Buccaneers Meet Virtually With Defensive Line Prospects


As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue in their draft evaluation process, they recently met virtually with yet another prospect. Per Justin Melo of The Draft network, defensive tackle Darius Stills of West Virginia is the latest player to meet with the Buccaneers. This comes after previously showing special interest in Ohio State defensive lineman Jonathon Cooper while meeting at the senior bowl. As the Buccaneers continue to do their due diligence on prospects along the defensive line, here’s how each players scouting report breaks down.

Darius Stills

Stills is one of the most talented interior pass rushers in the draft. He uses his leverage and explosive burst combined with his strength at the point of attack to consistently generate pressure. Stills Ability to disrupt the pocket allows for outside rushes to get home to the quarterback with more frequency. He can however get bullied by bigger offensive lineman especially in the running game where he needs considerable improvement. Stills projects as strictly a situational pass rusher coming into the league. As such he is projected to be selected around the fourth round, his best fit in a 4-3 scheme as a 3-technique.

Jonathon Cooper

Cooper turned in a great final season as a Buckeye in 2020. Showcasing flashes of his speed, power and array of pass rush moves. As a team captain, he displayed great leadership and brought great energy to the team. Cooper however lacks top notch athleticism, strength and length for the position. As a result his draft stock has him most likely a mid to late round pick on day three. Cooper’s game best translates to a rotational and situational pass rusher at the next level with the possibility to develop into a starter.

The defensive line is an important position for the Buccaneers in this draft. Both for the present in terms of quality depth and the future to keep the cabinet stocked. Vita Vea is heading into his final season before his option year and there is uncertainty on William Gholston and Ndamukong Suh’s long term future. That being said, this is an area I expect the Buccaneers to take a hard look at. And it appears the Bucs may be primed to address the position in the draft.

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