PewterReport.com analyzes the top players in the 2018 NFL Draft with its position previews. Mark Cook previews the linebackers position with a comprehensive look at what the Bucs have and what they need from the linebackers spot, a detailed list of this year’s top players and offers up the annual PewterReport.com Bucs’ Best Bets – one early round pick, and a pick from the later rounds.

What The Bucs Have At Linebacker
Both Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David are as a good a duo as you will find in the NFL, with Alexander making his first Pro Bowl this past season, although if you ask him, David should have been the Bucs linebacker representative in Orlando last January. David had an outstanding season for Tampa Bay, leading the team in tackles with 101 stops despite missing three games with an ankle injury. David was also the top linebacker in the league in forcing fumbles and recovering them, with five. Alexander also missed time, his was a hamstring, but still brought some fire to a defense that underperformed in 2017. The former LSU standout notched 97 tackles and added three interceptions from his middle linebacker spot. Rounding out the starting unit was Kendell Beckwith who had 76 tackles and a sack as the teams SAM backer.

Bucs LB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Bucs LB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

In reserve the Bucs have Devante Bond, Adarius Taylor(formerly Glanton), Riley Bullough, Nigel Harris, Jeff Knox, Cameron Lynch and Eric Nzeocha from Wyoming. Taylor, filled in nicely when called upon and opened some eyes until a leg injury lsnded him on injured reserve. Bond played in 14 games, although was mainly a core special teams player.

What The Bucs Need At Linebacker
The Buccaneers appear to be fairly deep at the position although the recent new that Beckwith may miss some time going into the season after being in involved in a car accident last week does put a damper on things moving forward. All three starters did miss games with injuries last season, so the team could look to being in more depth, although they feel Bond and Taylor are versatile enough to plug any holes if the injury bug hits Alexander or David again in 2018. The team is also high on some of the other reserves including Lynch and Knox. Look for the Bucs to possibly add a mid or late round guy to compete for a roster spot, but it is hard to see the team spending a pick on the position on the first two nights of the draft.

Click Page 2 For The DE Rankings

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com 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 mark@pewterreport.com
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FLBoy84
3 years ago

With the decent depth already on the roster, hard to see the Bucs grabbing a LB in the draft. Would love to add Griffin’s mentality and attitude to the squad, but hard to see a fit unless the team feels he’s an upgrade over Bond, Taylor, Lynch, etc. (which they just might).

makski
Reply to  FLBoy84
3 years ago

Dilly Dilly!!! We better not even think of wasting a pick on a LB in the draft with all of the depth that we have. The article above even mentions that we are 7 deep! That is plenty of depth. We better only add some UDFA’s to try and maybe strengthen our depth, NO PICKS!!! There are way too many other holes on this team to waste a pick on a LB.

macabee
3 years ago

As we approach April 26th draft night, I’m still seeing mocks that have Chubb, Barkley, and Nelson off the board. With the Jets monumental trade up to #3 and possibly more trades coming, it is entirely possible that one of them could fall to the Bucs at #7. But what if that doesn’t happen and worst yet, what if there are no trade down partners? Many of my fellow posters will be quick to say SS Derwin James – a solid pick no doubt, but the Bucs still need pass rush help. Brian Billick has a mock out that has… Read more »

Buc 1976
Reply to  macabee
3 years ago

Edmunds would be fine by me.

