When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted Kendell Beckwith in the third round, most NFL draft analysts said they’d gotten a steal—albeit one who may not be able to play this year. A few months later and Beckwith is running with the first team as the middle linebacker, per JoeBucsFan.
Granted, Beckwith’s with the starters because of an injury to Kwon Alexander. It’s not clear how serious that injury is: there have been no hints whatsoever on that front from the Bucs, who hate giving away anything on injuries if they don’t have to. So don’t expect anything from them any time soon, I guess.
Beckwith taking over at middle linebacker is encouraging for him and for the Bucs’ investment in him, but not quite what the team wants: Alexander is turning into one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL pretty quickly, and losing him for any length of time would be quite a blow to the Bucs, especially their pass defense: Beckwith’s a bigger thumping linebacker who can struggle in coverage.
Hopefully Alexander’s injury is nothing serious. For now, though, we’re likely to see Beckwith in a prominent role in Saturday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. That should be interesting, too.