Bucs Blitz NFL Draft Focus: Defensive Tackle

Leading up to Thursday night and the NFL Draft, we breakdown the Bucs' needs and the players to remember at that position on draft weekend.

Bucs Need at Defensive Tackle: 4.5 out of 5

I'm slightly dumbfounded that so many folks have ignored the big need the Bucs have at defensive tackle. Not only has Gerald McCoy fallen short of becoming an elite player, but the players next to him leave something to be desired. Clinton McDonald and Akeem Spence are nice players, but nowhere near impact players. Luckily for the Bucs, this draft is the deepest draft at this position in the draft's history, and that is NOT hyperbole.

5 Names to Remember on Draft Weekend:

Vernon Butler | Louisiana Tech | 1st/2nd Round
Butler is one of my top 5 favorite players in this draft. He is 6'5'' and 325 lbs, but moves around like an undersized defensive end. Butler's athleticism is through the roof. If NFL coaching can get his power to match his athleticism, Butler will become an elite player at the next level.

Chris Jones | Mississippi State | 1st/2nd Round
Jones is another massive body (6'5'' 311 lbs), who is extremely athletic much like Butler. Jones can play any position along the defensive line. Jones' versatility allows for creative defensive minds to use him in multiple ways to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

A'Shawn Robinson | Alabama | 1st/2nd Round
When I watch Robinson play, I see a defensive tackle that was a key contributor for Mike Smith's defense in Jacksonville, John Henderson. Robinson is a massive defensive tackle who plays with power. Robinson would make for a nice counter part to Gerald McCoy.

Hassan Ridgeway | Texas | 2nd/3rd Round
Like Butler, Ridgeway has been one of my favorite players in this draft for a month and a half now. Ridgeway is a junior who just entered the draft a year too soon. Next year he would have been a top 10 pick, but in a draft DEEP at the position, he'll slip a bit, but he's more talented than Malcolm Brown, who was selected by the Patriots in the 1st round last year.

Kenny Clark | UCLA | 1st/2nd Round
Clark is one of the top DTs in this deep draft at that position, but has not gotten the name recognition in the media because he's not the flashy player others are. Clark is better against the run than he is in rushing the passer. Clark has visited the Bucs. Clark's strength is his best asset, and perhaps he is the UCLA DT to finally make an impact next to Gerald McCoy.

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