FAB 5. SR’s Buc Shots

• LSU linebacker Devin White made it clear during his media interview session at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis that he would love for Tampa Bay to draft him at No. 5 and play alongside former LSU linebackers Kwon Alexander and Kendell Beckwith. White spent a year backing up Beckwith and the two have a love of horses.

“Man, you got LSU alumni all over the field,” White said. “[Alexander] told me to come up here and kill it and that’s what we do. He said everything you do is your brand. Just protect your brand and build your brand. Just be the person you are and don’t shy away from any competition.”

The Bucs had a formal interview with White at the Combine and won’t be opposed to drafting him in the first round even if Alexander is re-signed in free agency. The reason? Alexander is coming off a torn ACL and has missed 18 games in four years, while Lavonte David is 29 this year and has just two years left on his contract.

LSU ILB Devin White
LSU ILB Devin White – Photo by: Getty Images

“My personality fits being a (middle) linebacker pretty well,” White said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “You can’t be a guy who is shies away from leadership. You can’t be a guy who doesn’t study and doesn’t know what he’s doing on the field because at the end of the day, you’re the quarterback. You got to get everybody lined up. You’ve got to know what everybody is doing and get them all lined up. You got to be able to play fast, calm and collected and you got to be a playmaker. You’ve got to be an absolute stud.

“And for me, I’m not shy. I’m up here talking. I’m smiling. I’m having fun. You’ve got to be that person when you’re on the field as well. Everything translates. If a linebacker is up here and he’s not enjoying this or not talking with confidence, he can’t go and control a bunch of grown men. Because I just turned 21 two weeks ago, I’ve got to go into the league and win those guys over and show them my path to football is the same as y’alls and we’ve got to win.”

• Speaking of Bucs middle linebacker Kwon Alexander, there are whispers that he is seeking between $11 million and $13 million annually in free agency. It’s difficult to gauge his market value coming off a torn ACL in his contract year that limited him to just six games. So expect Alexander to hit free agency to gauge his worth.

Because of the great relationship between Alexander and general manager Jason Licht, the Bucs are hopeful that Alexander will bring his best offer back to Tampa Bay for a chance to match. The feeling at PewterReport.com is that if that number is north of $10 million, which is what Lavonte David makes, the Bucs may hold the line and let Alexander walk.

Former FSU DE Brian Burns – Photo by: Scott Reynolds/PR

With the open negotiating period for NFL free agency starting on Monday prior to the start of free agency on Wednesday, March 13, we’ll know Alexander’s fate within a week.

• If you missed our extensive list of NFL Draft prospects that interviewed with the Buccaneers at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, click here to find out which players Tampa Bay spoke with on a formal or an informal basis.

• PRE-FREE AGENCY PODCAST! The PewterReport.com staff was reunited this week for a new edition of the Pewter Nation Podcast. Mark Cook, Matt Matera and I previewed the start of Bucs free agency, listed some players the team might target and discussed the re-signing of left tackle Donovan Smith and what it means to Tampa Bay moving forward. You can listen to Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 111: Smith Gets Paid And Free Agency Speculation by clicking here.

If you missed our last two Pewter Nation Podcasts you can check them out right here. Cook, Matera and Taylor Jenkins discussed their own Bucs Battle Plans on PewterReport.com prior to free agency. Listen to Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 109: Offseason Battle Plan Review by clicking here.

I flew solo on a Pewter Nation Podcast live from Indianapolis as I analyzed Jason Licht and Bruce Arians’ meetings with the media at the NFL Scouting Combine. Pewter Nation Podcast Episode 110: SR Calls B.S. In Indy is must-listen podcast, and you can do that by clicking here.

Pewter-Nation-Podcast-Pewter-ReportThere is no better time to listen to a new Pewter Nation Podcast than on your drive home from work on Friday or running around doing errands or at the gym on Saturday. The next Pewter Nation Podcast will be taped during the middle of next week as Bucs free agency begins.

The popularity of the Pewter Nation Podcast continues to grow. In addition to listening to the Pewter Nation Podcasts on PewterReport.com you can also subscribe to the free podcasts at PodBean by clicking here and on SoundCloud by clicking here. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

• Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has a lot of his former players on his coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, running backs coach Todd McNair, cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross, linebackers coach Larry Foote and offensive assistant Antwaan Randle-El.

“They bring a different perspective,” Arians said. “The more diverse you can make your coaching staff the better because you get so many different ideas. Former players have different ideas. Guys that have just coached their whole life have different ideas. Women have different ideas and I think there is a place for them and their ideas on a coaching staff.”

