The future of Daryl Smith is uncertain. Without Smith, who will start at outside linebacker? Could the Buccaneers could have their starting strong side linebacker waiting in the wings?
More from The Pewter Plank
- Devin White posts cryptic message to Lavonte David on Twitter
- ESPN predicts surprising outcome to Devin White trade saga
- Updated Buccaneers depth chart after signing two players from rookie minicamp
- Todd Bowles sends clear message about Baker Mayfield’s role with Bucs
- The Athletic is wrong about Bucs one ‘must-watch’ game in 2023
The Buccaneers have made moves at most of the expected places this offseason. Strong side linebacker is one of the few positions that seems to have been somewhat ignored. Granted the Bucs did sign Jeff Knox a standout CFL linebacker, but aside from that there hasn’t been much movement at the position. Cameron Lynch and Adarius Glanton remain on the roster, but until this point have been seen as special teams players for the most part.
Enter Devante Bond. The 6th round draft pick from a year ago missed most of 2016 with an injury. In the 9 games he appeared in, in 2015, Bond posted 43 tackles, 7 tackles for a loss and 3 sacks. Bond’s statistics don’t jump off the screen and scream Kwon Alexander, however, the Bucs do have a plan for him.
NFL.com’s scouting report says this in regards to Bond:
"“Shows ability to shed blocker with quick, active hands and arm-over move….Takes coaching and builds on it…Plays with consistent effort. Adequate in zone coverage and actively looks to limit passing windows. “"
Daryl Smith played a very similar role for the Bucs last year. With Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David all over the field, the Bucs may not have to ask Bond to do anything other than play consistently. His ability to shed blocks and play decent zone coverage should be all we need from him at strong side linebacker.
The Bucs may draft another linebacker to give some competition, but Bond might have a chance to get the starting spot. Having him on the roster while being willing to let Daryl Smith walk (or appear to walk) is an interesting move. With not very much depth at the position and not many moves made in free agency, the Bucs could be looking at a linebacker in the draft or, an in-house option like Bond.