December 4, 2023

Bucs Life

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Two Later Round Picks That Could Have a Huge Impact This Season

2 min read

Image: HawkeyeSports

Whether or not you liked the Buccaneers draft, overall there were two players taken after the second round that really stood out to me. Those two players are 3rd pick S Mike Edwards out of Kentucky, and 4th round pick Iowa DE Anthony Nelson. Both of these players could have an immediate impact on the Bucs defense.

At 5’10” 205 Edwards is small for a safety, but he doesn’t let that slow him down. In 2016 he intercepted Heisman winner Lamar Jackson twice and led the entire SEC in tackles by DBs with 100. Last season he recorded 82 tackles, 9TFL, 2 INTs, 6PD, and one forced fumble. It’s obvious from his stats that he has a nose for the football. He’s also not afraid to come downhill to plug the run or play in the box. Edwards can also play nickel in a pinch, so he’s very versatile.

The next one that really stood out was the pick of Iowa DE Anthony Nelson in the 4th round. Nelson might not be the greatest athlete, but he has a motor that doesn’t quit. His junior year he was voted 3rd team all-Big Ten after putting up 45 tackles 13.5 for loss and 9.5 sacks. Where he will fit in with the Bucs isn’t clear yet. At 6’7″ and 271 lbs he could play DE in the Bucs 3-4 defense if he can add a little more bulk to his frame. On the other hand, he does have the speed to rush the passer as an OLB. It will be interesting to see how the Bucs decided to utilize him. Whatever position, Nelson ends up he was a definite steal in the 4th round