Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tryout Players Invited to Rookie Mini-Camp

With 27 players taking part in the rookie mini-camp at One Buc Place this weekend, Tampa Bay will able to run more complete drills and simultaneously get a look at some passed-over prospects.

A look at a few of the players invited to tryout for the Buccaneers 2015 Rookie Mini-Camp.

BUCCANEERS ROOKIES



Clifton Smith represented the NFC as a kick returner in the Pro Bowl following the 2008 season. Not bad for a player who not only was passed over in the '08 draft but still didn't have a job a week after the final round.

Smith was a Fresno State running back whose lack of prototypical NFL size was likely the reason he was neither drafted nor signed in the post-draft rush often referred to as the eighth round. However, he did get a call from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following week, along with an invite to the team's annual rookie mini-camp. Like most teams, the Buccaneers flesh out their rookie camp rosters with players participating on a tryout basis, making a more complete practice possible and also giving 25-30 additional prospects a chance to turn some heads.

Smith turned his camp tryout into a free agent signing, then into a job on the Bucs' practice squad, then into a spot the active roster and finally into the team's primary kick return role. He proved so good at that job during the second half of the season that he became the only return man ever to represent Tampa Bay in the Pro Bowl.

That's the sort of NFL foothold another 27 undrafted and (as yet) unsigned players will be seeking this weekend at One Buccaneer Place. The Bucs will have a 55-man roster for the camp, including their seven-man 2015 draft class, the 13 undrafted free agents signed on Monday and eight first-year players who were already on the roster. Veterans who have one or more accrued NFL seasons are not allowed to participate in rookie mini-camps.

The 27 players expected to try out for the Bucs this weekend include a second linebacker from LSU to join fourth-round draft pick Kwon Alexander as well as Yale safety Charles Cook, the second Ivy League product on the camp roster. The Bucs signed Brown long-snapper Courtland Clavette on Monday. Here's the complete list of players who will be participating on tryout contracts this weekend:

No.

Name

Pos.

College

1

Brandon Bogotay

K

Georgia

2

Will Oliver

K

Colorado

5

Mike Sadler

K

Michigan State

28

Lowell Rose

CB

Tulsa

29

Turner Peterson

RB

Rice

30

Charles Cook

S

Yale

31

Braylon Heard

RB

Kentucky

32

Domonique Johnson

CB

Panhandle State

34

Ashley Lowery

S

Kentucky

39

Brandon Stanley

DB

Eastern Kentucky

41

Derrick Wells

DB

Minnesota

43

Kenny Okoro

CB

Wake Forest

45

Stephon Morris

CB

Penn State

50

Ty Brown

LB

North Carolina Central

51

Jared Koster

LB

New Mexico Highlands

52

Cameron Ontko

LB

Cal Poly

53

Justin Shirk

LB

Bloomsburg

56

Travis Taylor

LB

Murray State

57

Donald Welter

LB

LSU

78

Edawn Coughman

OL

Shaw

81

Gideon Ajagbe

RB

Florida

82

Ken Bibbins

TE

Houston Baptist

84

Donteea Dye

WR

Heidelberg

87

Casey Freeman

LS

Alcorn State

88

Adam Humphries

WR

Clemson

89

Tyler McCulloch

WR

Colorado

90

Gregory Hickman

DT

Florida International

Players do not have to be rookies to get a tryout contract. For instance, offensive lineman Edawn Coughman first entered the league with Seattle in 2012 and was briefly on the Buccaneers' preseason roster last summer.

Like Coughman, who played his college football at Shaw in North Carolina, many of the tryout players are from smaller schools and the mini-camp gives them an opportunity to perform alongside prospects from bigger programs. Cornerback Dominique Johnson, for example, is trying to become just the second player from Panhandle State to play in the NFL. Other small schools represented on the Bucs' mini-camp roster include Heidelberg, Houston Baptist and New Mexico Highlands.

The eight first-year players on the Bucs' roster who are also taking part in the camp are quarterback Seth Lobato, punter Andy Wilder, tight end Taylor Sloat, offensive lineman Jeremiah Warren, center Ben Gottschalk, wide receiver Chandler Jones, tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi and defensive end George Uko. Sloat participated in last year's rookie mini-camp on a tryout contract and was later signed to Tampa Bay's practice squad.>> READ: BUCCANEERS 2015 DRAFT CLASS>> READ: MEET THE BUCCANEERS' UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising