The Analytics Draft Pick At No. 5

April 4th, 2019

“Look, Mr. Glazer, Bruce is making the pick. He’s the boss. I’m just scouting and leading my personnel team. Whatever Bruce wants, even if he wants me to burn this gorgeous jacket.”

A very different mock draft was posted at today, one grounded in data, complemented by a smattering of real-life chats with NFL team officials.

And the Bucs have a clear pick at No. 5 overall in three short weeks. data trooper Cynthia Frelund explained her recent and first foray into the mock draft world today.

So, before you read any further, take note: I am NOT attempting to predict or divine what teams will ACTUALLY DO on draft day. This is not meant to predict how the draft will play out in reality. Rather, I am using this model to, again, examine what teams should do if winning the most games in 2019 is their only goal.

Here’s how my mock works: I use my draft prospect model, explained at the top of the article linked to here, and go deeper to create a numerical value for each player. These ratings can be compared across years.

Then I use my NFL model, adjusted for new free agent signings, to create projected win-contribution metrics by player, position group and side of the ball. These get added up to forecast win totals for the season. An example of these for WRs can be found in the article linked to here.

Frelund goes on to detail more of the guidelines for her mock via the first link above. Regardless, she had the Bucs taking the guy most mockers believe they will at No. 5 overall.

PICK 5  School: LSU | Year: Junior Devin White – LB

Kwon Alexander signed in San Francisco, further depleting a defense that allowed a league-worse 110.9 passer rating last season. Adding my model’s highest-impact linebacker — and the one whose coverage potential is the greatest at the next level — moves the Buccaneers’ win-total needle the most. Separately from the analytics, I have asked 10 individual sources from 10 different teams for their thoughts on him — I ask on-field questions only — and they have all gone out of their way to give glowing “personality” reviews. Of the 100-plus guys I have asked about in this draft class, White is the one I have heard of as having the most positive “intangibles.”

Interesting team-source commentary there from Frelund. She asked about Xs and Os, and she got guys raving about White’s intangibles.

If White is as intoxicating a personality as Joe has heard he is, then it might be hard for Bucco Bruce Arians to resist him if the film matches up.

84 Responses to “The Analytics Draft Pick At No. 5”

  1. SB Says:

    I’d rather have Oliver.

  2. AlteredEgo Says:

    I’d rather have a linemen

  3. FlBoy84 Says:

    Having a feeling lately Brian Burns will be the pick after a trade down. No hard evidence, just a hunch. Offers a lot of versatility at both DE and as an OLB with coverage ability in Bowles’ scheme. Positive this will get a lot of negative feedback. Haven’t heard much about Bucs interest in him, which adds to narrative.

  4. BringBucsBack Says:

    It sounds like she spends more time/ effort on this than our GM does. Can she write contracts too?

  5. SOEbuc Says:

    GMC is 31 and no where near worth $13 million/year. I’m taking Ed. Maybe a LB in the 3rd.

  6. Clw JB Says:

    Once upon a time we signed a middle linebacker as a free agent that made all the players around him better – if we have to draft him this time we should do what we have to do

  7. zzbuc Says:

    I am with you SB…..Even more I would draft the best OL before a LB…..

  8. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Q. Williams and Oliver might be gone with the recent love of Oliver. I would rather get a DT and have a DE drop into the 2nd round. I just don’t see us not taking Oliver if he is there.

  9. Jean Lafitte Says:

    LB is a need but in the real world it will come down to BPA on the Bucs draft board. They could easily have 5 players ranked ahead of him that are available #5. What we need is our gumshoe JBF reporters to get a glimpse at that Buccaneer draft board. Maybe accidentally get lost in the palace. I’m sure like all palaces their are hidden passage ways.

    lol. ..No ..don’t. j/k

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    @Cynthia Frelund … “Of the 100-plus guys I have asked about in this draft class, White is the one I have heard of as having the most positive “intangibles.” Nope, obviously the Bucs can’t pick him if everyone thinks so highly of him. D’quan Bowers, come on down. Bucs have a spot for you.

  11. gilhealy Says:

    Hey SOEbuc, who the hell’s Ed?


  12. Says:

    The number 5 pick should have tangibles.

  13. Darin Says:

    The Bucs are in this position because they keep neglecting the DE position. And everyone seems to want another high drafted DT. Be a bad move with all the DE’s available. I’m starting to think if they stay at 5 either Allen or Sweat are the pick. The DT was last year boys. No thanks on another. An impact DE is what this team needs and has needed for many years.

