Clearing The Air On The “Promise” To Zyon McCollum

May 1st, 2022

Bucs VP of Player Personnel John Spytek,

Probably the coolest story of the Bucs draft weekend was the promise to Sam Houston State cornerback Zyon McCollum who the Bucs selected in the fifth round. Or was it a promise?

McCollum regaled reporters on Saturday that he was “told by the Bucs” that if he ran a 40 at the combine below 4.5 seconds he would be drafted by the Bucs. McCollum ran a 4.3.

However, Bucs vice president of player personnel John Spytek had a slightly different version, which he laughed about after the draft.

It seems a Bucs scout told McCollum in a roundabout way, that the Bucs were only interested in corners his size who ran below 4.5 in the 40. As if to say, “We will draft a corner your size if he runs sub-4.5.” McCollum misinterpreted that as a promise by the Bucs.

“I guess he accepted that challenge, huh?” Spytek joked. “We had a good laugh at that. That was Donovan [Cotton], our southwest scout, who interviewed him at the Senior Bowl. I think what Donavon meant was if you can do that, we’ll take you and you’re our kind of corner.

“You know, 6’2” and [runs] a 4.38 – when you look at our corner room, that’s who we’re after right now. So, yeah. He made good on it, I guess. We made him a Buc.”

Spytek added that he believes McCollum can be a contributor on special teams right away, specifically as a gunner.

With 4.3 wheels, gunner wouldn’t be the only spot on special teams Joe would give McCollum a test drive at. With a new coach this year, as awful as returner Jaelon Darden played in 2021, he should be given little rope to continue to stink up the joint.

28 Responses to “Clearing The Air On The “Promise” To Zyon McCollum”

  1. Ash Says:

    This was probably my favorite pick of the draft. He is raw but he has an elite ceiling if the bucs can develop him. This is the exactly the kind of pick you make at that spot well done Jason.

  2. steele Says:

    Ash, He was their only pick with possible day one starting caliber. And they got lucky to grab him.

  3. Brandon Says:

    Steele… you don’t know anything. Hall, Otton, and eventually Rachaan will all start for us. Quit opening your mouth to confirm you are clueless.

  4. Elita Vita Says:

    @ Steele

    Well yes we were lucky to “grab” him but Licht did think out of the box to give up a 2023 4th rounder to get him. If I were Mr. McCollum I’d actually feel special that Licht was willing to go to such lengths to do that.

  5. Crickett Baker Says:

    Joe, loved your Darden take. I can still smell him from AR (where I live now after most of my life in Tampa). I hope he floats away.

  6. firethecannons Says:

    I agree with joe completely. Do not give Darden any extra chances to fck things up. It was an absolute miracle he didn’t fumble when he was tripping over his own feet. Disaster waiting to happen.

  7. steele Says:

    Brandon, none of us outside know anything more than months of watching tape and reading scouting reports, and having differing opinions. I hope you’re right and they all ball out and are Pro Bowl and rookies of the year.

  8. steele Says:

    Bucs undrafted free agent signings:

    WR Kaylon Geiger
    WR Jerreth Sterns
    CB Kyler McMichael
    OL Dylan Cook
    LB Olankunie Fatukasi
    S Nolan Turner

    Have fun looking up these guys.

    Notice what’s missing in the entire draft: edge pass rushers. I hope that means free agency and trade action coming up.

  9. Ash Says:

    @steele The bucs have their starting edge rushers and rotational pieces I’m curious as to who you think they could have gotten in the draft that would have been an instant starter in this win now window with this probably being the last year with Tom? The smart play is to go with what you have instead of trying to develop some unknown. Edge rushers that were available at where the bucs drafted were not worldbeaters.

  10. Bucco Bruce Says:

    Fairly happy with the draft especially with McCollum and White. Still if Godwin is potentially out longer than we hope I think we need more than Gage. Can’t count on Tyler to step up again and again. I hope he does but still.

  11. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Bucco Bruce: I can’t say I have faith in Cyril Grayson, but he looked good for a minute last year. Not Godwin all-around good, but good enough.

  12. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The pick with the most potential for success?…….No one really knows at this point…..but if I had to bet, it would actually be the Punter.

    There’s your guaranteed starter.

    I also like Zyon & White for the long run……

  13. TheBradyBunch Says:

    Bruce, Perriman will work fine as a #3 if needed.

  14. A real bucs fan Says: gave Tampa bay a grade A for the draft..

  15. A real bucs fan Says:

    NFL.Com gave us grade A for our drafting

  16. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Zyon just needs some good coaching. He doesn’t have the technique yet. He has been living off his athleticism. Zyon and every other 5th round pick that is not a kicker has zero chance at starting this year. Zyon was one of the players I was hoping for the bucs to draft though. Also, I wouldn’t give up on Darden just yet

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    So what about the part of the story where shortly after the fast 40 time, the guy’s agent received a text saying – “Zyon McCollum’s going to be a Buccaneer.”.

    That part if true does kinda sound like the Bucs made him a ‘promise’ of sorts…

  18. SB~LV Says:

    I liked the first version better

  19. SB~LV Says:

    and another thing… while the Joes can be real “Richards” at times
    They sure as hell BUSTED their collective ass’s over the draft cranking out timely stories about the draftees.

  20. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    @Steele – actually the Bucs did draft an edge ruser – Andre Anthony in the seventh.

  21. SB~LV Says:

    The Bucs are in prime location for signing veterans released in coming days, weeks and months that can still play at a high level and never got to the SB and a chance to play with the Goat !
    Suh and JPP may have to sit a while as the Bucs look over the market place

  22. Todd Says:


    We MUST sign Olankunie Fatukasi.

    He MUST make the team.

    I will then order a personalized jersey with his last name slightly spelled incorrectly!


    Good call!!!

  23. PassingThru Says:

    Yeah, I looked at the undrafted WRs last night. One of them was a good return man in college.

  24. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    With this pick, and the pick of our new running back, we have got faster as a team!
    You can not coach Speed, you either have it, or you don’t!

  25. Destinjohnny Says:

    They only have one scout in regions, which seems low?
    In the entire southeast they have one scout also ?
    I would have scouts for positions especially in the sec.
    secondary scout, D line scout, wideout scout, etc

  26. matthew veal Says:

    Sometimes you have to draft the same type of guy twice so one will hit.

  27. SlyPirate Says:

    I was bummed when the Bucs picked the P over McCollum and fired up when he was picked. That was awesome!

  28. Buczilla Says:

    Still a cool story and a good pick as well.