Buccaneers: Northwestern Wildcats 2018 NFL Draft prospects to watch
By James Yarcho
The next in our 40 Teams in 40 Days draft series gives us the draft prospects and potential Buccaneers prospects from the Northwestern Wildcats.
The Northwestern Wildcats have begun to emerge as serious threats within the Big Ten. They finished their 2017 season with a 10-3 record – good for second in the Big Ten West and victorious over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl. The Buccaneers may look to dip into their talent pool come April, so here are the draft eligible prospects from the Wildcats;
Defensive Tackle – Tyler Lancaster
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Cornerback – Keith Watkins II
Wide Receiver – Solomon Vault
Quarterback – Matt Alviti
Cornerback – Marcus McShepard
Tight End – Garrett Dickerson
Linebacker – Brett Walsh
Linebacker – Warren Long
Wide Receiver – Macan Wilson
Safety – Godwin Igwebuike
Running Back – Justin Jackson
Safety – Kyle Quiero
Running Back – Corey Acker
Running Back – Chad Hanaoka
Cornerback – Moe Almasri
Defensive End – Xavier Washington
Offensive Guard – Brad North
Offensive Guard – Graham Bullmore
Senior To Watch: Safety – Godwin Igwebuike
Safety Godwin Igwebuike is largely viewed as a day three prospect. Ranking eleventh on Luke Easterling’s safety list and coming in at 21 on Walter Football, Igwebuike is a raw guy that won’t be a starter right out of the gate. However, safety and corner are among two of the shallowest and weakest positions currently on the Buccaneers roster, so depth with a player that can develop is certainly a good thing.
His ability to read plays leaves a lot to be desired. As Jon Dove stated, “He often finds himself in no man’s land with no receiver in his area.” You can read Dove’s full analysis here.
Igwebuike does have big play ability, finishing his career with 23 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and seven interceptions. Unfortunately, Igwebuike has the tendency to go for the big play too often which often results in one for the opposing offense rather than in his favor.
The raw athleticism and natural talent can be molded into a contributing player on the defense. Starting caliber? Possibly, but not overly likely. Again, depth is always needed as we saw last season so using a day three pick on Igwebuike would have the potential to pay off big time down the road.
Next: The Never Ending Quest To Find A Defensive End
We’re coming down the home stretch of our 40 Teams in 40 Days, feature potential Buccaneers draft targets. If you’ve missed any or there is a school you’re looking for, you can find the full archive here.