When the Bucs took Auburn’s DB Jamel Dean with the 94th overall pick in the NFL Draft, it made sense that Tampa was reloading in the defensive backfield. Dean showed promise during the pre-season racking up 8 total tackles, 2 pass deflections, and 1 INT in limited action. 10 weeks later, Dean is making his presence felt.
Dean got his first NFL start, and first action all season, when he was named the starter in place of the injured Carlton Davis before the Seattle game in week 9. That game was definitely a learning curve for the youngster. In a loss in overtime to Seattle, he recorded 6 tackles and 4 pass deflections but also gave up 2 TDs. Not great, but not bad for a guy who hasn’t seen playing time since pre-season.
Fast forward to Sunday’s game against Arizona, Dean again is making a name for himself (this time in a positive way). In only his second start of the season, the rookie notched 2 tackles, 4 pass deflections, and his first career interception. Bruce Arians commented on Monday about Dean watching extra tape throughout the week with Todd Bowles. It looks like the extra prep work came in handy for the rookie.
“His extra film study last week paid off. He read the play and knew what was coming” –Bruce Arians talking about Jamel Dean’s interception
Will the rookie continue to make an impact? And how will the benching of VH3 and the injury to Carlton Davis continue to elevate the rookie’s playing time? Regardless of what happens, this young man has a sky-high future.