Runs Like (Devin) White; Plays Like (Lavonte) David

April 25th, 2023

Clemson LB Trenton Simpson.

Now this is intelligent outside-the-box thinking here.

And Joe would expect no less from an NFL analyst like Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders.

In putting together his three-round mock draft, Tanier admits if he was Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht, he’d have to fight himself not to turn in the name of Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker when the Bucs are on the clock at No. 19.

But at that position, Tanier believes it’s best for Licht to go best-athlete available since the Bucs have a need for speed. As a result, Tanier believes the Bucs should select speedy Clemson linebacker Trenton Simpson.

Adding Hendon Hooker to Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask, while tempting, would likely result in a triple TKO: three quarterbacks in their mid-20s stealing developmental/reclamation reps from one another is a bad idea. So the Bucs go the Best Available Athlete route in this mock.

Jason Licht likes speedy linebackers and will be looking for a Devin White/Lavonte David replacement. Trenton Simpson can run like White but handle his assignments like David.

Now this is forward-thinking. How do we know disgruntled linebacker Devin White is going to be with the Bucs? He is “fed up” and has demanded a trade. Licht said he doesn’t intend to trade White. That’s not exactly a hardened declaration.

Imagine what White could bring in a trade to a defensive head coach (Joe’s pointing at you, Houston coach DeMeco Ryans).

Even if White sticks around, this Simpson is the perfect guy to groom for when Lavonte David retires. Simpson, who ran a 4.43 40 yard dash at the combine, is Dane Brugler’s No. 2 rated linebacker in his draft guide, “The Beast.”

A two-year starter at Clemson, Simpson played both WILL and SAM linebacker in defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin’s 4-3 base scheme. The son of an Army Ranger, he was a hybrid performer for the Tigers, and the coaches relied on his versatility, using him as a nickel on one play and an edge rusher the next. An impressive size/speed athlete, Simpson plays physically to work off blockers and appears to be moving at a different gear than the rest of the pursuit thanks to his short-area burst and acceleration. Though he plays with urgency, he must show better control as a tackler and improve his coverage awareness to lock down a full-time gig vs. NFL skill players. Overall, Simpson must continue developing his play recognition to translate his immense talent into playmaking production, but he is an active ball hunter with the pursuit speed and appetite for contact to fill multiple roles. He projects best in a fast-flowing defense where he can be a run-and-hit backer and handle overhang responsibilities.

This is the first time Joe has read Simpson linked to the Bucs. And it’s a damn smart pick.

Dude’s dad was an Army Ranger? Do we even have to ask if this guy is tough as nails?


52 Responses to “Runs Like (Devin) White; Plays Like (Lavonte) David”

  1. Leighroy Says:

    Well, his dad is tough as nails and knows how to work a parachute. Not sure how that helps the son though…

  2. Dom N. Nick Says:

    Yes!!! Good work Joe!

  3. Joe Says:

    Not sure how that helps the son though

    Willing to bet he’s not soft. He may not be a Ranger but he has his dad’s genes.

  4. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Will he be there at 19? If so, he might be the right guy.

  5. Bucs Guy Says:

    Been Jonesing for this guy for months. Hoping all of the not trading White talk is draft smoke screen talk. Trade White to Houston for a 2nd and 3rd. Use the 2nd rd pick to draft Simpson.

  6. MadMax Says:

    Of course im all for it but we need to address O line afterwards. Hes going in the first for sure.

  7. Bucs Guy Says:

    I don’t see Simpson going before #19, but he might not be there at #51. He will definitely go NLT the 2nd round. I like him better than the Iowa LB. Also like the Arkansas and Wash St LBs.

  8. DoooshLaRue Says:

    I like the idea.

  9. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Yeah, Might be forced to draft him 1st

  10. HC Grover Says:

    Sounds good to me. 2 days to the draft.

  11. Beej Says:

    Well he’s probably not gonna be arrested at a titty bar at 2am with a gun on his passenger seat

  12. Leighroy Says:

    I’m not saying that he isn’t tough, but saying someone is bc their daddy ___, is not a sound argument. Enlisting in the infantry is not genetic

  13. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    If they can trade White and get that Houston pick in 2nd round then they should do this

  14. Joe Says:

    Well he’s probably not gonna be arrested at a titty bar at 2am with a gun on his passenger seat

    Who might that be? 🤔

    Enlisting in the infantry is not genetic

    The Rangers aren’t infantry. LOL

  15. J Ghotier Says:

    It’s smart, but it’s also very obvious (since this White drama started). Now you’re looking into the future to replace both your starting ILB/MLB’s. It’s very obvious we need one. I love Simpson if White is traded and it’s almost necessary. If White plays this I’d rather spend the high Draft pick on OL or Secondary and then grab a Henley from WSU w/ a day 2 pick. But if White gets traded, I’m all for picking Simpson and it does make plenty of sense.

