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Buccaneers select Devin White with fifth pick

NFL Draft Football

Louisiana State linebacker Devin White walks the red carpet ahead of the first round at the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)


The Buccaneers selection of LSU linebacker Devin White with the fifth pick might rank as the most predictable of the draft thus far.

Tampa Bay is switching to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and has a pressing need for linebackers. Kwon Alexander, the heart and soul of their defense, signed a four-year, $54 million deal with the 49ers in free agency.

White was the best linebacker in college football the past two seasons.

The Butkus Award winner finished his three-year career with 286 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception.

He becomes only the fifth inside linebacker drafted in the top 10, joining Rolando McClain (2010), Luke Kuechly (2012), Anthony Barr (2014) and Roquan Smith (2018). Michigan linebacker Devin Bush shouldn’t wait much longer to hear his name, either.