A Look At The Buccaneers’ Stable Of Linebackers

March 12th, 2019

Now that a gargantuan contract has been bestowed upon Kwon Alexander by the 49ers, the Bucs have 10 other linebackers on their roster to consider.

You won’t need to sit down to read this. And your socks certainly will stay on your feet.

Kendell Beckwith (injured)
Devante Bond (just re-signed — injury-prone and more of a special teams guy)
Riley Bullough (might not make another NFL roster)
Jack Cichy (blown knee)
Lavonte David (stud)
Cameron Lynch (free agent tomorrow)
Kevin Minter (free agent tomorrow)
Corey Nelson (NFL veteran with 6 career starts)
Adarius Taylor (free agent tomorrow)
Emmanuel Smith (Who?)

Combine this with the Bucs’ no-name, no-production secondary and its easy to understand why a chunk of fans are nervous.

The good thing is there’s plenty of time to add quality bodies, and there’s a solid defensive coaching staff in place to let us all see how much of a difference coaching can make.

Joe sure hopes Year 8 for 29-year-old Lavonte David is a big one. He might be the team’s No. 1 X-factor on defense — unless he’s playing alongside a rookie linebacker drafted at No. 5 overall.

67 Responses to “A Look At The Buccaneers’ Stable Of Linebackers”

  1. Bird Says:

    That is pretty scary.

    I know we need pass rusher to get after QB
    However , Devin white would look good in buc Jersey.
    We stay at 5 and take best player for best need which is Dline and linebacker

    We can get over the hill guard in free agency that is better then Benenoch
    Or draft one in 2nd or third round

  2. Destinjohnny Says:

    After 5 drafts this is what we have….

  3. James Aliaz Says:

    Yeah, David, Beckwith (possibly done), Minter and maybe Cichy is all I see as relevant. The rest of those are a sad bunch. That is not quality depth. That core of LBs aren’t going to make anyone lose sleep.

  4. AwShbucs Says:

    Welcome to Tampa Bay Devin White. Like it or not Joe this pick just became about 90% more likely with Kwons departure.

    Don’t really understand how you can place the blame of so much of the defensive woes of the past few seasons on Kwons shoulders but in them same breath say that you don’t think a dominant prospect at MLB wont make enough impact on the IRA podcast.

    I get it. I want a top flight Dline and stable of edge rushers as well. But this upcoming draft is 3 rounds deep on the Dline. Jaylon Ferguson is on my radar and could be a Yanick Ngakoue type of draft pick for us due to the issues that prevented him from testing at the combine.

    If Quinnen William’s or Josh Allen or by some miracle Nick Bosa, you take them no question. But they very likely wont be. I’m not sold on Sweat and definitely not sold on Rashan Gary. I like Ed Oliver a lot. But Devin White is a special player man.

    I have no doubt that if he’s the pick he’ll be a fan favorite and you’ll eventually come around.

  5. joestang Says:

    Devin white is a cant miss pick. We need help at LB

  6. Bucsfanman Says:

    “That is a fierce LB corps”……said no offensive coordinator, EVER!

  7. ModHairKen Says:

    Kwon was not as good as he gets credit for being. The defense has been horrible the entire time he was here. Wish him the best, but he’s not as good as the money paid to him, and time will bear that out. As for bitching about the drafts and quality of leftover LBs, every pick is not going to pan out. Sometimes, it is take what you can get. No team has an All Pro at every position. Licht took a chance on the FSU K and it did not work out. Give it a rest, people.

  8. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    The bucs will be ok with 2 stud LBs in LVD and D White because they will have enough secondary guys to fill out the tweener role, I am guessing whitehead will be the rover guy…problem is when they do get run on if they have enough DL and people up front to slow them down, I am hoping that bowels has some exotic looks and the defense has discipline enough to know their roles and make tackles and stops

  9. BetterBucFan Says:

    Devin White here we come!

