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Names to Know: More Undrafted Rookies Come Aboard

Posted Jul 27, 2011

The Bucs signed 14 more undrafted free agents on Wednesday for a total of 16, adding several intriguing skill-position prospects to their young offense


The Bucs signed 14 more undrafted free agents on Wednesday for a total of 16, adding several intriguing skill-position prospects to their young offense…Among the Buc newcomers are former St. Pete Catholic star Jock Sanders, Boise State QB Mike Coughlin and productive Tennessee LB Nick Reveiz//

 

On Wednesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released a complete list of the undrafted rookie free agents they have inked over the past two days.  The list is 16 strong and is interesting in its diversity, with a wide range of college backgrounds (from powerhouse Oklahoma to tiny Union College), positions  (there as many long-snappers as running backs) and hometowns (one’s a former Bay area prep star, others had to jet in from the West Coast).

 

There’s a son of a former NFL kicker in the group, as well as a quarterback who never started a collegiate game but was a sought-after prospect anyway.  One of the most accurate kickers in SEC history is among the signees, as is the leading receiver in one of the most explosive passing attacks in the NCAA last year.

 

On Tuesday, Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik revealed two names on the list: Syracuse linebacker Derrell Smith and Arkansas-Pine Bluff wide receiver Raymond Webber.  Smith and Webber had arrived in town quickly and signed their initial NFL contracts.  The remainder of the list was not released until all of the newcomers had also put pin to paper.  (Additional undrafted free agents could still be added to the list in the coming days.)

 

Click here to read about Smith and Webber.  The entire list is below:

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 2011 Undrafted Free Agent Signees

Armando Allen, Jr.

RB

5-10

190

Notre Dame

Matthew Allen

C

6-2

295

Texas A&M

Quintin Borders

T

6-5

318

Union College (KY)

Cory Brandon

T

6-7

324

Oklahoma

Mike Coughlin

QB

6-5

221

Boise State

Aaron Feld

LS

6-1

230

Mississippi State

Brandon Heath

LB

6-1

215

Louisville

Devin Holland

S

6-0

205

McNeese State

Josh Jasper

K

5-11

171

LSU

Detron Lewis

WR

6-0

208

Texas Tech

Mossis Madu

RB

6-0

197

Oklahoma

Nick Reveiz

LB

5-10

224

Tennessee

Jock Sanders

WR

5-6

185

West Virginia

Derrell Smith

LB

6-2

232

Syracuse

Raymond Webber

WR

6-3

220

Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Christian Yount

LS

6-1

243

UCLA

 

The receivers on the list are a prolific bunch.  Webber led the nation in receptions and receiving yards last year (101-1,429) and Texas Tech’s Lewis finished 15th in the nation in receptions per game, at 6.69.  Meanwhile, Sanders finished as West Virginia’s all-time leading pass-catcher.

 

Lewis was a centerpiece in the high-powered Red Raider offense that racked up 460 yards and 33.1 points per game last fall.  He led the team in 2010 with 87 catches for 852 yards and six touchdowns, extending his career-ending streak to 40 straight games with at least one catch.  With 238 receptions during his tenure at Texas Tech, Lewis finished third in team history and seventh in Big 12 history in that category.

 

Sanders will be familiar to many Bay area football fans for his efforts at St. Petersburg Catholic High.  He was the team MVP in each of his last two years, rushing for 2,800 yards and 43 touchdowns, and an all-state choice three times as a receiver and a running back.  At West Virginia, he continued to show off those dual talents, catching 206 passes for 1,980 yards and 14 touchdowns and also running 113 times for 622 yards and six more scores.  Sanders excelled in the kicking game, as well, averaging 23.4 yards on 22 kickoff returns and 8.9 yards on 31 punt returns.

 

The Bucs also added two running backs through undrafted free agency, and both are similar to Sanders in their athletic versatility.

 

Madu, for instance, primarily played receiver as a junior at Oklahoma, and mostly running back as a senior.  Overall, he appeared in 40 games and finished with 160 carries for 724 yards and eight touchdowns plus 23 receptions for 186 yards.  Madu’s breakout game was the 2008 Big 12 Championship, in which he ran for 114 yards, cracking 100 yards for the first time.

