Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2019 Training Camp Outlook: Defensive Line

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Vita Vea (50) runs with teammates during practice at the NFL football team's training camp Thursday, May 31, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

For a team that struggled in the sack department in 2018, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did little to address the defensive line in the offseason. The switch to a 3-4 scheme creates some awkward fits for a few players such as Jason Pierre-Paul, who will likely line up as an outside linebacker. In this breakdown, we will examine every player across the line, and see where they stand come training camp.

Ndamukong Suh

While Suh is known as a three technique in the NFL, I think he will play defensive end in Todd Bowles 3-4 defense. While playing for the Los Angeles Rams, Suh often lined up on the outside. I expect this to stay the same in Tampa. Vita Vea doesn’t have the skill set to play as an edge rusher, forcing Suh to the outside.

Vita Vea

After a promising finish to the 2018, I don’t think Bucs fans would disagree that Vita Vea will open camp as the starting defensive tackle. Standing 6’4″ and almost 350 pounds, Vea will serve as a roadblock in the middle of the defense. Depth is still an issue, so lets hope Vea can stay healthy for 16 games this upcoming season.

William Gholston

William Gholston finishes off the last defensive end spot. The 3-4 scheme makes it challenging to predict if players will line up at outside linebacker or defensive end, but Gholston fits the mold here more easily. Set to make $3.75 million in 2019 with no guarantees, I could easily see Gholston as a late training camp casualty.  But for now, Gholston’s run stuffing ability meshes well in a scheme that opens lanes for linebackers

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Beau Allen/Terry Beckner

After a fairly uneventful season in 2018, Beau Allen looks to bounce back as the second string defensive tackle. His veteran status elevates him over Terry Beckner, at least for now. Beckner was drafted in the 7th round and will have time to ease into the defense. The five star recruit failed to meet expectations at Missouri, but will round out the third string defensive tackle spot nicely.

Anthony Nelson/Khazin Daniels

A more conventional 3-4 defensive end, Anthony Nelson will get his shot to start behind William Gholston. Selected in the 4th round of the 2019 draft, Nelson could provide an upgrade to a pass rush that has been mediocre for years. Unlike Nelson, Kahzin Daniels fits the mold of a typical 4-3 defensive end. He was more comfortable putting his hand in the dirt in college, which translates to exceptional quickness off the snap. As an undrafted free agent, Daniels has an uphill battle to make the roster. But he easily has the most upside compared to players like Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Demone Harris.

Players Switching to Outside Linebacker

Players like Noah Spence and Carl Nassib were left off this list because their skill sets translate to outside linebackers. After an underwhelming career so far, I am interested in seeing how Spence plays as an outside linebacker. David Kenny has also been receiving a ton of hype recently, and he just might make he final roster spot. He’ll have to compete with Khazin Daniels throughout training camp and into the preseason.

With training camp only days away, make sure you follow FPC_Buccaneers on twitter for all of your Buccaneers news.


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