Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL draft: Assessing Bucs at linebacker

Breaking down the Bucs

Who's back: Lavonte David, Adam Hayward, Mason Foster, Jacob Cutrera, Najee Goode, Dekoda Watson. David, the team's second-round pick last year, was a wonderful pickup. He led the team in tackles. Foster continued to play middle linebacker, finishing second in stops. Cutrera, Hayward, Goode and Watson combine to make linebacker one of the more competitive units on the roster. They'll be among the candidates competing for the vacant starting job on the strong side.

Who they picked up: Jonathan Casillas. A free agent from the Saints, Casillas' experience has been mostly on special teams. But the Bucs see him as someone who can contend for the strong-side job. Entering his fourth season, Casillas posted 94 tackles in his previous three seasons with the Saints.

Who left: Quincy Black was having his most productive season when he sustained a career-threatening neck injury against the Chargers last year. Black was injured while tackling San Diego running back Ryan Mathews. It's unclear whether Black will play again. He was released last month with an injury settlement from the Bucs.

Top five in the draft

Arthur Brown, 6-0, 241, Kansas State — An inside linebacker and transfer from Miami, he is dependable in coverage and strong at the point of attack in traffic, too.

Jarvis Jones, 6-2, 245, Georgia — He can play inside or outside. He is considered a good tackler. He started one year for the Bulldogs.

Manti Te'o, 6-1, 241, Notre Dame — He was an All-American who was productive playing against top-notch competition for last season's national runnerup

Alex Ogletree, 6-2, 242, Georgia — A DUI arrest in February is a factor. The junior had 111 tackles and 11.5 for losses in 2012.

Kevin Minter, 6-0, 246, LSU — The playmaking inside linebacker had 130 tackles and 15 for losses for the Tigers in 2012.

Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer

Overall draft assessment

Linebacker is a position where the Bucs have invested numerous draft picks in recent seasons. The selections of Lavonte David (2012) and Mason Foster (2011) have paid off, and enough players are in the fold to fill the remaining roster spots. If the Bucs use a draft pick at this position this year, it likely would be a late-round pick, unless they see an ideal fit at middle linebacker, where Foster is not the perfect fit.

Comments
Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could be suspended for up to three games  next season following the league's investigation into allegations he groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, a Tallahassee radio station reported.Jeff Cameron, a&#...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Zero Bucs players on NFL top 100 list for 2018

Zero Bucs players on NFL top 100 list for 2018

Just to preface this, the NFL Network's annual countdown of the league's top 100 players is a made-for-TV deal, good for summer offseason conversation but not carrying any huge amount of real significance.Having said that, it's worth noting that for ...
Published: 06/19/18
Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Bucs defensive end Will Gholston says ‘no excuse’ for disappointing 2017 season

Will Gholston is painfully honest about a 2017 season that wasn't anything close to what he wanted it to be. Ask him about last year, and there are no parentheses in his world to soften what he remembers here."I just played (crappy), completely. That...
Published: 06/18/18
Ex-Bucs WR Lawrence Dawsey worked with team during OTAs

Ex-Bucs WR Lawrence Dawsey worked with team during OTAs

The Bucs had four extra coaches during organized team activities last month as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship, including former Tampa Bay receiver Lawrence Dawsey.Dawsey, 50, played for the Bucs from 1991-95, finishing his time ...
Published: 06/18/18
Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

Bucs journal: O.J. Howard poised to take off?

TAMPA — There's always a lot of attention on the rookie class this time of year, rightfully so. There's a reason the Bucs focused on defense, and DT Vita Vea, CBs M.J. Stewart, Carlton Davis and S Justin Whitehead all look like they could have ...
Published: 06/16/18
Ex-Buc Kellen Winslow pleads not guilty to kidnapping, rape charges

Ex-Buc Kellen Winslow pleads not guilty to kidnapping, rape charges

Times wiresVISTA, Calif. – Former Bucs and Hurricanes tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was jailed without bail Friday after pleading not guilty to nine counts of kidnapping, rape and other charges.If convicted on all counts, Winslow, 34, could face...
Published: 06/15/18
Bucs still don’t know when Jameis Winston will throw another pass that matters

Bucs still don’t know when Jameis Winston will throw another pass that matters

TAMPA — The last pass thrown by Jameis Winston in a regular-season game was his best. The perfectly arced, 39-yard strike to Chris Godwin for a touchdown with nine seconds left gave the Bucs a 31-24 win over New Orleans at Raymond James Stadium...
Published: 06/15/18
Bucs busy on next Ray-Jay renovation with East Stadium Club

Bucs busy on next Ray-Jay renovation with East Stadium Club

The first Bucs home game of the 2018 season is still three months off, but the franchise is busy getting Raymond James Stadium ready with the fourth phase of its $160 million renovation, highlighted by a new East Stadium Club.Construction continues t...
Published: 06/15/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Gerald McCoy sounds off

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Gerald McCoy sounds off

The Bucs wrap up minicamp as Gerald McCoy sounds off on the team getting help for him, defensive line coach Brentson Buckner yelling at the veteran defensive tackle and advice for the young players who now have five weeks off before training camp.Plu...
Published: 06/15/18
Gerald McCoy: ‘Stop saying Gerald got help. No, the Bucs got help’

Gerald McCoy: ‘Stop saying Gerald got help. No, the Bucs got help’

TAMPA — On the last day of minicamp, DT Gerald McCoy made it clear that the new additions to the defensive line are what the entire team needed, not just himself."It's not about me. It's about the team," McCoy said of the addition of five new l...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18