucs' scouting trips to Buffalo turned up some other talent, as well, as Bulls linebacker Willie Moseley will join his college teammate in Tampa.  The Northeast also produced Massachusetts tackle Nick Speller and Rutgers' Wright.

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