The Buccaneers Face a Tough Decision With the Fifth Overall Pick

The Buccaneers have plenty of options with the fifth overall pick in the upcoming draft.

April showers bring May flowers, but before the flowers can blossom the NFL Draft will take place. On April 25th, day one of the NFL Draft will kick off in Nashville Tennessee, and the Buccaneers will have a choice to make with the fifth overall pick.

It was learned early this off-season with you addition of Todd Bowles that the Buccaneers be moving into a primarily 3-4 defense, the complete opposite of the 4-3 they’ve run for the last few seasons and invokes the need for more linebackers.

Enter LSU linebacker Devin White, the hard-hitting nightmare of opposing offenses.

White is arguably the best linebacker in this year’s draft with a 4.42 40-yard and a close to 40-inch vertical jump. This pairs perfectly with his knack of seemingly always being around the ball.

White would fill the hole left by Kwon Alexander, who signed with the 49ers in free agency.

Paired with Lavonte David, White could help form one of the best linebacking cores in the NFL and have the opportunity to showcase his talent In the 3-4 which utilizes linebackers as swiss army knives.

There’s also a “big three“ in this year’s draft, edge consisting of defensive tackle Quinnen Williams out of the University of Alabama, Nick Bosa, (younger brother of Joey Bosa) out of Ohio State and Josh Allen out of Kentucky.

All of these players have one thing in common: they should all end up as franchise players and pro bowlers. They’re that good.

The Bucs have the Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders ahead of them in the draft.

With Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury salivating at the chance to grab quarterback Kyler Murray, one-off course pick means the Bucs end up with an instant game changer in Allen, Williams or Bosa.

While a pick like this may seem like a no brainer if any of the four mentioned players fall to the Bucs at five, especially if the Cardinals do select Murray overall, but we’ve seen the Bucs pick outside of the box in the last two seasons.

The past two first-round selections from the Bucs were OJ Howard and Vita Vea. They were selected over then-guessed Dalvin Cook and Derwin James and have both turned out to be quality starters at their respected positions.

Howard, although battling injuries, will return this season as a nearly unstoppable force at 6 foot 5 and 250 who runs an impressive 4.50 40 yard dash.

Vea, while having also struggled with injuries, impressed in the second half of the season flashing immense potential while bulldozing pro bowl offensive lineman.

These outside the box picks have worked out, but would it work third time?

Perhaps the 2019 version of outside the box could be Ed Oliver, the immense physical Specimen from the University of Houston.

Oliver has posted some insane combine numbers to back up his stellar play. He ran a faster cone shuttle than Giants running back Saquan Barkley, put up 32 reps on the bench press and runs a 4.71 40 yard-dash. In college, he used his athleticism and speed to punish offensive lineman.

The Bucs should be thinking about building the trenches while they can, as Gerald McCoy’s future with the Bucs looks murky at best with trade rumors swirling around the NFL.

Even if McCoy stays, he and Jason Pierre-Paul while still productive, are climbing in age and could have only a few years left in the league, leaving the Bucs with two potential holes on the defensive line.

Adding Oliver to the Bucs already solid defensive line over Devin White, if all of the “big three” are gone, would solidify the defensive front for the future.

Whoever the Bucs decide to select with the fifth overall pick is nearly guaranteed to be a stud.

The biggest issue is availability and when the Bucs time on the clock begins. Will the team go best player available or biggest need?

Bruce Arians and Jason Licht cannot afford to miss with this pick after the promise created this off-season to end a streak of back to back 5-11 seasons.

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