  14. gilhealy Says:

    Oh, you probably meant Oliver. My bad. I thought you meant DE, and put it in wrong. Moving on….

  15. Kobe Faker Says:

    “Going to be alittle boring this year because

    Teams wont be moving up for a QB”

    Kobe “Anybody except Montez Sweat” Faker

  16. ChixDigScarz Says:

    Wonder what Frelund’s analytics model says about needing to manipulate our salary cap situation via cutting/trading a 31 year old DT with a $13 million bloated salary, and thus need a young fierce monster to replace that person????? Jam that into your ‘Puter….d2d2d2d2d2d2….

    The ‘Puter spits out the results and it says….QUINNEN WILLIAMS.


  17. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Lol, so many guys say take the BPA and then in another thread they say take the 3rd best DE in the draft instead. Take the BPA at all costs. If White is that guy so be it. If one the top 3 falls and that may change. However, it definitely looks like all 3 will be gone when the Bucs pick. I don’t want the Bucs to reach for a player when a generational LB is there for the taking.

  18. AlteredEgo Says:

    The ‘Puter spits out the results and it says….QUINNEN WILLIAMS.

    you realize that is not a high probability choice…if he is there fine but don’t plan to hard around that…DL….tackle or edge plenty of good choices with only 4 names called…better hope for QB run if Quin is going to fall

  19. Waterboy Says:

    I’d rather have a guy that we’re not talking about replacing or upgrading the position in 3 yrs. I haven’t spent the time researching the prospects this season but if White is that caliber player I’m fine with him at 5. If Oliver is that caliber of a player I’m fine with him also. As long as they solidify a position and don’t end up in a situation like they currently are at CB.

  20. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Chix maybe one in 20 mocks have Q Williams falling to 5. You want to trade up to get him???

  21. Mord Says:

    Well, at least we know which Joe wrote this one … hehe!!

  22. gotbbucs Says:

    White allows the defense the most scheme versatility.

  23. stpetebucsfan Says:

    We are NOT in any situation because of any single position. That’s simply hyperbole. As D.R. continually reminds us football is the ultimate team sport. LOTS of positions have to be manned by quality players who play well together as a coordinated unit.

    Coaching comes into that coordination along with play calling.

    The position generally conceded as the most important on any team is QB. JW has left a lot to be desired. This is not the same as hating on JW or blaming the losses on him alone. There is PLENTY of blame and many reasons for our current predicament. IMHO if our QB has the big year we expect we’ll win. It’s as simple as that.

    I do not believe any single draft pick is going to turn us around and get us over some mythical hump. The analysis of this woman makes a lot of sense to me however.

    If White is Kuechly level talent (that’s another debate…I’m not saying he is or isn’t) as the piece points out he will make the most bang of all the possible choices.

    How many times did we see N.O’s RB’s catch it out of the backfield…The Panthers ditto…our LB’s were not great. I love LVD but really…why did so many teams get giant gains from short passes in the LB’s zones…or run the ball down our throats.

    We need bigger faster LB’s and White is a start. Unless of course you do not consider him a major talent.

  24. Smashsquatch Says:

    Trade down, collect draft capital for this year and next. Three top 40 picks plus another one in 2020 trumps two top 35 picks this year

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’m for picking the best player available at a position of need….that would be,
    Allen, Williams, Bosa or White at this point IMO.
    When you start considering others like Sweat & Oliver you are probably picking the third or 4th best…..
    White is a consensus best MLB….and we need one.

    It sounds to me that there may be so many options at 5 that many fans will not be happy with the pick. We would be better off if there was a “no brainer” choice….maybe Allen or Williams will drop.

    A trade down (not too far) could still produce a very good player of need…

    I am concerned more with the 2nd & 3rd round pick…..Licht has a history of bad picks there…..hopefully Arians & Bowles will be the primary influence on all picks this year….and I think they will be.

  26. Jonathan Lipnicki Says:

    I love the Licht Weight movie usher costume…Joe’s photography skills are very underrated. 🙂 Lots or talent on the board @ 5. Blowing the 17 point lead in the season finale was a good thing.

  27. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    LB’s are the strength of a 3-4 defense not Ends…

  28. BucEmUp Says:

    Oliver could play well. Oliver looks dominant.

  29. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    Take white and never look back!

  30. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    If most the people on this site don’t want him the I know he’s the right pick lmao

  31. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    Bucs added a DT today..

  32. Buccaneerscotty Says:

    Nick Thurman

  33. AKickInTheBucNuts Says:

    Damn! We could of had a V8!

