Tampa Bay Buccaneers

ESPN's Kiper Cops Linebacker for Bucs in Latest Mock 

Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. dropped his third mock draft this year and has Tampa Bay shoring up the linebacker corps with the fifth overall pick.


Both Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay are infamous during this time of year on ESPN for their highly anticipated mock drafts. Kiper dropped his third mock draft of the season and in it, has Tampa Bay selecting linebacker Devin White out of LSU at the fifth overall pick.

"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," Kiper said via ESPN.com. "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."

White has been the consensus pick for many draft analysts to end up in Tampa Bay, especially after the departure of Kwon Alexander in free agency. With a defensive system under Todd Bowles that is likely to utilize linebackers more, it would make sense that the Bucs look toward the position with their first pick of the 2019 draft.

The LSU product is widely considered the best middle level defender in the draft and ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the Combine in Indianapolis. The Bucs have veteran linebacker Lavonte David, Devante Bond, Kendell Beckwith, Kevin Minter, Jack Cichy and Riley Bullough along with newcomers Shaq Barrett, Deone Bucannon and Corey Nelson under contract for 2019 in the linebacker room. Though, Beckwith's status for next season remains uncertain after he suffered an ankle injury in a car accident prior to the 2018 season that kept him off the field all year and Cichy will be coming off a torn ACL which he suffered in Week Seven of last season against the Browns.

White would add both youth and speed to the unit, making him an obvious choice for draft pundits across the country.

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