Arians made Jen Welters the first female assistant coach in the NFL back in 2014 in his second year in Arizona. Speaking at the Women’s Careers In Football Forum in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine last week, Arians made news when he said he wanted to create a full-time coaching position for a woman in Tampa Bay, perhaps as early as this year.

“Arians asked the participants how many wanted to be coaches. Approximately eight women raised their hands. He then asked how many had sent him a resume after he was named Tampa Bay’s head coach. None had. While the probability of an NFL head coach sifting through resumes for entry level positions is inherently low, Arians claims he not only reads every emails he receives – he estimates receiving 427 job inquiries in the past year – but personally responds to each. ‘You have to beat doors down.'”

• One change that might be coming to Tampa Bay’s practices under new head coach Bruce Arians is quieter practices. Arians is an old school coach who doesn’t like music blaring over loudspeakers during practice. That has become a staple at One Buccaneer Place since Raheem Morris took over as head coach in 2009. The team didn’t play music at practice under Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden.

Bruce Arians
Bruce Arians – Photo by: Scott Reynolds/PR

Arians said he was amazed how many teams played music during practice when he worked for CBS last year and would watch Friday practices in preparation for Sunday’s football broadcast.

“Every Friday I got to go to practice and see how everybody else was doing it,” Arians said on a recent appearance of PFT Live. “I’m old school, man. I can’t stand music. Everybody plays music. Alright, maybe I have to give in on music. … The music for sure – they’re going to have to talk me into that one,” Arians said. “I’m the old airplane noise – get a headache after listening to that crowd noise shit. That’s part of it. You have to bend a little bit.”

“I’m not a music guy – I’m old school,” Arians said. “But everybody was playing music on Friday. That’s going to be the hardest thing for me giving in, but just watching how everybody did it differently in the walk-throughs and the practices, especially on those Friday practices that I think are very critical.”

It will be interesting to see if the Bucs continue their practice of playing music during practice under Arians, and if so, how often.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston and WRs Adam Humphries and Mike Evans - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs QB Jameis Winston and WRs Adam Humphries and Mike Evans – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

• Barring something unforeseen, the Bucs will likely lose wide receiver Adam Humphries in free agency. PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook warned about this back in mid-February. Humphries is expecting a deal that will average between $8 million – $10 million per year, and Tampa Bay would likely not pay more than $7 million per year – and ideally would like him back for less.

• Our @PewterReport Twitter account continues to rise to 32,000 followers. Thank you to those Bucs fans that recently followed us!

If you aren’t following PewterReport.com on Twitter please do so right now so you don’t miss out on Bucs press conference and interview footage as well as breaking news and injury updates. Bucs OTAs begin next month and there will be a pre-draft Bucs mini-camp. Don’t miss out on the action – follow us today!

To follow @PewterReport on Twitter please click here. To follow us on Facebook please click here. And to follow @PewterReport on Instagram and you can do so by clicking here.

• Are you in constant pain and looking for relief? Have you been in an automobile accident and want to return to your former healthy self? Have you suffered a sports injury and want to get back in the game? Are the effects of aging and muscle and joint pain interrupting your way of life?

There are therapies to help live a healthy, pain-free life – and it starts at Essential Integrative Medicine. Dr. Tan Tran is the official chiropractor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and offers the best chiropractic care and stem cell therapy in the Tampa Bay area.

Is stem cell therapy right for you? Find out with a FREE consultation and take $1,000 off your treatment by mentioning PewterReport.com.

Essential Integrative Medicine has two convenient locations in Tampa and Brandon. Visit them on the web at EssentialStemCell.com and EssentialIntegrativeMedicine.com e-mail [email protected] or call (813) 253-0711 to schedule your FREE consultation today with Dr. Tran and his team of experts and tell them that PewterReport.com sent you.

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Scott Reynolds is in his 24th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his son's Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]

45 COMMENTS

  1. I just wanted to say thank you for all that read my winning Bucs Offseason Battle Plan. I also wanted to thank Pewter Report staff for voting it the best plan, even if it didn’t get all the 1st place votes.

    https://www.pewterreport.com/forums/topic/reader-submitted-bucs-battle-plan-contest/

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    • It’s a good plan. I don’t agree with all of it- like getting Mosley in FA– but it is quite solid.
      Nice job.
      Enjoy Ford’s Garage.You;ve earned it.

