One Buccaneer that most fans hated to see leave in free agency was OLB Carl Nassib. Last season Nassib played in 14 games with 8 starts on this Bucs defense, and he was a fan favorite known for his high motor and relentlessness. Last season he put up 34 tackles, 24 solo, 6 sacks, 8 TFL, and 11 QB hits. Without Nassib, the Bucs will have to make up that kind of production, and it just so happens the Bucs have someone more than capable of taking over.
In the fourth round of last year’s draft, the Bucs drafted a player who I feel was a diamond in the rough, that player being Iowa DE Anthony Nelson. Nelson is virtually a clone of Nassib standing 6’7″ 271lbs and has a motor like him as well putting up 7.5 sacks and 9.5 sacks in his sophomore and junior seasons at Iowa. He also has similar speed, running a 4.8/40, which is quick for a player his size.
Last season Nelson only played in 9 games with just one start in which he had a pass defended and a forced fumble. Nassib will be missed, but it’s Nelson’s time to show the NFL what he can do. Nelson isn’t very athletic, but he combines speed with size and strength to produce pass rush and will be an ideal rotational pass rusher next season.