Buccaneers could look to bolster their run defense in the draft

The Tampa Bay linebackers struggled to stop the run in 2016. PFF premium stats show why Ohio's Blair Brown could be a draft fix for the subpar unit.

| 1 month ago
(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Buccaneers could look to bolster their run defense in the draft

A year removed from fielding PFF’s lowest run-defense grade as a team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need to address arguably one of their biggest needs during the 2017 NFL Draft. One player they could look to as an ideal fit during Day 2 of the Draft is Ohio’s Blair Brown.

  • Buccaneers LBs Lavonte David (4.8 percent) and Daryl Smith (4.6) ranked 26th and 27th, respectively, out of 28 qualifying 4-3 OLBs in run-stop percentage in 2016.
  • Inside linebacker Kwon Alexander led the team with 35 run stops, but only ranked 23rd out of 60 inside linebackers with his 9.0 run-stop percentage.
  • Alexander is the only inside linebacker over the past two seasons who has missed double-digit tackles in both run and pass defense.
  • Ohio’s Brown finished 2016 with 47 run stops – tied for seventh among draft-eligible inside linebackers.
  • Brown finished third among inside linebackers with his 46.5 tackle efficiency – missing only two tackles on 304 snaps played in run defense.

Top Run Stop % - Draft Eligible ILBs

  • Mike J.

    I have seen nothing,anywhere, indicating the Bucs have the slightest interest in a mike ‘backer.

    • The dude

      Exactly. A strong side LB sure. But I thought that’s what we drafted bond for last year. I don’t foresee a LB early. DE, FS, CB, WR, OL are all of more importance than a LB.