All but three draft analysts in our list have now tapped Devin White for the Buccaneers. The LSU linebacker feels like the obvious choice with the departure of inside linebacker Kwon Alexander in free agency. There's also the fact that a shift in scheme to the Buccaneer defense seems to allude to an increased role for linebackers, meaning the need for me than what is currently on the roster.
Though the Bucs did address the linebacker spot in free agency, adding Shaq Barrett and Deone Bucannon, both of whom will see time at the position. Bucannon is familiar with Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles' scheme where he was used as more of a hybrid player than true inside linebacker. Adding a rookie that can develop into the system seems to make a lot of sense.
Another name being called out though is Josh Allen out of Kentucky. He's thought to be one of the best edge rushers in the draft and could help the Bucs as an outside linebacker taking aim toward the quarterback. Between Allen and White, it seems draft pundits are settling in and those seem to be the two main possible outcomes later this month.
For a full rationale by each analyst, see below.
Chad Reuter (March 28) – EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
Reuter: "The Bucs are switching to a 3-4 scheme under new coordinator Todd Bowles, and Allen fits like a glove at outside linebacker. In fact, he'd fit at linebacker in any system."
Peter Schrager (March 26) – LB Devin White, LSU
Schrager: "The Buccaneers hoped to bring back veteran inside linebacker Kwon Alexander, but the stud LB signed with San Francisco instead. So, they grab the next LSU inside linebacker coming down the pipeline. White blew scouts away at the combine with his speed, and I've had a general manager compare him to Patrick Willis. Not bad. The Bucs need some of that, and a whole lot more."
Lance Zierlein (March 21) – LB Devin White, LSU
Zierlein: "Montez Sweat could easily be the pick in this spot, but the Bucs may look to play it safe after the news of Sweat's heart condition. White gives the Bucs a speedy hitter in the middle of the defense."
Mel Kiper Jr. (March 25) – LB Devin White, LSU
Kiper: "White, a sideline-to-sideline linebacker who ran a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the combine, is one of my favorite prospects in this class. And after the Bucs lost Kwon Alexander in free agency, White (6-foot, 237 pounds) can step in and fill the void at middle linebacker. As I noted in my Mock Draft 2.0, the No. 5 pick is a spot to watch for teams trying to move ahead of the Giants to draft quarterback Dwayne Haskins."
Ryan Wilson (April 1) – LB Devin Bush, Michigan
Wilson: "Offensive line is an obvious need for the Bucs but Bush's pre-draft workouts have seen him rocket up the draft board. Some teams even like him better than White."
R.J. White (March 26) – EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
White: "The Buccaneers benefit from the Redskins' trade up for Haskins as it pushes a much-needed edge rusher down to No. 5 in Allen, who should be a great fit for Todd Bowles at outside linebacker, which just so happens to be the team's biggest need."
Chris Trapasso (March 22) – LB Devin White, LSU
Trapasso: "The logical replacement to the vacancy created by Kwon Alexander signing with the 49ers in free agency."
Dan Kadar (April 1) – LB Devin White, LSU
Kadar: "Some prefer a defensive lineman here, but White can make a bigger impact next season and beyond. Tampa still has Gerald McCoy for at least one more season, and general manager Jason Licht just used a first-round pick last year on defensive tackle Vita Vea. He may not be so fast to commit more high draft capital to the position."
Scott Reynolds (March 17) – DE Josh Allen, Kentucky
Reynolds: "PewterReport.com was the first to feature LSU inside linebacker Devin White going to Tampa Bay with the fifth overall draft pick in our initial 2019 Bucs' Six-Round Mock Draft and also had White going to the Bucs at No. 10 in a trade down scenario with Denver in our second Bucs mock draft. That could very well still happen, as Tampa Bay needs help at inside linebacker after losing Kwon Alexander to San Francisco in free agency.
But let's mix it up and illustrate a scenario where one of the top draft prospects falls to Tampa Bay at No. 5. If Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray goes No. 1 overall to Arizona and another team, such as Miami, Denver or the New York Giants trade into the top 4 to select Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins, one of the top three defenders – Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams or Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen would be available for the Bucs at No. 5.
In this case it's Allen, who would be an ideal fit as weakside outside linebacker in Todd Bowles' 3-4 base defensive scheme. Allen would be the perfect heir apparent to Jason Pierre-Paul, who turned 30 on January 1, and a player that could come in and be an impactful situational player as a rookie without the pressure of playing every down as he transitions to the NFL in his first season."