Round 5, Pick 145: Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota
Original Pick: Matt Gay, K, Utah
The Buccaneers could have picked anyone other than Matt Gay with their fifth round pick and it would have received a higher grade. The way kickers are tossed aside after a bundle of missed field goals, Gay could be off the team in a matter of weeks if he hits a slump.
Instead here, the Buccaneers take their linebacker in Minnesota’s Blake Cashman. The former Gopher was a case of the combine wake-up call which made many go back and watch his film to realize he is a great football player. Cashman is the third ranked linebacker in this class and the 50th overall prospect.
Cashman put together a solid senior campaign with 62 solo tackles, the exact same number as Devin White, and 15 tackles for loss, more than White put together in his Butkus Award winning season. While White is touted as great in pass coverage (with one interception), Cashman had just one fewer passes defended than him during their 2018 seasons.
While White is the better overall prospect, linebackers are not a premium position, and a guy taken in the fifth round put up similar production and testing numbers at the combine as White did, and he was taken fifth overall. There was value to be had in the later rounds at the linebacker position, and the Buccaneers should have waited it out.