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Buccaneers choose linebacker Devin White at No. 5

Former LSU middle linebacker Devin White's pre-draft goal to be a top-five pick came to fruition Thursday night.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected White with the fifth overall pick of 2019 NFL Draft, completing a pre-draft courtship that began at the NFL Scouting Combine.

White met with the Buccaneers for a formal interview in Indianapolis, and then flew to Tampa for a pre-draft visit in early April. The Buccaneers were among at least 10 teams White visited since March leading to the draft.

The 6-foot, 237-pound White, who clocked a position-group best 4.42 time in the 40-yard dash at the combine, provides playmaking skills combined with speed to become an immediate starter in the middle of the linebacker corps. He is also a rare example of a middle linebacker going off the board within the first 10 picks.

Tampa Bay's newest linebacker also comes with plenty of confidence.

"You can't go find another middle linebacker that weighs 240 (pounds), is good in the classroom, can make crazy plays on the field, like, 'Wow! How did that guy make that play?'" White previously told during the pre-draft process. "Shows up on time and tries to do everything right. Man, it's kind of hard, but tell them, like, you got an opportunity right now in front of you, so take advantage of it. I mean, that's my main selling point. Another player like me won't be around in a long time."

White is the recipient of the 2018 Butkus Award, which recognizes the nation's top college linebacker, and comes with proven production in the tough SEC, where he totaled a conference-best 123 tackles the past season.

On his career in Baton Rouge, White totaled 286 tackles (114 solo), 8.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hits and nine pass breakups, all of which are impressive numbers for an inside linebacker.

White replaces Kwon Alexander, another former LSU star, in the linebacker corps and will play alongside Lavonte David and reunite with linebacker Kendell Beckwith, also a former LSU Tiger, in new head coach Bruce Arians' defense.

From his college production to his personality, click here to read all about White, who was profiled by as part of the annual "Path to the Draft" series.

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