NFL Suits Claim Devin White Is…

July 8th, 2021

Feedback from NFL suits.

This is a surprise for Joe. Maybe not for Devin White.

Who would you guess NFL suits consider the best linebacker in the game? Would it surprise you these NFL shot-callers believe it’s a guy who has never made a Pro Bowl?

(Column Intermission: Someone at the NFL needs to implode how the Pro Bowl roster is selected or at least make the process a totally open book — put names to the votes. It makes no friggin’ sense. How can guys that NFL people believe to be the best at their positions not even make the GD Pro Bowl roster? This is just so effed up and frankly irresponsible for fans not to mention the players who deserve the honor — and deserve their Pro Bowl bonus money.)

This linebacker NFL suits believe is best wears No. 45 and plays for the Bucs. That’s right, Devin White. A guy who can’t make the Pro Bowl. (Sound familiar, Lavonte?)

Jeremy Fowler is doing his best Mike Sando in speaking with unnamed NFL front office types to craft a list of top-10 players at each position. From his polling data of these personnel people, the man on top for NFL linebackers is White.

1. Devin White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Highest ranking:
1 | Lowest ranking: 7
Age: 23 | Last year: Unranked

White received more No. 1 votes than any other linebacker, and he narrowly won a tiebreaker with NFC West stalwarts Fred Warner and Bobby Wagner for the top spot (all three had similar voting patterns, so we reached out to an additional 10 voters, including three GMs, to break the tie).

“He’s a missile,” a high-ranking NFL official said. “So athletic and strong while doing whatever he wants.”

The league figured White, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 draft, would emerge as a top linebacker soon enough, but the Bucs’ playoff run punctuated his rise. He was all over the place with 38 tackles (three for loss), two interceptions and two fumble recoveries in three games, and that was coming off a bout with COVID-19.

Over the past two seasons — including the playoffs — the Bucs allowed almost a full yard per play more when White is not on the field (5.9) vs. when he’s on the field (5.0) A true 4.4-second 40-yard dash runner, he traveled 16,377 total yards in 2020, per NFL Next Gen Stats, the most from this group. White was overeager as a rookie but found the right balance of aggression and pace late in Year 2.

“When you play him, he can just run,” an NFC exec said. “Your perimeter run game is being controlled by guys [White and Lavonte David] who can stack the box. He could have been a strong safety in the ’90s.”

Could have been a strong safety? Remember, that was the chatter about a former Bucs linebacker when he entered the draft. Some guy named “Derrick Brooks.”

Joe has written the following but it bears repeating. If White plays like he did in the playoffs after a two-game quarantine for testing positive for The Sickness, the Bucs have the next Ray Lewis on their hands.

White played like a possessed animal in the playoffs. It was easily his best three-game stretch and it just so happened to have come in the Bucs’ three-biggest games.

That, friends, is a money player.

White had better results in his first NFL playoffs than Ray Lewis did in his. And Lewis faced far inferior offenses.

White helped shut down, in succession, very likely three Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Drew Brees, drama queen Aaron Rodgers and Pat Mahomes).

The next Ray Lewis? Sounds good to Joe.

31 Responses to “NFL Suits Claim Devin White Is…”

  1. August 1976 Buc Says:

    For me, the first Devin White is just fine. May he set a New Standard for Linebackers. Who knows, but it just might be so.

    BTW Joe have you ever done a post on Hugh Green from the early 80’s? Would be cool to see to something about Hugh, awesome LB and personal favorite back in the early 80’s. To bad about the Crash on Dale Mabry when he broke his orbit Bone ( Eye Socket ) I know many fans today maybe have never even heard of Hugh, but when he was on the Bucs before the injury, Hugh Green he was a man among boys as a LB. When he was traded mid season in 85 to the Dolphins, he was never the same. BTW Hugh was the first player to have a shield installed in the helmet so he could come back and play.

