The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed three more of their 2017 draft class to contracts – Jeremy McNichols, Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, and Kendell Beckwith.
The signings continue for the Buccaneers after the first domino in O.J. Howard fell earlier this week. Third round pick Kendell Beckwith, fifth round pick Jeremy McNichols, and seventh round pick Stevie Tu’ikolovatu all inked their rookie deals Tuesday afternoon during the first day of OTAs.
Beckwith, a linebacker from LSU coming off a torn ACL, was one of the more polarizing picks for the Bucs as many expected the trade up in the third round to be for a running back whereas the choice of a linebacker took many by surprise.
McNichols will certainly be fun to watch develop as many, myself included, expected him to unseat Charles Sims as the third down back. The training camp battle at the running back position will be must see t.v. for those ready to tune into “Hard Knocks” in August. McNichols will be in the thick of it as we still don’t know what to expect from Doug Martin’s return, the continued development of Peyton Barber, and the use of Jacquizz Rodgers who is expected to be the feature back in Martin’s absence weeks one through three.
Stevie Tu’ikolovatu out of USC was the final pick for the Bucs and will provide a massive presence in the middle of the defensive line. The 320-lb nose tackle is expected to be a big part of the Bucs’ goal line set and will likely see a little time on the occasional 3-4 alignment this season. Stevie T of course has the interesting story of living in his car after transferring to USC from Utah while awaiting his housing stipend.
This leaves wide receiver Chris Godwin and safety Justin Evans as the only remaining draft picks that have yet to sign their deal with the Buccaneers.