Review: Bucs Finally Found Their Pass Rusher

April 28th, 2024

Big expectations.

Just based on numbers over his three seasons at Alabama, Bucs second-round pick Chris Braswell’s numbers seem thin as a pass rusher.

But as Joe wrote yesterday, once you pull back the onion skins, Braswell looks better and better as an edge rusher.

One guy fully chugging the Kool-Aid that Braswell is a real deal is former Giants and Eagles beat writer for, Matt Lombardo.

In fact, Lombardo is confident Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht finally found the pass rusher this team has needed since Jason Pierre-Paul and former Bucs sack king Shaq Barrett were both healthy.

The Pick: Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama

One of the most prolific and productive pass-rushers in this year’s class, the Buccaneers land a heat-seeking missile in Alabama’s Chris Braswell. In addition to his 13 sacks last season, Braswell added 33 total pressures and 10 quarterback hits while posting an elite 18.2 pass-rush win rate. Tampa found the centerpiece for his pass-rush.

Grade: A+

Well, if YaYa Diaby can continue to develop and Braswell does develop, the Bucs could be on the cusp of having one of the better pass rushes in the game — when you factor in the two beasts up front, Vita Vea and Calijah Kancey.

As much as Lombardo believes in Braswell, Joe is in the same boat with Kancey. Joe thinks Kancey is going to be an absolute force now entering his second season in the NFL. Kancey was way underrated in his run defense and we know how well — for a rookie tackle — he got after opposing quarterbacks.

Again, a couple of ifs are in play: if Diaby continues to develop and if Braswell is as good as Lombardo believe. Braswell, Diaby, Kancey and Vea could provide offensive coordinators plenty of weekday headaches trying to hatch a gameplan to stop all four.

55 Responses to “Review: Bucs Finally Found Their Pass Rusher”

  1. Beeej Says:

    AND! Logan Hall

  2. A Bucs Fan Says:

    That’s high praise for someone I thought didn’t start many games and only had a year of solid production.

  3. SB~LV Says:

    Logan Hall , exposes what the pre draft rankings and profiles are, just a educated GUESS , every year it’s the same thing. I get it that you have to have some criteria to rank players BUT never forget that they are far from perfect.

  4. BucU Says:

    Logan Hall and JTS had better step it up or they could be out the door permanently.

  5. Dom Says:

    I think the Bucs have two good number 2 pass rushers with Yaya and Braswell. They got a nice nucleus of young talent but they still need an elite 1 to really elevate the group. Trey Hendrickson is still that difference maker. Send them a 2025 3rd and call it a day. Hendrickson, Yaya, Braswell, JTS, Nelly, and Watts would be a great OLB core. Might need to move on from JTS or Nelson if they can only carry 5

  6. Beeej Says:

    They’re both here because they don’t cost much. Unless JTS turns into Von Miller this year we sure aren’t picking up his option

  7. Leighroyi Says:

    A Bucs fan, you’ve got to consider he was hampered on the depth chart for at least a couple years by Will Anderson Jr at the same position. Braswell still found his way onto the field but giving up starts to last years 3rd overall pick shouldn’t be a knock for anyone.

    Now what I don’t understand is where Lombardo found 13 sacks for Braswell, as any website I’ve found lists him at 8 sacks. I’m optimistic on this kid, but hardly think any rookie is suddenly going to fix the pass rush.

  8. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Logan Who and Jill TS are not going to be in the NFL in 25.

  9. adam from ny Says:

    what Dom said above ^^^^^^^^

  10. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    Really need to pick up a (another) BIG man for the middle, to back-up, and play next to in certain situations, THE big man Vita Vea.

  11. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    So….which is it. 13 sacks or 8.5 sacks for him last season? I’ve seen both.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    See – doesn’t it make so much more sense to draft a promising young pass rusher with a 2nd rd pick – than to have traded said pick for an aging veteran who wanted $20+M per year…..

    If Braswell turns into a good NFL player – then we have him for cheap the next 4 years and save $65M or so vs the other option being so heavily (ahem) – pushed for by 1 of the proprietors here…

    And Joe – I agree with you about Kancey. Think he’s about ready to bust out and wreak some havoc…..

  13. SenileSenior Says:

    Do not forget Bowles’ exotic scheming. His moving “chess pieces”.

  14. Beeej Says:

    Updated starters on rookie contract list:

    JTS (not for long)

    Not too shabby, how long until the dead cap is done?

  15. Hodad Says:

    Joe, it’s hard to go wrong drafting Bama, and Georgia players.

