Coming off a poor defensive season in 2018 and Kwon Alexander now a 49er the Bucs should draft Devin White to jump-start their defensive rebuild.
The Buccaneers defense in 2018 was one of the worst in the NFL and the third worst in team history as they gave up an average of 29 points per game.
The Oakland Raiders were the only team that prevented the Bucs from being last in that category in 2018 as the Raiders gave up 29.2 points a game.
With the defense being the weak link on the 2018 team you would think that that would have been a significant focus and point of emphasis this off-season.
However, one does’t get better by letting one of your best defensive players leave. That’s exactly what the Bucs did as Kwon Alexander signed a four year 54 million deal with San Francisco.
It was no coincidence that the Bucs run defense imploded after Alexander suffered his season-ending ACL injury as the Bucs allowed over 100 yards per game on the ground in nine of their last ten games. The lowlight coming when rookie Lamar Jackson and the Ravens running attack torched the Bucs defense for 242 yards.
Alexander was instrumental in helping the Bucs stop the run but instead of signing Alexander to a contract extension the Bucs went out and signed two linebackers on short term deals.
Those linebackers being Deone Bucannon who played for new Bucs head coach Bruce Arians in Arizona, and Shaq Barrett a situational linebacker who played behind Von Miller in Denver.
Neither of these linebackers will be able to compensate for the loss of Kwon Alexander.
However, there is a linebacker available in the 2019 NFL draft who can fill Alexander’s shoes and be an immediate impact player. That player is linebacker Devin White from LSU.
White is a very physical linebacker that is excellent against the run and equally as good at defending the pass.
The former Tiger is a three-down player and will be able to fit into a 3-4 or 4-3 which is a perfect fit for Todd Bowles’ hybrid defense.
Some NFL scouts are comparing White to Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis who played with the Baltimore Ravens when it comes to the impact that he can have on a game.
The scouts are also saying that White could be the best linebacker to ever come out of LSU.
In his past two seasons at LSU White had a total of 256 tackles with 26 coming for a loss. In addition the linebacker had 7.5 sacks, broke up nine passes, had one interception and forced three fumbles.
These numbers suggest that White is a generational talent and difference maker.
If the Bucs are serious about improving the defense in 2019 they cannot pass on Devin White with the fifth overall pick.
The loss of Alexander will hurt, but the Bucs have a chance to get the next Kwon Alexander and perhaps someone even better in White.