Overlooked RookiesJuly 1st, 2014
Yes, most Bucs fans are fixated on wide receiver Mike Evans as a rookie who will or should make an impact. Then, of course, are the other guys drafted on the second day of the draft, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and running back Charles Sims.
A good, solid draft, however, is finding gems on the third day of the draft.
That was the discussion in a recent podcast with Doug Farrar and Chris Burke, both NFL types for SI.com. The two were asked what late-round rookies they think can make an impact with Tampa Bay.
Doug Farrar: The Buccaneers got a guy Kevin Pamphile from Purdue. He’s not an experienced offensive tackle. But when you watch him, he has tremendous physical tools. If you develop this guy for a year or two and bring him up to NFL standards, I think by 2015, you are looking at a starting left tackle.
Chris Burke: Another thing on Tampa Bay, a guy I really like in the sixth round. Robert Herron. Here is a guy that can really fly. You put him with Vincent Jackson and [Mike] Evans and [Austin] Seferian-Jenkins, guys that are bigger and who will win those physical battles and demand a lot of attention on defense, there will be some chances to stretch the field. Herron is certainly a guy who can test safeties deep. If he is on the field, there will definitely be some home run plays for him.
First, Joe will touch upon Pamphile. Thus far, he really hasn’t shown much of anything during underwear football. It seems guard Kadeem Edwards already has risen up the depth chart, having logged plenty of practice time with the No. 1 squad while Carl Nicks was watching practice wearing his floppy hat.
To suggest Pamphile could start as early as next year means starting left tackle Anthony Collins does not pan out like general manager Jason Licht believes he will. Remember, Collins as yet to start a half-season much less 16 games. Also, if one expects Pamphile to start, and Collins is in fact a stud at left tackle, then that means right tackle Demar Dotson is either hurt or cannot hack it. Neither scenario is a pleasant thought.
The way Joe sees it, unless something dire or unforeseen happens, Pamphile will be nothing more than depth in the near future.
Now Burke’s take on Herron is very interesting. Yes, with the “Dunkaneers” on the field at the same time, defenses will key on them and perhaps forget about, or not bother much, with Herron, and that would be a major mistake.
Bucs offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford talks about speed in space and Herron sure has that speed. It’s evident in practice. Joe can easily visualize defenses concentrating on the “Dunkaneers” leaving Herron open underneath and he simply goes all Road Runner and leaves defenders eating grass clippings.