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NFL Draft 2019 recap: Buccaneers fill defensive needs

If there’s one thing that Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians wanted to address in the 2019 NFL Draft, it was the defensive side of the football. The Buccaneers made sure to fill the defensive holes that hindered the club last season over the last three days of the NFL Draft.

From shoring up the front seven to adding more secondary pieces and even adding a slot receiver and a kicker, the Buccaneers went ahead and filled needs with the best available players on their board. We take a closer look at each player the Buccaneers drafted and how they may help moving forward.

Round 1, No. 5 pick, Devin White/LSU/LB: This was a pretty easy pick for Arians and general manager Jason Licht. Seeing Kwon Alexander go through free agency opened up a spot at middle linebacker and White certainly fills the void. The 6-foot, 237-pound linebacker can play sideline to sideline and delivers big hits to go along with his great speed.

Round 2, No. 39 pick, Sean Bunting/Central Michigan/CB: Many at this juncture would’ve liked to seen the Buccaneers go with the more notable name like a Greedy Williams from LSU. Draft analysts had Bunting with a first round grade but he didn’t play for a more notable college program. Bunting brings great size (6’0, 198) and speed to the cornerback position. Could be a Day 1 starter.

Round 3, No. 94 pick, Jamel Dean/Auburn/CB: Dean brings another big cornerback to the Buccaneers’ secondary being 6-foot-1, 206 pounds. The former Auburn product became the second of three draft picks the Buccaneers used on revamping the secondary.

Round 3, No. 99 pick, Mike Edwards/Kentucky/S: The last pick the Buccaneers used on a defensive back was on Edwards, who brings leadership and versatility to the secondary. Tampa Bay wanted to add defensive backs who can play multiple positions and Edwards is a player who can play either safety position and cornerback.

Round 4, No. 107 pick, Anthony Nelson/Iowa/DE: Nelson gives the Buccaneers some size up front playing in Bowles 3-4 scheme. At 6-foot-7, 261 pounds, Nelson’s great size is perfect for a defensive end in either a 3-4 or 4-3 look. This pick helps shore up the defensive line and bring more questions about Gerald McCoy’s return.

Round 5, No. 145 pick, Matt Gay/Utah/K: Drafting a kicker? Yes, the Buccaneers used a pick on a place kicker once again and once again on a kicker who won the Lou Groza Award, which is given to the best kicker in college football. Gay will provide competition to Cairo Santos, who was signed on last season after the team parted ways with Nick Folk.

Round 6, No. 208 pick, Scott Miller/Bowling Green/WR: The potential replacement to Adam Humphries? Scotty Miller would have some huge shoes to fill, but the 5-foot-11, 166-pound slot receiver ran sub-4.3 40 times and could very well be Jameis Winston’s new security blanket in the slot.

Round 7, No. 215 pick, Terry Beckner Jr./Missouri/DT: The Buccaneers use their last pick of the draft on defensive tackle Terry Beckner Jr. of Missouri. Beckner provides some much needed depth within the interior for Tampa Bay, with the possible impending departure of McCoy.

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