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    • Congrats man

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    • That is a pretty solid plan. I like taking Allen, may be a fan of a few other guys in that slot, but he wouldn’t hurt my feelings. Lindstrom in 2 and Amani in 3, if they’re available at those spots it would be ridiculous not to take them. Overall, your plan beats any of the PR writers. Again I say, solid plan, sombrero. Kudos on winning that gift card, enjoy

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  2. I have no doubt that White would be a great fit for Tampa. I’d like to have him on the team. I just don’t think he’s worth the number five pick. So, the Bucs can overpay for White, pass on him and know he won’t survive until the second round, or–
    They can trade down. I’ve seen White hang around until the mid teens in some mocks. I think he could be there if the Bucs trade down to ten to 15. It’d be white knuckle time in the war room, but the Bucs would have some extra picks. Probably at least an extra second or third. Maybe even an extra first for 2020.
    The risk would be worth it.

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  3. Devin White is the best pick for the Bucs at 5th of all the chips fall where we think, especially if we are losing K. Alexander, gotta have a thumper to replace him and I think Devin White will be an upgrade.

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  4. I think white will be a stud, but not at 5. If we can trade down a few, absolutely take him. There could be some studs that fall. Let’s not pretend a few QBs could go ahead of us and drop one of those studs to us. But there is no way you pass on one of those stud defensive lineman for a linebacker. You could get someone like Devin Bush in the jate first early second if need be.
    As for Bucco bruce, I’ve already stated how much I love that mans swag and how he runs shit. If you dont like his style get out. We need that on this team. As for Smith’s deal, it was a smart move at the price we got. What if he had a really good year? That price wouldve sky rocketed and really put us in a bind.
    Again I’m almost frustrating back if it’s there and make someone pay. However I have seen mocks that have both quinnen William’s and Josh Allen falling to us. You never know, noone though oj would fall to us

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  5. I really like Devon White’s physical style of play, his speed on the field, and his character. The Bucs can’t draft him at #5.

    If the Bucs stand pat at #5 and a few offensive players go in the top 4 (Candidates include Kyler Murray, DK Metcalf, Dwayne Haskins), how the heck do the Bucs pass on Bosa or Allen?

    Even if no offensive players go in the top 4, the Bucs will still have a shot at Rashan Gary or Montez Sweat. Pass rushers are at a premium and as free agents they cost a lot more than linebackers.

    Also, there are very good inside linebackers to be found in later rounds: Notre Dame has two, Alabama has one, Clemson has two. It’s been easy to find value in later rounds at linebacker. Need proof? Look no farther than David, Kwon, Kendall, Bond, Taylor. David was drafted highest. #58 overall.

    I definitely agree that the Bucs need an impact player and future pro bowler at #5. The best way to get players to the pro bowl is to win. Winning starts with defense and getting after Drew Brees, Cam Newton, and Matt Ryan. JPP was great last year, but is 31. Nassib was great last year, but is entering his last year on his rookie deal. Spence hasn’t proven anything(good) yet. Rush linebackers/Edge/DE should be the priority with a top 5 pick.

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  6. In a draft with elite talent along the DL and our needs along the DL I think it would crazy to use a top 5 pick on a LB. Bucs might not be high on Ed Oliver but they should be, he would be a terror in this 1 gap scheme that lets him consistently get up field with Vita occupying 2 blockers. Hopefully they are throwing a smoke screen with the White talk but drafting a LB at 5 when you need talent in the trenches would be doing this team a disservice. If you want to tell me they think Jonah Williams/Ford/Juwan can play guard or tackle so they want either of them at 5, I don’t love it but it at least makes sense. Last year they ranted and raved about the Jaguars model of building through the trenches and now here we are doing dumb stuff like ignoring those needs for a LB lol. Arians loves the S/LB hybrids in his defense what about a reunion with Mark Barron. Devin White is not going to force the ball out of QBs hands quicker to help our unproven secondary and he wont open up running lanes for Barber or Jones which have to be top priority this summer. Licht has drafted ZERO Pro Bowl players since Lovie left who controlled those decisions, hasn’t drafted/acquired a OL that was worth the contract/draft pick since Lovie left either and has selected 1 DL with some promise in Vea. FIX THE TRENCHES! As for Donovan it’s a good deal regarding the actual contract because the new coach wont be tied to him for long if this doesn’t work out. Bc as much as I think he’s mediocre I certainly don’t think Licht is capable of replacing him with similar or better production.

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  7. Rotational LB or starter in RT Juwaan Taylor. You start by discussing the importance of getting a pro bowler, then go into how he may just be rotational? Want a pro bowler? Get CJ Mosely.

