One week from tomorrow, the speculation will be over and you can pre-order that Devin White jersey. Trying to connect as many dots as possible, here is my one and only attempt at predicting the 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft class. Keep in mind, this is not what I would do if I were the one making the selections, this is solely a prediction.
Without further ado...
Round 1, Pick No. 5: Devin White, LB, LSU
From Day One, White has the potential to be the leader and quarterback of the defense, which is exactly what Tampa Bay needs. His range, football intelligence, size, athletic ability, physicality and urgency gives him an incredibly high ceiling as the face of the defense.
Round 2, Pick No. 39: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Tampa’s defense needs to become more stout up front and adding Lawrence to complement 2018 top pick Vita Vea achieves just that. Having two big-bodies to anchor the defensive line will help accentuate the range and playmaking upside of top-pick Devin White. And don’t sleep on the athletic upside of Lawrence; he absolutely has the ability to get after the quarterback and penetrate the line of scrimmage.
Round 3, Pick No. 70: Dru Samia, G, Oklahoma
With four of the five spots along the offensive line solidified, Tampa needs to fortify things up front for James Winston. A four-year starter on arguably the top offensive line and offense in college football across that span, Samia has plug-and-play potential. His mobility and power is much-needed at right guard.
Round 4, Pick No. 107: Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
Hurd is the type of versatile weapon that can thrive in Bruce Arians’ offense. A running back at Tennessee, Baylor emerged as a potent receiver in his lone season at Baylor. Arians can get creative with his skill set, using him as a big slot and even taking some handoffs.
Round 5, Pick No. 145: Sheldrick Redwine, S, Miami
Redwine would represent good value at this point in the draft at a position of need. A fixture on the Canes defense, Redwine is an interchangeable safety that excels defending split zones and playing forward against the run/quick game. He has experience at corner and his ability to serve as a big slot is something Tampa will covet.
Round 6, Pick No. 208: Darwin Thompson, RB, Utah State
Thompson battled his way from not starting in high school to becoming a JUCO star and then having a standout 2018 season for the Aggies. While he’s a smaller back, Thompson is explosive with the ball in his hands and is a dynamic receiver out of the backfield. Thompson can thrive as a space player in Bruce Arians’ offense.
Round 7, Pick No. 215: Saivion Smith, CB, Alabama
A five-star recruit, Smith was a late bloomer but his potential as a press-man corner with size is easy to identify on tape. Smith is physical defending the run and he is a standout tackler. He’s still developing in terms of coverage instincts but his upside represents good value late in the draft.