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    The Bucs have had great success drafting LB’s under Licht, so I’d go with the idea of getting a top defensive lineman early, or trading down a few spots and getting a top corner.

    I mean I won’t hate the pick by any means, you’d have a day 1 start who by all means should be a pro bowler pretty early in his career, so that would make the pick look good. But I also have a lot of confidence in Licht to find a guy who is really really good in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th as well.

  35. Not there yet Says:

    Geraldine would be. Bigger hole than kwon could ever be, I think most people are doing their mock as if the Bucs are not trying to replace Geraldine. I no longer think linebacker is the biggest need and definitely should not be the pick without trading down

  36. Buc believer Says:

    Knowing Jason Gump he will probably draft a holder with the 5th pick and give Batman a raise to 20 million a year…. NO faith in Licht!

  37. Christopher Schiefen Says:

    I’ll keep saying it: Belichick runs a hybrid like Bowles. Who does he keep getting rid of? Chandler Jones, Trey Flowers, Richard Seymour. Who does he keep? Tedy Bruschi, Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower.

  38. WillieG Says:

    Glowing personality? Great intangibles? LSU? Yeah, we’ve had one of those captaining the worst defense in NFL history.

  39. ChixDigScarz Says:


    Lol…cool. You put your faith in “mocks” huh. Do all 20 of your supposed mocks, that you have read so dutifully, account for trades, trades that will go down in round 1 during the live bullets firing??? Nope. And even if you found one that might have trades…..

    1) No one knows what Gruden will do at #4….no one but Jon himself.

    2) Whether or not Murray goes to ARI at #1 as many suspect now, do you think all 7 QB-needy teams from #6 thru #15 will just sit there and let the Giants pick who they want at #6????

    So… don’t “know” squat. I don’t know for certain anything either. What I do know, thus my previous comment for QUINNEN, is….that QB-needy teams owned by billionaires will not be told which QB toy they can or can not have. So they will…….trade. Like WAS at #15. Like DEN and Elway at #10. CIN at #11…new coach doesn’t want Dalton. Patricia as HC at #8 tried to trade Stafford twice before 2018 season, so says the HC himself.

    So… summary, GMC might be a trade toy with a future restructured-contract acquisition to say OAK at #4 should Quinnen get to #4, for Bucs to get him, then OAK

  40. ChixDigScarz Says:

    *gets GMC, and can take whomever they want at #5. Just one example….

    On and on…with scenarios.

  41. Anonymous Says:

    6-10. So it doesn’t make a difference who they take.
    I couldn’t care less this dumpster fire of a franchise will F it up anyway.
    Other than about 5-6 years it’s all bad.
    I’ve seen literally every single game since 1987 and somehow someway it ends badly.
    I don’t know why I chose to like this pathetic loser shi tty year after year team.
    Why are they always so bad you ask?
    Terrible pathetic owners that invest in a pathetic sport like soccer ⚽️
    And the owners before that were even worse.
    I revel in watching this crappy franchise find new ways to lose from week to week.
    I laugh as all you idiot FSU millennials get all butt hurt as if this team is a team with a history of greatness for football.
    Maybe one year I’ll have an actual reason to care.
    But I still continue to plan my sundays around the Bucs games even though the result is usually easily predictable.
    Wake me up when they matter again.

  42. NOSBOS Says:

    Does this make the picture any clearer for you Joe??? Seems everyone outside Tampa see’s Devin White for what he is pertaining to the Bucs accept all GM team building fans on this site. And that iisss. A Perfect Fit.

  43. NOSBOS Says:

    Christopher don’t waste your time bro. Draft night approaches.

  44. NOSBOS Says:

    We all gone see what’s up then.

  45. The Fighting Schiano’s Says:

    Trade back, stack up some picks, take Oliver.

  46. Anonymous Says:

    We should be trying to trade down as much as we are trying to trade GMC!…..w/the same effort!!! No lower than pick #15……should net bare minimum a 2nd rd pick this year and more. Quinnen W./Oliver/Sweat/White if we stay at #5. After a trade down and an additional 2nd rd pick:

    1st: Christian Wilkins (DT)/Rashaan Gary (Edge, OLB)/Cody Ford (OG/OT)
    2nd: Jerry Tillery(DT)/Rock Ya-Sin (CB, nickel)
    2nd: Damien Harris (RB)/Chris Lindstrom (OG)
    3rd: Vosean Joseph ( MLB)/Germaine Pratt(MLB)

  47. Smashsquatch Says:

    Trade down, collect draft capital for this year and next. Three top 40 picks this year and one in 2020 could be the haul to slide back ten picks or so.

