Joe Tryon-Shoyinka was selected 32nd overall in the 2021 draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coming off a Super Bowl victory, the Buccaneers managed to bring back all 22 starters on offense and defense combined. So Tampa Bay didn’t have a pressing need in the draft. When the 32nd overall pick rolled around, they had the freedom to invest into an already existing strength at edge rusher. They selected the highly talented Washington defender, who sat out the 2020 COVID-marked season.
Here are four reasons why Joe Tryon-Shoyinka will breakout in 2022.
#1- Joe Tryon-Shoyinka had a good rookie season and will play a lot in 2022
Going back to his tape the year prior, he displayed obvious potential as a pretty impressive all-around player. He could create negative plays against the run, win in multiple ways as a pass-rusher and execute some simple spot drops. However, their defense had just terrorized Patrick Mahomes on the biggest stage. With Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul leading the charge, Tryon-Shoyinka wasn’t expected to be a fixture in the lineup.
Still, Tampa Bay made it a priority to get the rookie on the field in every game (49% of defensive snaps overall). He ended up starting six games in the absence of Jason Pierre-Paul. Tryon-Shoyinka recorded four sacks, 27 total pressures, five tackles for losses and three passes batted down. With Pierre-Paul still unsigned, the second-year is slated to be a full-time starter.
#2- The Buccaneers have a plan for him
Unlike many rookie designated pass-rushers, Tryon-Shoyinka wasn’t only pressed into action when one of the starters on the edge was missing time. He was more of a package player and the coaches looked for ways to get him onto the field. As a result, he was asked to take on several duties.
He was asked to line up outside the tight-ends and control the point of attack in the run game. He lined up as a wide-nine on tilted rushes. He was also an off-ball rusher as part of their games up front, and was a chess piece against scrambling quarterbacks.
Defensive coordinator (now-head coach) Todd Bowles asked him to spy or control-rush the quarterback when lined up inside quite a lot. Tryon-Shoyinka's speed and ability to chase towards either sideline was a major asset, even though it may not show up on the stat sheet. With that experience and a full offseason, he should be more comfortable doing all that kind of stuff on longer downs. While also being a fixture in the starting lineup as a true outside linebacker.
The Bucs philosophically aren’t as much about rushing four or five guys with creepers and fire zones like the Rams. Rather, Todd Bowles wants to bring the house and this puts more pressure on his secondary. Having a versatile front-seven with defenders like Tryon-Shoyinka gives them some extra flexibility.
He is very fluid when bailing out into the flats, peeling off with running backs and flipping his hips as somebody works underneath him. Tryon-Shoyinka's length makes it a problem to throw over or around him, particularly as a spy, in the flats or as a middle dropper.
With Kacy Rodgers and Larry Foote taking over co-defensive coordinator duties, expect them to put their stamp onto the play-calling to some degree. Don't be surprised at all to see them dip even more into that creative usage of Tryon-Shoyinka.
He can make plays on the football as a quasi-spy. On longer downs, the Buccaneers will try to get him isolated with interior linemen with different looks up front. So there should be plenty of opportunities to fill the stat sheet in year two.
#3- He has incredible ability
Tryon-Shoyinka looks like he could become a truly disruptive run-defender. Even when offenses attempt to pin him inside on perimeter-oriented run schemes, he’s quick to jump outside of blocks. This at least forces the ball-carrier to bubble way out wide, where the secondary run support and those linebackers can join the party. If people overset him with laterally-oriented schemes, he can slip blocks and rack up TFLs.
Tryon-Shoyinka showcases eye-popping pursuits when left unblocked on the backside. He has that easy gliding speed to chase after the ball in general. He was drafted to get to the quarterback and from watching his rookie tape, he only confirmed his ability to win in a variety of ways. Tryon-Shoyinka features those long strides up the arc to force offensive tackles to flip their hips and chase after him.
Tryon-Shoyinka is bendy enough to dip underneath and has the ankle mobility to circle back around if he does get pushed slightly off track. He has more than one way in which he can beat players in order to jump onto the passer’s back. His suddenness gives him the ability to beat guys inside and out, with long arms to hit the high swim and torque himself around.
He’s really good at giving a little wiggle and creating an angle for himself to work around blockers, plus the long arm to maintain it rather than getting pushed past the arc.
#4- The Buccaneers will develop his weaknesses
The next for Tryon-Shoyinka is reducing that path for himself by actively converting speed-to-power. This is something he displayed with Washington. People were at his mercy because they didn’t have the quickness to get in front of him.
Tryon-Shoyinka can refine his method of setting the edge by playing half the man. As a pass-rusher, too often he doesn’t hit the elbow and can’t win (cleanly) around the edge that way. He has to get to his secondary move more quickly, where too often when the initial angle is cut off, he ends up in stalemates.
Tryon-Shoyinka shouldn’t frequently have his inside arm extended and run that way into tackles, who are able to get the according depth. He’ll need to learn how to use that to bait their hands and then defeat them. But for a player that took a year off and on just about half the defensive snaps of one season, those things are to be expected.
He has the suddenness and length to win both ways as a rusher. If he can learn to hit the follow-up and rip off those arm-over maneuvers, Tryon-Shoyinka could become a devastating player to square up against. He can create issues without actually getting to the football, flashing in the backfield and forcing ball-carriers to redirect. He also closes lanes for quarterbacks to pass or run against.
Tryon-Shoyinka is one of the few guys who realistically has a chance to crack double-digit sacks in year two. He could create some negative plays in the run game and make a couple of big plays when he’s actually not going after the ball. Particularly when he’s roaming around the line of scrimmage, ready to get his hands up or chase things down later on. For a loaded Buccaneers team that should be playing with the lead for the majority of their games, he has a chance to really break out.
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