Buccaneers: Predicting the linebacker depth chart for 2021
By Rob Leeds
There aren’t going to be many surprises on the linebacker depth chart for the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers aren’t going to be one of those teams that surprises a lot of people from a personnel perspective in 2021. The starters have largely been established since the Super Bowl and subsequent free agency period, and that isn’t a bad thing.
Tampa Bay was able to keep the band together to put the franchise in a perfect position to compete for another Super Bowl, and a huge part of that burden to win falls on the shoulders of these returners.
While there aren’t going to be many surprises from the starters, the backups are where the gray area begins, but there still shouldn’t be too much that catches anyone off guard in a relatively standard depth chart.
Starting inside linebackers for the Buccaneers
1. Lavonte David
While you don’t need a depth chart to differentiate between two starters at the same position, Lavonte David is still the ILB1 for the Buccaneers.
As the much better defender against the pass and with plenty of gas left in the tank to rush the passer and stuff the run, David is still one of the best linebackers in the NFL and the best defensive player on the team.
David had a great 2020 season that should’ve seen higher individual honors than he received, but the longest-tenured Buccaneer and captain still has plenty that he can accomplish as a leader on defense.
2. Devin White
While Devin White gets far more attention from the media after an incredible 2020 season, he is still the thunder to David’s lightning.
White is a tackle machine and perhaps even better at rushing the passer, but his struggles at times against the pass put him as the clear number two of this duo, but that isn’t an indictment.
Almost any other backer in the NFL would be the number two if they were paired up with David, but this duo is uniquely equipped to perfectly complement one another on one of the best defensive units in the NFL.
Expect for White to still have an extremely impressive season statistically, one that could still stand out from Lavonte David, much like 2020.