Monday, April 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL draft: Assessing Bucs on defensive line

Breaking down the Bucs

Who's back: Ends Da'Quan Bowers, Adrian Clayborn, Pep Levingston, Daniel Te'o-Nesheim; tackles Gary Gibson, Corey Irvin, Gerald McCoy. The Bucs have a lot of pedigree but lack proven depth. McCoy is the leader, coming off his best season and a Pro Bowl selection. Clayborn is coming back from a torn right ACL looking to build on his 7½ sacks as a rookie in 2011. Bowers has been cleared in his gun case and looks to become a full-time left end. Te'o-Nesheim is a better fit as a backup after starting for Clayborn last season.

Who they picked up: End George Selvie; tackle Derek Landri. Landri, who will compete with Gibson for the starting nose tackle job, considered signing with the Bucs last year before rejoining the Eagles. Selvie, a former USF star, looks to jump-start his career after two quiet seasons in Jacksonville.

Who left: End Michael Bennett; tackle Roy Miller. Bennett had a team-high nine sacks last season. But the Bucs allowed him to walk, and he signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Seahawks. Miller, who helped the Bucs lead the league in rushing defense in 2012, was stung by their lack of a rich contract offer and signed a two-year deal with the Jaguars.

Top five in the draft

DT Sharrif Floyd, 6-3, 297, Florida — The premier lineman in this draft, he is both powerful and quick; should cause widespread havoc.

DE Dion Jordan, 6-6, 248, Oregon — Lacks the ideal size to be a 4-3 end unless he can add weight; has elite quickness and projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

DE Ezekiel Ansah, 6-5, 271, BYU — Has significant upside given limited football experience; strength, quickness and versatility are his hallmarks.

DT Star Lotuleilei, 6-3, 311, Utah — Strong and quick off the line, he'll prove to be a handful for interior offensive linemen.

DT Sheldon Richardson, 6-3, 294, Missouri — An ideal candidate to be a 3-technique tackle in a 4-3 defense with his high motor and quickness off the line.

Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer

Overall draft assessment

The Bucs aren't in position to draft an elite defensive lineman after trading their first-round pick. But they might be motivated by their lack of depth and experience to trade up if an attractive prospect slides. Names to watch include tackle Sylvester Williams of North Carolina and end Bjoern Werner of Florida State.

 
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