Scuttlebutt: Bucs Deeply Researching Three Edge Rushers

April 12th, 2024

Missouri DL Darius Robinson.

So long as this mocker isn’t getting played, the Bucs are really doing their homework on edge rushers on the pro day circuit.

That’s the word from BSPN mocker Matt Miller. He had an NFL defensive line position coach tell him the Bucs have been a constant at workouts for the top-rated edge rushers and even gave Miller three names Bucs scouts have narrowed their focus on.

I spoke to a defensive line coach recently who noted that Tampa Bay has been doing a ton of work on Laiatu Latu, Chop Robinson (Penn State) and Darius Robinson (Missouri). The expectation is the team could target a defensive end with the No. 26 pick and then hit needs on the offensive line in Round 2 or with one of two selections in Round 3.

Laiatu Latu is a damn beast of an edge rusher. He reminds Joe of a Bosa. But he has a big time red flag with his neck which may push him down in the draft.

The question is, are the Bucs comfortable drafting a guy who is damaged goods?

Latu could be the next Nick Bosa or he could be the next guitar-strummin,’ pistol-packin’ Da’Quan Bowers. High risk, high reward.

Regular readers of Joe know Chop Robinson, while very good against the run, has major question marks with his pass rushing. Oh, he sheds blocks really well but he rarely finishes.

Yeah, Joe is spooked that last year Robinson only had two sacks in B1G play. But he did have two sacks against UMess.

Oh, good! Robinson seems to be the idol of the pressures-are-more-important-than-sacks crowd!

Darius Robinson really caught Joe’s eye early in this draft process but doing more research he seems to be more defensive tackle than edge rusher. No, Joe would not protest a defensive tackle taken at No. 26. Why? Well, Vita Vea will turn 30 in February.

Joe decided to see what Dane Brugler of The Athletic wrote about Darius Robinson in his “The Beast” draft guide.

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Missouri, Robinson played six-technique defensive end in former defensive coordinator Blake Baker’s 4-2-5 base scheme. After playing primarily inside as an underclassman, he moved to an edge role as a super senior and had a breakout season while battling injuries, leading the Tigers in tackles for loss (14.0) and sacks (8.5). A power-based rusher, Robinson wears down blockers with his upper-body strength and aggressive hand usage, deploying his anaconda arms to swallow ball carriers in the run game. Though athletic for his size, he lacks ideal get-off and lateral burst and needs more of a plan to cut down on wasted movement. Overall, Robinson is straight out of central casting with his frame, length and power at contact, but he needs to introduce better skill and efficiency to his game for quicker sheds versus NFL blocking. He projects as a base end in either an odd or even front who can shift inside in subpackages.

Brugler lists Robinson as a second-round pick and his sixth-best edge rusher.

While Missouri is usually an underwhelming football program, they are sneaky good in developing solid SEC defenders. Chiefs linebacker Nick Bolton springs to mind.

At least Robinson produces.

With Chop Robinson, he seems more of a one-trick pony in that he defends the run.

If a guy cannot get sacks going up against children, why should Joe have any confidence Chop Robinson will dominate grown-arse men?

58 Responses to “Scuttlebutt: Bucs Deeply Researching Three Edge Rushers”

  1. Lt. Dan Says:

    Of the big three mentioned, this fan prefers Darius Robinson.

  2. Bucsfan Says:

    Do what it takes to draft JPJ

  3. Boss Says:

    Robinson sounds good

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    He’s not much of an athlete. Licht prefers his prospects to have good RAS scores – not bad ones…

    This guy is a DE in a 3-4 – Bucs need an Edge.

    Latu is the answer. Hopefully he falls into ‘striking range’ which is #20 according to our GM…..

  5. heyjude Says:

    Out of all listed here, Robinson would be a good choice.

    However, still hoping for Jared Verse.

  6. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Of these 3, Latu would be the guy, although his medicals have a big impact on where he goes. If his medicals check out, he’ll probably go higher than where the Bucs pick. Darius & Chop are both a no to me.

  7. Buc4evr Says:

    It’s ok to draft D Robinson in a later round but he is not the Edge rusher the Bucs need. Chop is a joke and Latu is a monster but too big of a risk. He shouldn’t even be in football. Verse is ideal, but unless the Bucs trade up he will be gone by the 15th pick. Might be better to get a big guard or Center at 26.

  8. Bucs Guy Says:

    If the Bucs aren’t worried about Latu’s medical, then I’m not. After all, he’s played the last 2 years without any issues.

    IMO after the big 3 Edge rushers, none of the others are worth a first round pick. Chop no. Darius maybe in the 2nd. I prefer Isaac, Braswell, Kneeland or Trice in the 2nd.

