If you were surprised by the pick of Auburn linebacker K.J. Britt in the fifth round, so was Britt. The Bucs took the hard-hitting linebacker after very little pre-draft communication with him. There was something about Britt that Tampa Bay liked, though, after only one meeting at the Senior Bowl.

“I was really blindsided,” Britt said. “I only really talked to the Bucs at the Senior Bowl, I had a great interview with the Bucs at the Senior Bowl. Didn’t talk to any of the coaching staff or nothing during the process. I had interviews with teams like three or four times and just one time with the Bucs at the Senior Bowl, like I said. Just made a good impression on them I guess.”

Bucs ILB K.J. Britt

Bucs ILB K.J. Britt – Photo by: USA Today

The Bucs put an emphasis on a few areas to improve their team, namely speed and a love for the game of football. Britt certainly fits their definition of having a passion for the sport. Though he missed all but two games last season due to injury, Britt still wanted to make sure he could return to play in the Senior Bowl to get one last look in front of scouts. Britt had a great week of practice where his fiery demeanor was on display. He was voted the top linebacker in practice and made five tackles in the game, in addition to a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.

“It hurt me not playing all these games,” Britt said. “I just wanted to go to the Senior Bowl and show them I could ball and just show what I could do. And just show that everything that I could do – try to put it to showcase.”

Britt ran a slower than expected time of 4.76 during his pro day, but pulled up during his 40-yard dash due to tightness in his hamstring. Most NFL teams had pegged Britt as a linebacker with speed in the 4.6 range.

Britt knows coming to the Bucs that he’ll play behind two studs in Devin White and Lavonte David. It’s a great opportunity to learn from the best in the league. In the meantime, he’ll play a role on special teams as he learns the defense.

“It doesn’t matter what I play,” Britt said. “I just want to be on the field. I’m hungry. I’m eager to play. Not playing this year, it really had an effect on me mentally, as well with the draft going in the fifth round, but it doesn’t matter, I just want to play football again. I don’t care what I play, I just want to go with a team that’s a winning team – Super Bowl champions from last year. I just want to go play and it doesn’t matter what I play, I promise.”

Another emphasis the Bucs had in this draft was improving on their special teams unit. Britt has experience playing there and could be fun to watch due to his hard-hitting nature. He’ll gladly accept that role to help contribute to the team right away.

“I want to play special teams,” Britt said. “I want to get better any way I can, I want to help the team out. I’m a big team player. If they need me on special teams, they need me on special teams. If they need me on defense, then defense. I just want to play football. At the end of the day special teams, defense – it’s all football. I’m a football player and I just want to play football. I’ll let the rest take care of itself.”

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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eaustinyoung
eaustinyoung
1 year ago

I like his upside a lot. Being a fast LB isn’t as important as being a LB who can read the field. I like him as a Special Teams guy (other than the punter and kicker and Minter, most of the S/T guys sucked). But he could provide good depth for injury as well – much like Minter did. Honestly, drafting a LB is one position where you aren’t wasting your pick unless they turn out to be a bust. I’m always a fan of drafting trenches, DBs, and LBs as they are the cornerstones of the team in my… Read more »

surferdudes
surferdudes
1 year ago

Does this guy have the flexibility to play some defensive end, or stand up end edge rusher? I think he does. He’s an all in football player, another piece, good pick.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
Reply to  surferdudes
1 year ago

Yes he knows how to blitz as a stand up rusher. Very good going downhill and hitting the hole. Great value for blitz packages, depth at ILB, and for special teams improvement.

owlykat
owlykat
1 year ago

Just what we needed. Love his attitude as well as his performance on the field.

Spartan01
Spartan01
1 year ago

They missed on Humphrey in the 2nd round and it derailed the draft at that point for us. Had they selected Humphrey by moving up for him we would have had Derrick Barnes in the third round who is a huge upgrade over KJ Britt. So, we ended up with Hainsey and KJ Britt over Humphrey and Barnes, and as a consolation prize we picked up a QB who will likely never play a meaningful snap for us. Very disappointing. Hopefully Tryon and Darden will save this draft class for us in the end.

WeAretheChamps2002+2021
WeAretheChamps2002+2021
Reply to  Spartan01
1 year ago

Way too early to prognosticate on prospects being better than others. It wasn’t long ago that many here and at PewterReport argued that Derwin James was better than Vita Vea and that the Bucs “missed.” But Vea was a critical player for the Bucs SB win over the Chiefs – could you say the same if Derwin James was drafted instead? The same could be said of Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa, two high picks from small schools. I bet many thought they wouldn’t succeed – but here we are.

Horse
Horse
Reply to  WeAretheChamps2002+2021
1 year ago

Well said.

drdneast
drdneast
Reply to  WeAretheChamps2002+2021
1 year ago

I remember the whining and moaning about James but I for one was glad to see the Bucs go to Vea. I always prefer DL over CBs. Liked both Marpet and Cappa but thought they could have been drafted a round later.
The Trask pick does nothing for this team and is much like the Packers blowing a No. 2 for Love who did nothing to contribute to the Packers last season. The same will be said of Trask. I don’t give a damn what college he went to.

