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first pick."Just one year removed from taking a defensive tackle in the first round of the draft M.J. Stewart Jersey , could Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht do it again? In 2018 the Buccaneers traded down from 7th overall to 12th and drafted Vita Vea, a nose tackle out of the University of Washington. This came after signing multiple free agents along the defensive line, including Beau Allen and Mitch Unrein, and trading for edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul. That unit was of course led by a top ten defensive tackle, the stalwart Gerald McCoy. Vea was to be paired with McCoy to showcase a formidable, pocket-collapsing interior. Now, in 2019, the Buccaneers are again picking in the top 10, this time at 5th overall. Could they choose to draft McCoy’s replacement?Quinnen Williams’ CareerWilliams was a composite four-star blue chip recruit out of Birmingham, Alabama in 2016. He redshirted for the Tide that year, and saw his first action as a reserve/rotational player in 2017, recording twenty tackles and two sacks, including 6.5 tackles for loss. That’s not surprising, as defensive tackle is one of those positions where a player’s game can take a long time to mature. A lot of players have to lose their “baby fat” from high school, and mature into their frame. At 300 lbs, it takes a lot of time and work to not only add functional strength, but also to be a “good” 300 pounds and not a “bad” 300 pounds. Not only that, but hand technique can be a difficult thing to master. That’s why most college defensive tackles have the ‘light click on’ in their redshirt junior or senior seasons. Not so for Williams.As just a redshirt sophomore in 2018, the young defensive tackle was often flat out dominant. He racked up 71 total tackles, including 45 solo, and a whopping 8 sacks. For perspective, former Nebraska and current Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had 7.5 sacks his redshirt junior season and 12.5 his redshirt senior season, before he exhausted his college eligibility and went pro. 18.5 of Williams’ 71 tackles were tackles for loss totaling -84 yards, good for top 10 nationally. Williams won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s top interior offensive or defensive lineman, was a first team All-American, and a finalist for both the Bronco Nagurski Trophy and the Bednarik Award, which are given to the nation’s top defensive player. He obviously decided to go pro early.ProsFirst, Williams is a good, explosive athlete for the position. At 6’3 303 lbs he has a great first step and his Combine measurables back that up:He didn’t run the 3-cone or the shuttle, but tape shows that Williams also has excellent quickness and mobility throughout his hands and legs. Second, Williams’ technique is good. Really good. He plays with very good leverage and his hand technique is excellent which allows him a variety of moves in his toolbag, some of which he’ll chain together, to shed blocks. He doesn’t have heavy hands so much as quick hands. Marrying his athleticism and technique together gives him good balance and re-direction ability, which also gives him good lateral mobility as he works up or down the line of scrimmage. And because his closing speed is so explosive, that increases his tackle radius. On top of all of that, Williams has a tremendous motor and is smart with good football intelligence. He diagnoses plays quickly and puts together a plan to meet the ball-carrier. In other words, physically he’s your prototype 3-tech pass rushing defensive tackle while his advanced technique, motor, and intelligence will allow him to be an instant starter and 3-down player. It’s not hyperbole to state that Williams has a chance to be an All-Pro and a perennial Pro Bowl-type player and he seems like a lock to be a top ten pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. ConsIn terms of play strength and length, Williams is just OK. This means that interior offensive linemen with good arm length or powerful play strength might give him fits, as will double teams. He’s much more suited to a one-gap quick penetrating scheme and would only be OK in a two-gap scheme that asks him to occupy blockers. He shouldn’t be asked to play a 0 or 1-tech nose tackle role but he does possess the versatility to play elsewhere along the line of scrimmage.Why The Buccaneers Need HimWell, Gerald McCoy is on the wrong side of 30 and he has the largest non-guaranteed contract on the team. Finding his replacement means you could cut or trade him, freeing up $13 million in cap space. Or at least, $13m minus whatever his replacement costs. Regardless, that $13m represents a huge amount of opportunity cost. Getting that replacement player on a cheap rookie deal would save the team a lot of money for at least four seasons, and I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but the Bucs are cap-strapped right now. Getting some relief that can be used to fill in other holes on the roster could be a tremendous help. And the Bucs could do a lot worse with McCoy’s replacement than Williams. They are pretty similar players both athletically and in terms of play-style (they even had the exact same vertical jump measurement at the Combine). Will It Happen?It very well could. Finding McCoy’s replacement would make sense given Tampa Bay’s current cap situation, and at 5th overall the Bucs could easily have the opportunity to draftWilliams. The biggest hurdle to drafting him would be if the Bucs like former Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver more, or if Williams is picked before the Bucs are even on the clock, something that’s well within the realm of possibility. This year’s class will be as pivotal as ever."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections 2016 NFL DraftInjuriesFree AgencyGame FilmNFL DraftRoster MovesDraft Priorities For The Tampa Bay BuccaneersNew,19commentsThis year’s class will be as pivotal as ever.EDTShareTweetShareShareDraft Priorities For The Tampa Bay BuccaneersQuinnen Williams would be the perfect pick for the Bucs at number five. