More Rashaan Melvin Love

July 8th, 2014
Bucs CB Rashaan Melvin won't surprise Buccaneers.com's Scott Smith.

The Bucs remain bullish on Rashaan Melvin

Yesterday, Joe typed about who he deems “The Forgotten Cornerback,” second-year man Rashaan Melvin, the pride of Northern Illinois. Last year, the undrafted free agent opened up eyes at One Buc Palace and high-ranking members of the Bucs were giddy about his ceiling.

Last offseason, there was no player that Joe received more unsolicited texts about from Bucs sources than Melvin. The New Schiano Order had high hopes.

But fate stood in the way of Melvin making headway. He was injured in preseason and was done for the year. This season, with new coach Lovie Smith bringing in Alterraun Verner and Mike Jenkins, along with Johnthan Banks living up to his rookie billing, it was easy to forget about Melvin.

One person aside from Joe who has not forgotten about Melvin is Buccaneers.com multimedia maven Scott Smith.

In a neat column to prepare Bucs fans for training camp (now 17 days away), Smith jotted down a few developments that would not surprise him. One is that Melvin could be part of the Bucs’ regular cornerback rotation.

I’m thinking Melvin makes it this time, and could even be a significant player in the Bucs’ cornerback rotation. The 6-2 Melvin has the size that defensive coordinators covet at the position, and he has once again looked promising this offseason. Banks, Alterraun Verner and Mike Jenkins have the inside track to take the top three spots on the cornerback depth chart, but after that it’s wide open. Melvin is more likely to work on the outside than in the slot, so he may not be in competition for the nickel back job, but even so he could slot in as the fourth or fifth corner, and over the course of a 16-game season that player is going to get some important work. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Buccaneers kept six cornerbacks (especially if two or three of them have special teams talent) and Melvin is one of the most intriguing players in that mix.

However, the old guard is gone. The Lovie Smith Era is in full force. With a new regime comes new goals, standards and expectations. The team is viewed through a different prism. What one football group thinks of a player could be radically different from another group.

So Joe texted one of his confidants who works inside the walls of One Buc Palace to gauge what the current pulse was about Melvin.

Turns out, it appears the new guys seem to have a similar opinion of Melvin; they, too, believe Melvin has a high ceiling. In other words, they think Melvin can be a valuable asset.

How much or how often Melvin sees the field, of course, will largely depend on how Melvin plays this summer in training camp and preseason games.

As Joe stated yesterday, though he’s not exactly driving the Mike Jenkins bandwagon, a team cannot have too many good cornerbacks.

8 Responses to “More Rashaan Melvin Love”

  1. BamBamBuc Says:

    I believe that most teams, regardless of name recognition, don’t always keep the best overall group at any position. By this, I mean that Jenkins may (and I mean “may”) be a better CB than Melvin at this point in their respective careers, but I could easily see the Bucs cut Jenkins in favor of Melvin. The thought process is simple. Banks and Verner are the starting 2 outside. DJ Moore is likely to be the “slot” CB, a position Lovie Smith has separated as a specific position. Now, Melvin and Jenkins are both better fits as outside CBs and Leonard Johnson is better suited at slot CB. It is likely the Bucs believe they have their “starters” in Banks, Verner and Moore and need backups/depth. Would a team rather have a slightly better player as a backup now, or keep a player that has higher potential but needs work? With the starters “set”, I really think they will look for the younger, “potential” guys as backups to groom. So, I see Banks, Verner, Moore, and depending on whether they keep 5 or 6, Melvin and either Johnson or Gorrer, Jenkins could be the 6th (I don’t think they keep both Johnson AND Gorrer)

  2. Joe Says:

    BamBam:

    All about perceived upside and value. Given that Melvin is younger and cheaper, he may have an edge over Jenkins if the two have an equal training camp/preseason.

  3. BamBamBuc Says:

    Also, a lot of the talk about Jenkins has been “he just hasn’t done much of anything anywhere he’s been yet”, which discounts at least one pretty darned good season in Dallas. It also discounts the fact that he suffered hamstring issues that limited for a time after that season, and that Dallas brought in Brandon Carr and drafted Claiborne before letting Jenkins go. Then playing for an abysmal Raiders defense was unspectacular. Personally, I’d like to see them work Jenkins as the slot CB behind Moore, keep Melvin to groom outside behind Banks/Verner. I just like the depth better that way. Maybe next year we can find a young potential slot CB to groom that is better than Johnson or Gorrer. In the meantime, if Melvin is in over his head if he has to come in we can always switch Jenkins back outside where he has had success in the past.

  4. BamBamBuc Says:

    Agreed, Joe. I think Melvin does have greater value as an outside backup and future potential, which is why I’d let Jenkins go in favor of Melvin. However, I would keep Jenkins over Gorrer or Johnson if he can transition to the slot, as he provides better depth across the board and isn’t all that expensive as a one or two year backup. I’m not sold on Johnson or Gorrer, but if Johnson is a better slot CB than Jenkins he may get the spot. If it’s close there, I’d rather keep Jenkins.

  5. hamilton Says:

    Jenkins will be a big part of this team,joe we know you do not like the pick up of Jenkins, you did not like hiring of love.

  6. hamilton Says:

    lovie

  7. Buccfan37 Says:

    Any way you look at it the defensive backfield will be better this coming season. Much better than last year and scads better than 2 years ago. Be forewarned Brees.

  8. PRBucFan Says:

    Lovie has not forgotten about Melvin, he’s named him as a stand out a couple times already.

 
 

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