  9. Conner50 Says:

    JPJ should be our pick if he’s on the board still, if not and Latu has fallen due to his neck concerns we should take him. He could very well be our Bosa or Watt like player. Or could bust it’s the draft and you take these risks, but the Bucs gotta get more qb pressure this year no matter what. If both are gone wouldn’t mind a DT either honestly

  10. Scott Says:

    Maybe he’s a Will G future replacement

  11. Steve in Mad Beach Says:

    I love how all of these “experts” say that a guy isn’t a 1st rounder. If the guy turns out to be a bad ass, who cares? D. Rob. is intriguing and might end up being the best edge rusher in the class. Reminds me of Cam Jordan

  12. geno711 Says:

    Maybe I haven’t seen as much film as this writer when he says *very good against the run* about Chop Robinson.

    Stats show that Robinson had 12 solo tackles and 3 assists last season. Is that considered good against college competition.

    Brugler in his draft guide said this on Chop Robinson’s weaknesses.

    will be driven from his spot in the run game and will be challenged by
    wham/mash blocks in the NFL … missed two games as a junior because of concussion symptoms (November 2023) … averaged less than
    two tackles per game in his career and a rotation guy who averaged 30.3 defensive snaps per game in 2023.

    So, let’s see really not good against the run. Little production as a pass rusher. Sure, he might work in the NFL. But do we really want to bet our 1st round pick on a guy with that little production and already concussions.

  13. Dubcity Says:

    Darius Robinson jumps off the screen when watching Mizzou.. that man is the real deal

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Scott … Exactly what I was thinking; either Robinson is nothing more than Will Gholston’s replacement. Excellent against the run, but not that great as a pass rusher. And Bucs NEED a pass rusher, but Latu will be long gone by when we pick so what to do?

    A top-quality Center IMO is a bigger NEED for the Bucs than a run-stuffer DE/OLB right now, so unless Latu falls to us, pull the Rnd 1 trigger on one of the Top-3 Centers. And then worry about DE/OLB in Rnd 2 or later (took almost half a season for Rnd 3 pick YaYa to develop, but he’s shown great promise ever since).

  15. Scott Says:

    There are plenty on good day 2-3 options. We also looked at the other Penn state DE Issac. I’m hoping a safe bet like IOL or Koolaid falls to us in the first

  16. Defense Rules Says:

    Another option might be to look at LSU’s Jordan Jefferson (6’2″ & 323 lbs) in Rnd 2. Here’s his Walter Football write-up:

    ‘The big and strong nose tackle Jefferson impressed team evaluators with his play in 2023. The Navarre, Florida product was a tough run defender in the middle of the defensive line for the Tigers. He collected 36 tackles, 2.5 sacks and pass defended in 2023. As junior, he recorded three sacks and 31 tackles. Jefferson has good size for the NFL and could be a physical interior defender as a pro. He had a quality week of practice at the Senior Bowl.’

    We can always use another big guy in the middle. Vea is approaching 30 & Gaines is only on a 1-year contract with us.

  17. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Robinson is either Adrian Clayborn 2.0 or a raw Cam Jordan. He’s a reach at 26. Won’t last to 57 though.

    Chop has no production and Latu thought a great talent has a fused neck that will only get worse. None of these sound like a solid pick at 26.

  18. Joe Says:

    Maybe he’s a Will G future replacement

    Thought that was Logan Hall? 🙂


  19. Dewey Selmon Says:

    Take in consideration that almost sacks might be due to the secondary not being able to cover more than 2 seconds. This might have cost JTS 5-6 sacks during the last 2 years. When was the last time coverage sack was used when the Bucs were on defense?

  20. geno711 Says:

    Who knows DR. But personally, I think Walter Football and now you are over estimating Jordan Jefferson as a late 2nd rounder.

    If we want a guy to take up space and be an eventual replacement for Greg Gaines, my guess is that Jefferson can be that guy. But 2nd round is too high.

    Instead, let’s find a guy like that in rounds 4 thru 7th or priority UDFA.
    I am thinking someone like
    Khristian Boyd, Northern Iowa
    McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M
    Jowon Briggs, Cincinatti
    Evan Anderson, FAU

  21. BridleOaksBuc Says:

    “Are the Bucs comfortable drafting a guy who is damaged goods…” We traded for a guy who was damaged goods. It worked out spectacular with JPP

  22. It's Corn Says:

    Whatever scout loved JTS, ask him his favorite of those 3 and then take one of the other two.

  23. SlyPiratr Says:

    All three are 2-3 round talents. Pass.

  24. ToAd BoWels Says:

    If Latu falls to #26 then perhaps worth the risk but the smart money says trade out of the first round and grab a couple of second round picks.

  25. BUCman Says:

    Trade up to pick 20 or 21. Miami at pick 21 is without a third or fourth round pick and may want to move back to recoup more picks. Trade chart says trading one of our thirds will get us up to 20 or 21. I believe this is why Jason Licht said he would start considering a trade around that point. Either Latu or Graham Barton could still be on the board at that point. Verse won’t fall that far.

