Tampa Bay Buccaneers Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee

Luke Easterling@@LukeEasterlingCorrespondent IMay 10, 2014

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Undrafted Free Agents: Need-to-Know Info for Every Signee

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    For the first time in franchise history, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have spent their entire stock of draft picks on the offensive side of the ball.

    It's hard to argue with the outcome, considering the offense ranked dead-last in the NFL last season, but it's still a bit surprising, given that the team's new head coach is the defensively minded Lovie Smith.

    The Bucs spent four of their six draft picks on offensive skill-position players and added depth on the offensive line with the remaining two selections.

    Looking forward to the undrafted free-agency signing period, expect Jason Licht to bring in some depth on defense with players who fit the new scheme. A nickel corner, "Sam" linebacker and depth along the defensive line should be priorities when it comes to signing some of the top undrafted talent.

    Keep it locked in to Bleacher Report as we update this slideshow with each Buccaneers signing, complete with all the info you need to know about Tampa Bay's newest postdraft additions.

Solomon Patton, WR, Florida

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    The Bucs' first undrafted free-agent signing won't have to travel too far, per Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

    At 5'8", 179 pounds, Solomon Patton is an undersized but speedy receiver who was highly recruited out of the state of Alabama and ended up in Gainesville, Florida.

    A team captain, he was the Gators' leading receiver last season, hauling in 44 passes for 556 yards and six touchdowns.

    The Bucs want to add speed to their new offense under coordinator Jeff Tedford, and Patton ran a 4.31 40-yard dash at Florida's pro day, per Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun. He'll likely have an opportunity to stick on the roster as a slot receiver.

Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming

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    The Bucs drafted Wyoming wide receiver Robert Herron in the sixth round, and it looks like his Cowboys quarterback will be following him to Tampa Bay, per ESPN Denver's Cecil Lammey.

    At 6'1", 205 pounds, Smith lacks prototypical size for the position, but he makes up for it in many other areas.  He's an above-average athlete who impressed scouts with an outstanding pro day after being a surprising combine snub.

    Despite leaving school a year early, he owns multiple Wyoming records, having scored 97 total touchdowns during his career with the Cowboys.

    He's fiery leader whose playing style reminds some of Johnny Manziel, and Smith's solid work ethic, confidence and overall passion for the game will score big with Tampa Bay's coaching staff.

Andrew Miller, G/C, Virginia Tech

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    Adding depth on the offensive line is vital, especially with versatile blockers who can play multiple positions. The Bucs have gotten just that in Virginia Tech's Andrew Miller, per the college's Twitter feed.

    A second-team All-ACC pick in 2013, he has experience at both guard and center. The 6'4", 310-pound senior was named ACC Lineman of the Week after registering 20 knockdown blocks in a 16-6 win over in-state rival Virginia.

    Tampa Bay suffered through multiple injuries up front last season, which exposed its lack of depth. Miller's versatility will be an attractive trait to the new coaching staff.

Toney Hurd Jr., DB, Texas A&M

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    First-round pick Mike Evans will have a familiar face joining him in Tampa, as Texas A&M defensive back Toney Hurd Jr. will join the Bucs as an undrafted free agent, per his personal Twitter page.

    A team captain, he made six starts in 2013, recording 61 tackles and a pair of sacks for the Aggies. He was a three-year letterman at Texas A&M majoring in economics and chose to join the Aggies over programs like Auburn, Notre Dame and Oregon.

    The 5'9", 185-pound senior could have a chance to stick in Tampa Bay as a nickel corner.

Josh Allen, C, Louisiana-Monroe

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    The Bucs continue to add interior linemen—this time snatching up Louisiana-Monroe's Josh Allen, according to Auman.

    Another versatile player who has experience at multiple spots on the line, the 2013 first-team All-Sun Belt pick can player either guard or center.  At 6'3", 312 pounds, Allen helped anchor an offense that gained more than 350 yards in four of the Warhawks' seven conference games last season.

    After waiting to address the offensive line until late in the draft, the Bucs are loading up on blockers in the undrafted free-agency period.

Nate Askew, LB, Texas A&M

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    Just call Tampa Bay College Station South at this point.

    Linebacker Nate Askew becomes the latest in a growing group of Aggies to join the Buccaneers this week, according to his Twitter feed. A converted receiver, he made the switch to defense for his final season at Texas A&M, logging 33 tackles and a pair of interceptions. The 6'4", 235-pound senior appeared in all 12 games last season, making two starts.

    Askew is an intriguing prospect who brings the athleticism of an offensive skill player to the defensive side of the ball, which should make him a great fit as a Tampa 2 linebacker.

Chaz Sutton, DE, South Carolina

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    After adding plenty of beef to the offensive line during and right after the draft, the Bucs have added some depth to their defensive front as well with South Carolina's Chaz Sutton, per James Starks of WLTX.

    Another a surprising combine snub, Sutton was the pass-rusher opposite Jadeveon Clowney, notching three sacks in 2013. Sutton had an impressive showing at South Carolina's pro day, running his 40-yard dash in the mid-4.6 range, putting up 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and adding a 35.5-inch vertical leap, per NFL Draft Scout.

    At 6'3", 245 pounds, it's unclear how he will fit into the Bucs' 4-3 scheme, which usually calls for defensive ends to be a bit bigger. Still, Sutton was primarily an edge-rusher for the Gamecocks, so I'd expect him to work at end during the rookie minicamp.

