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
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.
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 email@example.com
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