Tampa Bay picked Washington’s Joe Tryon with the final pick of the NFL Draft’s first round just in time for the linebacker’s birthday as the clock struck midnight.
“It’s really crazy because it’s my 22nd birthday today, and I’m also getting drafted. I can’t ask for anything better than that,” Tryon told the media. “I’m really blessed. I can’t wait to get started.”
Tryon will get to learn from Bucs defensive stars such as Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.
“I’m going to be a sponge dude,” Tryon said. “Those dudes are big-time players, playing at a high level for the past decade, so I can’t wait to soak all that in and just learn from them. That’s a big-time opportunity.”
Tryon likewise looks forward to facing Bucs quarterback Tom Brady
“Being around greatness. It definitely motivates me,” Tryon said.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht said in his press conference concurred that Tryon has a big opportunity for learning and growth while not getting thrown out on the field. The Bucs return all 22 starters from their Super Bowl team.
“He’s got the luxury of not having to be out there right away,” Licht told the media. “We’ll take our time.”
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Opting Out Not a Concern for Bucs
Though Tryon opted out for the 2020 season due to COVID-19, Licht said the Bucs scouts liked what they saw in 2019 and workouts since then. Licht highlighted Tryon’s quickness, balance, versatility as key skills.
“He’s a very fluid athlete. He’s got very good feet,” Licht said. “His workouts really jumped off the tape.”
Licht added that the Bucs scouts did a thorough job scouting Tryon.
“We’ve talked to a lot of people there, Licht said. “You couldn’t find anything negative about Joe.”
Tryon said he worked out in California during the 2020 season preparing for the draft. He added that he really worked on his “whole repertoire” for defensive skills.
“I took advantage of it,” Tryon said.”I was definitely doing football-related training activities.”
Third Former Husky on Defense in Tampa
When Tryon last played on a football field, he gave Pac-12 offenses trouble as a sophomore with the Huskies. He tallied 41 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and one pass deflection. He had 61 tackles, nine sacks, and two pass deflections in his career at Washington.
“My strengths are getting after the quarterback,” Tryon told the media. “I’m an all-round player.”
Tryon became the third Bucs defensive player to come from Washington. Defensive tackle Vita Vea went to the Bucs in the 2018 draft, and the Bucs acquired defensive lineman Benning Potoa’e as a free agent in 2020. Tryon played with Potoa’e at Washington and crossed paths with Vea.
Tryon told the media that Potoa’e had texted him shortly after being selected.
“We’ve had some luck with Washington,” Licht said in the video call. “They understand the grind. They understand the process.”
For Tryon, keeping his single-digit jersey number from Washington, No. 9, would be icing on the cake. The Bucs still have the No. 9 available.
“It’s a possibility, definitely,” Tryon said in his video call.