Jamel Dean Jersey

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Auburn, Alabama — Jamel Dean’s journey to the NFL Draft has been far from easy.

When he first turned up on campus in 2015, he was forced to redshirt due to injury.

In his first year playing collegiately, he racked up 43 tackles for the season, 23 solo tackles.

The 6-foot-2, 208-pound cornerback has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, where he’s projected to be a second or third round pick.

Here are a few things to know about Dean.
Jamel Dean almost thought his football career was over

During his senior year of high school, Dean tore the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his right knee.

He had already accepted a scholarship at Ohio State, and upon early enrollment, he was evaluated by Ohio State medical staff, which declared him as medically ineligible.

Dean then saw Dr. James Andrews, a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon, to be examined. Andrews said his issue was strengthening the quad muscles.

Dean then transferred to Auburn University in May of 2015.

As a sophomore in high school, Dean clocked in a blazing 100-meter time of 10.63 seconds.

Through all the injuries, Dean has lost his speed, clocking in a time of 4.31 seconds at the NFL Combine.

A student-athlete must have a grade point average of 3.00 or above for either the preceding academic year or have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or above at the institution to earn SEC academic honors.

As a junior and senior, Dean earned Southeastern Conference academic honors.

Dean is no stranger to receiving high achievement in academics. He graduated high school with a 3.8 GPA.

Sean Bunting Jersey

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STRENGTHS

—Good build at 6’0″ and 195 pounds with 4.42 speed and a 41.5″ vertical jump.

—Long-armed (31¾”), and it shows at the line of scrimmage and when reaching to deflect balls or attack passes in the air.

—Excels going up to challenge 50-50 balls and has both the size and vertical ability to take away the deep ball.

—Times his transitions well and shows he can flip his hips and run; good short-area quickness and can mirror and match on short routes.

—Could be an excellent fit in the slot but more so in a zone scheme, where he can keep his eyes on the route and close on the ball with his speed and length.

WEAKNESSES

—Frame didn’t look 195 pounds on film; has a lean, long build that lets receivers run through him.

—Can be slow to read and react and too often gets caught relying on physical tools, which won’t work against NFL speed.

—Didn’t get challenged by many pro-caliber receivers and wasn’t Senior Bowl-eligible as an underclassman, so level of competition could be an issue.

—Never comes across as very twitchy or with much open-field burst, which could limit his projection as an outside cornerback, but his 4.42 run at the NFL Scouting Combine opened some eyes.

OVERALL

Bunting is a bit of a project, but we’re betting on his traits and ability to improve with NFL coaching, making him more valuable than some pro teams might see on tape. Bunting has received grades from scouts in the Round 3 range, but we’re a little higher on his skills and upside as a starting cornerback.

Devin White Jersey

Louisiana State linebacker Devin White poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected White in the first round at the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) AP

NASHVILLE — Maybe it was the eight-hour flight delay at the Tampa airport. Or the connection Jack Marucci held between the two linebackers. Or the good feeling White had from meeting Bruce Arians for the first time.

One way or another, Devin White felt destined Thursday (April 25) to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

White, a Butkus Award winner as the top linebacker in college football last season, joined the Buccaneers as the No. 5 overall selection in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, making him the first linebacker selected by the team in the first round since Derrick Brooks went there in 1995.

Brooks played his entire 14-year NFL career with Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl while there, and later went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Marucci, the LSU athletic trainer since 1997, saw Brooks play in college at Florida State when Marucci worked there from 1988 through 1996.

“He always told me how I reminded him of Derrick,” White said.

Marucci intended for White to speak with Brooks at some point after White decided in January to skip his senior season and begin his professional career, but for some reason or another, the phone call never happened.

But with White joining the team for which Brooks had his No. 55 retired, the player who wore No. 40 for LSU is eager for his first chance to speak with legendary linebacker “so I can pick his brain and get advice from him about how he became such a great pro.”

“At the end of the day, I want to help my team,” White said. “With him being a great Buc, I know he wants to help us win.”

White met with the Buccaneers while at the NFL Scouting Combine in February and had dinner with team officials the night before the LSU Pro Day in March. He also visited the team facility sometime after that, where he said all the conversation there was all about getting to know each other more as people and not just as football coaches and players.

White felt a spark from the moment he first met Arians, the team’s first-year head coach, because “you know he knows the game of football,” White said. “You know he knows when he’s around a great player. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited, because I want to be a great pro.”

At some point, Arians, who previously coached the Arizona Cardinals, told White the team would definitely select him if he was still on the board at No. 5 overall.

“I knew I was in play with the Raiders at (No. 4 overall), but coach Bruce told me if I was on the board at five he was going to take me,” White said. “That was my most-kept secret from the media. I just never knew if the Raiders were going to take me or not.”

White going to the Buccaneers was where most mock drafts had him targeted, with many analysts saying he would likely go no later than No. 10 to the Denver Broncos. White is the fourth linebacker selected in the top-5 in the last 10 years, and he’s the 10th LSU player selected in the top 10 since 2007.

Still on the draft board is former LSU cornerback Greedy Williams, who attended the draft with a large group of family and friends so they could get the full draft experience. He’ll likely be selected Friday during the second and third rounds. Tight end Foster Moreau and kicker Cole Tracy also are likely to be selected before long.

When White visited the Buccaneers, he sat through an eight or nine hour flight delay in Tampa before he flew to New York to do some stuff with ESPN and also meet with the Giants, who came into the draft with the No. 6 and 17 overall picks in the first round.

During that delay, White said he took it as a sign from God that maybe Tampa Bay was “where I need to be.” Now, Tampa is where he actually belongs. It’s the feeling he had all along.