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.


  1. Jason Pierre-Paul has never put two back to back seasons of 10 plus sacks. Over 9 years he has had three seasons where he has hit 10 sacks or more, twice with the Giants (2011 with 16.5, 2014 with 12.5) and the single season in Tampa in 2018 with 12.5 again. Odds are he will be good but not get over 10 again this year as his last two years he has played all 16 games and had 8 the previous year, with the Giants.

    If he stays healthy he will be good – probably in the neighborhood of 10 sacks so that is a very good performance, but as you might guess his time is limited in Tampa as he is on the wrong end of the age spectrum. I am hoping the Bucs can get two more years out of him with good performance. Hard to tell since we know how McCoy ended up and he is only one year older. Warren Sapp is one of the best of all time and he lasted 13 years, with his last year getting 2 sacks (but second to last year he managed to get 10 sacks – the fourth time he achieved it).

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