-NFL.com's Nick Shook and Gennaro Filice went division by division to assess each team's rookie class from 2019. The Buccaneers came out on top of the NFC South with an A- grade thanks to heavy contributions by multiple rookies led by fifth overall pick Devin White.
"White (91 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three passes defensed, one pick, three forced fumbles) was a stud, proving himself worthy of the No. 5 pick. Murphy-Bunting (44 tackles, three picks) also proved to be a legitimate player as a rookie, as did Dean, who finished with 17 passes defended and two interceptions in 13 games," wrote Shook.
White finished the season with back-to-back Defensive Rookie of the Month honors, coming on strong following an injury that sidelined him for six games towards the beginning of the season. Cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting led all rookies in interceptions with three on the year, including a pick-six in his hometown of Detroit in Week 15. Cornerback Jamel Dean didn't see significant work until Week 9 when he was thrown into the fire last minute due to pregame injury suffered by starting cornerback Carlton Davis. Dean struggled against the Seahawks, and subsequently against one of the league's best quarterbacks, while still recording four passes defensed that game. He bounced back immediately, becoming one of the highest graded corners the next week and finished the season breaking up 13 more passes. His 17 total pass breakups ranked in the top five league-wide.
If the latter half of the year is any indication, this rookie class will continue to pay dividends into 2020.
-Speaking of Murphy-Bunting, he pulled off the surprise of a lifetime for one of his biggest hometown fans. Murphy-Bunting surprised his 'buddy' Jaydon in Michigan for his birthday. It was complete with a Buccaneer cake and football decorations.
The video shows Murphy-Bunting waiting on the couch for Jaydon to come in. Jaydon, wearing a Bucs shirt, notices him and his face lights up as he exclaims, "I knew it!" Murphy-Bunting says that Jaydon and his family have been big supporters of him since high school.
-The Buccaneers kicked off the second season of their Girls Flag Football League and assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust was on hand to speak with over 200 girls in attendance. The league more than doubled in its second year.
-And then of course, there was this: