The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an exceptional group of rookies from the Class of 2019 and Jamel Dean has a very bright future ahead.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers put an end to an impressively bad streak of draft classes in 2019, and one of the brightest stars from that group is cornerback Jamel Dean.
Dean may not have started on the radar for most people, but he made a case for being one of the top defensive rookies in the league with only five starts to his name.
Throughout those five starts with the Buccaneers, the rookie corner accounted for 17 passes defended. That pace was second to none in the NFL and ended with Dean being tied for fourth in the league in that category by the end of the season.
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To give an idea of the pace that he was on, Jamel Dean played only 33% of the defensive snaps for the Buccaneers in 2019 according to Pro Football Reference. While adjusting stats is no perfect science, Dean was on pace for 51 passes defended (which would shatter the NFL record) and six interceptions if he had played 100% of the defensive snaps during the season.
By this point, it should be clear that Jamel Dean has the capabilities to be an All-Pro statistically if given the reps.
While numbers are not the final measure of a player’s success, Jamel Dean was set to finish with more passes defended than any of the All-Pro selections in 2019 by a mile and could have ended with a similar amount of interceptions to Stephon Gilmore.
While there were many highs in Jamel Dean’s rookie season, everything was not always perfect.
The biggest detraction from the arguments supporting Dean is that he did struggle in his first career start against the Seattle Seahawks. The results were not great, but this was expected.
The Seattle Seahawks have a great receiver corps and Russel Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, which makes for one of the worst scenarios for a player in their first career start.
As time progresses, Dean will grow more accustomed to these big-game scenarios and the little mistakes will fix with more experience playing at the NFL level.
Regardless of any stumbles in his first season, Jamel Dean’s successes far outweighed any shortcomings.
All-Pro may seem like a very lofty expectation, but don’t be surprised if the former Auburn cornerback makes a run at the Pro Bowl in 2020 which will serve as the stepping stone to further individual accolades.
Dean is just getting started with the Buccaneers and his ceiling is one of the highest in the NFL. Tampa Bay fans should be very excited to see their secondary return in 2020, and everyone should be excited to see how Jamel Dean ups his game in his second year with the Bucs.