4.5 Khalen Saunders DT Western Illinois
At the top of the fourth round and at the beginning of day three, the Bucs select backflipping phenom Kalen Saunders from Western Illinois. The 6’2, 310 pound defensive tackle has seen his stock rise after a solid performance in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. His tape shows the ability to use his hands and shed blockers efficiently as well as move laterally down the line of scrimmage when necessary.
As mentioned earlier, Tampa Bay has already parted ways with Curry, and McCoy, Beau Allen, and others could be following closely behind, leaving a gigantic hole on the interior of the defensive line despite drafting Vita Vea with their first round pick a year ago. Saunders, if not a plug and play performer, would give the Bucs great depth and a nice rotational piece to keep their front four fresh to go along with Jason Pierre-Paul, Carl Nassib, and Noah Spence.
Saunders hopes to ride the high of his Senior Bowl performance into the Combine, where he has the potential to let scouts and general managers know who this small school defensive lineman is. As the board sits now, the Bucs grab him at the top of the fourth round.