I think we all know the Bucs need to be much improved along their offensive line next season. With a rookie quarterback on the way, the last thing a team should do is put that rookie quarterback in unnecessary distress. When that happens, you get David Carr and many other quarterbacks who never made it.
Contrary to what some other media members and former Bucs players think, I believe the Bucs can fix a lot of their offensive line issues by being patient and allow the draft to play into their favor.
As you've seen in my breakdowns of the offensive tackles and interior offensive linemen in this draft, there might not be elite talent at either position, but there can be quality starters had after the 1st round.
At offensive tackle, the Bucs sit in a prime position in the 2nd round to grab the best offensive tackle that slips out of the 1st round. The other positive is that there could be three or four tackles that fall, which could lead to the very valuable trade down option for the Bucs. Ideally, the Bucs trade back into the middle of the 2nd round and add an additional 3rd round pick in the deal. The 2nd round pick could be used for a tackle, while the mid 3rd or early 4th could be used to grab a quality interior lineman.
I have people asking me everyday which tackles I like best. Unfortunately, the player whom I believe might be the most talented tackle in this draft is the player who tore his ACL in December. Cedric Ogbuehi is big, has long arms, and is athletic. Despite some issues at left tackle in 2014, which I attribute to lack of experience at the position, I think Ogbuehi can play on wither side of the line.
But would the Bucs take such a risk on a player destined to start the 2015 season on the PUP list? Only they can answer that. I won't lie, it is a risk. For a team that may be building more for 2016 and beyond, taking Ogbuehi with the idea of having him fully ready for 2016 might end up being the best move the rebuilding Bucs could make. However, I know it wouldn't be popular with the now crowd.
Any of the other tackle prospects could legitimately be options for the Bucs in round 2. One of my favorites is Pitt's T.J. Clemmings. He's very raw, but his potential is so attractive. I also like Ereck Flowers out of Miami who, like many of the tackles in this class, will be limited to right tackle in the NFL.
Options at tackle for the Bucs in the late 2nd or 3rd round are Penn State's Donovan Smith and Oklahoma's Daryl Williams. Both are pure right tackles who play with power, but struggle with speed rushers. The Bucs could address a pass rusher in the 2nd round and grab either of these players in the 3rd round, and be happy about it.
The Bucs also have a major need at right guard. I haven't forgotten about last year's pick of Kadeem Edwards, but I still feel another guard could be added. If they pick the correct guard that can step in and play immediately, Edwards can continue to develop and ultimately end up taking over for Logan Mankins.
While one of my favorite guards in this draft is Tre Jackson from FSU, I have a feeling he will go a little higher in the draft than I'd be comfortable taking a guard. Ideally, I'd wait until the 3rd or 4th round to address guard for the Bucs. No need to panic. The Bucs need to be patient and let the right offensive linemen fall into their lap.
Two guards that I have really grown fond of are Hobart's Ali Marpet and Missouri's Mitch Morse. If the Bucs were to trade down in the 2nd round, and add another mid 3rd round pick, either of these players would be ideal selections. Both Marpet and Morse are physical and hard-nose players. I'm concerned about Marpet starting immediately due to the competition he played against while at Hobart, but he has natural talent that is too attractive to pass up. Morse has flown under the radar during this whole process, but I could easily see him as a starting guard in 2015.
If the Bucs decide to wait on a guard, a nice 5th round target could be West Virginia's Mark Glowinski. Glowinski is nasty and finishes blocks. I'm not sure he ever becomes a pro bowl player, but I don't think he'll be overwhelmed by NFL linemen and I think he'll become a quality starter in the NFL.
In my perfect world, the Bucs trade down in the 2nd round and acquire an extra 3rd round pick. With their 2nd round pick that's now in the middle of the 2nd round, they select Cedric Ogbuehi from Texas A&M. As he recovers from a torn ACL, the Bucs allow Kevin Pamphile an opportunity to show his development at right tackle. Then, with the extra 3rd round pick they acquire, the Bucs take a shot on Ali Marpet. Let Logan Mankins take Marpet under his tutelage and watch Marpet develop into a pro bowl guard.Subscribe to The Commish Online Podcast on iTunes!
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