The Forgotten Cornerback

July 7th, 2014
rashaan melvin

Rashaan Melvin may be the Bucs’ forgotten cornerback. His performance this summer could determine if the Bucs have a deep secondary.

Joe has, in the past, referenced how Bucs fans just love names they recognize. Throw out a player’s name who has started in the NFL for two or three years, and many Bucs fans consider said player an automatic upgrade, solely because – “Hey, I know his name!”

This is the only logical reason Joe can deduce as to why so many Bucs fans went wild when the Bucs signed castoff Mike Jenkins. You would have thought Ronde Barber came out of retirement by the reaction.

Folks, there is a reason why the putrid Cowboys and the rancid Raiders washed their hands of Jenkins.

Lost in Bucs fans kvetching over cornerbacks is a guy Joe thinks Bucs fans should remember. That is Rashaan Melvin. Joe knows Greg Schiano and Mark Dominik thought they had a steal in grabbing Melvin as an undrafted free agent last year. Joe never had so much unsolicited feedback from Bucs types off the record crowing about Melvin; it wasn’t even close.

Alas, Melvin had a season-ending hamstring injury early in the 2013 preseason.

There is a cat by the name of Spencer Nobles, a Bucs fan who is a grad student at Joe’s alma mater who also has a journalism degree and wrote recently about Melvin on his blog, “It’s a Bucs Life.” So Joe decided to throw Nobles a bone and a link because he did some nice research on Melvin.

Back in his days at Northern Illinois University (NIU), Melvin was viewed as a shutdown cornerback. Quarterbacks regularly avoided his side of the field and when they did decide to test him, they were often unsuccessful; hence, “Melvin’s Island” was born. Although he only recorded 1 interception in his senior year, Melvin set a NIU single-season record with 17 pass breakups to go along with 55 tackles. His best statistical year came in 2011, when he recorded 78 tackles, 3 interceptions and 9 pass deflections.

Several scouting reports on Melvin during his final year at Northern Illinois state that he is a physical cornerback who excels in zone coverage and has the ability stay in a receiver’s hip pocket in coverage. These are great attributes for a Tampa-2 corner and, with his size, Melvin will also be able to jam most receivers at the line of scrimmage, which has been practiced regularly in Lovie Smith’s practices this offseason.

Although he’s had an up and down performance in minicamps this offseason, the evidence of Melvin’s stickiness is there. On the second day of minicamp, Melvin turned a drop by Vincent Jackson into an interception and also ripped the ball out of speedster Chris Owusu’s hands for another pick. Although the receiver did get his hands on the ball in both instances, the fact that Melvin was in good enough position to make plays is a good sign.

Now, only Lovie Smith knows if Melvin can make the roster, but Joe hasn’t heard of anything from the Bucs, on or off the record, that would suggest Melvin is just camp meat. A good showing by the forgotten Melvin this summer could go a long way into making the Bucs an even tougher defense.

In Joe’s eyes, a team can never have too many good corners.

23 Responses to “The Forgotten Cornerback”

  1. TampaBuc Says:

    They love names they recognize, like … Rashard Melvin.

  2. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “…so Joe decided to thrown Nobles a bone…”

    Throw. That’s the sort of error spell check doesn’t catch.

    I can’t complain though, because Joe has better grammar skills than most of the commenters?

    If I see one more “your not kidding” or “That’s you’re opinion” I will…well…shake my head since it isn’t worth getting worked up over.

  3. stevek Says:

    Joe,

    Who in the heck is “Rashard Melvin”?

    Is he related to Buc CB Rashaan Melvin?

    Thanks,

    know it all fan

  4. joe$ucfan Says:

    Joseph, did you see your QB of the future JF rolling up a dollar bill in the bathroom picture. He must have lost his drink straw and was thirsty. Any thoughts from you or the Dog? But darn L&L for not listening to J&D about how wonderful Johnnie is and not drafting him. His apparent focus on Futball is astonishing. Maybe L&L knew something J&D did not.

  5. DrewH Says:

    Joe,

    Uh-oh…figured I’d break this first… Johnny Manziel seen rolling up a bill in a Vegas bathroom this weekend…unless he’s depositing the cash straight into the stripper this can’t be a good sign.

