NFL

How Buccaneers can use the 2019 NFL draft to replace Kwon Alexander

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will turn to the 2019 NFL Draft to replace Kwon Alexander, who’s expected to sign a free-agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers intend to sign Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander to a monster multi-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The four-year, $57 million deal will make Alexander one of the highest paid off-ball linebackers in the NFL, if only for a few days. Ravens free agent C.J. Mosely is expected to sign a contract that tops Alexander’s average annual salary.

The good news for the Buccaneers is that despite losing a player with Alexander’s obvious ability, they’ll have a chance to potentially upgrade the position in the NFL draft.

In my latest 2019 Mock Draft, I have Tampa Bay selecting LSU’s Devin White with the fifth overall pick. Now that Alexander is moving on to San Francisco, it feels like this pick is a virtual lock.

White is a freakishly talented athlete who dazzled at the 2019 NFL Combine. He ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, which only solidified his tape assessment as a player who can dominate in the NFL as a sideline-to-sideline force.

While he’s not quite the cleanest or surest tackler in the class, White plays with a tremendous amount of aggression and a contagious attitude. He was voted LSU’s team MVP in 2018 and was named captain in back-to-back seasons (2017-18).

The Buccaneers are already somewhat used to life without Alexander anyway. He tore his ACL last October and missed the final 10 games of the season. The 49ers are taking a huge leap of faith that his recovery will be smooth considering much of his game is predicated on speed.

White to the Bucs? Yeah, that seems about as close to a done deal as the NFL draft process will allow at this point.

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