The Two Most Impressive Rookies

August 26th, 2023

His teeth stick out, too.

How deep could this Bucs draft class be? Well, when five guys are making solid if not splash plays, there is reason for encouragement.

Today, if Joe had to pick the two rookies making the most noise, it’s a second-round pick and a sixth-round pick.

The second-round pick is Cody Mauch. Unfortunately, with offensive linemen, you have to go by the eyeball test as stats are limited.

Mauch struggled in the first worthless preseason game, but that’s to be expected. It was his first time at-bat since being drafted out of North Dakota State. You could see the progress in just Mauch’s second time out against the Jets — in practice and in the preseason game. So Mauch is coming along. He will be the Bucs’ starting right guard.

The obvious guy making splash plays is receiver Trey Palmer, selected in the sixth round. The way he is making plays, he just may be the No. 3 receiver when the Bucs kick off in Minnesota.

Speed kills and Palmer has it. Just on Thursday, the final full practice of the year open to local media , Joe saw Palmer put on the jets to get separation. Damn impressive. Joe is confident Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales will have special plans for Palmer.

Brief synopsis of the rest of the rookies:

Calijah Kancey: Everyone is expecting Kancey to be a force when he gets healthy. It sucks he got hurt early in camp. That will certainly stunt his growth.

YaYa Diaby: The Bucs are very excited about his potential as an edge rusher. He got dinged up two weeks ago and should return to action tonight.  He’s going to be a fun guy to watch.

SirVocea Dennis: The ballhawk inside linebacker was a nuisance for the Bucs offense early in camp. He sort of cooled off and got hurt against the Steelers. He’ll be fine as a backup.

Payne Durham: There is a reason he was a third-day draft pick. At times, because of his size, you’d think Durham would be a force in the red zone. But he’s shown unreliable hands, and he’s not exactly quick. More of a project but Joe expects him to make the 53-man squad as tight end is not deep for the Bucs.

Josh Hayes: Until, say, the last 10 days, Joe didn’t even know if Hayes was on the roster. Joe’s not sure if it’s enough to make the final-53.

José Ramirez: Joe had high hopes for Ramirez, largely because NFL Network’s Cynthia Frelund went gaga over him when the Bucs selected him in the sixth round. Ramirez, an outside linebacker, has barely practiced well enough to take many spins with the second-team defense. Once in a while, he’s made a play, mostly a quarterback pressure. Is that enough at position where Bucs desperately need production? Joe thinks the Bucs will try to hide Ramirez on the practice squad. But as badly as teams need pass rushers, Joe thinks another team will grab him once the 53 is announced, based on raw potential alone. And no, Joe doesn’t see Ramirez making the 53. Too invisible.

32 Responses to “The Two Most Impressive Rookies”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    “worthless preseason game” SMDH! I’ve taken you to task on this several times Joe.

  2. JimBobBuc Says:

    Durham, Hayes, Ramirez to the PS. The others will make the team. YaYa and SVD seemed to do well in practice but didn’t seem to do too much in games so I’ll definitely take a wait and see with them. Mauch is a great pick but he will definitely struggle moving up to play 1s in games. It seems like he’s a learner though.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I really don’t believe Joe thinks preseason games are worthless….he just likes to yank our chain.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Perhaps we should stash Ramirez on the IR.

  5. Lt. Dan Says:

    Mission accomplished then…chain yanked.

  6. Lokog Says:

    First rounders always getting hurt

  7. Obvious Says:

    I guess I was a little more impressed by YaYa than Jim Bob there. The others, sounds about right though. Lots of potential but not quite ready. Ya Ya, HE HAS TO BE ON THE 53 OR HE’S GONE. Taken by a team that CLEARLY sees his potential and wouldn’t be foolish enough to slap him on the practice squad and pretend he isn’t going to be gone in “less than” sixty seconds.. Guys with his ability even as raw as he is, ARE AS RARE AS IT GETS! We probably STOLD HIM in the third round. Ok, no doubt about it. It was highway robbery. We NEED Ya Ya!

    Ya Ya, MAKES THE TEAM! I believe they squeeze Dennis in somehow to but maybe not. I’m going to throw Mauch in there as well. Mauch makes the team! No question.

    GO BUCS!

  8. Wild Bill Says:

    So will the 1’s play the first quarter as a tune up? Then the 2’s on down the rest of the game.

  9. NCBucfan Says:

    Cam Gill>Ramirez.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Will….probably the 1s and then the 4s

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sorry….Wild Bill….not Will

  12. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Kancey will be a force on the DLine, but he is likely out until after the Bye week.

  13. Buc4evr Says:

    I think Mauch might be OK in a few years but it’s too early for him to be a starter. He was getting owned by The Steelers.
    Don’t think Durham will have a long career, he just doesn’t have the hands.
    Wish Kancey will be able to play soon, we need the help on the D line.
    YaYa and SirVocea are going to be special.

  14. RagingBrisket Says:

    The oline will be the downfall of this team because Licht was being too cute with his high draft picks on small school players. Between Logan Hall taking Jensen out for now a second season (and apparently himself since he is once again invisible on the field) and Licht’s arrogant play to go with his small school guys the offense will not function properly. Lame and he should be accountable.

