Bond Market

August 5th, 2017

Second-year linebacker Devante Bond. (Photo courtesy of

Devante Bond is about to reach his dreams.

Playing junior college football, the NFL is not just far away, it seems like a pipedream. But Devante Bond didn’t stop believing. Didn’t stop dreaming.

And when the Bucs drafted Bond in the sixth round last year (hey, third-day picks pray they can make the final 53-man roster), starting wasn’t in the picture. But a year later, Bond has a starting job in front of him as he competes with Kendell Beckwith for the SAM (strongside) linebacker position.

Beckwith is a great story now while, just eight months after major surgery, he’s battling for a starting job in the NFL. Bond’s story is equally inspiring because of his road traveled.

When Joe asked a Bucs official who would know if there were a couple of practicing well that Joe might be overlooking, the first name out of this man’s mouth was Bond.

“It is definetly a dream,” Bond said. “It is work. It’s all work. A lot of hard work. And a lot of hard work going forward. I just have to stay focused and accomplish what I want to accomplish.”

Of course, it is still early in camp. The Bucs have yet to play a preseason game. So who starts at SAM is not close to being determined.

Competing with Beckwith, Bond said, is making each better players.

“Oh, yeah, yeah. I like ‘Beck,'” Bond said. “. It’s good to have someone pushing me. Everybody is pushing each other. We are all pushing each other. The veterans and the rookies. It keeps everybody motivated.”

It is no secret that more often than not, the defense of the Bucs has been winning the day in training camp. To Joe, facing the weapons the Bucs have on offense, that’s saying a lot. Bond isn’t satisfied.

“There are a lot of things we can do to get better,” Bond said. “We can always tweek to get better. But as of now, I think we are on a good pace. Just have to keep grinding and working hard. Stay on it everyday and stay consistent.”

Consistency is the key. And this will be a fun battle. The man who played at Oklahoma by way of a JUCO, or the stud rookie prospect from LSU who was molded against SEC competition.

11 Responses to “Bond Market”

  1. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Bond stood out last offseason until he was hurt.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Bond…….DeVante Bond

    If we start getting good production out of players like Bond & Ryan Smith…..Stevie T….then we have really had some great drafts.

  3. Justin Says:

    “SEC competition”? I’d rather square off against SEC offenses than big 12 offenses if I was linebacker.

  4. HFXBUX Says:

    Bond and Beckwith are different players and bring needed skills to the SAM. Co-starters make sense depending on the matchups.

  5. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Dang it…you had to go Bond…..James…er Devanta.

    That brought to mind one of the funniest SNL skits ever. James Bond was brought in to see the Secret Service doc. James….we’ve tested your blood and you have every STD known to man!!! After watching all the action James got in the movies I had to laugh.

  6. RayJameisStadium Says:

    Bond & Ryan Smith…..Stevie T….then we have really had some great drafts.

    Yeah…give Licht an extension soon!

  7. Pawel Says:

    Thats funny stpete

  8. Dave Pear Says:

    That reminds me of a James Bond joke…
    James Bond was banging this Hot Chick.

    Hot Chick : James you don’t have AIDS do you?

    James : Hell no why would you ask?

    Hot Chick : Oh good I didn’t want to catch it again! !!

  9. DB55 Says:

    I’m pretty sure beckwith wins this battle.

  10. Nole on Sat- Bucc on Sun Says:

    I kinda agree DB..

  11. Rod Munch Says:

    From what I recall Bond was a big project player – he had good measurables but wasn’t that good of an actual linebacker in college and wasn’t even a full-time starter, it was all projection with him. I know he was having a good camp last year before he was injured – but camp doesn’t mean much until you see it gameday. Still if he’s already ready to start that is a great thing since it would mean he’s ahead of schedule. If him and Beckwith are both in position to start, and it’s not out of desperation, then wow, what a coup. With Beckwith being a MLB in college (doing it by memory but I believe it’s true) then you can bring him along a bit more slowly and teach him both slots so you have depth at either position.

    Bond combine numbers: 6’1″, 235lb, 4.70 40 and was a top performer in the vertical jump and 3 cone drill. He’s in the top 10 in every category I looked at in fact. He’s a heck of an athlete, it was all about learning the position – so don’t underestimate him and think Beckwith has it locked up if he’s healthy. I’d tend to believe that is the case, but Bond too would have been a much more highly touted prospect if he had more tape and it matched those numbers. If he’s showing that tape in practice, then fantastic.