Aaron Burks, WR, Boise State

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    It looks like the Bucs aren't done adding pass-catchers to their overhauled offense, as Boise State's Aaron Burks becomes the latest to join the team, per Northwest Sports.

    Sporting a great combination of size and speed, he runs in the 4.4s at 6'3", 205 pounds. He started three games in his senior campaign for the Broncos, averaging 17.2 yards per catch and hauling in three touchdown receptions. 

    It looks like Tampa Bay will have plenty of bodies at the receiver position, so it'll be tough for Burks to stick after rookie minicamp. But stranger things have happened, and depth is never a bad thing to have at any position.

Keith Lewis, CB, Virginia-Lynchburg

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    The Bucs dug deep for this signing, going all the way to the USCAA's Virginia-Lynchburg to find cornerback Keith Lewis, per Auman.

    Listed at 6'1", 190 pounds, the man nicknamed "Cromartie" has reportedly been timed in the 40-yard dash as fast as 4.21 seconds, per Draft Diamonds. Such an intriguing combination of size and speed would definitely pique the interest of any coaching staff.

    NFL teams can never have too many young corners who are big and fast, but it will be interesting to see how Lewis handles the jump in competition to the NFL level.

Matt Patchan, OT, Boston College

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    A local product from Armwood High School near Tampa, Boston College's Matt Patchan is yet another rookie offensive tackle who will join the Bucs on a free agent contract.

    Patchan started his collegiate career at Florida before following coach Steve Addazio to Boston College.  The 6'6", 302-pounder has traveled a unique road to the NFL, missing enough time due to injury for the NCAA to grant him a sixth year of eligibility in 2013.  

    Patchan was a late addition to the Senior Bowl after a season in which he helped pave the way for 2,000-yard rusher Andre Williams.  Though he could use some more bulk on his tall frame, Patchan has the natural talent to make it in the NFL if he can stay healthy.

Mycal Swaim, S, Eastern Michigan

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    Another prospect with a fairly average college resume but solid workout numbers, Eastern Michigan S Mycal Swaim has joined the Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent.

    Listed at 6'2", 212 pounds, Swaim has reportedly been timed as fast as 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash, and impressed scouts this offseason with a 39-inch vertical leap.  A transfer from Butte College, Swaim tallied 81 tackles for the Eagles last season and was invited to the Medal of Honor Bowl all-star game.

    The Bucs brought in Major Wright as a free agent to help with depth at safety, but Swaim could get a chance to provide further insurance as Dashon Goldson recovers from offseason ankle surgery.

Chris Burnette, G, Georgia

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    Yet another interior offensive lineman joins the Bucs, this time from the SEC, as Georgia's Chris Burnette inks a free-agent deal.

    A three-year starter for the Bulldogs, Burnette helped power an offense that generated at least 400 yards of offense in every regular season game last season.  The 6'2", 314-pound Burnette is equally suited as a pass or run-blocker, and was as impressive in the classroom as he was on the field.

    Guard was one of the Bucs' biggest needs coming into the draft, so further depth at the position is nothing but a good thing.

Ryne Giddens, DE, USF

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    Another local standout from Armwood High School, USF's Ryne Giddens will keep playing football in Tampa for a little longer.

    A hot commodity coming out of high school, Giddens was held back by a shoulder injury in 2013 and also had to deal with the loss of his mother late in the season.  When at his best, Giddens flashes the ability to get after the passer, notching five sacks and 10 tackles-for-loss in his senior season.

    On a team starved for consistent pass-rush help, Giddens could be a valuable asset if he can avoid further injury.


Steven Jenkins, LB, Texas A&M

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    At this point, it would be easier to find a Texas A&M defender who didn't sign with the Bucs, as LB Steven Jenkins is also headed to Tampa Bay.

    At 6'2", 220 pounds, the Pensacola native made 10 starts in 2013, tallying a career-high 79 tackles, 5.5 tackles-for-loss and a pair of sacks.  A transfer from Coffeyville Community College, Jenkins was the only Aggie to post at least four tackles in every game last season.

    The Bucs didn't address their depth at linebacker with any of their draft picks, so adding multiple rookie free agents at the position makes plenty of sense.

Jeremy Smith, RB, Oklahoma State

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    Bucs fans were scratching their heads when the team took a running back in the third round, but they added yet another one in Oklahoma State's Jeremy Smith.

    A native of Tulsa, the 5'10", 212-pound Smith scored a rushing touchdown in 10 straight games, an OSU streak bested only by Barry Sanders (15).  Smith was the Pokes' second-leading rusher in 2013 with 485 yards, adding nine touchdowns on the ground.

    Smith was never used as a full-time back at OSU, and he fought through multiple injuries throughout his career.  He faces an uphill battle to make a Tampa Bay roster stocked with young talent at running back.

Euclid Cummings, DT, Georgia Tech

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    Another addition to the depth along the defensive line, Georgia Tech DT Euclid Cummings will make the short trip south to Tampa Bay.

    A smaller interior lineman who played the 3-technique spot in the Yellow Jackets' 4-3 front, Cummings started all 13 games as a senior and has high hopes for himself in the business world after football.  At 6'4", 275 pounds, the Atlanta native is known for his athleticism, vocal leadership and enthusiasm.

    Athletic, explosive lineman are always at a premium in the NFL.  He might need to put on some bulk if he wants to stay inside at tackle, but Cummings could provide some valuable depth if he makes the roster.