  26. Marine Buc Says:

    Our GM likes to draft high RAS players in the first round.

    I believe Winston is the only player drafted by Licht in the first round who had an RAS below 9.25…

    D. Robinson’s RAS is 6.25.

    Perhaps Licht could move back from pick #26 into the top of round 2 and pick him (like we did with Logan Hall) but I would be surprised if he was the pick at #26.

    Chop Robinson has a very high RAS and fits the mold of what our GM has done the past 10 drafts… I agree though his production in college was pretty lackluster.

    CB Nate Wiggins also fits the mold – high RAS and 22 years old or younger.

    There are also several WRs who would be solid picks at #26.

  27. rrsrq Says:

    Go get Turner, yeah it might cost you next years first, but it is ok, because we will be picking last next year. then pick up Leonard Taylor III from Miami in the 4th and the line is set for years

  28. rrsrq Says:

    Bowles uses different formations, wonder what a 4 – 3 alignment would look like with a guy like Robinson (Chop or Darius).

  29. Mr. Editor Says:

    There are certain positions that the GM and this crop of scouts excel in drafting, such as OL. Defensive end doesn’t seem to be one of them.

  30. MadMax Says:

    I wonder how much Tvondre Sweat will drop….hmm, that could be a steal if we want to go DT.

  31. LANshark Says:

    There are at least 8, probably more, good O-line options (JPJ, Barton, Frazier, Bortoloni, Haynes, Puni, Limmer, VanPran-Granger) available, and only maybe 3-5 decent Edge’s who will be available after pick 20. We need to take an edge when they are available…

  32. FortMyersDave Says:

    All this attention on these edge rushers could simply be a smokescreen. Look at last year when the Bucs drafted Calijah Kancey out of nowhere….

  33. Stanglassman Says:

    If the Bucs are okay with Latu’s medicals and he’s there at 26 you take him. I like Robinson but @26 seems a bit rich. They should trade back and get another 3rd round pick and get him if there’s a partner.
    After watching Jason’s presser it does seem like they’re going Edge early and IOL in the mid rounds. Is Jason purposely giving us that impression and in reality doing something completely different?

  34. Badbucs Says:

    None of those edges is worth our pick. If we stay in the 1st round we need to pick a 1st round guy. WR, corner, OL even LB. Otherwise trade back, if we can. Lots of good players in rounds 2 and 3. If we had 3 2s and 3 3s this year we could shore up nearly every need. Hard to trade for that though.

  35. Boge Says:

    Latu is the only one I’d take if they’re ok with the medicals. I think this is all a smoke screen. If Bowers slips to the 20’s, they’ve got to get him.

  36. Dave Pear Says:

    Slop Robinson couldn’t produce e against the waitresses and bartenders of the Small 10. Invite him to a workout and let Wirfs maul him for a while. Then send him to the CFL.

  37. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    What is the RAS score for the following DE/DT Players?

    Richard Seymour – 2001 | Round!: 1 | Pick: 6 | Career Sacks: 57.5
    Darnell Dockett – 2004 | Round: 3 | Pick: 64 | Career Sacks: 40.5
    Calais Campbell – 2008 | Round: 2 | Pick: 50 | Career Sacks: 105.5
    Carlos Dunlap – 2010 | Round: 2 | Pick: 54 | Career Sacks: 100

  38. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    What is the RAS score for the following DE/DT Players?

    Richard Seymour – 2001 | Round!: 1 | Pick: 6 | Career Sacks: 57.5
    Darnell Dockett – 2004 | Round: 3 | Pick: 64 | Career Sacks: 40.5
    Calais Campbell – 2008 | Round: 2 | Pick: 50 | Career Sacks: 105.5
    Carlos Dunlap – 2010 | Round: 2 | Pick: 54 | Career Sacks: 100
    Chris Jones – 2016 | Round:2 | Pick: 37 | Career Sacks: 75.5

  39. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Notice there are a few potential Hall Famers on that list.

  40. Cobraboy Says:

    Liar’s Poker Season

  41. Marine Buc Says:

    @ LUV

    I understand what you are saying but I am just pointing out a definite trend our GM has…

    Licht likes picking high RAS guys (over 9.25) who are under 23 years old in round 1.

    Vea is one exception as he was 23 when drafted and Winston’s RAS score was way under 9.25… Other than that this trend has been fairly well established.

  42. Capt.Tim Says:

    Drafting a DT is cool, because Vea Is 30.
    Drafting. CB is a good idea, because Dean is likely gone next year.
    Drafting a Wr is important, because Godwin is likely gone next year, and Evans is getting old.

