The second former Wisconsin Badgers walk-on selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, linebacker Jack Cichy found an opportunity with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when the organization grabbed him in the sixth round with the 202nd overall pick.
Cichy’s collegiate career was cut short by a torn pectoral muscle halfway through the 2016 season and a torn ACL last year, but he now has a chance to make an impact at the next level with the NFC South franchise (while reuniting with former teammate and new Buccaneer defensive tackle Beau Allen).
The former walk-on and team captain impressed during Wisconsin’s Pro Day in running some agility drills, and earlier this month as noted by the Tampa Bay Times, he was practicing on the field.
What was the general feelings about Tampa’s NFL Draft picks, most notably the selection of Cichy in the sixth round?
Overall, the Bucs draft was really good. The reception was over the top despite the direction many felt they would take. As for the selection of Cichy, at first it was a head-scratcher because of his limited time in college. However, his smarts and ability to also play special teams attracted the Bucs. General manager Jason Licht loves those kind of players and I expect he will get plenty of opportunities throughout camp.
Does Cichy help fill a need at linebacker for the Buccaneers, and have the coaches discussed his progress so far and how they plan to use him?
The Buccaneers actually have really good depth at linebacker. That is one of their stronger positions on the team. However, Cichy fits in in the sense that the team will have a look at him as a middle linebacker. With Kwon Alexander starting and Adarius Glanton behind him, Cichy will have a lot of work to do to remain on the team.
Who will Cichy be in main competition with for reps during training camp and the preseason?
Pretty much anyone on the linebacker depth chart. Depending on how the team views the competition ahead of him at the position, he may be fighting for special teams time and hope for a chance at linebacker down the road.
Way-too-early thoughts, but do you see Cichy making the active roster, and what factors could come into play in this?
The Bucs need to upgrade their special teams. If Cichy pans out to be as smart and physical as the team labels him to be and it translates to the NFL, then special teams is his best shot at making the 53-man roster. There is just a lot of bodies at linebacker right now that if it’s based solely on that position, he may not make it out of preseason.