  2. Slugglife Says:

    If only we could have drafted Ed Oliver, instead of the “Savior of the Defense.”

    You know who you are….

  3. Buczilla Says:

    White is a keeper for sure and my dumb a$$ wanted Josh Allen. Thank you Joe’s for calling out the utter d-baggery that constitutes the pro bowl voting. Our guys have got to be above and beyond lesser players just to get a whiff of the accolades that they deserve.

  4. dmatt Says:

    Our Buc players are always short changed. LDavid consistently balled out year one n beyond n was always overlooked until recently. Carlton Davis is a baller at his position. He has consistently shut down some of the best but is not acknowledge because he happens to be Carlton Davis of the Bucs. Ali Marpet has been consistent n tough as nails since entering the league but he too plays for the Bucs.

  5. Bird Says:

    Yards tracked is pretty cool

    And he just ran 4.31 in that charity race
    He wanted to be first 100 mil inside linebacker
    Barring any unforeseen injury …that looks like it could happen

    Dude is a stud and played best in the biggest games
    That is a sign of a baller.

    His coverage got better …his only weakness… and if he takes one more step forward in that regard…he is the best..

    And lavonte right there too
    Great white …the heat sinking shark missle

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Devin White…..Savior Grizzly

  7. Hodad Says:

    That’s all going to change. He’s a SB champ now who plays with Tom Brady. Look at our prime time schedule this year. The league knows who White is, this year the whole country will know who he is.

  8. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Now that we have won the Super Bowl, there should be no excuses for future Pro Bowl votes.

  9. Waterboy Says:

    Joe: “But you don’t draft a MLB at 5”. Where did Josh Alllen from Jax rank?

  10. Wild Bill Says:

    Players from large major markets get the most attention. It’s a media bias.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Wild Bill … Don’t know about ‘media bias’, but I’m pretty sure Pro Bowl selection has a lot to do with WHO gets to vote. For instance …

    “The Pro Bowl players are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group’s vote counted one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who were selected to the Pro Bowl. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its All-Star teams.”

    Seems to me like ‘the process’ is already stacked to favor larger market teams because they typically have more fans & get more visibility. As Deep Throat said to Bob Woodward in the movie ‘All the President’s Men’ … ‘Follow the Money’.

  12. Gofortheface30 Says:

    Some of you need to seriously get laid. It is true – you generally don’t draft a linebacker at 5 over a d lineman. Defensive lineman are too important in today’s game. You sexless d-bags that are so eager to point out when a blogger is wrong (and yet you still come back to read) aren’t being reasonable. By the way, you DO know that arguing for the exception versus the norm does NOT reinforce your argument right? Turns out the Bucs have a potential hall of fame middle backer on their hands so it all worked out. You think Joe gives a f’ing F that his opinion in this particular instance was wrong? Wow, you guys are so bold having the luxury of hindsight and all that..

  13. Buczilla Says:

    Thank you Joe’s for cleaning up what I said. I tend to let my emotions type for me at times. Y’all are the best and I appreciate being able to vent here and give my 2 cents. 😋

  14. SlyPirate Says:

    #1 LB – ??? … No.

    1. Roquan Smith
    2. Bobby Wagner
    3. Devin White

    That said, White’s trajectory is crazy. I could see him being DPOY next year.

  15. Leighroy Says:

    Devin White became the monster we all hoped he’d be mid-season, and was a terror in the playoffs. Problem is, Pro-bowl voting was already over by then.

    So easy with the crusade here folks, the word is out now. It may have been too late for the voting, but #thereal45 peaked just in time for the ultimate prize.

  16. PSL Bob Says:

    August 76′, nice bit of trivia there. Hugh Green was a beast!

  17. SB Says:

    The no. 5 pick overall is too high for a LB!

