As if there wasn’t already high expectations for the impending rookie class of 2019, analysts have already begun predicting which rookie will be the best by the end of the season.
Nine experts on a panel at ESPN gave their predictions for who will win defensive rookie of the year, and out of that group, both Mike Clay and Field Yates picked Bucs’ linebacker Devin White to win the award.
White was picked fifth overall out of LSU and was the first linebacker selected in the first round by the Bucs since Derrick Brooks in 1995. Not many middle linebackers are picked as high in the draft as White was, but many believe he is a one of a kind talent.
He is expected to come into a starting role along side Lavonte David to help reshape a new Bucs defense under Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles. White has the ideal speed after running a 4.42 at the Combine, which is a staple for Bowles’ defense. Even beyond the talent, White was a two-year captain as an underclassman at LSU, bringing the type of leadership to the Bucs now that every coach looks for in a player.
These are the comments that Yates and Clay had as their reasoning for picking White as the defensive rookie of the year.
“New Buccaneers DC Todd Bowles used some combination of David Harris, Demario Davis, Darron Lee and Avery Williamson as every-down duos in his four seasons with the Jets. That suggests White will be a full-time player next to Lavonte David this season, which means a ton of opportunities for tackles and big plays.” – Mike Clay.
“The Bucs linebacker checks a ton of the boxes that portend immediate success: a terrific prospect who fills the largest need on a Bucs defense that should improve under coordinator Todd Bowles. Linebackers also stuff the stat sheet; 100 tackles should be no surprise.” – Field Yates.
You can see the full article with every experts pick here.
My early pick for 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year? Bucs LB Devin White. https://t.co/zB4pKuETvw
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) May 9, 2019