Linebacker Jack Cichy was the final pick of the Buccaneers' 2018 draft in the sixth round out of the University of Wisconsin. Cichy is a curious case in that he played just 20 games for the Badgers over the course of five years. He's been unfortunately subjected to two major injuries that held him out, including an ACL injury during his final season in 2017.
Despite that, Cichy had some impressive numbers in college. He was nicknamed 'Three-Sack Jack' for his performance in the 2015 Holiday Bowl against USC, which came on three consecutive plays. Cichy had a total of five sacks, eight tackles for loss and managed four passes defensed in what was his best year at Wisconsin.
Cichy was ready to go for rookie minicamp back in June. He's clearly been working hard to get back to 100 percent after his 2017 knee injury. His effort has bumped him up to the second-team defense already, which is made more impressive by the fact he's taken on the middle linebacker role. Middle linebacker, or the MIKE position, is crucial to the defense, as more often than not they are the ones responsible for relaying the calls on the field. It requires someone who understands what the defense as a whole is doing and to recognize what the offense is about to do to try and beat them. To be the backup behind Pro Bowler Kwon Alexander as a rookie makes Cichy someone to definitely keep an eye on.
Like a true middleman, Cichy is a 'Jack of all trades' (pun intended) and has said he can play all three linebacker positions. That may be tested as the only opportunity with the first team linebacking unit is strong side linebacker with second-year player Kendell Beckwith not practicing due to injury to start training camp. Adarius Taylor has been plugged in for the injured Beckwith so far with the first team, but should Cichy keep developing and prove he can take on big-bodied tight ends like Cameron Brate and O.J. Howard, it should be fun to watch his development as he gets more comfortable in the Bucs' system.