Buccaneers make mistake with promising young defensive lineman

Khalil Davis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Khalil Davis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Khalil Davis has departed the Buccaneers. 

Sixth-round draft picks are never locks to make final rosters. Khalil Davis put this on full display with the Buccaneers, but that still doesn’t make the loss hurt any less.

Tampa waived Davis last Saturday, and unfortunately, he did not clear waivers. The Colts were wise and jumped on Davis as soon as they could, and now the Bucs lose out on a promising young lineman for their defense.

As evidenced by only a handful of games played, Khalil Davis wasn’t dominant during his time with the Buccaneers, but it is fair to acknowledge the line he is playing behind. The Buccaneer front seven is one of the best in the NFL, so expecting a rookie to pan out immediately in a unit like that is a tall ask.

There weren’t a ton of ways for the Bucs to handle this situation better, but losing Davis is not a desirable outcome by any means. The young linemen from Nebraska was just starting to flash some talent that indicated he could start making an impact in actual games. Now, Tampa will never reap the benefits of drafting Davis two years ago.

Khalil Davis was just starting to win key reps in training camp, and anyone who can beat players like Ali Marpet when it matters has enough upside to keep around until they fully develop.

Even though Davis wasn’t a lock to step into a larger role next season, this decision does make it clear that the Bucs need to target IDL in the 2022 NFL Draft at the very least.

It may be easy to say the Bucs made the right decision if cutting Davis meant keeping Rob Gronkowski off IR, but by the same token, the injury reports regarding Gronk don’t inspire much confidence that he should return anytime soon. If Gronk does return in a few weeks and can stay healthy, this move is at least somewhat justified, but that is a huge “if.”

One way or another, the Buccaneers will miss the potential Khalil Davis gives them for down the road, but keeping Rob Gronkowski available for games that should already be wins was clearly the priority.

Next. Richard Sherman has perfect analysis for his first game with Buccaneers. dark

Want to write about the Buccaneers? Apply below!