Underrated Good Fit

January 5th, 2020

Lived large as a rookie.

Yes, when it comes to defense, Joe believes there is no position more important than a pass rusher. None.

In a passing league, a strong pass rusher changes games. That’s all there is to it.

So Joe was aghast when the Bucs, who have a dreadfully too long history of (not) drafting or developing edge rushers, passed on Josh Allen at No. 5 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft to take an inside linebacker. Joe nearly threw up.

And Joe wasn’t the only one outraged. As Andrew Potter of Football Outsiders points out, while linebacker Devin White wasn’t a popular pick in NFL circles, he’s proven his worth.

Devin White was quite heavily criticized as the top pick for a Buccaneers defense that appeared to have more significant needs elsewhere. The Bucs, however, had just lost Kwon Alexander to the 49ers in free agency, and their previous high draft pick at the position, LSU’s Kendell Beckwith, had his career ended early by a car crash injury. An opening-day starter, White helped anchor the best Buccaneers defense since at least 2013, piling up 86 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception, and a fumble return touchdown. He looks to be not only a perfect complement to established star Lavonte David, but the heir apparent at the heart of the team’s front seven.

The one thing that impresses Joe with White is that the dude is a ballhawk. He’s always around the ball. That’s exactly what you want in any linebacker.

And Joe loves how White has proven to be a scoop-and-score artist. White’s two fumble returns for a touchdown were the most by a rookie since Cecil Johnson of the Packers in 1990. White was robbed of a third in Tennessee by an inadvertent whistle.

Joe may not want to draft a specific player, but once he’s wearing Bucs (ugly) uniforms, Joe hopes the guy balls out.

And for a rookie, White balled out this season.

28 Responses to “Underrated Good Fit”

  1. snookman Says:

    I was happy with White, Vea, JPP, Shaq, and Suh this year. Don’t look now but the beginning of dominant defense is about to happen. There is a lot of talent on this team and youth. I see light at the end of the tunnel. This can be the draft and FA period that we put it all together.

  2. Bucsfan77 Says:

    Question Joe, did we have a different scouting team under BA? Was this just a lucky hit or was there something that BA or our scout team noticed. Not saying he was a long shot prospect or a development player. Just curious if BA tuned our scout team with his research team our if it’s the same that we have had and has missed on so many picks.

  3. Matt Says:

    White made tremendous I mean tremendous strides the second half and especially the finally quarter of the season. He played at a Pro Bowl level the last quarter and looked absolutely lost the first few games. This was a helluva resilient defensive rookie class. White just needs to work on his hands in the off season to enable him to get off blocks better and he’ll be a perennial Pro Bowler! Dude hits like a Mac truck!

  4. Wombat Says:

    Guy is a stud!!! Now with Tom Brady being a free agent, please offer him $30m to play for the Bucs. I will buy season tickets again!!!

  5. Brandon Says:

    Our scouts and front office have been largely the same since Licht was hired. The big difference, and what people fail to realize, is coaching. First Licht had to find players for Lovie Smith and his Tampa 2 and Tedford/Koetter offense. He had to find players that would operate best in that system.

    Then he had to find players for Koetter and Mike Smith’s old Raven style defense.

    The issue isn’t players. Licht has mostly brought in very talented players. The previous coaches have failed to utilize them. Aguayo was a bad pick. Justin Evans was a bit of a reach. MJ Stewart looked great in college and was the best DB at the Senior Bowl and ran a decent 40 at the Combine… but he’s too slow. Spence was very highly rated and was projected by many to go in round 1. The only problem pick I have is Aguayo. Licht has done an excellent job. We have the best receiving duo in the NFL. Best young CB trio. A very good TE group. Our LBs are excellent. Tons of potential and youth at safety. A solid base of young OL.

  6. ModHairKen Says:

    Now go get Derrick Henry and Tom Brady.

  7. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    bucs could have drafted derrick henry if they did not have an incompetent gm

  8. firethecannons Says:

    Happy to see White on this team, I’m thinking his best years are in the immediate future. He basically did 2019 like he did in college, lots of QB hassling with an eye on the ball and using his speed to excel.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Wombat Says
    “Guy is a stud!!! Now with Tom Brady being a free agent, please offer him $30m to play for the Bucs. I will buy season tickets again!!!”

    Never going to happen. Brady will play year-to-year for the Patriots until he retires.

  10. Chris K Says:

    Correction. 2 fumble recovers for TD’s, Joe..

  11. '79 Defense Says:

    “…once he’s wearing Bucs (ugly) uniforms…”

    Say no more, Joe. The Glazers must be fully aware, right? Do you have any insight? We’ve past the mandatory five years the NFL requires. –One thing slightly positive I’ll say is that the all white combo looks ok.

    Is pride keeping the Glazers from doing the sensible (if not profitable) thing and making a change? –Hopefully when change comes it’s back to the previous uniform. I’d also gladly take the original, but don’t see that ever happening.

  12. Wombat Says:

    @BBonzai – don’t rain on my parade… one can dream. Plus his average salary with the Pats is $23M, Next year he is supposed to get $30M, but if he stays he will have to restructure. Here he would get $30M no questions asked….

