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Buccaneers bringing in top defensive end prospect Nick Bosa for pre-draft visit

Just in case he falls to No. 5, Tampa Bay is checking out one of the top prospects in this year’s draft.

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Considering they have the No. 5 pick in this year’s NFL Draft, the Buccaneers don’t have to rule out too many prospects. However, there are obviously a few guys who are almost guaranteed to be unavailable by the time Tampa Bay’s pick comes around. Regardless, that doesn’t have to stop the front office from doing its homework.

So, with that said, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Jason Licht and his staff are checking out defensive end Nick Bosa, who is expected to be a top-three pick later this month. The Ohio State product is scheduled to visit with Tampa Bay later this week:

In three seasons with the Buckeyes, Bosa totaled 77 tackles (47 solo), 17.5 sacks and 29 tackles for loss. His best season came in 2017, when he picked up 8.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. His 2018 season was cut short by an injury, but he still managed to put up four sacks in three games played.

There’s no doubt that somehow landing the 6-foot-4, 266-pound defensive end would be a massive addition for the Bucs. The team’s pass rush was improved in 2018, but it could still use some work in 2019 as new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles installs his aggressive schemes. Bosa’s draft profile tabs him as a guy with a “chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player.” If you’ve seen him play, you’ll know that’s a safe expectation.

Bosa comes from a family of NFL defensive ends. His brother is Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, who was the No. 3 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Their dad, John Bosa, was a first-round pick in 1987 and played defensive end for the Miami Dolphins.

Realistically, the Bucs would probably have to trade up to land Bosa. But there’s definitely no harm in bringing him in for a visit.