  48. NOSBOS Says:

    Oh and czar let me guess it would sensible for the raiders to draft him at 4 but of us at 5 right.. You right who knows what grudog will do but we do know he’s signed two LBr over the summer one of whom Vontez Burfict.

  49. gotbbucs Says:

    It is easier to find 3-4 pass rushers deeper in the draft than it is to find 4-3 DE. College football is full of functional tweener DE/OLB’s.

    I would say this about White, he is dominant and he is still learning the position. I also think it’s possible that he could play both inside and outside in a 3-4 look.

  50. Rashad Says:

    Stopped reading after I saw her with San fran taking CB from Georgia at 2.

  51. Bobby M. Says:

    White is a player in any scheme….4-3….3-4….He fits. When you factor in Licht does have some success drafting LBs….maybe its best not to over think it.

  52. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Cynthia Frelund is really good with statistics and smoking hot to boot. I can’t be the only one that thinks this. Anyway, she makes a good point. As for McCoy being a bigger loss than Kwon, not in a 3-4. I’m ok with White and he won’t be available in a trade back scenario unless we drop back 1 spot with the Giants. That being said I’d rather take a pass rusher if one of the top guys is available.

  53. SteveK Says:

    Give me a trench player at 5.

    If Bosa and Quinnen are gone- then expect one of Allen, Sweat or Oliver to be the guy.

    My preference:

    1 Quinnen
    2 Bosa
    3 Oliver
    4 Allen
    5 White

  54. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    There seem to be so many good players mentioned for us at 5….it is very possible some of them will be there later in the first round.
    Possible partners @ 6, 7, 11, 13, 15

    There are definite possibilities moving down.

  55. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It will be DT or LB.

  56. Anonymous Says:

    @Joebucsfan: Why do you NOT post my comments?

  57. SteveK Says:


    It could be DE?

    Maybe Gary or sweat?

    Both are supreme physical talents.

  58. SteveK Says:

    No way Bosa falls. I’m kind of hoping Murray and Haskins go 1-2, and someone either trades up for Lock, or offers us a King’s Ranom to leapfrog the Giants.

    I will lose my effing mind if Quinnen Williams falls to us. Dude is a BEAST.

  59. Isaac haggins Says:

    Great effort / article but it won’t happen at 5 , even though they are ultra thin a LB

  60. Isaac haggins Says:

    I also don’t think Gary goes in the top 15

  61. NOSBOS Says:

    Put y’all up on a little game. When BA took over the gig one of his first statements was “Levante David is my middle linebacker” now why would he publicly make a point of saying that??? When you figure it out in your mind you’ll see who from day one who this man has been eyeing in this upcoming draft.

  62. admin Says:

    @Joebucsfan: Why do you NOT post my comments?

    Joe gives up. Why?

  63. Billy_43 Says:

    Just don’t understand anyone who says a prototypical 4-3 DE should be picked 1st.

    This in NOT gonna be the Tampa 2 anymore from a 4-3 base.
    They even questioned how JPP would work and BA said they wanted him in Arizona.

    I can totally live with a 2nd or 3rd round linebacker only if we take a DT at 5.

    White should be the pick at 5 if Q is gone.

  64. NOSBOS Says:

    Considering Levante has been a weak side LB his whole career.

  65. Joeypoppems Says:


    Teams are only in their base defense ~30% of the time these days. Even though the defense might not be a base 4-3, they will still use 4 man fronts in Nickel packages.

    3 Tech and DE are still needs

  66. Billy_43 Says:

    Bucs just signed a DT and below is a quote from an article about Todd Bowles.
    It’s aggressive. As Greg Cosell stated, “Now, you could argue that they don’t have a pure pass-rusher, but this is where Bowles comes in. This team blitzes more than any team in the NFL, and they blitz more on first down than any team in the NFL, and they’re creative with their pressures. They’re also very good with disguise.”

    Now what about that makes you think DE will be pick 5?

  67. “That guy” Says:

    I watched some tape of white, and he was getting blown off of the ball in the run game, TB could use him for sure, but not at #5. I think he makes it to the second round after the tape I watched. That being said this is all speculation, good chance I’m wrong with this prediction. I wouldn’t want him at 5 but if he made it to 37 I’d pick him for sure

  68. Joeypoppems Says:

    Mel Kiper’s latest 2 round mock has us taking Devin White at 5 and then Jeffrey Simmons at 39. That is a dream start to the draft imo.

