The final school on our tour across the NCAA is in upstate New York, at Syracuse University. Can the Buccaneers find some Orangemen to make pewter and red?
The Buccaneers draft scouts might not like traveling to northern New York in the Winter but there are players to watch from every institution. It won’t stop us from looking at their players and letting you know who the Buccaneers could bring down to Florida. While they don’t have a bevy of elite prospects here is the list of draft-eligible players that could be on the Bucs radar:
Steve Ishmael, Wide Reciever
Amba Etta-Tawo, Wide Reciever
Parris Bennett, Linebacker
Devin M Butler, Defensive Back
Zaire Franklin, Linebacker
Jordan Martin, Safety
Ervin Philips, Wide Receiver
Jonathan Thomas, Linebacker
Senior Prospect to Watch: Wide Receiver Steve Ishmael
An experienced receiver, Steve Ishmael, played in 47 of 48 games for the Orange in his career. He wasn’t wasting time while there either. He is Syracuse’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 2,891 yards and second all-time in receptions with 219 catches. In his career, he had eighteen touchdowns which is good for fourth in team history. Cementing your name in a teams record books is always a sign of potential and traits you should look for an athlete.
From Miami, it wouldn’t be too far of a ride for his family to come up to Tampa. The Buccaneers are fairly loaded on the offensive side of the ball, they could really use some depth. Chris Godwin looks like a sure thing as a number two receiver but there is nothing behind him if Desean Jackson or Mike Evans would go down with an injury. The Buccaneers are slim on the outside with Adam Humphries filling a solid slot role.
Ishmael doesn’t have elite speed but he’s got good size and hands. The Buccaneers could probably grab him with one of their sixth-round picks. He could really boost his stock with a strong pro-day because he was snubbed from the combine.
Another Senior Prospect to Watch: Outside Linebacker Parris Bennett
Parris Bennett is skilled tackler with high top speed, similar to that of the Buccaneers current core. The one downside to Bennett is his size. For a quality athlete, he is very undersized for a linebacker. Standing at 6′ 216 pounds he is almost too small this position in the NFL. Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David are both around 230 so if Bennett wants to make an NFL roster he should bulk up.
While at Syracuse he was a tackling machine. With 225 tackles and 17.5 sacks in his last two seasons, he has definite skill. The Buccaneers like guys with speed but he will definitely need to put on some weight or convert to a safety, which the Bucs could use. He’ll likely be a practice squad player for his first season but with proper development under NFL coaches, he could eventually make the team.
As of right now, it is unlikely to see Parris selected on draft night. However, he can make a splash on his pro day. His speed right now can put some teams on notice. He needs to improve his pass defense but he’s quick enough to make plays in the backfield. There are definite weaknesses in his game but he’s got the knack for the ball that people just can’t learn.
That wraps up all the schools in are 40 in 40. Look for are extra underclassman and seniors to watch in the coming days. Leave any comments on Facebook or Twitter about Syracuse or other players that you would like us to look at.