TCB2W!
TCB2W!
Reply to  drdneast
1 year ago

I believe you mean a FIRST round pick for Love. Now that out and out sucked.

drdneast
drdneast
Reply to  TCB2W!
1 year ago

I did. Thanks for the correction. Either way neither will have anything to do with their teams success this year unless Rogers gets out of Green Bay.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  WeAretheChamps2002+2021
1 year ago

There was also a bunch of self absorbed loudmouths here at PR last year who bitched constantly that Tristan Wirfs was a reach, only the 6th or 7th best OL in the draft, blah blah effing blah.
Then reality happened.
Anybody who claims to know how well any player will play, or is definitely worse or better than some other player, neither of whom has ever played a snap in the NFL is simply blowing it outta their asses and proving their stupidity before the world.
The NFL draft is like a box of chocolates ….

Horse
Horse
Reply to  Spartan01
1 year ago

Get over it. Focus on the now.

drdneast
drdneast
Reply to  Spartan01
1 year ago

Couldn’t agree with you more but I am hopeful the Notre Dame kid works out. I know they picked Harden for returns but his numbers there were pedestrian in college and we need more WR’s like we need Trump Republicans,

scubog
scubog
Reply to  drdneast
1 year ago

What an amazing knack you have for weaving your political agenda into a thoughtful football conversation. How about this one? “We need more WR’s like we need more taxes, illegal immigrants and face masks.”

Dman
Dman
Reply to  Spartan01
1 year ago

Derrick Barnes and KJ Britt are very similar and I’d take either of them. They both have similar speed and coverage issues. Your “huge upgrade” comment about Barnes is nuts. I’m a big Auburn and Purdue fan and have watched both for years. Not a big gap.

Horse
Horse
1 year ago

Great can do attitude. He,ll fit right in.

drdneast
drdneast
1 year ago

I sure hope he is faster than 4.75 because if not this guy has bust written all over him in the NFL and he can be as nasty and mean as he wants to be. The talent book on him said he was a sixth at best.

chefboho
chefboho
Reply to  drdneast
1 year ago

How can a 5th rounder be a “bust” ?Good god you really are one miserable person.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  chefboho
1 year ago

Good point dude. The swing and miss rate on day 3 picks is about 90% lol. If Britt just has an average length NFL career(5+ years), he’s already considered a hit. Even if it’s as a backup player. The standards are just extremely low on 5th, 6th, and 7th round picks

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  chefboho
1 year ago

There’s quite a few of these self absorbed knowitalls who claim special talents for forecasting the performance of players who’ve never played a snap in the NFL. They only prove their stupidity.

Dman
Dman
Reply to  drdneast
1 year ago

He is. Bad pro day 40. Give Britt a chance and I think you’ll like him. Great instincts and sets the tone for the D. Still not fast like Lavonte or D White, more like Minter.

cobraboy
cobraboy
Reply to  drdneast
1 year ago

From the article, he “pulled up” running the 40 on his pro day, maybe tweaking a hammy or something. He’s supposed to be a 4.6 guy. I doubt many teams would draft a LB who runs a 4.8.

Not many ILB’s in the NFL with David or White speed. Those two are freaks.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  drdneast
1 year ago

We here at PR trust Jason Licht’s and Bruce Arians’ judgment in these matters a helluva lot more than we trust the judgment of anonymous internet commenter drdneast.

76Buc
76Buc
1 year ago

4.6 40 is not a slow LB. If he reads and reacts really quickly it could translate that he’s pretty fast.

drdneast
drdneast
Reply to  76Buc
1 year ago

His time was 4.75. Now we are hearing he pulled up because of tightness in his hammy. If he is 4.6 then the Bucs did get a quality LB but at 4.75 they got Joe Dirt who also liked to hit but lacked speed to cover.

Barnz1
Barnz1
1 year ago

He was probably blindsided because he didn’t expect to be drafted that early. Was any other team taking a 4.76 lber who can’t cover at all before the 7th round? Doubtful.

PissedOffBuc1988
PissedOffBuc1988
1 year ago

Just watch his film. He’s a powerful tackler, very well built. Idc that he runs a 4.75. I bet he’s an awesome blitzer and at the very least will contribute on special teams which is this teams biggest weakness.

Sneedy16
Sneedy16
1 year ago

I am sure he will do fine. Kevin Minter ran a 4.81, and he succeeds in Todd Bowles defense. If he’s a good tackler and smart I feel he will do fine.

Bill McG
Bill McG
1 year ago

Who cares how fast U can run a 40 when U’re being blocked at the line of scrimmage anyway. It’s all about how U get around blockers & use Ur God-given talents to get to the QB &/or disrupt a play. That’s called “technique”, not necessarily “speed”. I believe this guy is gonna be very good! Go Bucs!! 😷💞😄🏈