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Undrafted Bucs tend to stick around to play in the fall

Tampa Bay has a good history of college free agents realizing their NFL dreams.
 
Washington Huskies linebacker Benning Potoa'e (8) walks out of the tunnel before a game against the Eastern Washington Eagles at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium in Seattle last season.
Washington Huskies linebacker Benning Potoa'e (8) walks out of the tunnel before a game against the Eastern Washington Eagles at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium in Seattle last season. [ SEAN BROWN | ZUMAPRESS.com ]
Published May 4, 2020|Updated May 4, 2020

TAMPA — Receiver Adam Humphries was discovered in a rookie tryout camp. Cameron Brate was undrafted from Harvard, released and made it big in his second stint with the Bucs. Running back Peyton Barber earned the starting job as an undrafted player from Auburn and is entering his fifth NFL season, his first with Washington.

None of those players heard his name called on draft day, but made it to second contracts.

The Bucs released a list of undrafted free agents Monday, many of them having already been confirmed by the team or posted their signings on social media.

Several will fortify areas of need for the Bucs, and have a good chance to either earn a spot on the regular roster or practice squad.

It is rare to find players such as Humphries or Brate, who parlayed a roster spot into eventual big contracts. Humphries signed a four-year, $36 million contract with the Titans last year after spending his first four seasons as Tampa Bay’s slot receiver. Brate signed a six-year contract worth about $40 million in 2018.

Among the undrafted free agents who hope to follow in those footsteps include:

Related: Undrafted Reid Sinnett happy to bide his time, learn from Tom Brady

QB Reid Sinnett, 6-4, 225, San Diego: Passed for 3,528 yards and 32 touchdowns while running for six scores for the Toreros. Will get a chance to stick as the developmental No. 3 quarterback or land on the practice squad.

LSU linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. (45) works out during practice last fall.
LSU linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. (45) works out during practice last fall. [ GERALD HERBERT | AP ]

LB Michael Divinity Jr., 6-2, 242, LSU: Another in a long line of LSU linebackers to pair with Devin White. Suspended six games last season for reportedly failed drug tests, but returned to help the Tigers win a national title.

LB Cam Gill, 6-3, 240, Wagner: Had 23 sacks in the past two seasons for the Division I-AA Seahawks.

S Javon Hagan, 6-0, 215, Ohio: Recorded 318 career tackles and six interceptions in four seasons with the Bobcats.

WR Travis Jonsen, 6-4, 211, Montana State: Big receiver and a wildcard quarterback who caught 55 passes for 580 yards and a touchdown. Jonsen can run, as evidenced by his 526 yards rushing and eight touchdowns last season..

G John Molchon, 6-5, 309, Boise State: Versatile three-year starter at guard who can play multiple positions on the offensive line.

LB Nasir Player, 6-5, 271, East Tennessee State: Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year had 17.5 sacks in three seasons.

DT Benning Potoa’e, 6-3,, 290, Washington: Former Huskies teammate of Bucs defensive tackle Vita Vea and could make it a need position.

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Zach Shackelford of the Texas Longhorns in action last season vs. the Kansas State Wildcats in Austin, Texas.
Zach Shackelford of the Texas Longhorns in action last season vs. the Kansas State Wildcats in Austin, Texas. [ ROBERT BACKMAN | ZUMAPRESS.com ]

C Zach Shackelford, 6-4, 305, Texas: Had 40 career starts with the Longhorns with a good chance to earn a job as a backup interior lineman.

WR John Hurst, 6-2, 190, West Georgia: Enjoyed a good 2019 with a career-high 40 catches for 654 yards and seven touchdowns.

OL Nick Leverett, 6-3, 310, Rice: Started at North Carolina Central before transferring to Rice.

WR Josh Pearson, 6-4, 205, Jacksonville State: Pearson had very good production after walking on to the Div. IAA school in Alabama where he had 2,066 yards receiving and 30 touchdowns in the last two seasons. Unfortunately, the Bucs are pretty loaded at the position and will have to unseat Justin Watson or Scotty Miller.

DB Parnell Motley, 6-0,, 180, Oklahoma: Motley was a three-year starter at Oklahoma, intercepting six passes and forcing six fumbles to go with 39 passes defensed. The Bucs have drafted seven defensive backs in the past three seasons, so it’s going to be an uphill climb.