  10. Locked In Says:

    Are we gonna call the D-line stunts ‘bowels movements’? I am 100% on-board with D White in 1st, then concentrate on the lines in the next couple rounds. Secondary help in FA. I’m wondering if the top 3 DL are gone by 5, will Licht take a trade down hoping White is still around a few picks later?

  11. zzbuc Says:

    How much salary cap, we had on the last three years?
    How much salary cap we have now?
    Do we have a talented roster?

    Good job by the management!!!!

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Joe, please do the same with the WRs.

  13. Joeypoppems Says:

    Is LB the biggest need now? Could be a fun debate. I say yes.

  14. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I don’t really get the worry/panic on D.

    We’ve had a bottom 3-5 D through Raheem / Lovie / Dirk & Smitty. No free agent signings are going to give me some hope of a fix because we’ve seen for 10 years that is not how this sh1t works. We typically spend big on D in FA and are super dissapointed. Overpriced D-line because we can’t draft a front 7. Over the hill CBs because we can’t draft good ones.

    Draft & Develop. We’ve sucked 4ss at this. Dominik was the worst in the league. Licht has not been good either and the coaching staffs have all basically been terrible as no one is getting new jobs outside of Monken and Koetter as an OC.

  15. Jmarkbuc Says:

    With all the needs we have, It can’t be possible for Licht to miss in the draft.

    Unless he goes for the best long snapper available….


  16. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tendered exclusive rights player OL Mike Liedtke.

    Tendered exclusive rights player S Isaiah Johnson.

  17. pepsi Says:

    Resign Minter, cross your fingers on Beckwith, Bullough for depth against run heavy teams, draft LB in third round, and sign a couple low tier FAs. we have stud Lavonte David, we just need a couple competent guys(minter could be one) to put in. Teams dont need a corp of stud non pass rushing LBs.. its really not an emergency situation. If were lucky Josh Allen will be one of our LBs. If they felt that desperate about then Devin White would be the pick, but I dont think thats necessary.

  18. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    The defense can’t get much worse. The new staff has seen the film. Even the practices. They should know by now which guys can stay and learn and which ones just need to find another team. This is just the beginning of the gutting of this defense. I’ve got one foot on the Devin White wagon. Dude is nasty and fast as hell, but he’s very raw and lacks LB instincts at this point. He’s a former RB and it shows in the way he plays LB. That being said he’s got all-pro abilities just needs some serious NFL coaching.

  19. SCBucsFan Says:

    Pepsi Bullough is just too slow. In the new NFL LBs have to cover swift TEs – he can’t do that. He’s an AAFL player.

  20. passthebuc Says:

    you look at the talent and the cap space, and JL is still here? And you expect something different.

  21. ncbucsfan Says:

    The roster at LB outside of Levante David is God-awful at this very moment. However, that doesn’t mean we are drafting Devin White at #5. If he is available after a trade-down great, but we need bodies badly. If Beckwith and Cichy can return to health, then it isnt as bad as it looks. They both would be ILBs in our defense. Noah Spence will be a stand-up OLB in our 3-4 sets or situational “Amoeba” looks! JPP may be a rush OLB as well on early downs. Thats why I would prefer to draft Quinnen Williams to pair with Vea and GMC in our base sets. Maybe Josh Allen slips to add to our rush OLB depth. Maybe we trade back and snag Brian Burns. Maybe we trade back multiple times in the 1st to accumulate an additional 3-4 picks in the first 3 rounds?

  22. WhoisQanon? Says:

    I thought we just signed Minter?

  23. firethecannons Says:

    Good article! Times like this I realize it was good that Licht re-signed Donovan Smith and Dotson because the entire draft needs to be spent on defense. We do need a starting caliber guard and a cheap running back like cj anderson. Anyway–Devin White in round 1 is a must. We need safety and corner and edge and we need Khalen Saunders–dude has a high motor! FA for corner or guard. Last year Licht made his biggest moves well into the FA period so hopefully it works out for us.

