The Tampa Bay Buccaneers desperately need an edge rusher, and they're most likely to find one in the draft. But the opportunities to actually draft one or going to be few and far between. Noah Spence is a good fit, but he may not be available -- and if he is, there's the question of his ecstacy issues.
The other possible top-ten picks at defensive end are Ohio State's Joey Bosa and Oregon's DeForest Buckner. Both of them look like very good players, but neither looks like a true edge rusher. Both lack some explosiveness and the ability to beat offensive tackles around the edge. Given their size, 6'6" 275 lbs. and 6'7" 281 lbs. respectively, they're closer to being 3-4 defensive ends or 4-3 defensive tackles than true edge rushers.
Bosa and Buckner confirmed this impression in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine today. Bosa ran an unofficial 4.89-second and 4.87-second 40-yard dashes, while DeForest Buckner ran unofficial 5.06 40-yard dashes both times. These are good times for their size -- they're just not very good for defensive ends, who run an average of a 4.83 40-yard dash -- according to Mock Draftable.
For comparison's sake: recent top ten picks ran much faster. Vic Beasley came in at 4.53 seconds, Dante Fowler at 4.60, Jadeveon Clowney at 4.53, Ezekiel Ansah at 4.63, Dion Jordan at 4.60 and Barkevious Mingo at 4.58. Bosa and Buckner are downright slow compared to that.
Of course, 40-yard dash times only say so much. The initial 10- and 20-yard splits are more important, as are the broad and vertical jump. And it's important to note that above all, tape should rule. But this time merely confirms what we've already seen on tape. This is not a case of measurements overruling game film, but reinforcing it. As Stephen White put it: Bosa will probably be a "good, productive player" -- but not an All-Star, and that's what teams want in the top ten.
That doesn't mean these players aren't in play for the Bucs' ninth overall pick. They may decide to add either player as run defenders, and hybrid players who can shift inside on passing downs. But if they're looking for a true edge rusher, the 15-sack terror they haven't had since Simeon Rice, they'll need to look at other players.
All of this could easily be a moot point: both Bosa and Buckner are widely seen as likely top five picks at this point.