Ranking every Tampa Bay Buccaneers first round draft pick since 2014

A power ranking of every first-round draft pick made during the Jason Licht era.
Perry Knotts/GettyImages
5 of 8

4. Devin White, LB/LSU - 2019 NFL Draft - Round 1, Pick 5

Jason Licht selected Devin White with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. White was an explosive linebacker out of LSU who displayed truly rare speed and athleticism for his position. At the time, drafting White filled a massive need for the Bucs following the departure of another LSU linebacker, Kwon Alexander, who left the Buccaneers in free agency.

After an impressive rookie season in 2019, White played a huge role in the Bucs' 2020 Super Bowl victory. White notched 27 tackles, two interceptions, and two timely fumble recoveries during the Bucs' historic playoff run. In White's first two seasons, he posted 231 total tackles,11.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries, along with an interception and he looked poised to be one of the best linebackers in the NFL.

He was recognized by his peers as the 28th best player in the league by the NFL's Top 100 Players of 2021 list, voted by players and coaches. He also was named to the Associated Press All-Pro second team in 2020.

After his first two seasons though, the honeymoon phase of White's tenure was over. White began to receive criticism for his inconsistencies as a defender. Though he certainly excelled as a blitzer, his struggles in pass coverage and questionable effort at times became an issue. Eventually, White was benched last season and reduced to a rotational role, being replaced as the starter by K.J. Britt.

Additionally, Devin White requested a trade last offseason and took to social media to voice his frustrations, hoping to leverage the team into giving him a new contract or trade him, but the Bucs did neither, forcing him to play out what was eventually an underwhelming final season in Tampa Bay. This turned a large portion of the fanbase to become frustrated with White both on and off the field.

It is important to recognize White's importance to the franchise, despite the disappointing end to his Bucs' career. He was a great draft pick by Jason Licht and his contributions were crucial to helping the Buccaneers win Super Bowl LV. White signed a one-year deal this offseason with the Philadelphia Eagles, who believe their defensive scheme can help unlock White's full potential.