    Maybe you haven’t heard of Simpson linked to Bucs before, because the White drama just started and now has shifted our Draft thought process!

  16. stpetebucfan Says:

    I’m good with him or the Vols tackle or trading down for more picks.

    I do NOT want to draft ANOTHER QB!

    AGAIN…Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer both reached the SB! I respect and admire both Brad and Trent. I do not however consider them as anywhere near GOATS.

    However that is my point. There is more than one way to get the job done! You can use a GOAT like Brady OR you can get a very good football player and build a great team around him.

    I feel certain Mayfield is a good QB…is he very good? That’s what we need to find out. Good gets the Bucs to the playoffs, VERY good like Brad and Trent gets the Bucs back to the S.B.

    In all honesty I haven’t seen enough of Trask in a “fair” situation to determine his ability. I do not rule him out but I do not count on him either.

  17. Dooley Says:

    I’d like Simpson, but all things considered I’d be just fine adding Daiyan Henley or Dorian Williams or Owen Pappoe, or Dee Winters. Simpson is probably the most versatile of the group, but we’ve only got one first round selection and if we’ve got to choose an ILB later, we’ve got a few options that would be scheme fits. Also curious to see if we’ll take a shot at Marte Mapu, who’s played the part of a saftey-LB hybrid at Sacramento State.

  18. ChiBuc Says:

    Regardless of genetics, we can assume he grew up in a structured home in which, at least, his father exhibited how to achieve goals through discipline and hard work. Consequently, he is less likely to “get bored by the 4th quarter” and get caught flat-footed daydreaming about another payday as RBs squirter by for 1st downs

  19. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Had the Bucs stayed at home and drafted Devin Lloyd LB Utah instead of swapping with Jax who was all to happy to get LLoyd , then we would not be having this conversation. Bucs will draft Oline to improve run blocking for Canales ground heavy scheme-bank on it.

  20. OR Buc Says:

    Trade white and a 3rd or 4th rounder for Hou pick at 12. Then we have 2 1sts and same amount of total picks. Then they can draft him at 19 if Nolan ain’t there.

  21. Kgh4life Says:

    Can Simpson get off blocks?

  22. Allbuccedup Says:

    Jeremiah Trotter Jr made him look good kind of like David makes White look good.

  23. Allbuccedup Says:

    Middle linebackers weak in this draft.

  24. JN Says:

    Would rather have Smith or McDonald in the first round should Bucs go defense over OT. Bucs need better players on the edge to create pressure… unless they of course trade down from 19. 19 too high for Simpson.
    If the elite OTs are off the board I hope JL can find a partner to trade down or draft EDGE.

  25. Infomeplease Says:

    The Bucs do need a LB. They also need to shore both sides of the line and a nickel cover guy. If he is there? He would help the team down the road!

  26. 1#bucsfan Says:

    I’m deff conflicted. Glad idk have Jason’s job. We need help in the trenches on both sides but with the DW45 drama n LVD nearing the end of his career I’d say pick up this guy let him learn from a tru pro in LVD. Even if DW45 plays this year Simpson will be depth n can help at edge too. Honestly we should turn DW45 into an edge rusher. Lol

  27. Cobraboy Says:

    He is neither big nor ugly enough.

  28. Mike Says:

    Could be a target if the Bucs trade back

  29. All_da_way Says:

    I have no problem if the Bucs focus on OL and the defensive front seven with the upcoming draft.

  30. lambchop Says:

    “Though he plays with urgency, he must show better control as a tackler and improve his coverage awareness to lock down a full-time gig vs. NFL skill players.”

    Sounds a lot like Devin “Show me the money” White.

  31. Larrd Says:

    Who knows, maybe Dylan Mulvaney’s dad was an Army Ranger.

    I keep seeing fellow Clemson guys Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy slipping to the end of round one. I’d take one of them for sure.

  32. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    “he must show better control as a tackler and improve his coverage awareness”

    and from NFLdraftbuzz:

    “As good as Simpson is attacking downhill, he can get overaggressive and overrun plays, opening up cutback lanes for counter runs.