  24. rrsrq Says:

    Devin White
    Devin White
    Devin White
    I was all in on an edge or DT to replace GMC, but looking at that list, can you say with the 5th pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select LSU linebacker Devin White. He is a guy that combine results actually match the on field production. He doesn’t have to act like a leader, you can see it in him. This guy May be the best of the bunch of those coming out of LSU over the past few years

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    I suspect the Bucs will draft maybe 2 LB’s, especially if Beckwith is done as numerous reports opine…

    I would be totally happy with White at #5, unless the Bucs trade down and get Bush plus another decent pick.

  26. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Banking on Beckwith and Cichy is dangerous stuff..

    Cichy played like one play and blew his knee out..again.

    I think Beckwith is done done.

  27. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I know Joe/the commish are really down on Devin White at 5 but this is one of the few times I am not sure I agree with the logic.

    The comish logic = top 5 picks should be spent on certain positions and not RBs/LBs typically. Joe logic = pass rush is only thing worth that high a pick.

    However – this draft is deep in DL/OL to where you can get guys in R2 / R3 with great athletici upside. It is not the same depth at ILB and there basically is no one in the same class as Devin White.

    We also saw last year a RB worth taking that high (Barkley) and an OG go that high (Nelson) because they were just that good compared to the next best player.

    So if you’re looking at Devin White vs Rashan Gary for example – then give me Devin White all day because I trust him as a prospect much more to immediately be a top player at his position in the league.

    Also – an ILB just signed for $17M a year. The whole idea that ILBs are not worth that much compared to OTs or CBs just went completely out the window with that deal.

    Mostly what this comes down to IMO is how they view White vs the top 3 guys like Williams/Allen/Bosa, and how they view White in that next tier.

    If they like White/Sweat/Oliver/and the UF tackle or something all equally for example – then I’d assume trade back would be the move and taking the BPA that falls

  28. AlteredEgo Says:

    Sad about Beckwith’s career maybe being over…same thing happen to Hugh Green who was a beast !…he did come back after his car accident and then traded away but was never the same….think of Derrick Brooks with a mean streak …every bit the player that #55 was

  29. Says:

    I have a solution…

    Let’s bring in Bill Belichick. Pay him 100mm a year. Send out a bunch of high schoolers onto the field and pay them in Skittles and Fortnight gift cards.

    And win a super bowl.

    The bar has been set every single year by that guy and the Pats. The rest of the league is JV. It ain’t that hard.

  30. Bucamania Says:

    Really hope Beckwith come back. He’s better than Kwon.

  31. Todd Says:

    Rumors are flying that we’re close to restructuring James Winston…providing a $20 million signing bonus and extending him 4 years at $22 million per year.

    The bonus impacts 2019 opening up an add’l $10 million of cap space.

  32. Todd Says:

    BTW. You’re welcome.

    You’re welcome in that I just wanted to provide an unsubstantiated rumor to make this thread interesting…as it’s pretty depressing as is.

    I totally made this up. But…admit it….for just a second your adrenaline spiked a bit.

    Damn I’m bored.

    DO something, Bucs!

  33. Jason S. Mclaurin Says:

    Yeah Devin White is the pick for sure. They should find a way to get two top five picks so we can Allen and White because we’re gonna need both of them at this point. Maybe we salvage the offseason and sign a vet like Suggs to pair with JPP as edge rushers but I think they need two LB out this draft in the first two picks preferably and the real crunch is that they need a RG as well my prediction is that they draft White find a trade partner to get back in the first round and they draft a guard from there. I can see them trading back into the second as well to draft another LB to rush off the edge.

  34. TOM Says:

    I do believe the Bucs can trade down & still get White or Bush. Keep an eye on Terill Hanks (new Mexico State) in 4th rd.

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “He (LVD) might be the team’s No. 1 X-factor on defense — unless he’s playing alongside a rookie linebacker drafted at No. 5 overall.” Good point Joe. And yes, IF we draft Devin White then LVD would fall to the No. 2 X-factor on defense because I’m convinced White would make Pro-Bowl his first year. Oh wait, that’s not how you meant it? (Good try though).

