The Buccaneers were certainly tuned in to the workouts Sunday as the defensive linemen and linebackers were on full display. With the defense facing a complete revamping under new coordinator Todd Bowles, Tampa Bay has a lot of work to do at every level.
With Jason Licht being non-committal on the return of Gerald McCoy and a pending 3-4 base defense this season, the Bucs are bound to look at both interior linemen as well as edge rushers. Now, those edge rushers could come in the form of 3-4 defensive ends or outside linebackers, but the position groups certainly have to be addressed.
Here are a few of the linemen that stood out during their workouts that the Bucs may have some interest in.
Allen worked out with the defensive linemen and the linebackers as he is considered an edge guy. His 40 wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t something the would be looked down upon finishing with a 4.63. His get-off is quick and was a dominant force in the SEC despite playing for Kentucky which isn’t exactly viewed as a football haven. Allen could see himself slip a little thanks to the infatuation with Kyler Murray and could be sitting there at number five for the Buccaneers. He would be better suited to line up at the outside linebacker spot with the go ahead to pin his ears back and get after the quarterback, but displayed some reliable hands should he be dropped into pass coverage.
Williams is an interesting cat. He likely wouldn’t translate too well to a 3-4 defensive end and the Buccaneers have their nose tackle in last year’s first round pick Vita Vea. His get off is incredible. He ran a 4.83 40, but his 10-yard split was 1.67 - comparable to Aaron Donald’s 1.63. He explodes out of his stance and can get to the quarterback quickly. If he’s there at five - which is doubtful, but not as impossible as originally believed - it may be hard to pass on someone who could develop into a generational talent. Good coaches will find a spot for him that will allow him to flourish.
Sweat was the media darling of the day with a record setting 4.41 40 with a 1.55 10-yard split. That is BLAZING. His initial step and burst is unreal which is going to be problematic for tackles trying to get their hands on him. He had a little trouble with his footing during drills, but was always quick to recover. He also looked a little stiff at times but as he continues to develop and loosens up, his game will only get better. Sweat may have helped himself immensely with his workouts Sunday.
Burns had an impressive 1.65 10-yard split during his 40 and made a few impressive catches during drills. His footwork is quick and he has the strength to be an impactful player immediately for whichever team drafts him. He is also versatile enough to be a 3-4 outside linebacker or a defensive end, but better suited for the OLB spot. He has already had a formal meeting with the Buccaneers in Indy, so they appear to have some interest.
Plenty of options for the Bucs along the defensive line or out outside linebacker with an incredible crop of pass rushers this year. That also mean the Bucs don’t have to take one at five as there will still be some top tier talent that falls to the top of day two.