The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Devin White, an inside linebacker from LSU with the fifth pick of the 2019 NFL draft on Thursday, April 25, 2019.
In 2018, White won the Butkus Award, recognized as the best linebacker in college while also being a consensus All-American. He was dominating in the SEC, playing well against the best teams in the country while tallying 133 tackles with three sacks last season. He also forced three fumbles, recovering two of them.
White is an incredible athlete, registering a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash, the fastest for linebackers at the combine. He also marked a 39 ½ vertical jump, second amongst linebackers and tied for fifteenth best overall.
With Kwon Alexander leaving during the offseason to sign with the San Francisco 49ers, White is in a position to start immediately and make an instant impact on a defense that needs all the help they can get.
Drafting White is not just netting the Bucs a solid player, but a solid character as well. Born in Springhill, Louisiana, White is the owner of seven horses. With names like Ricky Bobby and Daisy Mae, it is clear that White will be someone that can be both an impact player and a marketable player for a team that could use help selling tickets to games.
The Buccaneers had one of the lowest attendance figures in the NFL last season, selling only 82.8 percent of tickets to their eight home games, fourth lowest in the league. Having White might help boost those sales, especially in an area like here where he can move his horses if he wants.
“I just ride and love. They’re like my kids. I don’t have any children, but those horses, I go give them carrots, take them on walks and rides. They’re like my children,” White said at an SEC media day session in January.
Overall, it seems like the Bucs made a solid pick and it could be a bright spot for what will likely be an otherwise tough upcoming season.