    I’d also love it if Beckwith came back, but we can’t count on that at this point. Right now we have ZERO MLBs in the LB stable (if you take Beckwith as an uncertain). So we NEED not only a starter, but also someone as a backup. I’m onboard with re-signing Minter (for cheap), but I’d also like to see us re-sign Taylor. He did a very nice job last year of filling in for Kwon at MLB, and is certainly a very qualified backup. The Bears seem to think so also, and may be looking to pick him up as a key backup player from what I’ve read. He’s better than many seem to give him credit for.

  36. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Ncbuc – Spence is a total bust. Silly to count on him as someone that will help out. He was a healthy scratch most of last year for a horrendous defense. It isn’t because Koetter didn’t know how to use him, its because he’s too small and not good enough.

  37. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    This defense being built right before y’all eyes sadly not many of you can see it. The first words out their mouth’s at the combine “M.J. Stewart is a safety” that should help you understand his shortcomings at nickel last season(translation don’t expect money to spent on a safety,they’ve drafted two in 2nd round last few drafts)Carlton Davis if you compare his combine numbers,size,height & weight especially “arm length” to Richard Sherman and Stephone Gilmore they basically the same. Add inn Vea that’s 3 defensive starters from last draft. All this team is in need of defensively is 1 That speed demon DEVIN White and vet corner.

  38. gotbbucs Says:

    Add Safeties that can play in the box and LB’s that can blitz.

  39. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    Stink said on bspn year before last. Building a defense from the front back is a outdated way of thinking. Those in the know now know you build from the back forward. That’s why Belichess has no issue allowing rushers to leave but Devin McCorty and Patrick Chung always remain.

  40. catcard202 Says:

    In the Bowles 3-4 hybrid, Spence as rush OLB.
    Bucs need a Low Budget LB Reboot regardless.
    Look for Buchanon to be targeted in FA (SS/WLB hybrid)
    Could easily see FO draft a EDGE-OLB @ #5 (Burns/FSU) & an undersized MLB in the 4th (David Long Jr/ WVU)…While adding a UDFA or two after.

  41. SCBucsFan Says:

    Barr staying with Vikes. So much for hoping Allen slips by them.

  42. Mike Johnson Says:

    Devin White..Please?

  43. SCBucsFan Says:

    And John Brown to Bills. Arians old players are lining up to play with him.

  44. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Agree with Jamaal that they are not prioritizing a high priced safety.

    You have 2 2nd rounders and a 4th rounder now invested there between Evans/Stewart/Whitehead. 2/3 of your group are 2nd year players. We still need a vet presence for depth but I believe they want 2 of these 3 to emerge as the starters.

    Bigger concern is CB IMO. Even if VHIII/Davis were to lock down the outside we would need a reliable 3rd body, and knowing VHIII’s injury history/lack of production we need 2 more bodies.

    Ideally Ryan Smith continues his trajectory and could lock down a #2 CB next to Davis taking over #1, with VHIII acceling in the slot, but that’s scary as f8Ck to count on lol

  45. 813bucboi Says:


    the LB class is weak this year, but we’ve gotten by with drafting LBs in the lower rounds….beckwith and kwon are perfect examples….

    i agree i would go white over gary but imo if it comes down to those 2 i’d trade down….

    we’ll see how it goes…..


  46. bucs4ya Says:

    Can’t lie I find that list of linebackers comical. What I can’t wrap my head around is how Joe continually bashes Kwon for being the leader of the worst defense in the league and we got better with him hurt which is all a crock because we got better after they fired Mike Smith and Kwon was balling the game he got hurt in. Now I’m not saying that we should’ve resigned him but I say all that to say this how do you give GMC a pass all these years? He’s been the face of this basement defense for years and is somehow still here. Get rid of him and truly begin the culture change on that side of the ball. Winning is fun anyone that wants to have fun while you’re losing isn’t a leader and need to go.

  47. SOEbuc Says:

    I think they’ve already made their decision. WHITE ALL DAY! This sh!t show LB corp was down to about third string the entire year in 2018 and now kwon is gone.