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    • I love cj but that dude is going to ask for a ton of money that the bucs dont have

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  8. Redskins are definitely in the hunt to move up to get a starting QB, so if they offer the right deal, snap it up. Afterall, the Bu s still need a solid kicke!.
    As for music during practice, that should be something you earn. No tickey no washy.

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    • I don’t think the Skins are drafting a QB in the first round after that Case Keenum trade yesterday

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      • Being that they only gave up a 6th in exchange for Keenum and a 7th, doubt that precludes them from grabbing a QB early. They’re only paying him $3.5M as well since Denver is covering half his salary.

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        • Case “Placeholder” Keenum?

          Exactly correct FLBoy84! That guy is a one year fix to prep the rookie they’re bound to draft.

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  9. Like White as well, just not sure at #5. Would prefer to trade down, even to the mid teens to acquire more picks. Some solid FA options at LB available that might be signed to short term deals to fill in for a year or two as well, or grab Bush or Mack later in the 1st/2nd. With the multitude of needs and the limited available cap space over the next few years, having as many quality players on rookie deals as possible is needed.

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  10. I have every reason to believe that LB Devin White/LSU would make a great pick for the Bucs even at #5. I even have him as my 1st pick in a trade down mock draft, but not at #5. But there are those other than some Buc fans who have reservations. This is the time of year when everybody has an opinion, some dubious. I don’t do film study. I watch highlight tapes like most fans.

    I have no idea if this analyst is legit or just another talking head, but thought his film study deserved some scrutiny. But you gotta be careful, this could be a commercial for the Broncos. Below is his video opinion of drafting Devin White at #5. For your evaluation of both the analyst and White as a day one starter.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dV4t663pPQ

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    • Nice link macabee. The guy who made that video also made one about Quinnen Williams which I found informative as well.

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  11. No absolutely not. White is not a good fit for the Bucs at 5. At 5 it better be Sweat, or if any of Josh Allen, Bosa, Quinnen Williams falls. Or trade down a little and take Greedy/Murphy.

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    • Sweat would be such a disappointment at 5. I’d maybe be okay with at 15, but 5 is just hoping his potential turns out great.

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  12. I think White is the pick at 5, unless Josh Allen or Q falls down. I think in the top 5, like Scott said, you have to go for the guy you know is going to be a day 1 starter and future pro bowler. Don’t take the risk of the flashy player like Sweat or Burns who could turn into a Vic Beasley or Shane Ray and not quite reach their ceiling.

    Also, I think the most important thing for this team in the offseason is to do 3 main things:
    1. Get 2 veteran starting DBs. 1 at corner and 1 at safety. (CB examples McCourty, Claiborne, Desir) (S Amos, Gipson, Cyprien, Weddle)
    2. Get a veteran guard to start next to Dotson. (Iupati, Carpenter, Larson, Lang)
    3. Draft 3 or 4 front 7 defensive players to help with the scheme change.
    I agree with BA this team has the talent and now has the coaching. Let’s make the smart football decisions instead of the flashy ones.

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  13. You wouldn’t use the 5th pick on a L.B. if you knew they would turn out to be Lewis, Brooks, or how about Lawrence Taylor? Why is 5th to high for a L.B.? Remember it’s not about just stopping the Q.B.’s in our division. You better be able to get Kamara, and all the great backs in our division on the ground too. That’s where a great L.B. can help turn this defense around.

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  14. Devin White is a 5th overall pick type of talent the problem is that he doesn’t play a position you spend a 5th overall pick on for a number of reasons:

    1. Like the NBA with 3 point shooting, the NFL has evolved into a high efficiency passing league. Drafting a player who has a marginal role in the passing game is like drafting a back to the basket post-up center in the 3 pt-loving NBA. Sure, the post up player can help your offense, but the teams that are winning championships aren’t doing it because they have that type of player on their team.
    2. Linebacker doesn’t have the same urgency to draft in Rd 1 like DE, LT or QB does. The Bucs have their own experience with Lavonte David (2nd Rd) and Kwon Alexander (4th Rd) performing as well as a 1st round linebacker would. It’s the same argument as why GM’s rarely spend draft capital on kickers. If I can hit on a linebacker in Rd 4 why am I considering spending my top 5 pick on one?
    3. There is a decent statistical evaluation done by a Colts fan that shows that while 1st round players at any position are going to get more playing time (and tackles) that there is reason to hold off on taking one early vs a premium position like DE which has a steeper fall (www.stampedeblue.com/2018/2/15/17010930/nfl-draft-is-there-a-best-round-to-draft-a-linebacker-value-over-replacement-defeats)
    4. Even articles proclaiming the value of LBers to cover RB’s use Deion Jones (2nd Rd) and Telvin Smith (4th Rd) as examples of players who have great value in these roles. So why is a team that has several needs in the secondary, protecting the passer and rushing the passer considering a player who does none of those things at 5? (www.theringer.com/2018/4/12/17227830/draft-linebackers-roquan-smith-deion-jones-alvin-kamara)

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  15. At this point, I’ll be happy with selecting either Williams, Allen, Sweat, Bosa, or White..all those guys could be a game changer that we need.

