Bucs Line up Visits with Defensive Linemen Spence and Rankins

The Bucs turn their attention to defensive linemen this week.

The Buccaneers have some big time defensive lineman coming in this week for pre-draft visits to One Buc Place.  Perhaps the best edge rusher in the draft in Noah Spence, and the man beast defensive tackle out of Louisville, Sheldon Rankins.


Noah Spence was an early mock draft favorite to the Bucs, but has fallen down boards in recent weeks since his combine performance. Spence's numbers weren't elite or bad, but many have blamed his interviews for his slide. Spence finished his college career at Eastern Kentucky after getting kicked out of Ohio State for drug issues. Spence is on record saying he is a changed man, and we know Jason Licht isn't scared to gamble on a player with red flags coming into the draft (Tyrann Mathieu).


Sheldon Rankins is an athletic 3-technique who has been compared to Aaron Donald. While that comparison is a very big stretch, Rankins best position in the NFL might end up being nose tackle in a 4-3 defense, a position the Bucs could use. Rankins had 6 sacks last year at Louisville, and was a consistent force in the backfield. He would be a solid addition to the Bucs D-line and a good insurance policy for Gerald McCoy. The main concern with Rankins is that he likely doesn't offer the schematic versatility other defensive linemen in this draft would offer to a team hoping to run a hybrid defense.

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