clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buccaneers NFL Draft Target: Illinois Cornerback, Devon Witherspoon

Could the Bucs add a talented player to their secondary?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOV 19 Illinois at Michigan Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bucs have many needs to fill in this upcoming draft and while the re-signing of Jamel Dean does not make cornerback as big of a need, it still would be nice to be able to add another starter to the mix.

Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon could make a lot of sense for the team at 19th overall and would create a nice trio of young corners in Tampa Bay.

Devon Witherspoon’s Collegiate Career

His story is fascinating as he did not even begin to play football until his junior year of high school and had zero stars as a recruit. He had to go to community college to help raise his grades and he would later commit to the University of Illinois.

The 5’11 Witherspoon played for Illinois for four seasons including a stellar final season where he tallied 41 total tackles and three interceptions. He was also a top three finalist for the Jim Thorpe award last season and won the Big Ten’s defensive back of the year award.

He is also a very experienced player, starting for three seasons while at Illinois. He really made his final season count.

Pro Day and NFL Scouting Combine

Witherspoon decided to not participate in any of the drills or 40 yard dash and bench press at the NFL Scouting Combine. He also did not participate in the Illinois pro day but instead will host his own pro day on Wednesday.

What Can Witherspoon Do for the Buccaneers in 2023?

This is where things get interesting if Witherspoon were to be picked by Tampa Bay. The Bucs already seemingly have their top two corners on the roster in Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean so if Witherspoon were to be in red and pewter, he would likely have to play in the slot.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 10 Virginia at Illinois Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Without having top end speed, playing in the slot could prove to be a bit difficult for him in 2023. He has a lot of potential, but 2023 may not be the year the team would reap the rewards of that draft pick.

Three-Year Outlook

This is where Witherspoon could provide the most value to the Buccaneers. While Jamel Dean is locked up for four years, Carlton Davis only has two more years left on his contract. If the Bucs had Witherspoon waiting in the wings, it could allow them the ability to let Carlton Davis walk when the time comes and allocate that money to other positions.

Witherspoon has star potential and in three years the Bucs could have one of the top duos in the league.

Stock Report

So, here’s the thing. While Witherspoon would be an awesome player for the Bucs, it just isn’t likely to happen as he could possibly be a top ten pick come draft day. He could possibly be picked outside of the top ten, but he isn’t likely to be available when the Bucs are on the clock at 19th overall.

Unless the Bucs are moving up, Witherspoon seems like a pipe dream.

On The Clock...

Let’s hear it Bucs fans, what do you think of Devon Witherspoon. Would he be a good option for Tampa Bay? Vote in the poll below and discuss in the comment section!


The Buccaneers Should Target Devon Witherspoon in the NFL Draft...

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Early (Trade Up)
    (3 votes)
  • 39%
    See if he slips to 19th overall
    (25 votes)
  • 26%
    Late (Move down and try to grab him)
    (17 votes)
  • 28%
    Never. He shouldn’t be on their board
    (18 votes)
63 votes total Vote Now