Should Bucs Have Even Drafted LB White?

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Pewter Report’s Scott Reynolds solutions your questions from the @PewterReport Twitter account every week within the Bucs Monday Mailbag. Submit your query to the Bucs Monday Mailbag every week by way of Twitter utilizing the hashtag #PRMailbag. Listed below are the questions we selected to reply for this week’s version.

QUESTION: The Bucs let Kwon Alexander stroll after which drafted Devin White to switch him. Because it pertains to on-field efficiency (not potential) – and contemplating White’s upcoming (deserved or undeserved) pay day – ought to we’ve stored Alexander as a substitute?

ANSWER: Kwon Alexander was let go for a few causes. The primary of which was his ACL harm he suffered in his contract 12 months in 2018. The 49ers signed Alexander to a profitable deal, however he wasn’t totally recovered within the 2019 season. San Francisco wager that Alexander would return to his 2017 Professional Bowl kind and inked him to a four-year, $54 million deal. There was no method the Bucs have been going to pay anyplace near that quantity – injured or not.

Tampa Bay actually favored White and seen him as a quicker, extra athletic and more healthy model of Alexander. To date, White has been an improve over Alexander regardless of his faults and shortcomings. White performed an instrumental function within the Bucs successful Tremendous Bowl LV – a recreation by which he had an interception. Towards New Orleans within the 2020 Divisional playoffs, White had a key interception and fumble return.

White made the Professional Bowl final 12 months regardless of not having as dynamic of a season as he had in 2020. He’s solely 24 and has two extra years left underneath contract, as Tampa Bay picked up his fifth-year choice. With new inside linebackers coach Larry Foote in his ear, I think White will rebound and have his greatest season but in 2022.

The 49ers traded Alexander to the Saints a 12 months later, the place he has been a part-time starter at strongside linebacker. He had 50 tackles, 3.5 sacks, a pressured fumble and a fumble restoration final 12 months in New Orleans. However he hasn’t come near the 145-tackle, three-sack season he had in 2017 in Tampa Bay. Alexander is nearly 28 now and doesn’t seem to have as a lot upside. The Bucs appeared to make the correct name in swapping out Alexander for White.

QUESTION: Who shall be RB2 behind Leonard Fournette – Ke’Shawn Vaughn or Rachaad White? The teaching employees clearly loves expertise, however White appears to suit somewhat higher.

ANSWER: It is a query we appear to get a minimum of each different week. It’s positively a sizzling subject, so I’ll reply it once more. Rachaad White, the group’s third-round draft decide this 12 months, is the shiny new toy. He had an excellent offseason throughout the OTAs and mini-camps. The guess right here is that he winds up because the No. 2 working again behind Leonard Fournette. Such as you stated, he’s a greater match due to his means within the passing recreation.

Bucs RB Rachaad White

Bucs RB Rachaad White – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

Ke’Shawn Vaughn had an excellent alternative to showcase his enchancment and growth on the finish of the season when Fournette was out. However exterior of an extended landing run at Carolina, Vaughn averaged a paltry 3.1 yards per carry down the stretch. He’s not a dynamic runner, neither is he a lot of an element within the passing recreation. To be honest, Vaughn did present some enchancment this offseason by way of catching the ball. That’s an space he actually wanted to work on.

The large deciding issue between Vaughn and White shall be who offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich and quarterback Tom Brady trusts essentially the most in move safety. Vaughn may need the early edge because of his expertise. However White could have three weeks of camp practices to catch up previous to the preseason video games.

When it’s all stated and performed, I believe White will emerge because the No. 2 working again behind Fournette. Then, it will likely be as much as Vaughn to beat out veteran Giovani Bernard for the No. 3 working again job.

QUESTION: Why wouldn’t we re-sign Ndamukong Suh and platoon him and Akiem Hicks? Think about subbing one for the opposite.

