East Cornerback Jaylen Myrick, Minnesota Golden Gophers
Jaylen Myrick is originally from the state of Georgia, so you can bet he’d probably welcome a move back south from Minnesota to friendlier conditions.
Florida has just that, and Myrick has the cover skills to help boost a Buccaneers secondary which looked improved, but still has room to get better.
After the failed relationship between the team and corners like Aqib Talib and Alterraun Verner, this franchise is probably a little weary of adding top dollar free-agents or drafting another high-round corner; especially after drafting Vernon Hargreaves III in last year’s first-round.
Myrick has just one interception in each of his last three seasons, but while he may not be catching the ball all that often, neither is his opponent.
He’s built like Brent Grimes, just a tad bigger, and could definitely learn from the football acumen the veteran brings to the team as he gets his feet wet in the Bucs’ system.
In the meantime, he may provide a bit of a special teams spark as he’s proven to be an acceptable return man in his collegiate career.
With needs outside of corner being a tad more pressing, it seems the team would be wise to look at Myrick as a late round option in the fifth or later if he doesn’t keep rising up draft boards.
West Safety Tedric Thompson, Colorado Buffaloes
Where the Bucs suffered at safety most often was in pass defense, and Tedric Thompson from Colorado may be the best cover safety in the Shrine Game this year.
Most often you’d find him playing center field for the Buffaloes where he hauled in 13 career interceptions including a career high seven this past season alone.
With 7.5 tackles for a loss during his career, he’s willing to play downhill in run support, but is best suited covering the deep part of the field.
In the slot, Thompson has proven a capable cover-man against tight ends like Michigan’s Jake Butt, and could be used in this capacity early in his career as a more physical type corner back without sacrificing the speed and athleticism most linebackers do to pass-catching tight ends.
With Ryan Smith moving to corner for the 2017 season, the Buccaneers need to solidify their starting safeties and add depth to a group which came on strong at the end of 2016.
Thompson as a seventh-round pick or undrafted addition could work out pretty well, and his Shrine Game performances should demonstrate as much.
These are just a few of the names competing in the 2016 Shrine Game this Saturday afternoon. Tune-in to see how they do amongst others, and see if you can point out the next impact player at the NFL level playing in this year’s match-up.
Who do you like from this year’s rosters? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter, and thanks again for reading!