46 Days: Questions on the Blindside

As we countdown the days until the Bucs' 1st preseason game, we discuss a different Bucs player at length.

We're all excited to see what this Bucs team will look like with Jameis Winston at quarterback, but if he isn't protected properly, it will be rough for him. Today, we focus on the most important player and position when it comes to protecting the quarterback. Today, we discuss rookie Donovan Smith.

I was pretty surprised when Jason Licht announced that Donovan Smith would be the Bucs starting left tackle right after Smith was selected on day two of the draft. Entering the draft, Smith was projected by many as a right tackle who could move inside to guard. There are legit questions whether the big-bodied Smith is quick enough for speed rushers in the NFL.

Poor play at left tackle plagued the Bucs in the late 90's after Paul Gruber retired. The Bucs tried to replace Gruber with names like Pete Pierson and George Hegamin before investing multiple picks to trade up for Kenyatta Walker. Obviously, those choices did not pan out, and the Bucs offense struggled mightily because of it.

The Bucs need Donovan Smith to succeed almost as much as they need Jameis Winston to succeed. Actually, Jameis Winston might have a tough time reaching his potential if Smith doesn't protect Winston properly. Much is riding on the hope that Smith progresses quickly into the left tackle the Bucs need him to be.

47 Days: Bruce Carter Is the Defense's Glue

48 Days: Tandy's Versatility Keeps Him Around

49 Days: Gholston's Year to Reach Potential

50 Days: Conte Brings Experience to Bucs Defense

51 Days: Mike James in Short Yardage

52 Days: Mike Jenkins' Return from Injury

53 Days: Logan Mankins' Impact

54 Days: Lavonte David


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