Jeremey Fowler has Buccaneers linebacker Devin White the best in the NFL.
After years of catching little more than negative attention from the media, the Buccaneers are finally starting to get their much-deserved recognition. Devin White headlines a very talented group in a recent list by Jeremey Fowler that ranks all of the linebackers in the NFL.
Fowler states that he talked to players, coaches, and NFL executives when he created his list, which shows that this isn’t solely based on one reporter’s opinion.
In the list, Fowler ranked White above Fred Warner, Bobby Wagner, Darius Leonard, and Lavonte David. This may seem like extremely high praise for a linebacker that is still growing in his own right, but it is nice to start to see some added recognition towards players that wear pewter and red.
Devin White and the Buccaneers are represented well
Of the listed players, White is undoubtedly the most athletic of the bunch and the best pass-rusher by a mile. There isn’t a player in that group with the speed or explosive ability that White put on display during the playoffs, which has likely played a massive role in White’s position at the top.
In addition to current athleticism, White’s ceiling is also the highest of that group for a few years down the road. If White can simply get his coverage skills under control, he has the talent to quickly emerge as the consensus best linebacker in the league, not just on this list.
There are some issues with these rankings, though, even if it brings added attention to the Buccaneers. White is excellent, but he is not the best backer on his team. Lavonte David is still the much more complete backer for the Buccaneers, even at this stage of his career.
David is far better in coverage than everyone on this list, especially White, and he can still get after the quarterback like his younger counterpart.
White is called upon to rush the passer much more often than he is to drop into coverage, which plays to the strengths of both players, and because of his success in his role in the system, it is fair that he is starting to gain much more positive recognition.
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