Rough Evaluation Of Bucs Cornerbacks

June 2nd, 2024

Joe climbed the roof of One Buc Palace and started bugling when Tampa Bay’s safeties unit got the best-in-the-NFL label from a former coach and personnel executive who crowned them as such two weeks ago.

So Joe feels compelled to share that the same guy evaluated the Bucs cornerbacks on Friday and gave them a very mid grade.

Pat Kirwan, the former Jets linebackers coach and personnel director, is going through the exhaustive exercise of grading every cornerbacks unit via many factors, including a teams’ full depth chart at the position. Kirwan talks it through on his SiriusXM NFL Radio show.

While the Bucs safeties scored a 19 out of 20 possible points. The corners? They pulled only a 10 out of 20, which ranked second best in the NFC South.

Carolina was last with a “7,” Atlanta checked in with an “8” score, and the Saints pulled a “16,” which was fair because they’re loaded at the position. And they drafted “Kool-Aid” McKinstry in Round 2 last month to make things even more intriguing.

Kirwan, like most defensive coaches, has a problem with the Bucs’ cornerbacks lack of interceptions. Zyon McCollum (9 career starts) is seeking his first while Jamel Dean is on a 29-game pick-less streak. But many more factors were cited.

It seems Kirwan was a Dee Delaney fan and liked his experience and versatility. The longtime Bucs backup signed with the Bills this offseason.

Kirwan, who talks to Todd Bowles regularly during the regular season, also sees Carlton Davis has a net loss and doesn’t think Christian Izien has much of a chance to keep his nickel job with rookie Tykee Smith on the roster.

23 Responses to “Rough Evaluation Of Bucs Cornerbacks”

  1. D-Rok Says:

    Love me some Movin’ The Chains. Best sports commenting duo in the football landscape of talking heads.

    I knew I would cringe when I heard Kirwan’s grades for CB’s. Yikes 10/20. I guess that grade makes this group of CB’s the Assistant Gravediggers.

  2. JimBobBuc Says:

    A fair assessment. I generally like Kirwan’s takes. A pass rush and lots of juggs work should help the cb’s. I’d like to see both Izien and Tykee in the field in passing downs with Britt out. Izien is very quick and Tykee has great instincts. Tykee has to stay healthy – I just saw that he had an ACL and broken foot at Georgia!

  3. FrontFour Says:

    Losing Davis IS a net loss in coverage skills. It was a roll of the dice that physically he’s no longer going to be a full time starter, has a fat paycheck and won’t ever improve in creating turnovers. When healthy he’s a solid cover corner and a physical tackler. When he’s healthy.

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    So talking directly about the Bucs CBs and once again… No mention of Bryce Hall.

    I think we have a better CB room than last year overall and that if the DL and Edge rushers can get better pressure on the QB this year – the Ints will come in bunches…..

  5. A Bucs Fan Says:

    [Thanks for the background. Unfortunately, Joe can’t publish your comments because Joe cannot verify them and the very last thing Joe needs is to get a nasty gram from a lawyer looking to take away his business. Appreciate the heads up. — Joe]

  6. Booger Says:

    Yeah, I don’t get it… No one ever mentions Breece Hall’s brother LoL. It’s like he is completely forgotten? I hope he makes sure that, after this season, he is always remembered.

  7. infomeplease Says:

    Talk is cheap. Do you walk the walk? That’s all that matters. We will find out by the end of September or so.

  8. JD Still Says:

    There could be more to the story as to why their pick production is so low, for example, in Baseball, at first glance there are pitchers and catchers who don’t throw out many runners, but when you look more deeply it’s because very few runners try to steal on them, it could be the same with our corners, maybe quarterbacks look elsewhere for completions.

  9. Dude Says:

    That pick McCollum had against the Bears that should’ve stood!! It was overturned and made an incompletion when Zyon clearly caught & secured the ball with toe tap.

    I think we’ll be good at CB. I’m more excited about seeing how Keenan Isaac(6’3 190lbs we need to see what YOU got) and see how the rest of our young CBs have come along this offseason. All this young depth has made the preseason games must watch the last 2-3yrs, we’ve got a nice little developmental program going on all around the roster.

    We’re still trying to fill the void left by the departure of SMB at nickel, 2 seasons later heading into our 3rd.

  10. Capt.Tim Says:

    As is so often the case, the CB play is very much dictated by the pass rush.
    Not sacks. What creates interceptions is QB pressures. Hurried, harassed QBs make bad decisions and throws.

    We dont pressure the Qb.

    I have faith in Zyon, Izien, Brice Hall, Tavi Thomas, and hopefully Josh Hayes.
    I hope Tykee Smith can play the slot.

