Buccaneers rookie LB Devin White impressing early

Print

Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie middle linebacker Devin White had plenty of hype coming out of LSU as one of the top players eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Buccaneers were clearly sold on White and made him the fifth overall pick of the draft.

And with organized team activities kicking off earlier in the week, it didn't take long for White to prove he's everything as advertised while working with the first-team defense.

"Something about those LSU guys, man," outside linebacker Lavonte David told reporters after Tuesday's OTA practice, via the Buccaneers' official website. "All of them bring that certain type of energy, that certain type of swagger, and we're glad to have him here.

"He's happy to be here. He's more than ready to step in and contribute right away. The first day he's flying around, talking, caught an interception on the second play of practice, so that's a big positive sign. He's happy to be here and first day he's talking. For a rookie to come in and talking like that, it's really amazing to see. So, the sky's the limit for him, most definitely."

The 6-foot, 237-pound White impressing at this early stage of offseason workouts shouldn't surprise.

He capped off a highly productive college career by leading the SEC in tackles (132) in 2018, adding three sacks, 10 quarterback hits and six pass breakups en route to being recognized with the Butkus Award, which recognizes the country's top college linebacker.

White also posted a position-best 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, and the Buccaneers knew what they were getting after spending a lot of time with the linebacker during the pre-draft process.

In addition to conducting a formal interview with White in Indianapolis, the Buccaneers hosted the linebacker on a pre-draft visit, as chronicled in NFL.com's "Path to the Draft" series on White.

In the meantime, White quickly adjusting to the professional ranks provides a positive sign for a team with a new coaching staff and a defensive unit seeking to improve from last season's 27th overall ranking.

White certainly injects talent on defense, but the Buccaneers also have an intelligent linebacker and leader, traits needed for a player wearing the green dot on his helmet as the primary link to the sideline calls.

So far, so good, as White has also impressed in that role.

"Devin's not shy," head coach Bruce Arian told reporters Tuesday, via the Buccaneers' official website. "That's what we like about him and he jumped out. He knows the defense quickly for today's installation, wasn't bashful about calling the defense and getting everybody lined up."

Print