This time last year I really thought the Bucs were going to finally put another young DT next to Gerald McCoy to give the D-line an extra boost. Last year’s draft had many promising defensive tackles in which many Bucs fans thought one of them was coming to Tampa. However, it didn’t work out that way for Bucs Gm Jason Licht as he decided to go in a different direction. Now fast forward to the present, the Bucs front four made strides this season but improvement is still needed. The Bucs have a good trio with Gerald McCoy, Robert Ayers, and the rising Noah Spence but could use more depth across the board.
Getting Jacquies Smith back will help but he has been injury prone during his time as a Buc, so another edge rusher would be helpful. Let’s look at the interior though as we have McCoy, Clinton Mcdonald, and Akeem Spence which creates a solid rotation plus Will Gholston and Ayers rotate inside as well. However, if the Bucs can add a young force at DT who can stop the run and get after the passer would be a big plus for this defense. There are options in both free agency as well as the draft in which the Bucs could add a player who could have a impact right away and also help McCoy get more one on ones matchups.
A few names I like from free agency is Dontari Poe and Nick Fairley from the Chiefs and Saints respectively. Poe is a big force in the middle and would instantly big a upgrade to our run defense while also able to take on double teams to free others to get sacks. There will be a good market for Poe’s services and the Bucs will likely be interested. Fairley is someone we were very high on last year and surprised the Bucs didn’t offer him a deal. Fairley for the Saints had a great year as he racked up seven sacks and had over 40 plus tackles and was one of the best defenders for the Saints. Bucs would be smart to take one of the better players in the division and would be an instant upgrade to the Bucs defense. Adding either one of these two would be a big help and really give the d-line the depth that is needed. I think it’s time Gm Jason Licht make a play at the DT position whether it is through free agency or in the draft, there will be options.