    White is a a motor running speedy man beast. He is an amazing MLB but has so much strength and speed to break through the oline to get to the QB (and behind Vita for christ sake). Him and LVD are some serious ball punchers, also.


  48. donuts Says:

    Are the Bucs awake? Licht is probably napping in his Ostrich onesie with his head in the sand.

    Mosley gone….who I would have ditched GMC to bring in.
    Honey Badger…nope

    Here is another viewpoint: could the consistent losing (11 years), bad culture/GM/MRSA, and big question mark at QB be hindering the Bucs ability to attract FA? I would say yes if you chat in NFL circles. This team has yet to manage a big attitude FA type player with any degree of savvy> see Keyshawn, Revis, and now DJAX as examples.

    The 5-11 record does not lie and neither does history.

  49. SOEbuc Says:

    Lord C

    CB IS DEFINITELY OUR #1 PRIORITY IN THE SECONDARY. And no one (including Joe) seems to be paying attention to getting a top tier FA or trade. Everyone been talking about +$10 million safeties like Badger and Collins that we don’t need.

    People must be out of their minds if they want our outside CB opposite of Davis to be VH3 or Smith. Top tier or above average vet. VH3 did look good in the nickel the very short amount of time he was starting there last year.

  50. Doctor_berto Says:

    As much as I want a d lineman in the top of the first, we may need to draft Devin White.

  51. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Just checked CBS, SI and Walter Football’s mock drafts.

    Everybody agrees AZ takes Murray. One had Chucky taking Drew Lock ahead of us and the Giants grabbing Haskins at 6th.

    Point being…QB’s are in play again which is why two of those drafts had us getting Josh Allen! Joe would be orgasmic.

    Bosa and Williams are gone! But White is slated to go 8th in the highest down to 11th and one had him going 17th! If he lasts past 10 we might need to package a player(s) and draft pick to move up to get him. Regardless of what we spent at that point the draft would be a HUGE success if we got both Allen and White!

    What about another OL? Trent Brown who just signed for a bucket of Chucky cash was selected in the 7th round then traded to the Pats for a 5th rounder. That’s twice we could have had him for virtually nothing. There are other players like him in this draft…finding them is difficult but that is Licht and the scouting staff’s job.

    One of the “stars” we are replacing was a 4th round pick! Another was a UDFA! Brate was a UFDA as was Barber.

    If Licht can find a way to get both Allen and White it will be a great draft no matter who else he picks or what FAs he signs!

  52. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    Uhh with proper coaching I want Carlton starting all day. Can’t judge any of these young men based off that joke show coaching received last season. No one was clamoring for Richard Sherman coming out of school a converted WR. Davis combine and measurable look just like his. Only thing he needs to press 90% of the time much like Sherman in order to utilize the biggest tool. His arm lentgh.

  53. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    They said M.J. Stewart is a safety. Think Devin McCorty,a converted CB also.

  54. ncbucsfan Says:

    Interesting to see Trey Flowers got 18M/yr as a defensive end with 14 sacks the past two years. Franchised Demarcus Lawrence will probably hold out on the Cowboys and they can’t make that type of long-term deal. He may be had during the season…just a possibility.

    Also, I heard we are pursuing Deone Buchanan so that should be coming soon.

  55. ncbucsfan Says:

    Holy crap…..as I typed it the Bucs signed Bucannon…..TRUE STORY lol! Well…..for all the “we have to take Devin White at #5”, which as I’ve stated on here multuple times, may possibly be up in smoke, because Bowles used Bucannon at ILB!

  56. Defense Rules Says:

    Donuts … the only thing hindering the Bucs ability to attract FAs is MONEY. They want it … we don’t have it. The new motto for NFL players should be ‘Get all you can, while you can’. I don’t blame them one bit for going to the highest bidder, with the only ‘discount’ coming if they see an interested team as a SB contender.

