Devin White’s Next Step To Elite Status

September 4th, 2022

Bucs ILB Devin White.

Devin White has all the tools to be elite. And it says a lot that he has developed a reputation after easily his worst season last year, he made his first Pro Bowl.

Scott Spratt of Football Outsiders, typing for BSPN, had his list of best teams with players 25-and-under. The Bucs ranked No.  10. Spratt singled out White as having superstar potential but the question is, can he reach it?

[S]ince the linebacker entered the NFL at just 21 years old, he qualifies for the under-25 rankings for one final year in 2022. White misses on his fair share of tackles and regularly fails in coverage. But he also led interior linebackers with 54 hurries last season. He is a unicorn defensive player and a perfect fit for his former defensive coordinator and current head coach Todd Bowles’ love of blitzes.

White’s unicorn status was on full display in 2020 when he had nine sacks and after a bout with “The Sickness,” White went bananas in the playoffs and was the Bucs’ best defensive player from the slimy Saints game on.

Joe believes White will bounce back this fall and will be more like he was in the playoffs in 2020 than he was last year when he was, well, just good.

Due to the secondary riddled with injuries, then-defensive coordinator Todd Bowles had White doing all sorts of things to help cover for the injuries. Joe thinks it is very likely got White out of his comfort zone.

24 Responses to “Devin White’s Next Step To Elite Status”

  1. Buc king Says:

    He’s no David and he failed to change direction on easy sacks last year.
    He has flashed potential and has great energy.
    I think teammates like playing for him.
    This should be a great year for him if he can play smarter.
    Coverage skills need to step up.
    It be great if he takes the next step this year.
    I haven’t heard much about him in camp.
    I wanted the next generation ray Lewis he’s not that..yet

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    So much talent.
    Just needs to play a hair less amped up, and he’ll stop over running plays and missing tackles

  3. SOEbuc Says:

    He sounds like he’s hyped. LBs will be all over the QB if Vea and Hicks bring their A game.

  4. Goatfarmer Says:

    If Lavonte can stay healthy White will beast. If not, then not.

  5. DavidBigBucFan99 Says:

    He talks too much and don’t back it up that’s his problem.

  6. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    He needs to slow down a little is all … He’s like Winston was! When he’s too jacked up for a game he gets going to fast and tries too hard! … He’s fast enough and football smart enough to let the game come to him… Yes use your speed to beat the pulling guard or center to the runner! But when in coverage and when blitzing just do your job and be where you’re supposed to be!! He’ll be great this year I believe

  7. BucsfanFred Says:

    He’s going to beast this year. Mark it

  8. adam from ny Says:

    he needs to bum rush in and sack the quarterback a lot more this year…

    i would like to see 8 sacks out of him…

    he should really be able to swoop in thru creases with his speed, combined with big vita and big akeem up from clogging and pushing the pile…

    bowles should have a handful of special plays to make this happen

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Devin White’s only real problem IMO is that sometimes he tries too hard to ‘make something happen’ instead of ‘letting the play come to him’ (that’s where LVD excels IMO). I think a lot of that has to do with ‘expectations’ (that Devin puts on himself more than anything).

    Still think that he blitzes too often & needs to be more selective in that regard. He’s an excellent tackler when he’s in position it seems, but too often gets caught out of position & it costs him. He’s had 42 missed tackles these past 3 years, for a 10.5% missed tackle rate. LVD in comparison has an 8.0 missed tackle rate (actually a significant difference I’d think for 2 ILBs on the same team).

  10. Hodad Says:

    He doesn’t come across as very bright. Not trying to be mean here, we all can’t be Enstein. I’m not the brightest bulb in the batch. It’s just taking him more time to learn the game, in the game. When he get’s it, watch out. Hopefully this is the year we see more Ray Lewis, and less Jerry Lewis.

  11. Beeej Says:

    Read an interesting tidbit elsewhere — by the end of last season, teams WEREN’T running up the gut against us, they were getting good yardage running stretch zone plays.– Suh and McClendon were too slow to get out there. Suh and McClendon aren’t here anymore

  12. Maniac Buc Says:

    Most overrated/over hyped Bucs players
    -Ryan Jensen
    -Scotty Miller
    -Devin White

    Most underrated/Underhyped Bucs Players
    -Robert Hainsey
    -Donovan Smith
    -Jamel Dean

    Oh Sh!t, this guy is actually good list
    -Joe Tryon-Shoyinka
    -Jaelon Darden
    -Robert Hainsey

  13. George Says:

    Big fan of Devin White and the energy he brings to the game. The kid is an old fashioned tough nosed football player . After Brady he is my second favorite Buc

  14. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Devin White has WR speed…..4.42…….he could be a bit more patient and still make plays……more plays…

  15. David Says:

    I fully expect him to step up and have an all-pro year. For a couple reasons-
    1. LVD is healthy and looking fast next to him.
    2. The D line in front of him should be better.
    3. The DBs behind him are healthy.

  16. Wild Bill Says:

    White was trying too hard when LVD was injured. I expect White to look much better with LVD back.

  17. SB~LV Says:

    We’ll know it when we see it …
    I don’t know if he is capable of taking that step, which is all mental read and react

  18. Biff Barker Says:

    Good Joe? Over 100 blitzes and one sack? Awful year. Elite? That’s a load.

  19. Biff Barker Says:

    How can DW be an elite player without LVD? He couldn’t cover in 2020, couldn’t tackle in 2021, cant play well without LVD either?

    What’s this years excuse? He’s just too fast like Jane Tryon Bust?

  20. teacherman777 Says:

    He was hurt last year!

  21. Jmarkbuc Says:

    He should talk less and tackle more..

  22. BillyBucco Says:

    It’s NOT that Devin White NEEDS David to be elite.
    He just needed a player to play close to what David could and handle the same assignments.
    This year Britt and Fatukasi are closer.
    His speed is an asset except in the open field in the middle.
    CMC often got beat by White to the edge because of White’s speed.

    Cut backs that he overruns are the specific biggest issue.
    Also in coverage he bites on Play Action.

  23. OBVIOUS Says:

    Devin took on brand new assignments last season that he simply ne er had before. Not that it’s a great experience excuse when your at the pro level BUT it’s true. He was definitely confused without David there but I believe that had to do more with the confusion of new partners certainly not playing to David’s level and on top of that, blowing assignments. He (White) attempted to remedy that via over compensation. David is special because for the most part before White got there,, he was used to handling 80 percent of the duties by himself. On the reverse, it was a new challenge for White last year and that’s why he looked a bit lost. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a great dance partner, well you’re probably not going to win any contests. I forget, who covered for LVD anyways?

  24. Eddie Marz Says: