The Buccaneers will enter next season coming off of a disappointing year that didn’t go at all as planned. Injuries and suspensions kept critical players off the field for multiple games, and the team didn’t hit its stride yet.
Its never too early to look to the future to improve on what the Buccaneers already have. This week, we look at a player that might be there for Tampa Bay when their turn comes in rounds two or three. He could be the perfect shaped peg to fill our hole on the offensive line.
Tyrell Crosby from Oregon is one of, if not the best, blocking tackles in college football this season. He’s listed at 6’5″ 310 lbs. He might not be the ideal size for a left tackle and might get moved to guard, but he anchored an offensive line currently ranked 25th overall in total offense this season.
The Ducks are eighth in rushing yards with 3,216 on the season and have accounted for 40 touchdowns on the ground, ranking 11th in FBS averaging 264.1 yards per game.
Crosby has blocked for three different quarterbacks in his four years at Oregon including Marcus Mariota his freshman season. His first two seasons were spent at right tackle before moving his to left tackle his junior year.
Entering 2017, the big man was listed by Pro Football Focus as the nation’s top returning run blocker. Unfortunately, he was sidelined for the year against Nebraska, and the Ducks suffered.
His team went 4-8 without their best offensive lineman and missed playing in a bowl game for the first time in eleven years.
He didn’t get discouraged in his missed year though. Instead, he and two other teammates met with three children diagnosed with brain cancer at the Oregon football complex.
There, they talked about football and life, ultimately helping the kids with their designs for the uniforms the Ducks would wear the following season. This season.
If you look at Crosby’s Twitter you’ll see a drawing and a note from eleven year old Sophia Malinoski, a cancer survivor.
When Malinoski heard he was injured, she sent him a letter.
This season, Crosby was able to dawn those very uniforms the children helped design against Nebraska, and they ran for 201-yards without a single quarterback hit or hurry.
Crosby has graded out positively in run blocking eleven of twelve games. His pass blocking efficiency rating per is 99.2 which ranks him as the highest among all eligible tackles.
The most impressive stats is, Crosby has not allowed a hit or sack this season on 296 pass blocking snaps.
Oregon vs. #3 Florida State January 1st, 2015 (Rose Bowl)
Oregon vs. #4 Ohio State January 12th, 2015 (National Championship)
Oregon @ #7 Stanford November 14th, 2015
Oregon vs. Nebraska September 9th, 2017
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-provides great pocket protection
– mean streak when on field
– great technique
– adjustment to new scheme
– speed rushers off the edge
– foot injury
While Crosby’s offense in college was built around the Oregon spread shotgun style, he will have some adjustments to make when he arrives in Tampa if the current coaching staff are still there. He should excel protecting on play-action roll-outs and any option play the Buccaneers may install in the future.
When the quarterback steps under center, it will be an adjustment Crosby will have to make.
– Broken foot junior season
Off Field issues
Being drafted on day one or early on day two of the NFL draft means you’re expected to be able to step in and help your team almost immediately. He could start right out of training camp at tackle or be converted to guard. Should be a solid starter and not a liability as a rookie.
After settling in at either the left tackle or left guard position for the Buccaneers over the past two years, he has helped anchor the offensive line and provide safety and security for franchise quarterback Jameis Winston.
If moved to guard and placed next to Ali Marpet, they could be the best guard/center interior line combination in the league to lead the Buccaneers offensive line for the next decade.
If Crosby doesn’t get hurt in his Junior year, he is in the conversation this season as one of the top two offensive linemen. As it would be, he is currently ranked as the sixth best offensive tackle on nfl.com and the 61st overall best player in the draft.
His current projection is in rounds two or three. Should he measure out slightly larger than listed and does well in the other drills his draft stock could rise as early as the middle to late first round.
Off-field there have been many instances of players getting into trouble in the NFL. Drafting someone with such a high character as Tyrell can only help the organization. His charity work is well documented including the inspirational story of the cancer patient survivors.
The Buccaneers should count themselves lucky if Tyrell lands in their laps come draft day. Getting a guy who is a terror in the trenches, but has all none of the off-field concerns that come with that type of player is a rarity.
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Draft Grade: Rounds 2-3
Pro comparison: Green Bay Packers Offensive Tackle David Bakhtiari
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