The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our Twitter account. You can submit your question each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag.

Below are the questions we chose for this week’s edition of the PR Bucs Monday Mailbag.

Question: My question for you is, who is one guy you would like to see the Bucs jump back into round 1 and get if he falls?

Answer: That is a really tough question, and without knowing the path to get back it is even more difficult, as well as how far Tampa Bay would want to trade up in the end of the first round. Are we talking pick No. 24 or pick No. 32? But for this question let’s assume that the the Bucs moved down and acquire another second-rounder, then package that to get back up in the first round. To get back into the first round, Tampa Bay would probably have to give up both of those No. 2 picks, or maybe next year’s first-rounder. A team to target would be the Raider who have three No. 1 picks (No. 4, No. 24 and No. 27) or possibly the Patriots at No. 32.

Who would the Bucs trade up to acquire? That depends on who they pick with their own first-rounder, but perhaps the team moves down and still somehow manages to draft LSU inside linebacker Devin White or Michigan inside linebacker Devin Bush in the first round. I think the biggest need after that would be defensive tackle, or possibly cornerback. A player being mocked in that later first round that might be there would be defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence from Clemson.

There are some questions marks about him – his lack of pass rushing ability and his suspension to end career – but he has a rare combination of size and speed. The Bucs are thin at the nose tackle position and could use another player in the middle who can take on double teams and clog the middle and Lawrence fits that bill. Plus he has proven the ability to get to the quarterback in college at times and the Bucs could move Vita Vea to the three-technique defensive tackle spot.

LSU CB Greedy Williams - Photo by: Getty Images
LSU CB Greedy Williams – Photo by: Getty Images

Another player I like who at one time was mocked as a Top 10 selection, is LSU cornerback Greedy Williams. If the Bucs could get get White and Williams, then they would have the two best LSU players in this year’s draft and both help fill needs. The good news is that Williams won’t necessarily have to be rushed into action like we saw with Carlton Davis last year, as Vernon Hargreaves and Davis are slated to starts of now. Williams is loaded with talent, and while not the top corner in the draft (that distinction likely falls to Bryon Murphy), he would be a nice get to help rebuild a woeful defensive secondary.

Question: Where will Jason Pierre-Paul play in the Bucs’ 3-4 defense? In addition, where does Lavonte David play? Seems like ILB is a glaring need.

Answer: Bruce Arians and Jason Licht have already both hinted that Jason Pierre-Paul would been one of their starting outside linebackers, with Carl Nassib being the other, in Tampa Bay’s base 3-4 defense. When the Bucs move to nickel defense then Pierre-Paul and Nassib would go back to a four-man defensive line as bookends opposite of each other on the line of scrimmage.

And Arians and Licht have also said Lavonte David is part of the four-man linebacker group of Pierre-Paul, Nassib and Deone Bucannon. You can throw Kevin Minter in there as well, and of course the player they end up drafting. David will be one of the inside linebackers – called MO in Bowles’ scheme – and Minter and Bucannon will split time at the other with Minter playing MIKE linebacker in base defense and Bucannon playing the Moneybacker role in nickel defense.

I can’t imagine Tampa Bay not drafting at least one inside linebacker this year, unless we learn Kendell Beckwith and Jack Cichy will be at 100 percent to start camp. The problem is the odds of both of those players being ready isn’t very good, and Beckwith’s career may be in jeopardy. So if that is the case, the Buccaneers will need to add some bodies and talent at inside linebacker, especially with Minter and Bucannon signing one-year deals.

Questions: With the recent free agency signings by other teams, what scenario do you see unfolding for the Buccaneers at number 5?

Answer: There are too many to list here, ut I still think there is a good chance we see the Buccaneers move down on Thursday, April 25 and get some more ammunition in the draft. The Dolphins, Broncos and Redskins are three quarterback-needy teams that could be calling Tampa Bay on draft night to see what it would take to move up. But a lot of that depends to on what happens in front of them with the Raiders at No. 4, and if they use their pick for a quarterback.

Alabama DT Quinnen Williams
Alabama DT Quinnen Williams – Photo by: Getty Images

Then the pressure is on for those three teams as Drew Lock and Dwayne Haskins are likely the next two signal callers to go. One of those three teams could panic and offer up the moon to get their guy and if so, Tampa Bay would benefit.

If the Bucs stand pat, then LSU inside linebacker Devin White is the player thinks they target and Tampa Bay would be elated to have him. The only thing that stands in the Bucs path to picking White if they stay at No. 5 would be if Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams falls in their lap. Then he’s the pick.

Question: What’s the chance the Bucs could come away with a Brian Burns and Devin Bush with their first two picks in the Draft (notice I did not say first-round and second-round picks)

Answer: That is also a possibility of course, as that would be a pretty good Day 1 haul and fill a couple of needs. In order for that to happen, Tampa Bay would have to move down and pick up an extra first-rounder, or package picks to move back up in the first.

Florida State edge rusher BrianBurns is an interesting case, as he is a player that could get picked really early by a team that is in love with his speed and athleticism, or he could get drafted late in the first round because he still needs to add weight and strength at the NFL level.

Michigan inside linebacker Devin Bush isn’t as good as LSU’s Devin White, but he isn’t necessarily too far off, either. I know the Bucs have said out loud they like who they have now in their linebacker unit, but I still feel they need a big addition, and Bush of course immediately steps in and contributes in a Todd Bowles defense.

As always, predicting one pick is hard enough, but to predict both, in this scenario is even tougher. I think the Buccaneers and most fans would be pretty happy if they came away with those Burns and Bush on draft night, but don’t count on it happening.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

Here’s a question, if JPP, and Nassib are playing outside LB’s, who’s playing defensive end? Vea is your nose, you still need two D ends, to go along with four backers. It’s a 3-4 defense, not a 1-4 defense. Trying to play JPP as an outside LB I don’t see that happening. No way is he picking a back up out of the back field, or covering a TE down the field, and that’s what you’re outside backers will be asked to do in a 3-4. They won’t be able to just rush the passer. We need true LB’s who… Read more »

Reply to  surferdudes
2 years ago

That’s a great question and I’ve been wondering that myself. Essentially, the DE’s in a 3-4 function as DT’s. IF they do not move on from Gerald McCoy, he’s the starting 3 tech. I’ve heard that William Gholston will be the starting 5 tech in the base D, but I feel that Carl Nassib would be a better fit there and newly signed Shaquill Barrett is a better at strong side linebacker. And you’d be surprised about JPP – he’s pretty athletic for his size and played the 3-4 OLB fairly well in NY. The Giants thought Olivier Vernon was… Read more »

Reply to  surferdudes
2 years ago

It’s also important to note that Nassib and JPP will become true 4-3 DEs on passing downs in the nickle and won’t be asked to cover backs/TE on passing downs. But again, you’re right – on 1st and 2nd downs, it’s a bit of a scary thought thinking about a 6’6″ 260 pounder and a 6’7″ 280 pounder trying to cover quicker men…

2 years ago

I like the idea of trading back up into the first for Bush. I think if we can move down with the Broncos or a team between 10-15 and still snag and Oliver or Top Rusher. And then use that gained 2nd to move back up to grab Bush, I’d be ecstatic. As a Die hard Michigan Fan each week I’d always ask myself “I wonder If Rashan Gary will play well”, but i never worried about Bush because the most consistent LB i’ve watched in a while. Rarely missed tackles and was extremely quick sideline to sideline. He’s a…