As a die-hard Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, I’m thrilled to see the team targeting Arkansas linebacker, Drew Sanders in the upcoming NFL Draft. Sanders is a versatile player who can move between linebacker and defensive end positions, making him a valuable asset on the field. He’s known for his physicality and athleticism, with a knack for creating turnovers and getting to the quarterback. With the Bucs looking to strengthen their defense, Sanders could be the missing piece they need to make another Super Bowl run.
The Need for Help at Linebacker
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had an impressive offseason, as they were able to keep the majority of their Super Bowl-winning team intact, with the likes of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Chris Godwin all agreeing to return for another year. However, there is still room for improvement, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
One position that the Bucs could certainly use some help at is linebacker. While they have some solid players on the roster, including Lavonte David and Devin White, there is not a ton of depth behind them. The team could use a young, talented player to come in and serve as a rotational option, while also potentially being groomed to eventually take over for David, who is now 31 years old.
Who is Drew Sanders?
One linebacker who the Buccaneers could target in the upcoming NFL Draft is Arkansas’ Drew Sanders. Sanders, a 6’5″ 232-pound linebacker, was a highly-touted recruit in the class of 2020, choosing to sign with Alabama. However, he saw limited playing time as a freshman, recording just three tackles in limited snaps.
Sanders opted to transfer to Arkansas ahead of the 2021 season, and he immediately made an impact for the Razorbacks. He started all ten games for the team, recording 30 tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks. Sanders played both inside and outside linebacker for Arkansas, showcasing his versatility and ability to play multiple roles on defense.
What Does Sanders Bring to the Table?
Sanders has a lot of the traits that NFL teams look for in a linebacker. He has excellent size and length, as well as good athleticism and agility. He is able to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, and he has the ability to disrupt plays in the backfield with his quickness and burst.
Sanders is also a very instinctive player who reads plays well and is able to diagnose quickly. He is able to anticipate routes and make plays on the ball, using his length and athleticism to make up ground and get his hands on passes.
Additionally, Sanders is a very physical player who is not afraid to lay a big hit on an opposing player. He has the ability to shed blocks and get to the ball carrier, and he is a sure tackler who wraps up well and brings down his targets with authority.
How Would Sanders Fit in with the Buccaneers?
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers run a 3-4 defense, which typically relies on bigger, physical linebackers who can rush the passer and stop the run. Sanders would fit in well with the team’s style of play, as he has the size and physicality to excel in this type of defense.
Sanders could potentially play both inside and outside linebacker for the Buccaneers. He has experience playing both positions in college, and his versatility would be a valuable asset for the team. Additionally, his ability to rush the passer would be a welcome addition to the Bucs’ already-strong defensive line.
Sanders would also bring some much-needed depth to the linebacker position for the Buccaneers. As previously mentioned, the team has some solid starters in David and White, but there is not a ton of depth behind them. Sanders could come in and immediately serve as a rotational player, getting reps on special teams and potentially in certain defensive packages.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a great position heading into the 2021 NFL Draft. With the majority of their Super Bowl-winning team returning, they do not have many pressing needs on the roster. However, adding depth and talent at the linebacker position would certainly be a smart move for the team.
Drew Sanders, with his size, athleticism, versatility, and physicality, would be an excellent addition to the Bucs’ defense. He would contribute immediately as a rotational player, while also potentially being groomed to eventually take over for Lavonte David. If the Bucs have the chance to draft Sanders, they should not hesitate to do so.