This next installment of my “Welcome Aboard” series is another feel good story about one of the Bucs rookie players. Evan Panfil was one of the 26 free agents invited to camp tryouts and was the ONLY one of them to receive a contract offer from the team. He’s a longshot to get one of the defensive end spots on this 53-man roster, but he has some talent and could be the next player to follow in the footsteps of players like Adam Humphries and Donteea Dye who recently made the team on tryout contracts.
At 6’4″/280lbs, Panfil definitely has the size to be an NFL defensive end. He played sparingly in 10 games through his freshman and sophomore seasons at Purdue University totaling 14 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. As a junior, he became a starter playing in all 12 games and finishing with 30 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. His success continued into his senior year where he had career highs with 31 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 5 sacks in just 11 games.
Panfil wasn’t invited to participate in the 2017 NFL Combine so his college pro day was crucial. He performed well running a 4.92 forty while putting up a 28.5″ vertical, a 9’1″ broad, a 4.65 twenty yard shuttle, a 7.31 three-cone drill and 23 reps on the 225lb bench press. Headed into the 2017 NFL Draft, he was ranked 65th out of 192 defensive ends that were draft eligible.
Panfil is another player that could give Mike Smith some versatility along that defensive line. He has the size, speed, power and ability to play end in their base package and inside in their sub packages in the same way that Will Gholston, George Johnson, Channing Ward and Davonte Lambert have already been doing for the Bucs.
Now don’t get defensive end Evan Panfil confused with the Buccaneers current starting left guard Kevin Pamphile. The names are similar enough as it is, but when you factor in that they both went to college at Purdue, it becomes even more difficult to distinguish between the two of them.
As I said before, he’s a longshot to make the team, especially with a pretty deep group of already established defensive ends like Robert Ayers, Noah Spence, Jacquies Smith and Ryan Russell in addition to the other four previously mentioned players Gholston, Johnson, Ward and Lambert. The Bucs will likely keep some combination of 10 defensive linemen, which will probably be 6 defensive ends and 4 defensive tackles.
His college production earned him a tryout. His tryout earned him a spot in training camp. Now we’ll see if training camp can earn him a spot on the active roster. But we won’t know for a couple more months so until then, as always…GO BUCS!!!