Round 2: Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
Dexter Lawrence was believed for a time to be a clear first round pick, even in a draft as strong defensively as this one is. Perhaps due to a late season suspension or simply unexpected players like Ed Oliver bursting onto the scene, Lawrence has dropped to an early second round pick.
Weighing in at 342 pounds, Lawrence is similar to where Vea started last season. He compares in just about every statistic as just slightly less than Vea. While too big to line up alongside Vea in a 3-4, Lawrence would be able to provide depth in the middle on a defense that will utilize many blitzes and substitutions.
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
Round 3: Isaiah Buggs, Alabama
While his teammate and fellow starter from Alabama, Quinnen Williams, is likely to be the first defensive player taken in the draft, Isaiah Buggs is one of the Alabama defenders who will not be drafted in the first round.
Buggs had a stellar senior season on one of the best defenses in the country and accounted for 9.5 sacks over the course of 15 games. Weighing in at 306 pounds at the combine, Buggs falls into a bit of a murky area for the Bucs defensive line.
Likely too small to play the true tackle position that Vita Vea is perfectly suited for, but as a rotating player at the defensive end spot, Buggs will shine in pash rushing situations.