In the sixth round, the Buccaneers turned their sights back on defense and selected Oklahoma linebacker Devante Bond with the No. 183 overall pick.
A former junior college conference defensive MVP, Bond transferred from Sierra Community College, following 17 sacks in just 11 games, to Norman, OK to play for the Sooners. In 2014, he started three games at outside linebacker and recorded 29 tackles with four for a loss, warranting high expectations going into 2015. His senior didn’t live up its hype, however, as an ankle injury caused him to miss four games. In five starts last year Bond recorded 43 tackles, seven for loss, and three sacks.
The 6-foot-1, 235-pound linebacker ran a 4.70 40-yard dash at the Combine, and by most accounts, including his own, is best suited as a 4-3 outside linebacker.
Tampa Bay made some changes at the Sam linebacker position this offseason, opting not to re-sign Danny Lansanah, who remains a free agent, and signing 34-year old Daryl Smith.
For now, this move seems to be about adding depth and giving a player with raw ability the chance to compete for a roster spot in training camp. He’ll join Lavonte David, Kwon Alexander and Daryl Smith, as well as 2015 special team’s contributors Josh Keyes and Jeremiah George, and practice squad addition Adarius Glanton, as one of the Bucs seven current linebackers.
Bond was contacted following his selection and spoke briefly to the Tampa Bay media. Along with fellow Sooner Gerald McCoy, Bond was familiar with Lavonte David, a fellow Juco transfer. Bond sees himself best fit for Sam linebacker but said he’ll play wherever he’s needed, including special teams.
“The (Bucs) were one of the team that I definitely had the most interest from,” Bond said. “During the Combine, I had an interview with (Jason Licht) and everyone. Coach Duffner (linebackers coach), I had a good relationship with him and talked to him a few times, so it was definitely good.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
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