Our pre-draft position-by-position look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continues with the defensive linemen.
Where things stand: Gerald McCoy has established himself as one of the best defensive tackles in the league and that’s a good start for any defensive line. The rest of the line is loaded with potential, but it’s largely unproven. Defensive ends Michael Johnson and Adrian Clayborn have shown flashes of brilliance, but haven’t been consistent. The Bucs are hoping newcomer Clinton McDonald can become a force in the middle. The change in coaching staffs also could represent a fresh start for defensive end Da’Quan Bowers. His first three seasons have been disappointing, but maybe the new staff can get something out of him.
What to watch for: If everything clicks this could be an excellent defensive line and the foundation for a very good defense The Bucs need Johnson, Clayborn and McDonald to play up to their potential. The core of the defensive line is in place and it’s doubtful the Bucs will use any early draft picks on this unit. But the Bucs could use a later pick or two to add to their rotation on the defensive line.