Beating The Drum For A Linebacker

April 24th, 2021

Missouri LB Nick Bolton.

The Bucs need a guy who can impact a game now, not in 2024. So this is why Joe wants a rookie who can get in a rotation and make plays and not embarrass himself.

In a perfect world at pick No. 32, that would be Clemson running back Travis Etienne. In a near-perfect world, that could also be Missouri linebacker Nick Bolton. An off-the-ball linebacker, Bolton is a three-down backer.

He’s quick enough and damn if he doesn’t tackle. Dude is always around the ball, which is why he makes so many plays.

Joe is pretty convinced if a defender cannot play the run, then he won’t be able to play for Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. And yes, Bolton can play the run. And tackle.

Good ol’ helmet hair Mel Kiper, Jr. of BSPN is of the mind that Bolton is actually underrated by some NFL suits. Kiper placed Bolton on a list of players he believes are being overlooked.

Bolton has flown under the radar a little bit behind off-ball linebackers Micah Parsons and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, but he’s a really good player. He has stellar instincts, and he fills running lanes with the best of them. He had 195 tackles over the last two seasons. He had four games last season with more than 10 tackles. Bolton is always around the ball, and he is a middle linebacker who can play on all three downs.

Projection: Bolton is going to be a second-round pick, likely near the top of the round.

Well, if Bolton is expected to go in the early second round, that means he will be there when the Bucs pick at No. 32, right?

And guess what happens when you are always around the ball like Devin White, the way Bolton plays? You make plays. You recover fumbles. You pick tipped passes. You change games.

Let Bolton eat some snaps and save the legs of Lavonte David and Devin White and you will see those two veterans tear up teams in January and February.


27 Responses to “Beating The Drum For A Linebacker”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    I’ll pound the table & hitch my wagon to a LB w/ bendy levers

  2. Pickgrin Says:

    Yea right – Like LD54 and White are ever coming off the field this year in order for the rookie 1st rounder to get snaps. C’mon, man. Bucs lead the Falcons 34-13 with 10 minutes remaining, Joe thinks the kid can find some snaps. –Joe

    Good bet he’d be a hell of a special teamer though……. and thats what you would be spending a 1st rd pick on. Special teams and the future.

    Now If either White or David gets hurt – then yea – it would wind up being a good move. Otherwise – probably not this year.

    Get a D-line player with our top pick. Greater need and at least he would be in the rotation and getting some live game snaps.

  3. Casual Observer Says:

    IMO, a guy like Duncan or an OLB (edge guy) will be our first pick. In the first or early second round. I’m sure Licht will select a good one. Looking forward to his picks.

  4. Casual Observer Says:


  5. Bucs Guy Says:

    Not saying I know more than JL. But I would trade back into the top of the 2nd for DE Payton Turner fro mHouston and a 3rd round pick. I would go after IOL with the other 2nd rd pick. I like Quinn Meinerz if he’s still there. If not, maybe CB in the 2nd and david Moore from Grambling late on Day 3 instead for the OLine.

    Now you have two 3rd round picks you can move up with using your 5-7 round picks. Let’s be honest, the chances of any of those picks making the team in 2021 is almost zero. I would target the other two positions with those picks.

    I know this isn’t a sexy draft with no RBs, WRs or QBs but you can pick one of these up on day 3 with any picks left.. The Bucs are all in for 2021 so focus on depth that will play some, can contribute if there’s an injury and can be developed to start in 1-2 years.

  6. Bucs Guy Says:

    DE, IOL, CB and DT in that order preferrably.

  7. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Licht is saving the second round for a kicker.

  8. Bucanero Says:

    not too shabby

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Outside of a QB, I don’t know what or who I want the Bucs to pick this year. I just hope they are good picks that will help post-Brady.

    I do feel a QB is a must though.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I suspect the Saints won’t be without a quality starter for long at QB.

  11. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Good choice, Minter and Buchanan aren’t getting any younger and Cichy can’t
    stay healthy.

  12. Jeagan1999 Says:

    An undersized LB, fast, good instincts, sure tackler, can rush the passer and drop into coverage, sounds like this guy has “Tampa 2” written all over him.

  13. Allbuccedup Says:

    Trade up get Mac Jones!

  14. Hawk Says:

    With the Bucs not having any ‘critical’ needs, it might be a good year to trade up. The lower picks are not likely to make the team for two reasons.
    #1. The team is stacked. It would be difficult to replaced a backupo with a low-round pick.
    #2. With fewer opportunities for a low pick to show his skills (Shortened OTAs and preseason), they are even less likely to bump a player on the current roster. I would even consider trading some of next years lower picks. If the Bucs go deep in the playoffs again, those picks will be even less valuable. And the NFL might cut even more preseason games next year.

  15. windbaggery Says:

    This is a badass dude. Draft him.

  16. #1bucsfan Says:

    Love this ideal. Not a lot of depth behind LVD and White. It’s adds insurance if one of them go down or come down with the sickness lol also the biggest part is LVD isn’t getting any younger let Bolton help keep LVDs legs fresh come playoff time. Sets us up for the future and he could make a impact now in a rotation

  17. Mitch Says:

    Bolton would be a good pick. A step slower than Lavonte, but a good LB with solid production while in school.

    He, Ossai (at LB not EDGE), or Zaven Collins, would be great picks at LB and the bucs could still grab an EDGE rusher in the 2nd.

  18. Swampbuc Says:

    Etienne is a 2nd rounder and likely available at 64. Don’t waste a premium pick on a RB.

  19. SB~LV Says:

    A trade up for alphabet out of Notre Dam
    if it’s workable… guy is all football and fast

  20. BUCFAN4LIFE Says:

    Excellent “post” Joe !

  21. firethecannons Says:

    Joe is right! this kid could of played multiple games for us, many 4th quarter games and almost the entire Lions game. I like this article–I did not know about Bolton–time to retire jack cichy before some other part of his body tears open.
    also would like to get a punt/kick returner later in draft

  22. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    RB, RB, OL, DL

  23. Stanglassman Says:

    This guy will make any team who drafts him better. If the Bucs don’t draft him I sure as hell don’t want another nfc south team to.

  24. Jbeachbuc Says:

    With a name like Nick Bolton how could you go wrong??

  25. Mike28277 Says:

    Couldn’t agree more Joe

  26. David Says:

    I would love him as a pick. Playmaker who does not miss tackles. He could totally get in at linebacker in coverage with LVD and allow Devon way to rush the QB on passing downs. Heir apparent for LVD

  27. BigMacAttack Says:

    I love this kid. He was my first choice for our pick this season even though I’d like a CB/Safety more now. I’d be happy with this pick.