4 mid-round sleepers Buccaneers need to target in 2024 NFL Draft

With four picks in the Top 100 picks, Tampa Bay has ample opportunity to land a sleeper prospect to improve their roster in the upcoming season
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Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB/Clemson

With the departure of middle linebacker Devin White and veteran Lavonte David entering his age-34 season, linebacker is another true position of need for Tampa Bay to address in the draft. With a draft day projection as a day-two linebacker, Trotter fits the mold of a great replacement for White and partner with David.

Following a quiet 2021 season as a reserve, Trotter Jr. broke out in 2022 as the Tigers' starting middle linebacker. In 14 games, Trotter Jr. posted 89 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, five pass breakups, and two interceptions.

While being named to the Walter Camp Player of the Year and Butkus Award watch lists, Trotter continued to impress in as a junior in 2023. Starting in 12 games, Trotter Jr. compiled 88 tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, five pass breakups, and two interceptions.

In addition to starting 26 straight games at linebacker, Trotter Jr. became just one of 14 FBS players in the last 20 seasons to record 10+ sacks, 4+ interceptions, 3+ forced fumbles and multiple pick-sixes. Furthermore, Trotter Jr. joined UCLA's Akeem Ayers, Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon and Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh as the only players to do so in a Power Five conference.

Standing at 6'1" and 210 pounds, Trotter Jr. is one of the best coverage linebackers in the draft, but
is also quick to read the run and shows good agility and speed to get past blockers and finish. Trotter Jr. is experienced in coverage and gets a strong jam on outside receivers, and can overcome bigger blockers with his top-level motor.

In Tampa Bay, Trotter Jr. would be an excellent fit alongside David in pass and run defense, and his ability to rush the passer would be vital under head coach Todd Bowles' heavy-blitzing playstyle. With most mocks projecting Trotter Jr. to be selected late in the second or an early-to-mid pick in the third round, the Buccaneers may land the steal of the draft in Trotter Jr.