  15. frozenbuc Says:

    Trask was the most impressive rookie (de facto). Looked better than the 4th-team 6th-year veteran who was gifted the job.

  16. Wild Bill Says:

    @TBBucfan 4’s??? Naw, the Bucs won’t risk injury settlements on players with no chance of making the team. My guess is they will give the best of the worst the most playing time for evaluations. But then what the he’ll do I know! Regardless, much like an addict who can’t quit, I will watch the whole dam game down to the last dreary play! Hope springs eternal for the Bucs!

  17. Pewter Power Says:

    Yep we good some impressive rookies but ain’t anointing anyone a steal until regular season.

    I hope Canales isn’t like leftwich and have talented players it the bench because Bowles won’t say a word about it.

  18. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We need a JBF poll……..Are preseason games worthless? Yes, No, Don’t know.

    I would wager the overwhelming vote would be that they have value.

  19. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    I’m a huge fan of the “eyeball test”

    Stats are for people, who aren’t too lazy to look them up.

  20. Defense Rules Says:

    Tonight’s game against the Ravens, with most of the starters playing at least some, should give us all a better clue about what we’ve really got in this team (assuming we’re going against Ravens’ starters of course). It’ll be the first opportunity for all of us to see our revamped OLine actually line up together & go against a very good Ravens’ defense (they ranked #3 overall last year … #26 against the pass but #3 against the run). It’ll also be our first opportunity to see ME13, CG14, probably Palmer & White on the field together with Mayfield at the controls in the Bucs’ new offense orchestrated by Dave Canales.

    As intriguing as the offense’s performance might be, it’s actually the defense that I’m more interested in for tonight. Baltimore’s starting offense should give us a great test because they pretty much controlled the game last year (38 minutes TOP to only 22 minutes for us in their 27-21 victory). We couldn’t consistently stop the run (Ravens had 33 runs for 231 yards rushing … a whopping 7.0 YPC). What was weird is that our defense did great in the first half (giving up only 1 FG) but it collapsed in the 2nd half (3 TDs & 1 FG) when the Ravens figured out that we couldn’t stop the run. Gee, whodathunkit? Bucs couldn’t stop the run so the Ravens RAN THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF THE BALL. It’ll be interesting to see if they use a similar approach tonight.

  21. Joe in Michigan Says:

    frozenbuc Says:
    August 26th, 2023 at 10:09 am
    Trask was the most impressive rookie (de facto). Looked better than the 4th-team 6th-year veteran who was gifted the job.
    Calling a 3rd year player a rookie is a stretch, don’t you think? 🤔

  22. Tony Says:

    No matter what they do at QB either way I’d still hang onto Wolford. Dude has shown he’s got the potential & if it does get to the point to where Baker & Trask have their bonehead moments then why not just give him a chance & see what happens.

  23. HC Grover Says:

    Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out

  24. frozenbuc Says:

    Joe in Michigan Says: “Calling a 3rd year player a rookie is a stretch, don’t you think? 🤔”

    One, I said “de facto”. That’s Latin for “in fact, or in effect”.

    Two, fellow 2021 draftee JTS is a “3rd year player”; Trask isn’t. The former has two years with the starters; the latter has zero.

  25. Joe Says:

    Cam Gill>Ramirez.

    Yes. Also keep in mind Todd Bowles needs production from people now, not 2024. So Bowles doesn’t have time to fart around with a rookie who may or may not have the light bulb turn on in a couple of months.

  26. BigPappaBuc Says:

    Mauch – great long career in the league. May get off to a slow year 1 though.
    YAYA – stays healthy – game changer
    Calijah- ditto
    Durham – hands >Otton and Ko. Needs experience . Hardly any drops in college. Red Zone TD already..
    Palmer – steal of the draft. This is going to be exciting to watch
    Hayes – didn’t see enough of
    Ramirez- ditto

  27. Joe Says:

    Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out

    This is good advice in several walks of life. 🙂

  28. Joe Says:

    Durham – hands >Otton and Ko. Needs experience .

    He doesn’t have better hands than Ko Kieft. Right now Kieft and David Wells have the best hands of the tight ends. Cade Otton’s butterfingers worry Joe.

  29. Duane Says:

    I liked the haul we got this year in the draft, and especially from where this team was slotted. Never exciting when you pick a bunch of linemen, but we need the bodies. Looks like we have a starter or two, and a few guys that can eat up snaps. I think Ya and Kancey can contribute to the pass rush. LFG.

  30. John McKay Says:

    Markees Watts will make the team. Most impressive after Palmer

  31. Fred McNeil Says:

    You bring up a lot of great examples, Joe. So do many JBFers.
    I want to put in my two cents. (Anyone know how to find the cents symbol on an android phone. I can’t find it)
    Ramierez is taller, bigger and quicker than either Britt or Russell. He is slightly faster and certainly quicker…in close proximities especially. Could he be a backup ILB?

  32. Tony Says:

    @John McKay

    Yeah I liked Watts even when he was at Charlotte. I always thought somebody should’ve given him a chance. That’s the problems with alot of teams & coaches overall. They look at where they come out of & their competition. Look at the player.