    Simpson lacks the ability to drop weight and anchor against the run, often getting manhandled at the point of attack.

    Had a down year in 2022, where he was taken out of the game a number of times. He suffered drops in all elements of his game as a pass rusher

    He must develop more disciplined in man-to-man coverage”

    From the scouting reports it seems like he both runs and plays like Devin White.

  33. HomerSimpsonRocks Says:

    Yes to this, as long as the Bucs can still get a quality LT. Eject Devon Whine and get a quality replacement with a better attitude.

  34. TonySoprano Says:

    Thanks for pointing that out Stickingup. This guy did not have a good year last year and as mentioned, he was benched multiple times. Is that who you want to select with our first pick?

  35. Dew Says:

    Nolan Smith a better athlete & faster. Think Micah Parsons.

  36. Ra'Shad Says:

    I want him badly. I’ve watched him play since high school. If we can trade back and grab him I’m on board. I think he would still be there in the 2nd. But he wouldn’t be there long though.

  37. Leighroy Says:

    The rangers aren’t infantry?!? Better check yo sheet! They are the best of the best infantry, unless you mean they aren’t just run of the mill infantry, in which case I would agree.

  38. Resilient Says:

    Draft Simpson in 1st rd, trade Devin White for a high 2nd rd pick and draft OT and TE in 2nd rd, unless Hooker or J. Gibbs (Bama RB) drop to the 2nd

  39. sasquatch Says:

    Suddenly, this pick makes a lot of sense. If he can be deployed as an outside pass rusher until taking over a spot on the inside, we may have addressed 2 concerning situations.

  40. Goatfarmer Says:

    Grab him. Now. NomDiva to see here.

    Given the QB panic, it’s possible that a top 10 caliber player falls to Licht at 19, even better for him to offload the Diva to the Texans for their #12 pick and the balancing of change to make the deal work.

  41. SlyPirate Says:

    Nakobe Dean and LVD v2

    There are talented, speedy linebackers in every draft. Dime a dozen. Nakobe Dean went in the 3rd. Lavonte David went in the 2nd. No need to take a WILL in the 1st.

  42. Bojim Says:

    ‘Better control at tackling and more coverage awareness’. Sounds like White.

  43. PanthersSuck! Says:

    Looks like a solid prospect

  44. Fansince76 Says:

    Picking Simpson would be ok with me, they need depth at linebacker.

  45. 941Boltsfan Says:

    Better yet if the Bucs trade Devin to Houston and swap 1sts we take the best defenseman at no #4 swapping back with Colts seeing who need a Qb. And the Arizona is likely to trade out of #3 to whom ever is desperate for Qb.

  46. gbobucsfan Says:

    Bojim, yes! Exactly what I thought!

  47. Brandon Says:

    Son of a Ranger at the very least means he probably isn’t a diva.

  48. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    I don’t see Devon White being traded. I’m of the mind Devon asking for a trade as a negotiation tactic. A terrible not well thought out negotiation tactic. He wants a new contract the team can’t afford it right now. So he will have to play.

    I wouldn’t be upset with this pick. But I think we have bigger needs. We can draft LVD’s replacement next year.

  49. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    Honestly this team has so many different positional needs. There’s no reason we can’t take the highest rated player for at least like 5 or 6 positions with the 19th pick.

    All Licht has to do is take the BPA available at anyone of those
    5 or 6 positions and we will all call him a Genius. 😀😃😄😁😆

    We should be able to get a #1 or #2 rated prospect at one of those positions with the 19th. I will be a little upset if Licht uses the 19th pick for the 5th or 6th Qb to come off the board.

  50. TampabayDJ Says:

    @ Jeffrey- Agree with you 💯

  51. Rod Munch Says:

    If you can get Lavonte David, that runs a 4.4, then you take him 1st overall since that’s a 1st ballot HOF player.

    That’s quite a comparison, but who knows, maybe he’s right.

    I mean a lot of people were thinking David was going to be the next Derrick Brooks based on his college production, size and speed – and he’s come damn close to that billing.

  52. TF Says:

    Ummm as far as titty bars and guns are concerned…. Hmm a family of “soldiers” so yea he is packing NO DOUBT. And titty bars…. Ummm what til he gets to Tampa Bay, the tittly bar capitol of the US. Mons Venus has killed quite a few athletes careers, not to mention marriages I assume.