Round 6 – Maryland DL Byron Cowart
6-3, 298 – Senior
Previous Pick: Memphis RB-KR Tony Pollard
The Bucs take advantage of a very deep defensive line draft with the selection of Cowart, a Tampa area native, who has the versatility to play the three-technique defensive tackle position as well as the five-technique defensive end spot. At 6-foot-3, 298 pounds, Cowart is a big, physical defensive lineman with good athleticism, evidenced by a 5.16 time in the 40-yard dash and a 30-inch vertical jump. Cowart also cranked out 26 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Cowart needed a good showing at the Combine to make up for his unproductive college career and improve his draft stock. Cowart enrolled at Auburn as the No. 1 high school recruit in the nation, but had a very disappointing career for the Tigers, logging just 15 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss seeing spot duty over his first three years.
He transferred to Maryland for his senior season and made an immediate impact, recording 38 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble. Cowart finally lived up to his athletic potential in 2018 with the Terrapins.
Cowart’s Auburn Career Defensive Stats
2015: 6 tackles
2016: 6 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 FF
2017: 3 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss
Cowart’s Maryland Career Defensive Stats
2018: 38 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 FF
The Bucs interviewed Cowart at the Combine and also had him in with a couple dozen other NFL Draft prospects as part of Tampa Bay’s local visits because he’s a Seffner native that played at Armwood High School. Cowart may not last to the top of the fifth round, but if he does, his size, power, athleticism and versatility would be treasured by Tampa Bay and he could be viewed as an heir apparent behind either Will Gholston at end or Gerald McCoy at tackle.