Well, since I took him with the Bucs' first pick of the draft at five in our Buccaneers.com Mock Draft 1.0, I figured White was a good place to start in this series of highlighting individual prospects of this year's draft class. His versatility and lateral ability as a player really stand out. It's hard to doubt a linebacker out of LSU, as the Bucs would know. Two of their current linebackers are former Tigers in both Kwon Alexander and Kendell Beckwith. Both were affected by major injuries last season, so the unit itself is a little in question as of right now.
White's versatility is especially attractive for a Tampa Bay scheme that has yet to be fully determined under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. White seems to be a true middle linebacker but could fit just about anywhere. He was a first-team All-American by the standards of four of the five major outlets. He was the 2018 Butkus Award winner, given to the nation's best linebacker, and as a sophomore became a permanent team captain at LSU in 2017 after winning Team MVP.
View photos of LSU's LB Devin White.
His bio on the LSU Athletics website starts, "One of the best players to ever play at LSU," which is saying something considering that alumni class includes the likes of Odell Beckham Jr., Patrick Peterson, Leonard Fournette, Eric Reid, Andrew Whitworth and those are just some of the current guys. White totaled an SEC-leading 123 tackles as a junior in 2018 along with 8.5 sacks. Additionally, he batted down six passes and forced three fumbles, recovering two of them.
NFL.com grades him as a 6.20, putting him in the projected instant starter range.
"White's work ethic, competitiveness, and rare play speed are elements that can't be taught and should push him into an early starter's role and a successful NFL career," says draft analyst Lance Zierlein. He lists White's strengths as his ability to track running backs and his pursuit speed to close gaps.
A converted running back out of high school, White should develop quickly within any NFL system he is placed in.