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsCan you smell that? No, it’s not what the Rock is cooking. That’s the smell of the NFL Draft - the world’s most glorious springtime event - creeping right around the corner. Yes, that’s right. We are officially less than six weeks away at the time of this article’s posting. Now that the bulk of free agency has come and gone, fans and pundits have a better, clearer picture of what teams will need to do at the end of April. When it comes to draft priorities, many factors can come into play. Availability, need, price Jameis Winston Jersey , cap situation, future contracts, etc. can all play their part in a decision. What about the Bucs? What are their priorities in this year’s draft? Well, I’m glad you asked. The following are listed in order from least to most important.5) Wide ReceiverA year ago, this was easily the deepest spot on the team.Now, there is still a lot of talent, but there is also a lot of uncertainty.After trading DeSean Jackson to the Philadelphia Eagles and losing Adam Humphries to the Tennessee Titans in free agency, the Bucs have to replace 117 receptions, 1,590 yards, and nine touchdowns from 2018’s passing attack. They also have to replace dependable targets, as both players averaged a combined 68.4% catch rate. Humphries also caught more first downs out of the slot than any other slot receiver in the NFL last year.The loss of Adam Humphries may sting more than fans realize.Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsAs of right now, the Bucs’ first four receivers are Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Justin Watson, and Breshad Perriman. It’s pretty obvious that Tampa Bay needs a couple of more bodies at the positions, both for depth and production purposes. They are plenty of receivers that produced in college that will be found late in the draft. Same names to consider are Hunter Renfrow, David Sills V, or even Jalen Hurd. 4) LinebackerThis one is pretty obvious with the departure of Kwon Alexander. But when you really take a look at Tampa Bay’s roster, it’s even more obvious that this is a spot in need of major help.The only problem with that is, this year’s draft is very deep when it comes to talent at linebacker. If the Bucs don’t take one at number five, then there is a good chance they don’t take one at all. There’s always the chance they trade back and get a Devin Bush in the middle of the first round, but even that’s a risky proposition that should be carefully mulled over. There are major holes on this part of the roster. Outside of Alexander, no one really knows if Kendell Beckwith will come back from his 2018 injury or how Lavonte David - or the other linebackers - will perform in a 3-4 system. The though of moving Carl Nassib to outside linebacker makes sense, but there is still a major question mark with Jason Pierre-Paul. He was traded from the New York Giants due to concerns of how effective he’d be in a 3-4. Will the Bucs try and force him into that role or will they keep him on board and put him in the right position to succeed?If Pierre-Paul is cut, traded, or isn’t moved to linebacker, then the recent signings of Shaq Barrett and Deone Bucannon should help the unit, but there will certainly be questions as the draft draws closer. 3) Offensive LineDespite securing left tackle Donovan Smith for the next three seasons, there is still a hole at right guard and questions at center/right tackle when it comes to the immediate future. Alex Cappa is still a major unknown at the right guard spot. Ryan Jensen did not live up to his hefty salary. Demar Dotson is getting older and is wearing down. Both Dotson and Jensen could be gone by 2020, depending on either player’s performance in 2019. Tampa Bay needs to find a long-term solution for at least one of these spots in case attrition catches up to one - or all - of the aforementioned players. There are still some questions regarding Tampa Bay’s offensive line.Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY SportsThere are a few top-tier talents in the draft and one really couldn’t fault the Bucs for taking a guard or tackle as early as the second round, depending on the player of course. 2) SecondaryWhile the perception of concern is definitely warranted, there is still a lot of youth and talent that could break through if the correct coaching can be had. Tampa Bay has invested six total draft picks - including a first-rounder and three second-rounders - and has spent 14.3% (on average) of its cap on the secondary since 2016. Vernon Hargreaves III, the franchise’s first-round pick in 2016, has had terrible injury luck, but has shown promise during his career. The jury is still out on Justin Evans, Carlton Davis III, and M.J. Stewart - the team’s trio of second rounders - as well. But Evans, Davis III, and Jordan Whitehead have all shown major flashes of potential too, it’s not just Hargreaves that has looked good at times. IF these players can come together and live up to expectations (and draft position), then the Bucs already have a solid nucleus to rely on for the next few years. But just in case those guys don’t pan out, it wouldn’t hurt to have a young, cheap backup and there are no shortage of those in this year’s draft. The potential is there for this group to make some major strides in 2019. So much so that if the Bucs decided to wait until the later rounds to take a defensive back, I wouldn’t mind at all.1) Defensive LineI can’t wait to feel the gust of wind that is the collective breath of Tampa Bay fans cursing my name from Florida. How can defensive line be a priority after the Bucs drafted Vita Vea in the first round of 2018? Especially with Gerald McCoy and Pierre-Paul on the roster?That’s the key, both of latter-mentioned players likely won’t be on the roster next year - or possibly even this year. Is it time for Tampa Bay to begin bracing for life post-Gerald McCoy?Aaron Doster-USA TODAY SportsCombine that with the fact the 2019 draft is STACKED with talent at the position, it almost seems like a no-brainer for the Bucs to pick a defensive lineman early this year. Taking a player like a Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen or Ed Oliver in the first round could have seriously positive implications when it comes to on-field production and cap management over the next few years. In today’s NFL, it’s apparent how valuable a good pass rush is when it comes to winning. The stars don’t align often in Tampa Bay, but they have in this situation and the Bucs must take advantage. Keep in mind, just because free agency is over doesn’t mean that potential roster turnover is no longer a possibility for most teams, it’s far from it. There is still plenty of time for teams to cut or add players. If the Bucs make a move in that regard, it could change the order of this list, but this is it for now.
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