The Buccaneers are a team that or in obvious need of an impact linebacker for the upcoming draft. And there is one obvious top prospect that is gaining big-time momentum with two weeks to go until the opening round.
LSU linebacker Devin White has been regarded as one of the top 1 or 2 inside linebackers that will be available when the proceedings get underway in Nashville. And, the hype for White is only intensifying.
Take for example on the NFL Network “Good Morning Football” show Thursday. Analyst and former Vikings and Seahawks star, Nate Burleson, raved about White’s speed and tackling instincts in this segment:
Let's see the tape ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/qfcQGQBu81
— GMFB (@gmfb) April 11, 2019
And, Burleson gave high praise in mentioned another former SEC linebacker who made a huge NFL impact in Patrick Willis.
Next, you take into account that one of the top draft analysts out there, Charles Davis of Fox and the NFL Network, ranked his top 32 players by grade, regardless of position. And White, who at 6’1 240 lbs. ran a 4.42 at the Comine, came in as Davis’ fourth best. We particularly love Davis’ line that white “makes the ball-carrier regret accepting the assignment.”
We do know that White visited the Bucs earlier in the courting process, and that the Giants and the Bengals have also talked to him as well.
Another team that’s in need of a linebacker, but maybe too far back without trading up is the Denver Broncos.
Yes, as this Denver Post item details, their new coach Vic Fangio, a longtime successful defensive coordinator in the NFL, would be salivating to add White in the middle of a defense that has Bradley Chubb and Von Miller up front. However, it may take at least one number one pick and a probably another couple of other premium picks for Denver to move from tenth into the top five to have a realistic shot to get him.
Tampa Bay clearly has a need after losing last year’s starting middle linebacker Kwon Alexander to a torn ACL and then eventually to the 49ers in free agency in March. It is also unknown as to whether the Bucs former middle round pick from two drafts ago, Kendell Beckwith, who like Alexander and White are all coincidentally from LSU, can make it back.
Beckwith suffered a broken ankle in a car accident last offseason and never returned to the field last year. Earlier in this offseason, Bucs GM Jason Licht refused to confirm or deny that Beckwith may have a career-ending injury.
The team remains quiet on that subject and their actions in the draft may have to give us the clues.
With all the attention around quarterbacks Kyler Murray, Drew Lock and Dwayne Haskins, plus, defensive lineman Joey Bosa and Ed Oliver, Tampa Bay may be able to sit tight at number 5 and grab White.
The question is: how much do they value him above some of the other names, especially on defense, that could still be there for them?
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