Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Report: A Look at All 22 Rookies Fighting for Spots

Tom EdringtonSenior Writer IJuly 18, 2012

Doug Martin, the Boise Bopper, will battle LeGarrette Blount for carries.
Doug Martin, the Boise Bopper, will battle LeGarrette Blount for carries.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

The 2012 rookie class of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reports Wednesday, July 18 for the start of training camp.

In all, there are 23. The most special is Eric LeGrand. He won't be able to battle for a roster spot. He has a much more difficult battle on his hands—the battle to leave his wheelchair behind.

LeGrand has been a great inspiration to millions and this entire team can use some inspiration.

With that in mind, we'll take a look at the other 22 incoming rookies and assess their chances when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53.


Mark Barron: With Robert Griffin III signing his contract with Washington, according to NBC Sports, the domino effect will start and Barron should sign his contract Wednesday or Thursday. Barron didn't report with the rest on Wednesday but he is most likely standing by. He needs to get in ASAP, he's a key man in the new Greg Schiano defense. He's etched in stone as the starting strong safety. He will have to perform above and beyond the call to help the defense rise from last year's disaster.

Lavonte David: Everyone believes he's the starting WILL, but maybe, maybe not. Don't be surprised if there's some shuffling in camp. They could try him in the middle with Mason Foster sliding to the weak side. If Quincy Black isn't effective on the strong side, there could be even more shuffling. Either way, they're counting on David to win a starting job.

Doug Martin: The bopper from Boise will be in this training camp's most high-profile battle for playing time. It's between Martin and LeGarrette Blount to see who gets the rock. Martin's challenge is to avoid that hamstring tweak that hit him in the preseason.


Keith Tandy: He should be a cinch for a roster spot with the ability to play both corner and safety.

Najee Goode: A cinch for a spot among the linebackers. He can play the middle and strong side. Let's see how he competes.

Michael Smith: Should be a huge battle for the third and fourth running back spots. Smith's speed alone makes him a great candidate for a roster spot. He turned a lot of coaching staff heads in the offseason.

Drake Dunsmore: He'll have a tough time landing on the final roster. Tight end is a crowded position. He could end up on the practice squad.


That takes care of the draft picks. Now, let's break down the undrafted guys:

Leonard Johnson: Here's a local kid we can all pull for. He was impressive in the offseason. He'll be given a good shot to make the roster. If he can play corner and safety, that will help his chances. The worst scenario is a spot on the practice squad but he's a strong candidate for the 53-man roster.

De'Anthony Curtis: The former Arkansas player will have to have a great camp to earn a roster spot. Running back is a tough spot with maybe four backs on the roster. A good showing could land him a practice squad spot, however.


Michael VanDerMeulen: He's a big guy at 6'7", 304 lbs. He has a shot because he can play both tackle and guard.

Desmond Wynn: Rutgers guy, same situation at VanDerMeulen. He plays guard and tackle, and that's a plus for a guy trying to make this team. He has good size at 6'6", 303 lbs.

Jemarcus Hardrick: The offensive tackle out of Nebraska stands 6'7", 320 lbs. He'll get a long look.

Brad Sowell: Offensive tackle, Ole Miss. Same size as Hardrick. 

Moe Petrus: He's the only center in camp behind starter Jeremey Zuttah. He'll see a lot of action and could end up on the practice squad if he performs well. He's a UConn guy and Schiano knows him.

Quintin Anderson: Longshot at best out of Wagner. He's  6'5", 280 lbs. and trying to make a crowded position at defensive end.

Jordan Nix: He's the same size as Anderson but he's a defensive tackle out of Carolina. Longshot.

Armahd Lewis:  Wide receiver, small guy at 5'9", 170 lbs. out of Central Washington. He's caught up in a numbers game; too much talent ahead of him.


Cody Johnson: True fullback out of Texas. With the tight end/fullback hybrids already on the roster, not sure there's a place for him.


Danny Noble: Too much talent ahead of him at the tight end position.

Tramain Thomas: Longshot at safety.

Sean Baker:  Same as Thomas.

And finally:

Eric Guthrie: He's a punter and least likely to make the team with standout Michael Koenin locked in that job. Koenin is also the kickoff guy.

That makes 22.

Too many rookies, not enough jobs.

Fact of life in the National Football League.


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