    Dude, this isn’t a Browns site. Joe doesn’t write about the guy now that he has no chance of being a Buccaneer. –Joe

  6. DrewH Says:

    ok…apparently I have a very loose definition of the work “break”…either way, the speculation train is trucking along full steam on the inter webs.

  7. Bob Says:

    No name recognition sounds like something you (Joe) can use for the offensive line that Lovie has in place. Personally not that excited about the Jenkins signing other than depth. He seemed decent coming out of college but just an average at best NFL player.

  8. Joe Says:

    Personally not that excited about the Jenkins signing other than depth.

    Bingo. No more than that.

  9. biff barker Says:

    Both Melvin and Gorer showed a lot of promise last preseason. Curious if they beat out Jenkins at camp.
    Not too much was said of how Jenkins looked at camp so only time will tell.

  10. Joe Says:

    Joseph, did you see your QB of the future JF rolling up a dollar bill in the bathroom picture.

    At risk of hijacking a thread on a non-Bucs player, Joe finds it more disturbing that some dude would take a photo of another dude in a bathroom. That’s pretty sick.

  11. Buccfan37 Says:

    I thought the excitement over Jenkins was also because he was a USF Bull. Back in the early 1960′s, I took a year of journalism in 8th grade at Adams junior high in Tampa. What killed that interest for me was the PE coach lashed my rear end with a tennis shoe sole for shaking the basketball pole that held the basket. Then the journalism class teacher sent me to do an interview with that coach for the school paper. Talk about embarrassing.

  12. SAMCRO Says:

    Jenkins? > Melvin? or Melvin > Jenkins? ..who knows? …just glad both are > than the immortal Myron Lewis. lol

  13. joe$sucsfan Says:

    I agree. Just poking at you.

  14. BigMacAttack Says:

    Biff B, I agree with your comment. And Joe, I think you’re right too. I think wave some good young talent in the secondary that good coaching should help go far.

    We’re really getting close to the season. I’m stoked and everyone I talk to these days is fired up about Lovie and his team.

    Let’s get this party started and kick some Panther butts.

  15. OB Says:

    Joe

    It is called class and it was missing from that bathroom.

    As for Melvin, it is up to him and training camp.

  16. kevin Says:

    I think Melvin and Gorrer are both solid players. Having those two along with verner and banks should be fun to watch. Im interested to see who plys nickel majority of the time….

  17. delson Says:

    I’m rootin for dj moore to take that nickel spot. Jenkins is a former pro bowler right? Can’t be too bad as a rotational player especially if u got playing time experience

  18. BucsfaninChina Says:

    How gracious of you to throw a regular guy a bone to feature his article on your illustrious site. The ad revenue must just be a mere icing on the cake.

  19. Bogiedr Says:

    C’mon Joe … Can you for once give a USF kid a break? Wish we had drafted Jenkins, not Talib … Think about that for a bit!!!!

  20. Joe Says:

    Jenkins? > Melvin? or Melvin > Jenkins? ..who knows? …just glad both are > than the immortal Myron Lewis. lol

    Myron!

  21. Joe Says:

    Can you for once give a USF kid a break?

    First, Jenkins is no longer a kid. He’s an adult playing a man’s game. Joe doesn’t give a damn where a guy went to college. He’s in the NFL now.

    If Joe really wanted to hammer Jenkins, he’d write daily about his gutless dodging of tackles at the goal line. Not to mention getting roasted by Vince Young (of all people!) time and again.

  22. Joe Says:

    How gracious of you to throw a regular guy a bone to feature his article on your illustrious site. The ad revenue must just be a mere icing on the cake.

    Don’t know how ad revenue factors in (Joe didn’t notice any ads on the guy’s site). Dude wrote a nice article with solid research. What exactly is the problem with that?

  23. owlykat Says:

    I think Jenkin’s talents will be enhanced by the T-2. Melvin had a shot last year and did not show his potential yet. With great coaching I hope he improves this year along with Gorrer who has good speed!

 
 

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