Four Top Defensive Tackles Bucs Can Target in 2015

NFL NEWS: Tampa Bay Bucs

Defensive tackle is one of the rare bright spots on the Tampa Bay Bucs accounting for 18 of the 36 team sacks, but theres always room for improvement especially at 2-14.

With the 25th ranked defense and fifth worst passing defense, the team still got burned too many times. Led by three-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald, who accounted for 13.5 sacks combined, here are four players who can help the Bucs for 2015.

First a disclaimer about one name.

SuhNdamukong Suh

In putting Detroit Lions tackle Suh on this list, the problem of signing him would be:

  • The near $28 million under the cap the Bucs have to work with.
  • His near $22.5 million cap hit to Detroit in 2014, a few underperforming higher-tiered free agents (like Michael Johnson).
  • The numerous holes on the team.
  • His greater likelihood to play for a contender.
  • The team might find themselves a bit stretched too thin financially to afford him despite having the ninth most cap space.

If the Bucs can pull it out and Suh can play for less money, you get a four-time Pro Bowler with a mean streak that rivals Warren Sapp. Suh has 239 combined tackles, 180 total tackles, 59 assisted tackles, 36 sacks, two fumbles forced and one interception for his five-year career.

Mario Addison, Dwan EdwardsDwan Edwards

Edwards has a long 11-year career in the league. Hes still producing at the age of 33 contributing 40 combined tackles, 24 total tackles, 16 assisted tackles, four sacks and one interception this season. He amassed 229 combined tackles, 212 total tackles, 127 assisted tackles, 18.5 sacks, three fumbles forced and three interceptions for his career playing for the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers.

His years with the Panthers are among his most productive in his career accounting for 13 of his 18.5 sacks for his career. If Jason Licht can sign Edwards, hell already be familiar with the Tampa 2 with Lovie Smiths former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera as the current head coach of the Panthers.

DaQuan Bowers, who is a converted defensive end, only produced seven sacks in his four years with the Bucs by comparison.

Michael Bennett

No Im not talking about the former Bucs defensive end who won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, but rather the Ohio State defensive tackle whos renowned for his quickness and body control who can definitely help solidify the Bucs defensive interior to keep the intensity that McCoy and McDonald offers. While the 6-foot-2 and 288 lb Buckeye is slated to go in the second round and Bucs greatest needs are at quarterback and offensive line, picking Bennett up could provide depth at a key position defensively.

Bennett may become a more likely pick should the Bucs pick up additional from trading down. The last two years, Bennett averaged 42 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and seven sacks a season.

Grady Jarrett

The Clemson defensive tackle stands at 6-foot-1 and 295 lb. What Jarrett lacks in size, he makes up for in speed. Hes been touted for his ball awareness, quickness off the snap, good leverage and strength.

Projected to go in the third round, Jarrett may fit in the Tampa 2 as long as he can use his speed to disrupt the backfield while using his awareness to make the clutch tackle or fumble force.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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