Bucs’ Best Bets: Defensive End
Bucs’ Best Bet – Rounds 1-3: Boston College DE Zach Allen
The Bucs have a need for a five-technique defensive end that has the ability to get to the passer, as William Gholston is the current strongside defensive end and is limited as a pass rusher. Allen recorded 199 tackles, 40.5 tackles for loss, and 16.5 sacks in three seasons as a starter at Boston College, in addition to 14 pass breakups, four fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Allen, a 6-foot-4, 281-pounder defensive end, had a monster season in 2017 with 100 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He improved as a pass rusher last year, recording 6.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss and 61 tackles, in addition to seven pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Allen is tough and quick rather than overly athletic, and had a formal interview with the Bucs at the NFL Scouting Combine. He could be an option for Tampa Bay in the second round.
Bucs’ Best Bet – Rounds 4-7: Charleston DE John Cominsky
The 6-foot-5, 286-pound Cominsky is built like Allen and is an ideal five-technique defensive end in Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme. But he doesn’t offer the pass rushing ability that Allen does, registering just 12 career sacks and not really dominating at a small school level. Cominsky has a lot to learn about pass rushing, and that’s why he’s considered to be a Day 3 prospect.
However, he did help his draft stock at the NFL Scouting Combine by blazing an impressive 4.69 in the 40-yard dash. Cominsky is tough, as a great work ethic and a nice get-off, but has a ways to go to eventually become an effective NFL starter. The Bucs do need more depth at defensive end and someone to challenge Gholston. Cominsky could be an option in the fifth or sixth rounds.