  13. catcard202 Says:

    Drafting a MLB @ #5 (while passing on the most dominate DEF player in the country) means he better be a Ray Lewis type generational player.

    Not sure White will be that kind of player, as not many have ever been that kind of player!

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We have the NFL sack leader…..perhaps that’s why we didn’t draft Allen & went for White……or we could have kept Kwon for $12 mil….

    So…would you rather have Kwon & Allen…..or Shaq & White?

  15. Lavonte 1of1 Says:

    Not to mention Lavonte seems to have taken a huge shine to Devin as well.

    They work very well together, and Devin sponges off Lavonte a lot.

  16. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Well played TBBF. Can’t wait for Joe’s answer to that one.


    like you I’m amazed these hideous unis are still around after the five year minimum.

    But I can eliminate one reason for you and bring up yet another mystery.

    “Is pride keeping the Glazers from doing the sensible (if not profitable)”

    Actually I think it would be far more profitable. Generally when teams change unis they can sell more ‘new” gear. EG I’ve been waiting to buy a #12 for two years now. I hope he still a Buc after we finally change.

  17. MadMax Says:

    This forum has also been a wealth of scouting info for Jason. Joe’s have said it many times, people at one buc read this blog.

    I wish i could get a job doing this. Its just been a hobby for the last 5 years, but im glad to contribute if it helps my team. 12 hrs a day at my full time job takes a lot of my time away from it though.

  18. #1bucfan Says:

    JOE I hear ya on the pass rushers and agree with you but I also know we needed someone to man the middle who is not only fast but intelligent an will lead this team an I saw all those things from white before we drafted him an that’s why I wanted him in a Bucs uni even a ugly uni at that. As he becomes more an more confident in his game I think he will be even faster than what we got to see an the same thing with our young secondary. Let these guys grow together an I see a second coming of the night D we had back in the day. Sprinkle in some veteran leadership an depth an MARK my words TODD BOWELS MAKING BUCS DEFENSE GREAT AGAIN. let’s go Bucs so excited for next year

  19. #1bucfan Says:

    Tbbf. I thought Barret would be good for us especially seeing how he was mentored by von Miller just being around a great an future hall of fame guy like that will inspire you an you can still learn from watching a great bit I didn’t think he would get 19.5 sacks an I don’t think anyone else did either so no one really knew he would be that great an Keon loved his leadership but to many mistakes after so long kinda like Winston so I was happy he left an his durability was questionable. White was hyped up so much so how could you not be excited for him lol I’d much rather have Barret an white lol

  20. BridleOaks Buc Says:

    Devin White is the Rookie Defensive Player Of The Month November and December. He was the best rookie defensive player for the last 8 weeks of the season, including guys named Bosa and Allen….Let that sink in

  21. Tackleblockwin Says:

    In reference to the Bucs Uniforms.

    We need Shaq to put in his contract that the Bucs must change their ugly uniforms for him to sign. Everybody twitter Shaq this amazing idea.

    Also, I figured out Jameis’s interception problem. Clearly, it is because of the uniforms. I blame specifically the numbers on the jersey. I’m fairly confident that if any QB had to stare at those numbers too long they will become dizzy and make bad throws. For Jameis the dizziness problem is doubled because he is near sighted, or far sighted, or whatever they said. The solution is so simple. Change the uniforms, especially the jersey numbers, and we can easily expect 80 TD – 5 INT type results.

  22. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Joe will write a similar article about ROJO next year after Bucs upgrade OLine

  23. Bucsfan951 Says:

    I wasn’t a fan of this pick and still would rather have josh Allen coming off of the edge. They banked on Spence turning the corner. I’m not mad that white is a buc, but I would have rather seen an edge rusher than a lb. just my opinion tho.

  24. Chris l Says:

    I wanted a pass rusher too but props goes to the bucs front office then right? They clearly know football and what this team needs better than us ever Will.

  25. kyle Hoge Says:

    I can surely remember one Joe whining all year about the pick..This Joe wanted Josh Allen…Dude, the bucs had a plan and it worked. You dont know it all, keep working hard and once and awhile you will get a prediction right. haha Joe didn’t predict anything.–Joe

  26. Buczilla Says:

    I’d still rather have Josh Allen, but I ain’t complaining. Dude played his butt off for a rookie and is already better than Barrett Rudd ever was. White has a long way to go in order to be mentioned in the same breath as Nickerson, but I think he’ll get there if he stays healthy.

  27. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Wombat – have you watched the Pats this year? Brady resembles what Peyton looked like at the end. He is a shell of his former self and at 43yo no way in hell a team on the rise like the Bucs will send off the 25yo QB who led the league in passing last year go for a washed up, albeit HOFer, QB. On top of that I am quite sure Brady wouldn’t even consider Tampa as a possible landing spot.

  28. ancientasbuc Says:

    There were very few criticisms of the pick nationally. No raves but few criticisms. It is always funny to read national sources with little presence with the team comment as if they are close to the team. Maybe King, Rapport or Schefter but very few others. You guys have them beat.