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NASHVILLE – Tonight the NFL Draft comes to Music City and there will be three days of work being done. Coverage will air live on both ESPN and the NFL Network for every round starting with tonight’s opening round.
Thursday, April 25: Round 1 (8 p.m. ET)
Friday, April 26: Rounds 2-3 (7 p.m. ET)
Saturday, April 27: Rounds 4-7 (12 p.m. ET)
New Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bruce Arians to be their new head coach and general manager Jason Licht is in for a major test. They have many needs but they are likely to go with defense first.
Let’s take a look at who some of the draft experts feel will be headed to the Bay Area.
CBS thinks that the Bucs will make Kentucky linebacker
Josh Allen their top choice at No. 5. There has been plenty of talk about him being at the of the team’s draft board. Tampa Bay needs a second-level playmaker who can work all over the field and White just might be that guy. Same is the case for NF.con draft expert Daniel Jeremiah who also thinks Allen will go to Tampa Bay.
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has the Bucs taking Devin White linebacker LSU with their fifth overall pick in the first round, presumably to fill the void left by middle linebacker Kwon Alexander who departed in free agency.
Kiper then goes with Juan Thornhill, a safety from Virginia who has garnered many first-round grades. Grabbing him in the second round would help with depth at what will be a rotating position in the Bucs’ new defense.
So does ESPN’s Todd McShay who is Kiper’s draft partner who thinks White is the perfect fit for Tampa Bay. Adding to that group is another former ESPN NFL analyst John Clayton, now writing for the Washington Post.
“White is coveted by many teams in the top 10, who are looking for a tackling machine and leader at inside linebacker. The Bucs could be tempted by the right trade offer, but if not, White gives them an anchor for their new 3-4 defense,” says Clayton.
There could be a problem if White is off the board then McShay feels strongly that the Bucs might shift their thoughts to picking a pass rushing defensive end like Mississippi State star Montez Sweat.
“If you set a combine record for the fastest 40-yard dash for a defensive lineman (4.41 seconds at 260 pounds), you’re going to make some money,” ESPN’s Todd McShay said in his latest mock. “Sweat has a ton of upside, and Tampa Bay badly needs difference-makers on defense. But there’s also a very real possibility that the Bucs trade back with a team looking for a quarterback, and taking the best available offensive lineman — perhaps Jawaan Taylor — makes sense in that scenario.”
Meanwhile the gang at the Los Angeles Times like the Bucs at the 5th pick in the draft to go with a lineman but this time it is Houston’s Ed Oliver who is also thought to be someone who can step in and start playing from day one.