Key prospects for Bucs to watch at defense-rich NFL combine

Kiper sticking with Murray-to-Dolphins projection (1:38)

Mel Kiper projects Kyler Murray to be drafted No. 13 overall by the Dolphins, but Todd McShay sees Murray as a top-10 pick. (1:38)

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL scouting combine officially kicks off this week, with workouts getting underway Friday. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the No. 5 overall selection in April's draft, and they have needs across the board -- especially on defense.

Here are some intriguing names for the top of Round 1 and how they’d fit in with Tampa Bay:

Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

Williams registered 10 sacks and 26 tackles for loss in two seasons at Alabama. College teammate Jonah Williams said facing Quinnen Williams was like trying to block a "300-pound bar of soap." Williams was at his best as a nose guard in Nick Saban's defense, but he played defensive end, too. But the Bucs drafted Vita Vea last year -- would that preclude them from taking a serious look at Williams?

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Even if Gerald McCoy returns, the Bucs would be wise to look toward the future with Oliver, who can line up in a 4-3 as a 3-technique or as a defensive end in a 3-4. At 6-foot-3 and 290 pounds, Oliver wins with quickness and athleticism. He posted a 36-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump in the summer of 2018, can squat over 650 pounds and can do a 48-inch box jump on one leg, so his draft stock could rise even higher in Indianapolis.

Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky

Allen had 17 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss last season. He made plays standing up, with his hand in the dirt and dropping back into coverage quite often -- all pluses as the Bucs shift toward a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Todd Bowles. Durability is a big upside for Allen, who did not miss a single game for the Wildcats in four years. He will need to refine his pass-rush moves at the next level.

Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Sweat registered 22.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss his last two years with the Bulldogs, including a three-sack performance with a forced fumble against Auburn. He followed that up with a nice week at the Senior Bowl, where he was particularly impressive in one-on-ones.

Sweat would make a killer pairing opposite Jason Pierre-Paul and could eventually succeed him. At 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, Sweat is long and athletic, with 35.5-inch arms that help him fight off offensive linemen. Like Allen, he offers scheme versatility, lining up as both a 3-4 outside linebacker and a 4-3 defensive end. Prior to transferring to Mississippi State, Sweat ran into some disciplinary issues at Michigan State in which he was suspended for undisclosed reasons.

Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

At 6-foot-3 and 182 pounds, Williams has the frame that Bowles covets in his corners, but he has the speed, too, which is rare with longer players. He excels in man coverage, a big plus considering how much Bowles likes to blitz. Not to mention, the Bucs need a replacement for Brent Grimes and have a lot of question marks at the position with Vernon Hargreaves (who missed 15 games last season with a shoulder injury), Carlton Davis, M.J. Stewart and Ryan Smith. As for Williams, there are concerns about his tackling ability against the run.

Devin White, LB, LSU

Considered the most talented linebacker in the 2019 draft class, he could be this year’s Roquan Smith. If the Bucs don’t re-sign Kwon Alexander, White would be an outstanding replacement -- perhaps even an upgrade. White can stop the run (he reportedly has clocked a 4.54-second 40 time) and can cover, which has been a liability for Alexander at times. He's also a sure tackler. Plus, the Bucs’ current roster (along with Alexander) is pretty banged up with Kendell Beckwith coming off a missed season due to an ankle injury and Jack Cichy suffering a torn ACL.

Devin Bush, Jr., LB, Michigan

At 5-foot-11 and 233 pounds, Bush is undersized -- but has excellent range and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Should the Bucs part ways with Lavonte David, Bush could be a replacement, as his size and skill set are best suited for weakside linebacker. Will he be able to consistently shed blocks at the next level, though?

Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

There have been concerns about Williams’ size (6-foot-5, 305 pounds), specifically his arms not reaching the ideal 34 inches some teams covet in their tackles. In fact, some teams are projecting him as a guard. But Williams has had about as consistent of a career in pass protection as it gets -- he allowed only one sack and three quarterback hits over his last two seasons, according to Pro Football Focus. Even if Donovan Smith is back with the Bucs next season, consistency has been an issue for him, at times, and the Bucs also must consider a replacement for aging right tackle Demar Dotson.