 

Notre Dame’s A. Allen was also prolific as both a runner and a pass-catcher during his collegiate tenure.  The former Miami Lakes star ran 469 times for 2,144 yards and six touchdowns and caught 119 passes for 833 yards and another seven TDs.  Like Sanders, Allen was a threat in the return game, as well, highlighted by a 96-yard score on a kickoff runback in 2008.  Last year, Allen led the Irish in rushing with 697 yards despite missing three games, averaging 4.9 yards per tote.

 

One young player who will get a chance to distribute the football in Bucs camp to those new receivers and backs is Coughlin, the former back-up to Kellen Moore at Boise State who impressed scouts during his school’s Pro Day.  Coughlin played behind Taylor Tharp during his freshman season, then found himself on the same depth chart as one of the NCAA’s most prolific passers the last three years.  However, he could follow in the footsteps of a Matt Cassel or Brad Johnson, quarterbacks from high-powered programs who never got a real shot until they hit the NFL.

 

The Buccaneers’ current depth chart is littered with offensive linemen who came into the league as undrafted, low-profile prospects, and they are hoping to find several more in this year’s class.  Tampa Bay’s Pro Bowl left tackle, Donald Penn, entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent, as did teammates James Lee, Derek Hardman, Will Barker, Brandon Carter and Demar Dotson.  Hoping to join that group is the threesome of M. Allen, Borders and Brandon.

 

Allen started his college career at LSU in 2006 but failed to get into a game in his two years at the school and thus transferred to Texas A&M.  After the required year on the sideline, he started six games in 2009 and then all 13 last year for an Aggies team that averaged 165.0 rushing yards per game and 441.8 yards of offense overall.

 

Borders is a smaller-school prospect like Hardman before him.  Excelling at Union College in Kentucky, he was named the Mid-South Conference East Division’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2009, a rare honor for an offensive lineman.  Last season, Union moved from the East Division to the West but Borders still earned all-conference first-team honors after another excellent campaign.

 

After playing in a reserve role for all of his final season at Oklahoma, Brandon will be looking to re-establish the momentum with which he finished 2009.  Brandon started seven games as a junior in ’09, the first five at right tackle before an injury to Sooner star Trent Williams, who would end up going fourth overall in the 2010 NFL draft.  Brandon switched to left tackle to fill in for Williams, and his strong finish to the season earned him a spot on the preseason Outland Trophy Watch List heading into last season.

 

On the defensive side, the team added three players to its linebacking corps, including the aforementioned Smith.  Another prominent addition was Tennessee’s Nick Reveiz, one of the Volunteers' top defenders last year.  Reveiz played in 43 games and had 168 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions during his Vols career, but most of that came last year (108 tackles, six TFL, two INTs).  Interestingly, Reveiz is the son of former NFL kicker Fuad Reveiz, who played 11 seasons in the NFL (1985-95) with Miami, San Diego and Minnesota and made the Pro Bowl in 1994.

 

Like Reveiz, Heath came on strong at the end of his collegiate career, assuming a starting linebacker spot during his last two seasons at Louisville and putting up 148 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.  As a senior, he contributed 70 stops, 8.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks and five passes defensed.

 

The lone defensive back on the list is McNeese State’s Devin Holland, who transferred after originally playing two seasons at Tulane.  After recording 85 tackles in his two years with the Green Wave, Holland stepped into the Cowboys’ defense in 2009 and contributed 45 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.  In 2010, he missed three games due to injury but still added 27 stops, five tackles for loss and one sack.

 

The remaining three undrafted free agents all represent potential help on special teams.  LSU’s Jasper enjoyed a marvelous run for the Tigers, making 47 of his 56 career field goal attempts.  That success rate of 83.9% is the best in school history and the second-best ever for an SEC placekicker.  Jasper showed off his strong leg with a 52-yard field goal in 2009, and last year led the nation with 28 field goals en route to consensus All-America honors.

 

Feld and Yount will both have an opportunity to compete for the Buccaneers’ long-snapping job, which is in flux following the offseason injury to incumbent Andrew Economos.  Both Feld and Yount have plenty of experience at the position, as each spent their entire four years as their team’s primary snapper, Feld at Mississippi State and Yount at UCLA.