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    • No sweat! He’s overrated. Workout warrior. Not even close to Bosa or Allen.

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  16. While I understand that people are hesitant for the bucs to draft a lb at 5, I don’t think you could go wrong with selecting White there. If Bosa, Williams, Allen, or Sweat is there..you take one of those guys..if we stay put at 5 and decide not to trade down or just cant find someone to trade down with, I have no problem with selecting white there..I can only imagine that with his speed that he would be all over the field making plays for us.

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  17. What a wasted pick Beckwith was. Having to blow a top 5 pick to replace him…. ugh.

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    • Wasted? He was injured..kind of messed up to say that about something he had no control over.

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      • Actually he did have some control. He let a guy with a suspended license drive his car recklessly and slam it into a gate. So yes he had control over it and he got himself injured. So, yes having to blow a top 5 pick because Beckwith can’t make better decisions stinks.

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        • ahh so you’re one of those perfect human beings, amazing, nice to meet you perfect guy who never makes mistakes.

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          • I would say there’s a difference between making a mistake (something we all do) and making a reckless decision that ends your professional sports career and costs you millions in lost earnings.

            But in the end Beckwith was just living his life. It was 27-53 Jason Licht that wagered a 3rd round pick Beckwith would become a long term starter at MLB. Like most of the Lichtanic’s time here that wager came up snakeyes.

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      • BucRy, I have to believe his statement was made simply to envoke an argument. No way he is that damn ignorant

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  18. Devin White looks like one helluva player, but this team definitely needs massive trench upgrades on both sides. Is anyone having problems with the love being shown to peyton barber? Cause I mean we all watch the dude, we all know he’s not gonna break off those Todd Gurley, Adrian Peterson type runs. But he does make the first dude miss quite frequently and he straight up thumps most would be tacklers. Still think we need a compliment change of pace back but think that the chatter of him getting a long term extension with the team is warranted.

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  19. Anyone remember a RB we had briefly, Thomas Jones? Peyton Barber reminds me alot of Thomas Jones…

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  20. Right now I have it Bosa, Allen, White, Oliver, Sweat and Williams in that order.

    If we were to trade down and get White at 7th pick or 10th pick or whatever that would be fantastic! We could still get decent DL and/or OL talent with other picks. Yes, we could address DB and RB too with remaining pick(s) if we had additional picks because of a trade.
    ______________
    Go Bucs!!!!!!!!!

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  21. Take white at 5 and never look back! Don’t pass on great player for meadoker ones ! He’s going to be epic!

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  22. I believe that in the top five you have to go with a trench player. I do like White but in a trade down scenario.

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  23. I remember Jones well, Charlie.
    We got him for nothing from the Cardinals and then we rarely used him but when we did he was always effective.
    We let him get away to the Jets where he put up a few 1.000 yard seasons.
    Another fantastic move by Gruden and Allen.

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    • We acquired Thomas Jones via TRADE from the Cardinals for Marquise Walker. Jones rushed for 627 yards 137 carries, scored 3 TD’s and lost 1 fumble. He was in a crowded backfield with Pittman and Alstott and he left via FA in 2004 to the Bears not the Jets. Allen didnt join the team until Jones was gone……..just saying.

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  24. If the Bucs did draft White, would there be anything in his contract about his horse riding? I know that’s his passion, but anyone can get thrown from a horse.

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    • That’s true, horses were even Superman’s kryptonite

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  25. I don’t understand why people don’t like White as a player. White has size and the ability to run sideline to sideline with blazing speed. He hustles to the ball and is always going for the strip. His ability to stack and shed is superior than most PRO NFL LBs in the league. Yeah White has weaknesses but his strengths are off the charts good.

    Am I missing something?

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  26. I like white a lot. But the best player on my board is Q. Williams. He is unblockable at times. If Q is off the board then I’m good with White.

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  27. Sweat is definitely not too 5 and not in my top 10. Be careful getting fooled by his ridiculous 40 time. Watch his tape. He’s good, but not great.

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  28. I like White as the first pick after a trade down. That would also allow us to get a top RG too like Lindstrom. Another great article Scott.

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