How the Buccaneers can use Joe Tryon as a Swiss army knife in 2021

Joe Tryon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Tryon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

The Buccaneers struck gold with Joe Tryon in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

Regardless of the views on some of the other picks, the Buccaneers stuck to their tried and tested draft strategy when they drafted pass-rusher Joe Tryon.

Bruce Arians and Jason Licht have been very vocal about taking the best player available rather than by positional fit, and that is exactly what Tryon was. It just happens to help that he was also in a position of need.

The Buccaneers already have two great pass-rushers in Jason Pierre-Pail and Shaquil Barrett, but they need a third at least to round out their unit. Anthony Nelson didn’t cut it last season as an OLB3, but he could fit in well as the fourth guy on the depth chart.

Joe Tryon fits in the third role for the Buccaneers like a glove

With insane athleticism and stellar technique that was on full display during his time at the University of Washington, Tryon has every tool to be a contributor in year one. The Bucs don’t need him to be a starter; although Tryon probably could be a starter in his first season, but they do need someone to serve a variety of roles when called upon consistently.

If the Bucs need someone to step in for Barrett or JPP, Tryon is their guy. This is the obvious use for Tryon to prepare him to start down the road, but his use also allows the Bucs to do much more than the obvious.

As many of the observant fans saw last season, Todd Bowles switched up the defensive front often, even more so during the playoffs. Rather than having five guys on the line of scrimmage, which is the norm in a 3-4 defense, Bowles switched to an even front that decimated offensive lines.

When switching from the five-man front to the four-man front, the Bucs kept Barrett where he was, bumped JPP into the inside like a traditional three-technique tackle, used Suh or Vea across from JPP, and then had one spot open for another pass rusher on the outside. This is where Tryon comes in.

Tryon has shown plenty of speed and the ability to put opposing tackles in difficult positions with his hand on or off the ground. The Bucs immediately found the perfect complement to this formation when they selected Tryon, and it is hard to imagine what offensive lines will try to do to slow down a line that is sending Barrett, JPP, Tryon, and Vea or Suh at the quarterback.

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The Bucs may decide to hold onto the four-man front similarly to last season until later in the year. Still, Joe Tryon is ideally suited to dominate in whichever front the Buccaneers utilize.

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