Dman
Reply to  macabee
3 years ago

Edmunds would be a “thinking out of the box” pick. Could be interesting but a lot depends on coaching. If our new D line coach thinks he can convert him to a hand on the ground DE, could be interesting.

makski
Reply to  macabee
3 years ago

I don’t watch much college football, but I am nervous that we would try and convert a LB to a DE. I never like it when a team asks a player to switch positions. I feel like a lot more bad things can happen than good. I am assuming that Edmonds mostly rushed from the outside as a stand-up LB and hardly ever put his hand on the ground. Why would you want to all of a sudden make him do that exclusively as a DE?? I don’t like it and I think we have plenty of LB’s to make… Read more »

macabee
Reply to  makski
3 years ago

All perfectly understandable concerns. As Dman put it “Edmunds would be a “thinking out of the box” pick. And for those and other reasons he is not likely to be the Bucs pick at #7. But it is in the news as a possibility and I thought it worthwhile to comment on why Brian Billick, a Super Bowl winning coach might think it possible. We agree! Not my preference and not likely to happen. But I stop short of saying it better not happen.

makski
Reply to  macabee
3 years ago

I know it is only a possibility, just like anything else, and that we kind of have to talk about it, I just don’t like it at all! I will go as far as saying, in my opinion, it better not happen. Same can be said for McGlinchy, or a QB, or any other player. I just don’t like the thought of drafting a LB anywhere this year, considering all the other holes we have on this team.

BDOG
Reply to  macabee
3 years ago

Comments on Edmunds, perfectly stated, completely agree, couldn’t of said any better. Definitely would be great addition, maybe the best available for what we need on D: pressure and sacks! This pic could end up being better than Chubb, young player still developing with freakish size and speed. Any body remember dude named Larry Taylor, LT?! Remember folks, Linebackers are the Leaders of the D. This could be our Jameis on the D side?!

tnew
Reply to  macabee
3 years ago

Edmunds upside is so high. He will be 19 on draft night and probably is still growing some. His body could very well end up looking like Simeon Rice when it is all said and done but his movement is that of a safety. Selfishly, I wish he had another year of college football as a developmental year for him but he is a top 10 pick so I would do the exact same thing if I was him. Watching his cover skills at his size is really insane. Also, even tho his angles are weak, his tackling efficiency is… Read more »

TBAtlas
3 years ago

This year will be remembered as the year that everyone mocked Shaquem Griffin to their team.

mark2001
3 years ago

On another site, there is a tease about Jameis not starting the season, with an explanation that there will be a word on Tuesday. PR or anyone hear anything? Any serious interest in drafting a QB?

Dman
Reply to  mark2001
3 years ago

No…..

Really, how long should it take someone, anyone to “investigate” something that is now two years old. Take a looks at whatever information is there and make the call – please.

Couldn’t have been more disappointed that Roger Goodell got rehired as the NFL commissioner. How about we just focus on football and stop trying to be everyone’s conscience.

mark2001
Reply to  Dman
3 years ago

Hope you are right… It was posted on another popular Bucs site. The author said odds were that Fitz would be starting game one this year. And these guy in the business know far more than we do. Wish I heard there was no truth at all in it from Cook, Reynolds, or Sikkema.

Countrybrew
3 years ago

I would like to see us draft Griffin as a SS if we don’t get James

scubog
3 years ago

Seems everyone, and even more so the “expert” mockers, focus way too much on the probable first ten picks and neglect the meat of the Draft. To me, the real interesting targets will be in the later rounds. I just want Jason Licht to take the absolute BPA when each of our turns come up. I know, we don’t “need” a LB right now, but one car accident has already weakened that strength. I will say, I’d be very cautious about taking a chance on a teenager with loads of money and fame. I would love to somehow draft Griffin… Read more »

surferdudes
3 years ago

As a big UCF fan I’ll say what Scott Frost said about him, “you want this kid on your team”. David has missed time, and could again, Griffin can play S.S., Will backer, and would be a S.T. demon out the gate. As hard hitting as he can be, he’s learned to wrap up ball carriers, and get them on the ground. His tackling ability is uncanny for having one hand. Should he slip to the 5th round, I’d jump at the chance to draft him. As a Buc Captain Hook would be a good nickname. UCF would not have… Read more »

BadgerW4
3 years ago

Wow…. no Skai Moore? PFF’s #69 overall player, and the top rated cover linebacker in the draft (while playing in the SEC no less).