As we move ahead in the off-season, we continue our look at new faces that will be looking to earn a spot on the Buccaneers’ roster. This morning, it’s Elijah Shumate.
The rookies have been through their first part of camp, getting a taste of what NFL life will be like. Dirk Koetter and the rest of the Buccaneers’ staff have taken these young rookies through their first few practices, to give them a bit of exposure to how things will be going forward.
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With the staff learning the players, it is time for us to continue learning the players.
This morning, we take a look at a player that was not drafted, but did come from a major college, so we know what type of opponents he faced. He plays in the defensive backfield, where the Bucs need their fair share of help.
Today, we look at Elijah Shumate.
Defense & Fumbles
Shumate spends his time around the football, and the fact that he was a two-year starter tells us he has a solid background of experience.
WEIGHT: 216 pounds
ARM LENGTH: 31 1/8″
At the Combine, he was a hair slower than teams might have liked, posted a 4.58 time in the forty yard dash. He did, however, lead the position with 18 reps in the bench press.
Here are the strengths and weaknesses from his draft profile:
"Strengths: Has the desired build for a box safety. Physical, willing defender. Shows some straight line speed. Plays with good closing speed to the sideline against the run. Shows no hesitation to come down into the box and support the run. Clicks the accelerator and fires into his hits when he gets the chance. Has cover value on special teams.Weaknesses: Extremely rigid in his backpedal and plays with paralyzing hip stiffness when it is time to open up and cover against the deep ball. Man coverage is not his thing. Has blinders on and becomes too obsessed with his immediate responsibility rather than surveying the play. At times, comes in too hot and misses the tackle. Not very instinctive or natural with some of the angles he takes to the play."
Here is some video, as always:
He clearly is an “in the box” safety. He is far more comfortable coming up to the line than dropping back into coverage. He is physical, which is a fantastic trait for a guy coming up to help against the run. Whether he makes the tackle or not, he sticks his nose in there every single time. He is a solid blitzer too, helping force an interception with a fierce hit on the Stanford quarterback.
Shumate is not lost in coverage, but it’s not good either. On the couple of plays that we see him drop back, look at how awkward his steps are. When he turned to follow a receiver, he almost looked like he was going to fall down. He was typically chasing his man rather than sticking with him. He would only be suited for zone; his man to man skills are clearly suspect.
The best thing going for Shumate is the fact that the team is not set at the safety position. Chris Conte and Bradley MacDougald are there, but the job can be taken. I am not so sure this will be the guy, unless he works his way onto the roster with impact on special teams