  18. SB Says:

    Also Joe you forgot to mention that Lavonte was ranked 5th

  19. webster Says:

    Gofortheface you are wrong on many levels. First, it is not hindsight for many who are bashing joe right now because many on this site did not understand why joe was so adamant about not picking white at 5 prior to the draft. The guy was a freak of nature and very worthy of his potential draft location. Joe was against drafting guards high in the first round and many like myself was clamoring for the bucs to pick Quentin Nelson if they could. All nelson has done is be the best guard in the league from day 1. You draft the best player position be damned. The logic in your statement that you don’t draft a mlb over a dlineman is so off base. What is the use of drafting a d-end who is probably a late 1st or early 2nd round grade at 10 when you can draft lets say a safety who you have a top 10 grade on? It makes no sense. You draft ed reed/Sean Taylor all day if you feel they are special. That is why players slip in the draft because some may have that stupid rule of not picking a linebacker over a d-end. Wrong, you pick luke keckly when he is starring you in the face and you pick Devin White at 5. The bucs saw and thought he was special and it turns out they were right. That is how you draft. Position be damned

  20. Coburn Says:

    I’m not sure if White is the best backer on the team, but they’re both up there. Damn shame it almost feels too late for LVD

  21. Coburn Says:

    I would clarify that with a “yet”

  22. Waterboy Says:


    My thought exactly not much needs to be added to that. You don’t pass on higher graded talent to take a guy that’ll you’ll be looking to upgrade in a few years just because he plays a position that you see as higher importance.

  23. Colonel Angus Says:

    Webster, thats because Joe wanted a pass rush, which wins games. See Super Bowl 55. We didn’t know what we had in Shaq B yet.

  24. geno711 Says:

    @Colonel Angus Says:
    July 8th, 2021 at 1:13 pm

    Lots of ways in the NFL to win it all. Some thought we needed one of the best running attacks and wanted to copy Tennessee two years ago as well.

    Many ways as you can be very good include:
    Having one of the best QB’s.
    One of the best rushing attacks to set up pass.
    Have an elite offensive line.
    One of the best pass rushing teams.
    One of the best run stopping teams to make the other team one dimensional.

    The more things you get from above, the better chance you have.
    We hit on a few last year during the playoffs.

  25. Bellingham Bucs Fan Says:

    Love him, but he’s not even the best LB on this team.

  26. MadMax Says:

    Thats right! Best LB and I started talking about him and wanted him for our #5, pick, in november, way before the draft.

    Best NT/DT, Big V, again, I was talking about him and wanted him way b4 the draft

    Best RT in Wirfs, again, I was talking about him and wanted him before the draft

    Why am I not a friggin scout for my team (that is paid) im just going to start keeping it to myself!

  27. Duane Says:

    I agree with the notion that White isnt going to be the next Ray Lewis, because he is clearly a different player. This cat is unique. You cant compare him to other players because he is 4.4 guy with outrageous instincts to collide with other players. Im not even sure this guy is even close to being a finished product. This guy fills the holes, beats everyone to the edge, DEFENDS THE PASS, and can find a way to get you 10 sacks? To me, he is the evolution of the type of player you need in today’s game. You have to make quick decisions and utilize that speed to get it done. Also helps having the guy has played that way for a decade right next to him. 45 is an elite player.

  28. webster Says:

    @ angus yes u need a pass rush but picking a d-end that is not better than another position player on the board is stupid. Sure go ahead and pick gaines adams and i will pick adrian peterson every day of the week and twice on sundays. Again the bucs saw an all time talent in white and thus far that is who he is. The bucs had to know they had something in barrett and thats why they ran to the podium to pick white. Case closed

  29. gotbbucs Says:

    What’s a little bit terrifying about Devin White is that he’s still learning the position. He signed with LSU as a running back, so I think he really only had two years of LB experience before being drafted.
    He sucked out loud in pass coverage as a rookie and the beginning of last year, so hopefully he has that figured out now.

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    Joe’s a big fan now, wanted no part of him at draft time though.

  31. Brandon Says:

    Devin “The Great” White… let that moniker take hold.