    Jamaal … agree that “All this team is in need of defensively is 1 That speed demon DEVIN White and vet corner”. Much as I’d love to have a beastly DE like Allen or Bosa, or a top DT like Williams, our greatest NEED right now is MLB. That’s a critical, critical position in ANY defense and a top talent like Devin White could impact games a lot more than any DE or DT. And I can’t understand how anyone could not prioritize our NEED for a veteran CB to start outside opposite Davis.

    Too many seem to believe that all we need is 22 decent starters and we’ll be good-to-go. Key rotational players are critical IMO (on our DLine for instance, Allen & Gholston were both key rotational players … may not be glamorous FAs, but each of them were important, albeit part-time role players last year IMO). Very interesting 4-year study can be found at https://www.sportfacts.org/nfl-injuries-by-team/ which ranks the teams by the number of players who went on IR per team by year. Bucs did quite well in that study in 2016 (when we went 9-7) but ranked in the bottom third for these past 2 years (when we went 5-11 both years).

    Injuries play a huge role whether we like it or not. It takes DEPTH to overcome a lot of starters, especially key starters. Bucs have had mediocre depth for far too many years. We desperately need to improve in that area by selecting depth FAs better & by drafting better in Rounds 4-7 each year. And if we can’t find depth there, at least have our scouts spend gobs of time scouring the practice squads of the other 31 teams. There’s some excellent talent on some of those PSs, surely better than some of the supposed ‘talent’ we’re NOT suiting up for games week-after-week. Cut your losses early Jason.

  57. GhostofSchiano Says:

    The good thing is there’s plenty of time to add quality bodies, and there’s a solid defensive coaching staff in place to let us all see how much of a difference coaching can make.

    plenty of time just not plenty of money, welcome to salary cap hell.

  58. geno711 Says:

    Lord Cornelius Says:
    March 12th, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    … However this draft in DL talent …

    Not for sure that I am disagreeing with you about defensive line but it seems to me that you probably can get a defensive tackle in the 2nd round because of the great depth but there will not be any superior athletic defensive ends available with our pick in the 2nd round.

    2nd round value IMO appears to be defensive tackle and offensive tackle where the bucs are picking.

  59. gotbbucs Says:


    They used Deone Bucannon all over the field in their defense. You think they’re going to let a 1 year contract signing affect their #5 1st round pick? C’mon.

  60. Jamaal Stanley Says:

    Some of them act as if they smoke good weed gotbucs..

  61. Pancake block Says:

    One of the devins for sure after a trade down(white/bush)

  62. ncbucsfan Says:

    @gotbbucs. Yep, I do!! That’s often what stop-gaps are for specifically. Besides, Bucannon averaged 90 tackles/yr when used as an ILB for Arians. He specifically helps defend Tight-ends and RBs out the backfield…..which are very strong in our division of Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara. We will free up money next year wIth GMC and possibly JPP……thats why we will be drafting their replacements this year (should be 1st rd, preferably GMCs replacement) and signed a fairly injury-free ILB in Bucannon! Maybe Quinnen Williams slips or we trade down for Christian Wilkins as interior lineman….maybe we go OLB. I love Devin White….just not at #5. No way!!

  63. ncbucsfan Says:

    @pancake…..I’m with that!

  64. Bucs Fan Since ‘76 Says:

    Jason Licht’s primary jobs are to acquire talent and manage the cap. We are devoid of talent on defense, and our cap is a mess. Why is he still employed?

  65. BigMacAttack Says:

    Jason Licht, the linebacker whisperer.
    Is there anyone that n that list who isn’t overpaid?

  66. BigMacAttack Says:

    They should keep Taylor Glanton or whatever his name is was will be.

  67. Smackbuc Says:

    Please take best player available in rounds 1 through 3. We will have the option of drafting Devin White, Montez Sweat, possibly even Josh Allen, take any of those 3 in a heartbeat. Top of the 2nd and 3rd round get best player available. We have defficiencies at O-line, LB, D-line and secondary. So then we address RB between rounds 4-6 where there are always guys like Phillip Lindsay, Kareem Hunt and others.