    He also doesnt have some notable EDGE players not picked in the 2 rounds. Chase Winovich, Christian Miller, and Zach Allen to name a few.

    Bucs should dream the draft plays out like that.

  69. Jeffbuc Says:

    Draftwire USA Today has a 4 round mock draft. I hope there’s is exact. It has us trading back with Cincinnati getting there 2nd and 3rd. With the 11th pick getting Oliver. In the 2nd getting Lindstrom the gaurd from Boston college and the safety from Florida’s Chauncey Gardner. The 3rd round getting polite from Florida and Campbell the speedster wide receiver kick returner from Ohio state. Then in the 4th getting the second best running back from Alabama. Who I think is better than the guy they have hyped up. If the draft goes like that I would be ecstatic. Stud defensive tackle and good end with high ceiling. Top 3 gaurd in draft.

  70. NOSBOS Says:

    Uhh Billy making too sense could get you banned around here bro. Be careful😊.

  71. NOSBOS Says:

    I’m talking bout Billy just gave y’all the breakdown and most of you still can’t see the vision.

  72. NOSBOS Says:

    And y’all think just because we can’t jump into a nickle that automatically means four down linemen. You might wanna watch 2018 New York Jets defensive film and see for yourself what Bowles was doing last season.

  73. NOSBOS Says:

    DE’s and 3 techs are not the focal point of these folks scheme. If you can’t understand now you’ll get it come week 1.

  74. NOSBOS Says:

    Tell you something else that’s gone rock some of y’all world. These cats are BIG on that safety position. BA drafted Honeybadger,once Todd was in charge he drafted Jamal Adams. Two studs.. Don’t cry when they draft Johnathan Abrams in the second. He’s In that same mold.

  75. El_Buc941 Says:

    Lmfao! No way in hell does licht (with his job on the line) select a leaning towards Williams. Specially since rumors are floating the bucs are trying hard to trade GMC. Also i think if ed oliver is there by pick 30 we jump up from the 2nd round and take him.

  76. Polkfan Says:

    My man el buc just said Ed Oliver and 30h pic In the same post. Lost for words.

  77. Dapostman Says:

    Q Williams
    J Allen
    D White

    The nice thing is it is a guarantee to get one of these if the Bucs stay at 5.

  78. D1 Says:


    He also said he’s “leaning towards williams”.
    —careful don’t pull anything. …

  79. geno711 Says:

    Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:
    April 4th, 2019 at 6:23 pm
    LB’s are the strength of a 3-4 defense not Ends…

    Tell that to the Houston Texans and JJ Wyatt. Clowney was sometimes considered a linebacker and sometimes a defensive end. But when they went to the nickel which is about 70 percent of downs, Clowney was lining up as one of the 4 rush guys on the defensive line.

    Think of Josh Allen, Brian Burns or Montez Sweat in that Clowney role.

  80. geno711 Says:

    Jeffbuc Says:
    April 4th, 2019 at 9:13 pm
    Draftwire USA Today has a 4 round mock draft.

    Who knows if they are right as you saw but teams value rush defensive ends so much that it is hard for me to believe that Polite will not be picked in the late 1st to early 2nd.

  81. bucsdelight Says:

    Well, her mock is based of data vs. what teams will actually do. 99/100 times AZ is taking a QB here at #1, but I guess they could take Williams. Deandre Baker at #2? No.

    Kyler Murray to Dolphins is plausible, but again, I think AZ is taking him. If not, we could see Dolphins trade up for Murray or Haskins. Giants will probably want a QB as well.

    2nd Rd taking Lindstrom at RG.

    Lindstrom is one of the most athletic interior lineman in the 2019 draft with a rare ability to match movement quickness with anyone across from him. His quickness can place him in position to make blocks on both the first and second levels and he has an impressive ability to cover lateral space and protect his gaps as a pass blocker. Lindstrom is scrappy at the point of attack but lacks the length, mass and strength some teams will want. His final destination could be as a guard/center in a zone scheme where he can become a long-time starter.”

  82. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Buccaneerscotty Says:
    “If most the people on this site don’t want him the I know he’s the right pick lmao”


    Haha, good one man. LOL love it.
    I too am finding this possible pick as very intriguing.

  83. Z31 BUCS Says:

    Anonymous Says:
    “@Joebucsfan: Why do you NOT post my comments?”


    Why would they, with a dumb name like Anonymous?

  84. JameisAlmighty! Says:

    Jason Licht is very good at scouting LSU linebackers.