    I cant help but laugh my arse off at this line of thinking.
    Its like changing the oil, while the car is on fire

    Worst pass rush in the league. And that was BEFORE we lost Shaq and White.
    Worst rushing offense in the League. BEFORE we cut Stennie and Feiler.
    Worst pass defense in the league. BEFORE traded Carlton Davis
    Worst TE production.

    How about we worry about the Hurricane tearing the house apart RIGHT NOW,
    and mow the grass after we address our current disaster.

    If a soldier is out of ammo on a battlefield, he shouldnt be focused on the dent on his helmet.
    We need to prioritize.
    If you just drove off a cliff, dont need to be too upset about the Check engine light coming on

    Okay, okay. Ill stop.
    But its incredible reading how some of you think we should be drafting for future issues, instead of present catastrophes.

    I worry about some of you

  43. WiscoJoe Says:

    Byron Murphy with Cancey and Vea… I’m drooling just thinking about it. This will surely free up our ends.

    Btw I still think the Bucs are crazy for not trying to put Devin White at OLB.

  44. WiscoJoe Says:


  45. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Yes, you can definitely tell he pays very close attention to Bruce Feldman’s annual Top 25 Freaks List. But he’s a smart dude, so he knows you can’t base everything off those intangibles

  46. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    When scrutinizing his metrics as a 5-tech DE/DT, his performance explodes off the charts. But let’s not overlook the fact that his pass rush dominance remains off-the-charts, regardless of where he lines up along the D-line (Ref. Pass Rush Win Rate %)

    His disruptive prowess, combined with Head Coach Todd Bowles’ penchant for orchestrating stunts and games within defensive schemes, promises to wreak absolute havoc on opposing offenses.

  47. Usfbuc Says:

    Even if D Rob is an upgrade for us over Hall it could still improve the d line and get more pressure. Hall has just been a body in his first two years and he isn’t a true replacement for Gholston who was quietly a rock on our d line.

  48. Usfbuc Says:

    Hall 22 total tackles, .5 sacks, 7 TFL on 543 snaps.
    Gholston 19 total tackles, 0 sacks, 0 TFL on 244 snaps

  49. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Exactly. If Robinson can replicate the disruptive force that Yaya Diabe brought to the table, shaking up Logan Hall’s position akin to how Diabe overtook Joe Tryon, it creates a win-win situation. This isn’t just about individual prowess; it’s about driving the entire defensive line to the next level.

  50. Marine Buc Says:

    @ LUV

    If the Bucs can move back from pick #26 to pick #30-#34 pick up another 3rd round pick and grab D. Robinson I would be OK with that…

  51. Usfbuc Says:

    The injury to Latu is two years removed so our risk of him busting as a first round pick because of injury is probably only slightly higher than any other player. The reality is any of these players could have their careers ended on a single snap of spring training.

  52. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Absolutely, that would be the dream scenario. By leveraging Robinson’s potential to unsettle Logan Hall, we could position ourselves as the ideal trade partner for the Commanders

    Washington Commanders

    * No. 36 overall
    * No. 40 overall (from Chicago to complete Montez Sweat trade)
    * No. 67
    * No. 78 (from Seattle in the Sam Howell trade)
    * No. 100 (from San Francisco to complete Chase Young trade)
    * No. 139
    * No. 152 (from Seattle in Howell trade)
    * No. 222

    For picks 36 & 67? Giving us potentially

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    (2nd–4th Round Picks)
    * No. 36 overall
    * No. 57
    * No. 67
    * No. 89
    * No. 92
    * No. 125

    * No. 220
    * No. 246

  53. Marine Buc Says:

    @ LUV

    That would be an awesome scenario for us…

    I agree and would be thrilled with that outcome.

  54. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    No doubt, bro

  55. Esteban85 Says:

    Latu is worth the risk at #20 imo. I think he will drop due to the injury scare but won’t drop all the way to #26. Trade future draft picks for him not out 24 3rd round

  56. go dawgs Says:

    what a bunch of blowhards…

    pickgrin says…”He’s not much of an athlete. Licht prefers his prospects to have good RAS scores – not bad ones…”

    dude is a potential 1st round pick in the nfl and not much of an athlete???

    the idiotic stuff on these chats is always amusing to me!

  57. David Says:


    He produces against the past. He’s good against the run and he’s relentless. Chop is a workout warrior project. LATU has had a lot of injuries, that seems like a big risk.

  58. No Mercy Says:

    Joe makes it seem like Big Chop pissed in his Cheerios lol. You stat nerds are implying you haven’t watched any tape. He was massively disruptive all season even without “sacks”. I’d prefer a guy with less sacks who makes a difference every play over a guy who ends up with 7-10 sacks but those are their only impact plays.

    As for Darius Robinson, I really like him. He has a JPP like frame and aggressiveness. I have wet dreams thinking about what he could do in a Todd Bowles defense