Bucs have a top 30 visit with DT Draft Prospect

The Bucs entered free agency in 2023 with five defensive linemen slated to be free agents. Tampa Bay already lost top reserve Rakeem Nunez-Roches to the Giants, and Will Gholston, Akiem Hicks, Pat O’Connor and Deadrin Senat remain unsigned.

Only two defensive linemen with playing experience – Pro Bowler Vita Vea and Logan Hall – remain on the Bucs roster as of now. Even if the Bucs re-sign a pair of defensive linemen—maybe Gholston and O’Connor—they’ll need to add at least one more defensive tackle up front in this year’s draft.

The draft crop of 2023 at defense gear is not good at all. There may only be two or three defensive tackles lined up. Georgia’s Jalen Carter and Clemson’s Bryan Bresee have first round numbers and Pittsburgh’s Calijah Kancey could also sneak into the first round.

But one of the defensive tackles the Bucs are looking for is Bowling Green’s Karl Brooks. He has a Top 30 visit with the Bucs later this spring Justin Melo from The Draft Network. Brooks is the second known Top 30 visit the Bucs have planned. The first is the Tennessee quarterback Hedon Hooker.

Karl Brooks played DT at Senior Bowl and caught Bucs’ attention

Bowling Green DT Karl Brooks – Photo by: USA Today

The 6-foot-3, 304-pound Brooks was actually a defensive end for the Falcons — he played with a weight between 280 earlier in his career and 300 pounds last year. Starting four years out of his five seasons with Bowling Green, Brooks was a sack machine, recording 27.5 sacks, including 10 as a senior. The vast majority of those sacks came at the smaller MAC conference, but he scored sacks at Kansas State and at Tennessee.

Brooks knew his NFL future was in defensive tackle, so he entered the Senior Bowl, where his quick moves and swimming moves caught the attention of many scouts. But despite his production and his stellar week in Mobile, Ala. Brooks dislikes the NFL Scouting Combine. Brooks has his pro day on Monday, March 20 at Bowling Green and will visit the Bucs afterwards.

Brooks is ranked as the number 56 overall prospect Professional football focus, but he is outside the Top 100 player list The Dane Brugler of The Athletic. Brooks was a third-round pick in the second Pewter Report 2023 Bucs Mock Draft this year, but he might not last that long. Tampa Bay has the 50th overall pick in the draft, but Brooks may not make it that far into the second round either.

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