Kendell Beckwith would have been a second round pick had he not torn his ACL in 2016, and the Bucs would have never had a chance to grab him.
As it stood though, Tampa saw the window open and traded their fourth and sixth round picks in this year’s draft to the New York Jets in order to move up to grab him.
What they have now is a solid strongside linebacker candidate who has extensive experience playing in the middle of a 3-4 base defense at LSU.
Many expect the Bucs defense to return with a 4-3 base, but should see a good amount of 3-4 fronts as well.
Of course, Bucs fans are aware of Alexander’s impact on their defense, and now get to welcome his former teammate to the squad.
Beckwith will fall in as a much better run stopper than he is cover man which is what makes him a prime candidate to take on the starting strongside duties.
He should also be able to contribute on special teams much like people expected Alexander to coming out of college himself.
What got some heads scratching here is the value placed on drafting another linebacker.
The position group wasn’t widely viewed as a critical area of need, so seeing the team trade up to get any linebacker was a bit of a surprise.
However, if the team was going to trade up for one, this was a good one to do it for.
Rounding out day two, the Bucs seem to have gotten four players who will have immediate chances to impact the team.
The fact he’ll get on the field early helps, but the gamble on a young prospect recovering from injury at a position of lesser need brings this grade down a bit.