If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are to accomplish their goal of "going for two" - to repeat as Super Bowl champions this year - a handful of select players will have to be at the top of their games all season long.
Therefore, AllBucs has compiled a list of the ten most important Buccaneers entering the 2021 season, ranked from No. 10 down to the most crucial of the bunch at No. 1. Although this list is unique, the most important Buc - who will be revealed at a later date - may seem fairly obvious.
But, who else needs to make a large impact this year in order for Tampa Bay to reach, and win, Super Bowl LVI? Staying on the defensive side of the ball after a defensive back cracked the top five, we look toward one of the fastest linebackers in the NFL with hopes that his game in coverage can become more consistent, which would turn him into one of the league's most dominant all-around defenders.
That linebacker is none other than Devin White.
Most Important Buccaneers, No. 4: Devin White
Two years into his NFL career, Devin White has already established himself as one of the NFL's most disruptive, and surely one of its fastest linebackers.
Entering his third year, White appears ready to become one of the league's most well-rounded defenders in the middle of the field.
White has been a game wrecker alongside fellow inside linebacker Lavonte David in the middle of the Buccaneers' defense, particularly during the Super Bowl LV run in which he compiled a jaw-dropping 140 total tackles, nine sacks, 15 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and four pass breakups.
Whether it was against the run or the pass, White made his presence in the backfield felt consistently throughout the 2020 campaign, routinely stuffing run plays with an elite ability to identify gaps and immense explosion downfield as well as putting ample pressure on the quarterback with the same set of skills.
In year three, though, it's time for White to consistently make a name for himself in coverage. White allowed over 100 receptions and a completion percentage of 84.6% throughout the entire regular and postseason, giving up 928 yards and four touchdowns according to Pro Football Focus.
Simply put, White could improve upon these numbers.
He seemingly did in the playoffs, allowing 18 completions on 25 targets (72%) for 177 yards and zero scores. White memorably predicted and caught an interception against the New Orleans Saints in the fourth quarter of the Divisional Round, in a game he only allowed 24 receiving yards while primarily manning up on running back Alvin Kamara.
Now, it's up to White if this type of pass-game performance will carry on into the 2021 campaign. He's as explosive and dynamic as linebackers come in terms of making plays around and behind the line of scrimmage, but if White can make a similar impact dropping back in coverage, he could cement himself as the most forceful linebackers in the NFL.
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