  16. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Agree Scotty – which is it Joe – 8 sacks last year or 13?

    I love this pick – all of them really. This guy is strong with a serious motor. Add a few moves to his Arsenal and we could have us a stud.

    Hats off again to Jason Licht and Team! This is the first draft I can remember where the picks flowed with what we needed – except for the nickel pick – didn’t see that one coming. 4th round saying “get a RB” and bam – RB.

    Nice work gents. To Joe and all you bros here – great work!

  17. George Says:

    I wonder if Braswell would still been the pick if Kneeland was still on the board?

  18. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    And agree about drafting players from top schools – don’t see that a lot here. Usually smaller school guys. Great job!

  19. SenileSenior Says:

    Back to the main point. Braswell is an excellent pick for Edge.Has a good shot at replacing Barrett I might add.

  20. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Do Braswell and Diaby play the same position? Can they be on the field at the same time? He seems a little small for DE so I’m not sure how this will work.

  21. Jmarkbuc Says:


    Since Barrett is no longer on the team…

  22. Beeej Says:

    It says Kyle is nothing if not an adequate backup

  23. Architek Says:

    The key word is development.

    Can the Bucs staff actually develop home grown pass rush talent?

    So far they haven’t but the opportunity is there, no excuses!

  24. Hodad Says:

    With the drafting of Culp I think Ko Kieft is gone. He did not turn his game up a notch last year from his rookie season. If anything he regressed. He’ll have a hard time making the roster with Culp being added.

  25. Beeej Says:

    I was thinking same Hodad, am seriously bummed

  26. dmatt Says:

    Braswell brings that violent n nasty type Alabama football. I love it. He will be the root cause of us severing ties with JTS. We went from aggressive, violent get in ur face n body slam type players such as Suh, JTS, JWhitehead, Rakeem Nunez-Roches, to passive dont wanna get hurt type players such as JTS, Ryan Neal,Logan Hall, n yes, I called him out, JDean (JGoff threw easy int right in his hand in playoff game n he dropped it) Let’s get back to n remain in the old true grit Buc football mode. Get rid of these soft losers.

  27. Beeej Says:

    Saw yesterday that Logan Ryan retired

  28. stpetebucfan Says:

    Agree with Joe and Pickgrin and several others here.

    But you guys better be careful! Otherwise you’re going to get dumped in with us on #teampositive and you know how that upsets the Muncher.

    The draft is an imprecise “science”. The ONLY thing we ALL know for SURE is there will be hits and misses.

    So take your choice. Do you wish to imagine greatness or failure? Would you rather harp on the possibility of failure over the promise of success?

    Because of the “imprecise science” arguments and debates can be held for both sides. Given the choice put me on #teampositive after all of JL’s moves this offseason including resigning ME13 and Baker as well as the draft.

    Given the possible arguments yes the #teambowlesbakerbucssuck can make their case and state their reasons….based on guess work.

    I choose to spend this off season joyfully anticipating next year!!!!
    Again…”The Future’s so Bright I gotta wear shades” Timbuk3 and Chucky

  29. davebucfan Says:

    I believe its 8 sacks for 2023 and 13 for his time at Alabama.

  30. gotbbucs Says:

    What jumped out to me on his film was how hard he finishes when he gets to the QB. Some of the most violent sacks. Sadly, the p@ssy NFL rules will call those roughing penalties.

  31. Zoocomics Says:

    Hi Joe.

    We certainly addressed our needs at both Oline and DE. Along with JTS and Gregory, the OLB/DE situation is looking up.

  32. Joe DiMisa Says:

    Lombardo needs to check his stats. Braswell had 8 total sacks last year not 13.

  33. Beeej Says:

    “JUAN Says:
    April 28th, 2024 at 9:53 am
    Beeej Says: “It says Kyle is nothing if not an adequate backup.”

    That’s dumb. Tom Brady was a backup until he wasn’t. Brett Favre too. And many others. Take off your garnet and gold blinders and think.”


    That’s kinda what I said (or at least MEANT)–They haven’t drafted another QB because they don’t find him lacking. Brady never got to play until the starter got hurt, Mahomes never got to play until the starter got hurt

  34. Yuc2Buc Says:

    Still can’t believe we got Chris in the 2nd because this young man is a beast and plays violent !! You know he’s a stud when he still saw action with Will Anderson and Dallas Turner getting most of the attention. Incredible motor and excited to see Kance and Brad line up on opposite sides going after the QB

  35. geno711 Says:

    Leighroyi Says:

    Now what I don’t understand is where Lombardo found 13 sacks for Braswell, as any website I’ve found lists him at 8 sacks.