ANSWER: Ndamukong Suh received’t play for pennies. The Bucs spent a excessive second-round decide on Logan Corridor and added Akiem Hicks, whom the group paid $6.5 million this 12 months. Suh has made a minimum of $9 million per 12 months in every of the final three seasons in Tampa Bay. Even at age 35, Suh would probably value a minimum of $7 million in 2022 – if no more. The Bucs are tight towards the wage cap and sure want so as to add one other tight finish and probably one other exterior linebacker previous to the beginning of the season.

His large price ticket apart, the Bucs didn’t re-sign Suh as a result of he’s misplaced a step. When wholesome, the 32-year outdated Hicks is a step quicker than Suh, particularly in terms of speeding the passer. Corridor, who’s 21, was one of many faster and extra athletic tackles within the 2022 NFL Draft.

If this have been the Madden soccer online game, including Suh would make some sense. However in the actual world in terms of the wage cap and precise enjoying time, the Bucs seem like higher off with Hicks and Corridor at defensive deal with. Each snap Suh can be within the recreation for can be one fewer valuable developmental snap that Corridor would get – or one fewer snap a more practical participant like Hicks would get.

QUESTION: What space of the offense and protection are you most wanting ahead to watching in camp?

ANSWER: Pewter Report simply got here out with an article over the weekend detailing a few of the most fascinating matchups of Bucs coaching camp. Our PR Roundtable subject this week was “which camp matchups are you most wanting ahead to?” I stated vast receiver Russell Gage vs. nickel cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting. With Chris Godwin out firstly of coaching camp, Gage will see a while within the slot towards Murphy-Bunting, who’s coming into a essential contract 12 months.

Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting

Bucs CB Sean Murphy-Bunting – Photograph by: Cliff Welch/PR

One other one was nostril deal with Vita Vea and defensive deal with Akiem Hicks vs. rookie guard Luke Goedeke. Linebacker Devin White vs. working again Leonard Fournette was additionally talked about, as was exterior linebacker Joe Tryon-Shoyinka vs. proper deal with Tristan Wirfs. These matchups actually cowl a few of the main factors of curiosity.

Different areas of Tampa Bay’s offense and protection I’m occupied with watching in camp are the vast receivers basically, tight ends and the reserve exterior linebackers. After Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Gage, the Bucs primarily have 10 receivers combating for 3 or 4 roster spots. The tight finish place is stuffed with younger expertise. And it will likely be fascinating to see how Anthony Nelson, Cam Gill, Elijah Ponder and Andre Anthony fare behind Tryon-Shoyinka and Shaq Barrett.

QUESTION: Appears like we shall be needing some tight finish assist, are we bringing anybody in? Are we searching for some veteran move catchers? Any replace on Cade Otton’s harm?

ANSWER: There was a report over the weekend in regards to the Bucs displaying some actual curiosity in Kyle Rudolph. I’ve thought all alongside that he could be the very best veteran free agent choice due to his background as a blocker and a receiver. Jimmy Graham, Jared Cook dinner and Blake Jarwin are another names to contemplate. Rudolph, Graham and Cook dinner are throughout 30 and their abilities are in decline. Cook dinner is nearly strictly a pass-catcher, and the Bucs will want a very good inline blocker to switch what Gronkowski introduced in that space.

I wouldn’t be stunned if the Bucs wait a bit on signing a veteran, maybe to offer extra reps to rookie tight ends Cade Otton, Ko Kieft, J.J. Howland and Ben Beise. But when Rudolph is a participant the Bucs are concentrating on and demand begins to warmth up for his companies, they might should hurry up.

As for Otton, he suffered a season-ending ankle harm in November final 12 months and had surgical procedure. He missed the offseason exercises, OTAs and mini-camps. However he’s been diligently rehabbing his harm and is anticipated to be able to go firstly of coaching camp. The guess right here is that the Bucs give him each alternative to attempt to win the beginning tight finish job in camp.