The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Kendell Beckwith the final pick of the third round in the 2017 NFL draft. A pick that would almost universally be seen as a steal, if it weren’t for one thing: a torn ACL he suffered in November.
Beckwith isn’t worried about that ACL injury, though, and neither are the Bucs.
"I wish I could run around and see the fits," Beckwith told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. "But I've got some rehab left to do. I think I'll definitely be ready for training camp. That's the goal."
Stroud claims the Bucs concur, and expect to have him back for training camp. Which means he’ll get to be featured on Hard Knocks and, more importantly, could win a starting job early on.
That wouldn’t be surprising at all: the Bucs have a hole at strongside linebacker right now, and Beckwith will likely have to compete with last year’s sixth-round pick Devante Bond. That’s an eminently winnable battle for Beckwith.
Even if Beckwith doesn’t win that battle, he’s likely to get some playing time in sub packages anyway. His size would make him a good fit on goal-line defenses, and the Bucs are planning to run more 3-4 looks, where he could find a spot more easily, too.
Of course, Beckwith first has to get healthy for that to happen. So far, that’s looking good.