    I think Sports Reference has him at 8 sacks and most other sites go with the Sports Reference numbers when quoting the number of sacks or any statistics.

    PFF does their own stat keeping. Not many others take it as accurate as Sports Reference or at least use it as often to quote statistics.

    PFF shows him with 13 sacks last year.

  36. Beeej Says:

    I left Izien off my list, who makes an astounding $91k/year

  37. Beeej Says:

    err $918k

  38. OrlandoBucFAn Says:

    According to the University of Alabama’s website, Braswell has 8 sacks in 2023 and 3 in 2022. He finally got meaningful playing time last year and was a beast on the field. I think we got a winner with this guy.

  39. Buddha Says:

    PFF Draft Grades:
    New Orleans. A+
    Tampa A
    Carolina C
    Atlanta C-

    Trouble brewing in Atlanta. Our drafts during the Morris years were horrible and nobody seems to be able to figure out the decisions made by Atlanta this year.

  40. Jarrett Says:

    Much better than NOAH SPENCE LOL

    it’s a Bucs life let’s go!

  41. Capt.Tim Says:

    Love the Braswell pick. Honestly, cant believe he was still there in round 2.
    Wonder if the Bucs will play him at Linebacker.
    Either way, he should be a big improvement to our pass rush

  42. Mike Johnson Says:

    Braswell will start. JTS will back up after Bowles loses confidence in him. Any rush will be an improvement. Who knows? Maybe there is somebody else still out there who an help us.

  43. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Surprised Braswell lasted to #57 great pick he definitely will be good hopefully he will be great in a couple of years. I would have picked him over Kneeland. If nothing else Bama has produced good pass rushers. The Bucs nailed the first four rounds of the draft. I did research on Bucky he definitely was the best all around running back in the fourth round.

  44. BillyBucco Says:

    We keep picking the right kind of guys and Zero locker room issues and this team is headed for greatness.
    If we win the division again this year, we might just rattle off 10 in a row.
    NO continues to be the major opposition.

  45. All_da_way Says:

    Braswell is starting opposite of Diaby.

    JTS looked fresher and better as a reserve anyways as third down rusher.

    Bucs have a nice defensive front seven…well Logan Hall is probably the weakest link of the front seven right now. Good thing the Bucs re-signed Gholston.

  46. Beeej Says:

    I’m glad we didn’t somehow end up with Adonai Mitchell. THAT guy is gonna be another Terrell Owens (in the locker room, anyhow)

  47. Greg Says:

    It’s 8 sacks last year. Pff has a misleading format in doing a running career total. His career total in the NCAA is 13. 1 in 2021, 4 in 2022, and 8 in 2023 totaling 13. I did the same thing and that’s what I figured out.

  48. Ugotrobbed Says:

    When/how are the Bucs going to address the thin ILB position!?
    They don’t think it’s thin.–Joe

  49. toad bowels Says:


    OG Christian Mahogany and C JPJ both dropped from their much higher draft projections due to “locker room issues” and questions about how they would fit in a team environment. Also, Jerry Rice’s son dropped for the same reason as he apparently has a huge ego and also thanks he is better than his Dad. I like confidence but……

    Also what a “Draft Day” heartwarming story as LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. begins on his path to writing his own story with the Eagles.

    Check out this story “His father’s legacy in Philadelphia is unforgettable, but the journey Jeremiah Trotter Jr. is about to take as an Eagle will be all his own.
    by Nick Tricome.PhillyVoice Staff”

  50. SenileSenior Says:

    The question is where he will fit in our rotation early on. Bowles likes JTS for his scheme. Can’ t wait to see.

  51. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Jason Pierre-Paul…man, I miss him. One of my all-time favs.

    Braswell excels at reading offenses too. Honestly, I would not be surprised if he eventually replaces Lavante David, unless he does extremely well at edge.

  52. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I can’t believe no one drafted Frank Gore Jr.

  53. Crickett Baker Says:

    The Bucs signed a FA QB right after the draft ended.

  54. bucsfan990 Says:

    as a bucs and alabama fan this is a great pick!!

  55. Oneilbuc Says:

    The most funny part to me about the Baker/ Trask fake competition is not one person has came out and said that Baker was better than Trask in training camp. Every one knows including Joe that Trask was better but his sorse told him that Baker was going to be the starter week 1 even though at time Baker had 9 picks to Trask 1 . Lol 🤣🤣