    But I think the interceptions will come, when we improve the pass rush.

    Keep Screaming Joe. You are absolutely right about improving the pass rush.

  11. gotbbucs Says:

    I mean, Jamel Dean isn’t going to suddenly wake up and become a ball hawk. He’s got the worst hands of any corner I’ve ever seen. Thank goodness he can tackle.
    Zyon is still an unknown at this point.

  12. Defense Rules Says:

    I’m with Kirwan in that I wish we’d re-signed Dee Delaney. I thought surely we’d bring him back after he improved so much in 2023 (from allowing a 93.3% completion rate in 2022 to only allowing 48.5% completions in 2023). Apparently though the powers that be felt that Bryce Hall could contribute more, so they went in that direction.

    Hall is an intriguing option, but his last 2 years were meh (14 games total) after a 17-game 2021 season starting for the Jets. His stats that year weren’t all that impressive though: 69 completions out of 109 targets (63.3%) for 794 yards & 7 TDs allowed. Did play a lot of S/Ts though these past 2 years.

  13. ModHairKen Says:

    Every player can’t be an All Pro and every group can’t be a strength.

    Not bothered. But am dying to know what A Bucs Fan wrote.

  14. Mort Says:

    Starters are B- tier, and we have no depth to speak of whatsoever. It’s the thinnest position on the roster and that’s not good at all.

  15. Capt.Tim Says:

    If only we would sign one of the 2 pass rushers out there, and a Good Left Guard.
    I really believe ths team could make the Super Bowl.

    But we continue t play wth a crippled running game, and a defenseless pass rush.
    Just 2 good players. Not even great

    But we’ve needed a pass rusher and left guard for 3 years now.
    Guess we’ll finally get’em next year.
    At least our list of needs is really short for the 20245 draft.

  16. Capt.Tim Says:

    Ummm, 2025 draft.

  17. MadMax Says:

    @Defense, and Hall was a 5th rd pick. Hopefully he can be great for us this year but we seriously need to tackle that CB pick high next draft. That and ILB. Ive got some options….doing my research 🙂

  18. BillyBucco Says:

    Im not worried. Dean is a proven good player when healthy and both starters run 4.3s. With the addition of Whitehead and Smith they will be allowed to take more chances this year. Bryce Hall is an upgrade over Davis. Kids developing in the background. This defense is gonna be top 5, you watch.
    CB could be the first pick next year, but I don’t think we will be awful there.
    Zyon McCollum is ready.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    BillyBucco … ‘Bryce Hall is an upgrade over Davis.’

    Might be an upgrade over Delaney, but over Davis? He started 7 games his rookie year (2020) before he got hurt, then spent the rest of the season on IR. Started all 17 games in 2021, but apparently lost his starting position because he only started 2 games total in 2022 & 2023 (played in only 14 games out of those 34 with barely 150 total def snaps). I’m obviously hoping that he’s a diamond in the rough, but have trouble seeing him as an upgrade over Carlton Davis at this point. Hopefully McCollum is however.

  20. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I understand your position, Joe. The claim has been made. Time will tell if it’s true or not.

  21. Badbucs Says:

    The second wave of FA at the cut down may produce an upgrade at cb, edge or g. Roster is not set yet.

  22. ScottyMack Says:

    I listen to their show on Sirius XM and my problem is that one of the things they use to evaluate cornerbacks is “passes defensed”.

    Face it, if you are an elite cornerback, few QBs are going to be stupid enough to throw a ball to the guy you are defending. In Kirwin’s system, that actually hurts the player’s score.

    I would think a far better measure of a corner would be the percentage of passes completed against them.

    The other thing his evaluations do not take into account at all id the type of defense they are playing. In my opinion, the only way to really evaluate a cornerback is in man-to-man coverage – something Bowles rarely seems to implement even though he had to of the best lockdown CBs in the league last year.

    Bottom Line: Based on the way Bowles uses zone defenses nearly exclusively, the Bucs cornerbacks may be just as good if not better this year with their free agent additions and the massively important re-addition of Jordan Whitehead at safety. (Yeah, I know they were just evaluating CB, but the Bowles defense is more of a team thing, with the CBs and safties working together).

  23. Dude Says:

    “Bottom Line: Based on the way Bowles uses zone defenses nearly exclusively, the Bucs cornerbacks may be just as good if not better this year with their free agent additions and the massively important re-addition of Jordan Whitehead at safety.”

    Bucs fans: “We want pass rush”
    *Bowles cooks up a bunch of 5/6 man pressures*
    Bucs fans: “Stop playing zone!”

    Plz figure out how one thing effects the other on defense, you can’t send extra bodies and play man coverage on the same rep, you’re asking to get burnt.