East Linebacker James Onwualu, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The injury bug is always lurking however, and it’s improbable the duo will be able to play out their careers in peak physical health for 16 or more games every year.
That being said, James Onwualu is a name fans should look for in the Shrine Game as he brings 39 games’ worth of experience and 19.5 career tackles for a loss to the field.
Interestingly enough, he began his time in South Bend as a wide receiver before moving to the defensive side in 2014.
It’s unclear as of now who will fill in as Tampa’s strong-side linebacker, but if the team doesn’t address the position earlier in the draft, then Onwualu could be an option available in the last part of the draft into free-agency.
West Linebacker Hardy Nickerson Jr., Illinois Fighting Illini
You may not know Hardy Nickerson Jr. played at Cal before moving to Illinois and playing for Lovie Smith’s Fighting Illini, but you know the name no matter what.
The son of former Bucs great Hardy Nickerson is a name you have to include in this list because of lineage alone, but don’t think the younger namesake doesn’t have some talent of his own.
He has just four sacks to his name in his career, but he’s got 14.5 tackles for a loss to go with them including a career high 5.5 in 2016. He also nabbed two interceptions in the same season while tallying his second straight 100-tackle campaign.
Again, linebacker isn’t exactly a position of great need for the Buccaneers, but good depth players are never a bad thing, and having an athletic player to roam the middle behind Alexander would be a good idea.