The Buccaneers need more Joe Tryon-Shoyinka on defense.
The Buccaneers made a near-perfect draft pick when they selected Joe Tryon-Shoyinka in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. JTS had the perfect combination of size, speed, and experience, and the preseason proved that he fits with the Buccaneer defense like a glove.
Tampa had finally found their OLB3 to pair with Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul, and many fans and analysts thought that Tryon-Shoyinka could see more reps than his position on the depth chart indicated. JTS was impressive with every rep that he got, so it made sense that most people saw him as a legitimate contributor in 2021.
Unfortunately, the contributions have been hard to come by with limited usage so far on the season. JTS will usually get on the field for around a third of the total defensive reps, and this is clearly not enough when compared to his production.
Despite usually playing around 35% of the defensive reps, Tryon-Shoyinka has accounted for three sacks, three tackles for loss, and six quarterback hits. Clearly, the Bucs need to get more reps for their first-round pick.
According to The Pewter Report on Twitter, when asked about this lack of playing time, Larry Foote of the Buccaneers said that the players with larger salaries need to get their reps first.
Prioritizing salaries over abilities is a dangerous precedent to set. The Bucs obviously know what they’re doing after winning the Super Bowl last season with an impressive defensive showing, but this is still a strange decision. Why prioritize money?
JPP and Barrett both bring plenty to the table, but leaving JTS off the field is only going to slow his development. The Buccaneers would help themselves out plenty by finding a way to get their rookie star on the field as this would help their pass rush now and help develop their future, but the current plan is clearly not cutting it.
Want to write about the Buccaneers? Apply below!