Tampa Bay BuccaneersILB SirVocea Dennis, TE Payne Durham, DB Josh Hayes, WR Trey Palmer and OLB Jose Ramirez all inked their rookie NFL contracts on Thursday following OTAs practiceBrianna Dix
Following OTAs practice on Thursday at the AdventHealth Training Center, five of the Buccaneers' eight-man draft class inked their rookie deals. Fifth-round inside linebacker SirVocea Dennis, fifth-round tight end Payne Durham, sixth-round pick defensive back Josh Hayes, sixth-round wide receiver Trey Palmer and sixth-round outside linebacker Jose Ramirez signed their initial four-year NFL contracts.
All players drafted after the first round since the CBA was ratified in 2011 receive four-year deals. The Buccaneers still need to get signatures from first-round defensive lineman Calijah Kancey, second-round guard Cody Mauch and third-round outside linebacker Yaya Diaby.
SirVocea Dennis roamed freely in the Panthers' 4-3 base scheme and was also utilized as an A-gap blitzer to attack the backfield. He produced 94 tackles and 7.0 sacks as a senior to earn first-team All-ACC honors, and over his last three seasons has racked up 15.0 sacks and 36.0 tackles for loss. The rangy athlete developed into a team captain and called plays on defense. With quickness downhill and elite play recognition, Dennis joins the Bucs' talented inside linebacker corps.
The Bucs took Purdue tight end Payne Durham with the 171st overall selection. Tampa Bay traded up from 175 to 171 in order to acquire Durham, giving the Rams' their seventh-round pick (252) and 175th overall pick. Durham was utilized as a 'Y' tight end in the Boilermakers' spread offense, splitting his snaps between the slot and inline. Last season, Durham posted 56 receptions for 560 yards and eight touchdowns. He has a large catch radius, impressive body control and is effective at catching outside of his frame. Durham adds depth to the Tampa Bay tight end room alongside Cade Otton and Ko Kieft.
With the 181st overall selection, the Bucs nabbed Kansas State defensive back Josh Hayes. With a physical play style, Hayes will add depth to the Tampa Bay secondary. In 2022, Hayes started each of the final 13 games at Kansas State, ranking third on the team with 71 tackles and tackles for loss (5.5). He posted a pass breakup in six-consecutive games during the middle of the year, earning recognition on The Athletic's Midseason All-Portal Team. He will join the competition at nickel corner for the Buccaneers.
Next up on Day Three, the Bucs selected speedster Trey Palmer out of Nebraska. In 2022, he became only the second player in Nebraska history to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a single season. A one-year starter at Nebraska after transferring from LSU, Palmer was primarily used as a slot receiver in Nebraska's pro-style scheme. With rare vertical burst to take the top off of defenses, Palmer set school records for receiving yards in both a season and a game during his stellar senior campaign. He became a field-stretcher for the Huskers and ran a 4.33 40-yard dash, the fastest time among wide receivers at the combine.
With their last pick, the Bucs addressed the defense, taking Eastern Michigan outside linebacker Jose Ramirez with the 196th overall pick. In an edge-rushing role in Neal Neathery's four-man front, Ramirez led the FBS in sacks per game (1.0) in 2022. Last season, Ramirez accumulated 66 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 12.0 sacks and two passes defensed. During his last two seasons in Ypsilanti, Ramirez notched 31.5 tackles for loss in 25 games. With natural instincts and a relentless motor, Ramirez rushes with urgency.