The Tampa Bay Bucs must draft Devin White. Otherwise they will suffer from their perpetual bottom feeding tendencies. For me, the only two players I see worthy of being drafted fifth overall are Devin White or Ed Oliver. No question, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will either re-sign or franchise tag Donovan Smith. Love him or hate him, his experience is priceless for the Bucs. This is compounded even further when you consider having a rookie LT block for Jameis Winston. Is it tempting to move on from Smith? Absolutely. However, this year’s best LT coming out of college, Alabama’s Jonah Williams, isn’t one that has scouts salivating. A player who I think may be better, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, will all but likely be taken before the Bucs make their pick. This places Devin White and Ed Oliver at the forefront of the Bucs’ draft board.
The case for Devin White:
Both of these horse ridin’ ballers are freaks on the football field. Although they have admittedly had their questionable incidents on and off the football field, both have moved on from the past. Regardless, new head coach Bruce Arians is probably the best coach possible to mold these young players. As Arians himself has said many times, this Buccaneer franchise will give young players second chances as long as they put the work in. At first glance it seems as if Oliver would be the easy choice. Oliver is a 2x All-American who has been dazzling scouts since he first stepped foot on the field at Houston. He has elite speed, power, and athleticism. The only problem is that so do most of the NFL’s future first rounders. What he lacks from Devin White’s resume is his level of competition. I could look past the conference that Oliver played in, if it wasn’t for his lack of size. Oliver weighs in around 290 pounds (maybe even less). This is what worries me the most about him. The former Cougars star dominated his level of competition, even while being an undersized defensive tackle. But can he do the same in the NFL? On the other hand, Devin White is a proven playmaker in the mother of all college football conferences. He registered over 120 tackles in two out of his three years at LSU. He also chipped in 8.5 career sacks, 28.5 TFL , 4 FF, and 1 INT during his time in Death Valley. His freakish production along with good size is what puts him over the top. Pair this with his insistence on playing in this year’s Fiesta Bowl and the Bucs have themselves a dedicated player at the head of their defense.
Linebackers drafted Top 5 since 2010:
2011: Von Miller (OLB) 2nd Overall
2014: Khalil Mack (OLB) 5th Overall
2015: Dante Fowler (LB) 3rd Overall
According to NFL.com
Some may say that drafting Devin White at fifth overall would be a mistake but, I beg to differ. If Jason Licht can trade down and still pick his man, more power to him. Licht was able to do so last year with Vita Vea, but he must be more sure than ever this year. Even at fifth Devin White will fill the Bucs biggest hole possible: their desperate need for pure playmakers. Additionally, with the Bucs switching to a 3-4 base defense and with growing uncertainty with LB Kwon Alexander, they lack depth at the LB position. This year the Bucs cannot pick a potentially great player, they need an immediate impact player. In years prior I may have chosen Oliver over White due to potential. However, this year the Bucs need themselves a good ole’ Devin White.