Bucs’ Best Bet – Rounds 1-3: Ohio State DE Tyquan Lewis

Tampa Bay’s defensive end position was in dire straits last year, but has undergone a complete overhaul this offseason. The Bucs traded for defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and signed Vinny Curry and Mitch Unrein. Getting Noah Spence back healthy this year, and Will Gholston to have a rebound year would be an added bonus. With all of this activity, do the Bucs even need to address the defensive end spot in the draft? No, and it’s not a great crop of edge rushers to begin with. But there are a few players the Bucs like and Lewis, a team captain at Ohio State, is one of them. Lewis totaled 112 tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks and five forced fumbles in his time with the Buckeyes, including three straight years with at least seven sacks. Lewis is a good athlete with plus size at 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, and has great character on and off the field. Lewis is a better pass rusher than Gholston and could eventually supplant him as the starter at strongside defensive end if drafted by Tampa Bay in the middle rounds.

Bucs’ Best Bet – Rounds 4-7: SMU DE Justin Lawler

The Bucs spent a Top 30 visit on Lawler, which means there is likely some significant interest in acquiring the big, 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive end. While Lawler isn’t one of the most athletic defensive linemen in this year’s draft class, he did have very good production at SMU, recording 226 tackles, 40.5 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks with four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. Lawler’s production improved in each of the three years he was a starter on the Mustangs defense, culminating in a senior campaign that saw him record 74 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two passes defensed. Lawler gets by on physical play and a high motor and had a good week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game. He’s a late-round pick or a potential undrafted free agent, and Lawler has the size the Bucs like, in addition to the toughness that the team seeks in the trenches.

1
2
3
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
Subscribe
Notify of
16 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
skipper

Josh Sweat as the #3 defensive end, ahead of Davenport? I don’t think so, Sweat was highly touted coming out of High school, dealt with an injury. As a Noles fan I believe Sweat is undersized (250 lbs) and underperforms. I combine guy for sure, very little production in college.

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
makski

If you think he is undersized, then you must think that almost this entire list is undersized. Go back and look again, half of the list is the same weight or LIGHTER.

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
nybuccguy

Davenport is over hyped

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
Darin

I’d definitely take Sweat over Davenport. I’m glad Licht picked up JPP so he doesnt reach on Davenport early. I hope he isnt done at the position tho. Hope he trades back, gets more picks and gets a DE early.

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
Wausa

My guess is the Bucs don’t take a DE until at least the 6th round.
Bucs have to draft RB, OG, S and Corner in rounds 1-5.

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
MayorMcCheese

Wausa, the don’t “have to draft” any of those positions unless the player matches up value wise. They need to draft defensive end early and often.

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
surferdudes

Doesn’t make sense loading up on D ends in a weak draft class. Don’t need a bunch of Will Golstons on the team. This draft is loaded with D tackles, and with McCoy’s career winding down we’d be foolish not to take advantage of the strength of the draft. The harsh reality is we need R.B., C.B., S.S., O.G., O.T., D.T. maybe more then reaching for a D.E.. Not saying we shouldn’t draft one, or bring another in after cuts, but signing JPP, and Curry should allow us to play to the draft, and fill other needs, of which we… Read more »

Horse

Agree with you Surferdudes

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
macabee

During the NFL Combine, Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht took some time to discuss the Bucs recent offseason moves as well as this year’s draft class and Licht made it clear that he sees a lot of potential in UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport. Licht provided the following reasons why: @ScottSBucs Jason Licht on UTSA DE Marcus Davenport: Explosive, raw. Licht likes the fact that Davenport is raw because it means there’s a lot of room for him to develop. 11:11 AM – Feb 28, 2018 · Indianapolis, IN. UTSA had their Pro Day Wednesday March 28 and… Read more »

macabee

Clarification: Some draft analysts now believe he could be taken in the top 10. More accurately reflects what I actually read.

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
Horse

Macabee, It seems to me we have weapons on offense that can still get us down the field short or long. I don’t believe we have any shot at Chubb at spot 7 and if we can’t get him, then I would focus on James or try to move down. We are extremely weak at Safety & CB and this is where I believe we should go IF we pick at spot 7. Your thoughts on what we should do?

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
macabee

Horse, I wish I had a ready answer to your question, but I don’t. I think you’re right that DE Chubb will not likely be there. But If either Barkley or Nelson is there, would I pick a SS or DB? Probably not! Do you believe the experts who say that Nelson is a surefire pro bowler at his position? Do you think it odd that the Bucs would have RB Barkley in for a private visit and not report it? All things to make us hesitate to say what the Bucs will do. Right? I honestly believe that there… Read more »

Horse

You make good points. Thank you.

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
fanofdabucs

There is nothing “overhyped” about Davenport.

If anything, I believe some are over playing where he attended college.

Turn on the game tape and watch him dominate. Watch him play against “better” competition in the Senior Bowl and he once again made plays.

He will only get better in the next couple years.

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...
fanofdabucs

This team needs to draft players on both lines. Not so much as immediate starters, but to develop depth and bring in young talent on the lines. Patch work FA shouldn’t change draft plans and good teams build from the lines back. I think somehow this concept was been lost on this franchise and I’m afraid that signing FAs, will once again make the importance of building the trenches seem like less of a “need. They will probably come out of the first two rounds with a safety and a RB…puke. Once again ignoring the trenches in the draft. We… Read more »

AlexanderNascimento

Man, it would be nice to have one of those top 10 in our roster next week….
Go Bucs!

0
0
No votes yet.
Please wait...