Best Bucs Rookie In Class Of 2023?

September 17th, 2023

Making an impact.

So who is the best Bucs rookie? After two games, an unlikely name sits atop Joe’s list.

Calijah Kancey? In the 11 snaps he’s played, he’s made an impact. Cody Mauch has played solid ball. YaYa Diaby had a half-sack today.

But the rookie who is balling out the most? How about Christian Izien, the undrafted free agent from Rutgers? He earned the starting nickel corner job and he’s shown, as the Bucs begin the season 2-0, that the big stage of the NFL is not too big for him.

Izien has two picks in his first two NFL games. He is only the fourth undrafted free agent in NFL history to have two interceptions in his first two NFL games.

“I wouldn’t say I am established,” Izien said of his dynamite start. “I would say I’m just doing the right things on the field.”

Izien said a big reason why he’s had so much success so soon is that he believes he is surrounded by ballers.

“This team defense of running to the ball gave me the opportunity” for his pick today,” Izien said.

It wasn’t just a pick that Izien had. He also had a tackle for loss and a pass defensed. If not for a play review, Izien would have had a fumble recovery as well.

In short, Izien is making plays all over the field. And right now he looks to be an absolute steal in the Bucs’ rookie class of 2023.

29 Responses to “Best Bucs Rookie In Class Of 2023?”

  1. firethecannons Says:

    Yeah–good story Joe! just what the Bucs need is Izien an UDFA to show the CB squad he has what it takes and is making a difference what a day!

  2. Dan Says:

    Bucs stink, 2 cupcake wins, philly will destroy them Monday Night, 41-13, so sad that they have to share a Monday Night game lol

  3. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Secondary did well with Davis out. Not sure what’s going to happen with Philly but this unit will be special by years end.

  4. Erik Hesson - Fine Artist and Founder of Says:


  5. Herbiebuc Says:

    Come back next Tues with that same energy @Dan 🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️🏴‍☠️

  6. Voice of Truth Says:

    Not only is he a ballhawk, he tackles very well

    Awesome find, how did everyone miss on this kid in the draft?

  7. A Bucs Fan Says:

    He played for Rutgers and is 5’8”. That’s why no one gave him a second look. They thought he was too small for the game. Proving them wrong right now!

  8. NJbucs23 Says:

    Schiano man !

  9. Baking with Canales Says:

    Licht was proudly walking the sidelines.

    He keeps finding gems.


  10. Craig Says:

    I look forward to seeing this team through the season.

    The three top rookies will continue to grow into the game, so we can’t really say who will win the rookie of the year award. All three are solid football players already, and Izen does top the list so far.

    There is also Trey Palmer to think of. He made a couple good catches today and only made one route mistake.

    In all it might be Licht’s best rookie class ever.

  11. Boss Says:

    Him and Winfield look to be built about the saw and both are ball hawks. Nice!

  12. 02,20,2022 Says:

    Philly is very beatable lets go Bucs!!

  13. TBone Says:

    Dan… aren’t you just a little ray of F.@& sunshine. Go root for the taints already

  14. ModHairKen Says:

    Dan wears panties and drives a Kia.

  15. Conte Piscatelli Says:

    Speaking of corner backs, Zion played pretty good today. Feel much better about our depth after today

  16. orlbucfan Says:

    Too early to make that call which is TERRIFIC!

  17. Infomeplease Says:

    There is hope in Tampa!! The team is playing like a team. Playing complementary football. Monday night will be the next big test!! We’ll see what we have then! There is hope in Tampa!

  18. Buc50 Says:

    Dan is probably his middle name. First name is Byron.

  19. Danthebucfan Says:

    What about Trey Palmer?!?

  20. Infomeplease Says:

    If CI29 continues to play the way he has been, you have to put him in the discussion for Rookie of the Year! Thank you JL and staff. CI29 is just what this team needed at nickel.

  21. Lokog Says:

    Yea f@$k everything that comes out if philly I hate that city and everything in it

  22. BucsFanSince76 Says:


  23. Bucschamp Says:

    Let’s not forget that pick was because of Winfield.

  24. Weston Says:

    JL haters sit down and stay there!

  25. 1#bucsfan Says:

    Bro Philly got them cheesesteaks that’s about all they good for lol

  26. teacherman777 Says:

    Izien went undrafted because he is 5-8.

    Winfield is 5-9 and was drafted in the 1st round.

    Izien is even built like Winfield.

    I think Izien is the ideal nickel.

    He is built like a LB/RB.

    He hits like a safety.

    Ronde Barber 2.0?

    The ideal nickel?

  27. Fred McNeil Says:

    We have a punchers chance against Phillie.
    The game is in our crib.

  28. Wild Bill Says:

    Izien gets my vote so far. In both games he ripped the ball out of an opposing receiver and turned a reception into an interception. Don’t see that happen very often let alone by a rookie in each of his first two games!

  29. garro Says:

    It is a true toss up to me. Between Izien and Mauch…right now… we got some others who may step into the spotlight. Tucker and Palmer?

    Go Bucs!