1st Wave Of Linebacker Battles2 min read
On The Inside Looking Out
Trying To Get In
Devante Bond: A former 6th round pick by the Buccaneers, Bond was released with an injury settlement and eventually brought back to the Buccaneers, so obviously they see something in him, but I’m just not sure what that is. In 25 games, he has managed 26 tackles with 2 hits on the opposing quarterback. Being able to penetrate the opposing team’s line can be a great thing, but when you’re averaging only 1 tackle a game, you’re obviously not doing something right. The fact they brought him back means they need to see more of what he can do, so now he just has to turn that 2nd chance into a roster spot.
Kevin Minter: If every position has a perennial camp body, then every position also has a former Cardinal, and Kevin brings that to us in the inside linebackers. Having spent 4 years in Arizona and a year as a Bengal followed by last season in Tampa, Kevin certainly has some experience under his belt. After starting half his games in Arizona, he saw his playing time drop dramatically with the Bucs, and that loss of playing time as expected, cost him majorly in the stat department. Assuming he can get back to the same level we saw from him in Arizona, Kevin will be a force to be reckoned with, but if he continues his decline, he may be reckoning how to deal with unemployment.
Corey Nelson: Having spent 4 years in Denver and 1 in Atlanta, one might think Nelson would be a promising addition to the Bucs, but with only one good season under him, that’s not quite the case. He recorded absolutely zero stats in his one game as a Falcon, and 2016 was the only good season he put together in Denver. The only reason it makes sense to bring him in is simply to push others to step up their game. He’s not likely to see any playing time as a Buccaneer unless by some miracle he has a genie about to grant him 3 wishes.
Emmanuel Smith: Coming out of Vanderbilt, we haven’t seen enough of him to pass judgment just yet. He had a decent collegiate career although not spectacular by any definition of the word, but it’s possible he may see some time on the practice squad because he’s not likely to see any on the roster. He’s not a bad talent, but not the kind of talent that is about to take any time away from Lavonte David.