5 prospects for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to watch at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine

Here are a handful of draft hopefuls the Bucs should keep a close eye this week in Indianapolis.

Dominique Robertson, OT, West Georgia

When thinking of a raw but athletic tackle prospect to watch this week, Texas Tech's Le'Raven Clark is the name that probably pops up most often. But it's a former Red Raider that the Bucs would be wise to watch closely this week in Robertson, who has traveled quite the winding path to this year's Combine.

Listed at 6'5", 305 pounds, Robertson is a nasty blocker who started at left tackle for the Wolves in 2015. He started his college career at Riverside Community College, then transferred to Texas Tech for a season before ending up at West Georgia for his final collegiate season. He's already creating a buzz in Indy this week with the longest wingpan measured on Wednesday (86 1/4 inches) and 36-inch arms. With his length and athleticism, Robertson should turn plenty of heads this week, and if the Bucs are looking for a developmental tackle prospect in the mid-to-late rounds, he should be their target.

Miles Killebrew, S, Southern Utah

Killebrew was one of the weigh-in winners at this year's Senior Bowl, checking in at just under 6'2" and 220 pounds. A linebacker/safety hybrid in the mold of Arizona's Deone Bucannon and Seattle's Kam Chancellor, Killebrew racked up over 100 tackles in each of his last two seasons, including 132 as a senior in 2015.

Three things that define Killberew? Versatility, coachability and work ethic.

"I don't want a coach to be able to cross off anything on his list when it comes to things I can do," Killebrew told me in Mobile last month. "I want them to know I'll contribute in absolutely any way I can. I don't even want them to cross left tackle off the list. If that's what you need, I'm going to do everything I can to be the best I can at it."

Along with his potentially play multiple positions, Killebrew's willingness to seek out instruction stood out to me at the Senior Bowl. He was constantly walking over to his position coach after reps in full-team and 7-on-7 periods, asking tons of questions and soaking up every bit of knowledge he could.

There's a lot to like about Killebrew, and his athleticism should be on full display this week in Indy, and with a need at safety, an athletic hitter like him should have Tampa Bay's attention.

Artie Burns, DB, Miami (FL)

Burns declared early for this year's draft, and considering what's happening in his personal life at the moment, nobody should blame him. Burns lost his mother to a sudden heart attack last year (she was only 44 years old), and his father is currently incarcerated. The 20-year-old has now taken over custody of his two younger brothers, in addition to having a son of his own. His willingness to take on that kind of responsibility shows an incredible level of maturity and courage, which should impress any human being, let alone an NFL coaching staff.

On the field, Burns led the ACC with six interceptions in 2015, showing an impressive combination of speed and ball skills. He's got the size and skill set to play either corner or safety, both of which are positions the Bucs need to upgrade this offseason. If he runs in the 4.4s this week, don't be shocked if he garners consideration in the late-1st round range, but if he falls to the Bucs in the 2nd round, they'd be wise to pounce.

Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Mississippi

Few players at the Combine will be under a microscope more than Nkemdiche, the former prized recruit who is one of the most impressive pure athletes in the entire draft. His arrest on drug charges (and subsequent suspension that forced him to miss the Rebels' bowl game) brought a strange end to an up-and-down career for Nkemdiche, who flashed rare ability at times, but was widly inconsistent.

There's no denying his physical abilities, but Nkemdiche looks like a very talented ship without much of a rudder. He'll likely put on quite a show in the physical portion of this week's events, but the most important part of the Combine for Nkemdiche will be the interview process. Behind closed doors, he'll need to convince teams he won't be an off-field headache, and that he's coachable enough to reach his full potential by letting the coaching staff refine his rare skill set. If he does that, he's talented enough to warrant a top-10 pick in this draft. If questions still linger beyond this week, it's possible he could drop to Tampa Bay's pick in the second round.

Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky

This is an obvious one. The Bucs need nothing as badly as a dynamic pass-rusher, and Spence is the best in this year's class when it comes to getting to the quarterback off the edge. He was a highly touted recruit that showed tons of promise as a freshman at Ohio State before multiple failed drug tests led to him being ruled permanently ineligible by the Big Ten. He watched the Buckeyes win the 2014 national title without him, then decided to get clean and continue pursuing his NFL dream. Spence transferred to Eastern Kentucky and dominated in 2015, tallying 11.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss.

He's yet to fail a drug test sense, and Spence has been honest about his past struggles. But he'll be grilled this week by NFL teams like no other prospect, and he'll need to convince decision-makers that he won't get back to his old ways and embarass their franchise. On talent alone, Spence is easily worth a top-10 pick. But he'll have to convince the Bucs and every other team that his off-field decisions won't turn him into another cautionary tale at the top of the draft.


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