4 Buccaneers sleepers who could steal a key roster spot at training camp

Buccaneers training camp opens this week, and a few sleepers could use the opportunity to steal a roster spot and become impact players.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Training Camp / Douglas P. DeFelice/GettyImages
3 of 4

. . Linebacker. . Yaya Diaby. 2. player. Yaya. Yaya Diaby. 48

It might seem a bit strange to call a third round pick a sleeper, but Yaya Diaby is a sleeper one level up from the rest of the guys at camp. While most sleepers are trying to steal roster spots, Diaby could be in line to steal a starting role based on how the type of training camp performance he puts together.

He's a Day 2 pick so there's a fair amount of hype around him to begin with. Couple that with his competition -- Joe Tyron-Shoyinka -- and a path begins to open up for Diaby to be a Week 1 starting linebacker.

Edge rushers need to be athletic freaks, and Diaby appears to fit the billing. He wasn't highly graded coming out of Louisville, at least not in the traditional sense considering PFF never graded him higher than 73.3 during his career. According to their testing numbers, though, Diaby has elite upside and brings those tools to a defense and a unit that has shown an ability to get the most out of guys at the next level.

Todd Bowles has garnered criticism as a head coach, but there's absolutely no denying that he can take a guy like Diaby and turn him into a monster. He elevated Devin White into a Pro Bowler who isn't far off from being a $100 million linebacker and found a way to get even more out of Lavonte David. The result was a Super Bowl-winning defense, and it wasn't until he spilt his duties after becoming head coach that the unit took a step back.

If it's not pure coaching, guys like David and White -- as well as Shaq Barrett and Anthony Nelson -- will take Diaby under their wing and begin to mold him in their image. That's incredibly exciting and is juxtaposed against the struggles that Tryon-Shoyinka has experienced over the last few years.

An ideal situation is that Tryon-Shoyinka rebounds and finally becomes the guy the Bucs need him to be, in addition to Diaby being a starting-caliber linebacker. It's not a high bar for Diaby to clear to win a starting role, something that is worth keeping an eye on at camp.