Tampa Bay’s first-round pick Devin White certainly has a lot of weight on his shoulders already. As far as leading this defense, the coaching staff and fans expect him to practically step in right off the bat.
According to Adam Rank, a writer for NFL.com, the former LSU Tiger has all the tools necessary to become a pro bowler for the next decade:
“The Bucs had their pick of potential game-changers during the 2019 NFL Draft and selected White. He brings instant credibility to the middle of the defense and can be the kind of guy who will be a Pro Bowler for the next decade. Early reports have him as a vocal leader already, which is needed, since the Bucs finished 27th in total defense last year.” – Adam Rank, NFL.COM
Without a doubt, Rank could be right on with his prediction. White had a highly impressive college career and his work ethic seems to be something else, as well.
However, what will be expected of him might just be a little too much for the rookie. He will have to play a major role on a disastrous defense. To make matters worse, that defense will most likely be forced to do without its best player, Jason Pierre-Paul.
White Remains Unsigned
Beyond that, White has not yet signed a contract with the Bucs and training camp is right around the corner. The entire defense has to learn a new system under Todd Bowles. A system in which White will undoubtedly be a cornerstone.
The lightning-fast rookie can be valuable for the Buccaneers, especially against players like Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey. These two ran all over the Bucs last season. Life will be much tougher for them with White and his outstanding speed matched up against them. It would be highly unfortunate if he were to miss significant practice and learning time due to contract issues.
Hopefully the front office and White find a way to agree on a deal soon. The defense simply cannot afford to start training camp without the unit’s most promising prospect for the next decade.