Busy Bucs add 16 undrafted rookies
TAMPA -- The Bucs stayed busy after the draft ended Saturday night, signing at least 16 undrafted rookies to free-agent contracts.
The Bucs had only six draft picks, and four of the subsequent signings were teammates of Bucs draft picks. Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith, who threw for 29 touchdowns this past season, will be reunited with receiver Robert Herron, a sixth-round draft pick, and Texas A&M linebackers Steven Jenkins and Nate Askew and cornerback Toney Hurd Jr. will join first-round pick Mike Evans.
Gators receiver Solomon Patton will compete with Herron as another slot receiver option, and others who had reportedly also signed with the Bucs included Boise State receiver Aaron Burks, South Carolina defensive end Chaz Sutton, Louisiana-Monroe center Josh Allen, Virginia-Lynchburg cornerback Keith Lewis.
Local players also chose to stay in their hometown area -- former Armwood, Gators and Boston College offensive lineman Matt Patchan said he signed with the Bucs, and former Armwood and USF defensive end Ryne Giddins was finalizing a deal to sign with Tampa Bay, according to his agent.
Not all the locals signed with the Bucs: Former Plant and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr., who visited the Bucs last month, signed with the Bengals. Former Alonso and FSU defensive tackle Demonte McAllister tweeted that he was joining the Seahawks. Former Lakewood and Toledo receiver Bernard Reedy signed with the Falcons. USF defensive end Tevin Mims signed with the Dolphins, and linebacker DeDe Lattimore with the Bears.
As of 11 p.m. Saturday, there were an additional five signings reported: Georgia Tech defensive tackle Euclid Cummings, Georgia offensive guard Chris Burnette, Eastern Michigan safety Mycal Swain, Oklahoma State running back Jeremy Smith and Jacksonville punter Dylan Lynch.
The Bucs went into the draft with 75 players on roster, and while draft picks don't count toward the roster limit until they sign, the current undrafted signings would push the roster over the offseason limit of 90, meaning cuts should be coming as the rookies arrive.