For a position that should never be noticed, the Bucs' offensive line will have all eyes on it during training camp. They were an awful unit in 2014, and if the Bucs hope to have any success with a rookie quarterback, it will be all on whether that offensive line has improved drastically.
Honestly, other than the two rookie offensive linemen, I'm not sure how any of the Bucs current offensive linemen could feel like sure-fire roster locks.
Here is our prediction on how the offensive linemen may be categorized:
Donovan Smith - The Bucs' 2nd round pick in 2015 was handed the starting left tackle spot the moment he was drafted. Smith may ultimately be better at right tackle, but the Bucs will try him at left tackle first.
Ali Marpet - I think the future is extremely bright for Marpet. He has the natural ability and the mental makeup to turn into a damn good lineman.
Logan Mankins - Mankins price tag is high, but he'll be the Bucs starting left guard this season. I can't think of a better player to groom Ali Marpet and play next to Donovan Smith in their rookie seasons.
Demar Dotson - I think Dotson is in need of a great season in 2015 to remain with the Bucs in 2016. If Dotson is nothing more than solid, the Bucs may look to improve his position by drafting another lineman early in the 2016 draft.
Evan Smith - The Bucs' current starting center is replaceable, just not this year. Smith just doesn't have much competition.
Kadeem Edwards - I know Edwards did not play a down in his rookie season, but after he was talked about so highly to me by high ranking Bucs officials at last year's training camp, Edwards would have to completely fall on his face to not make the roster in 2015. I believe the Bucs want to keep developing him and see starter potential.
Kevin Pamphile - Pamphile is another developmental offensive lineman who can play left or right tackle. Pamphile's versatility as a backup gets him a roster spot.
On the Bubble
Patrick Omameh - You'll see Omameh at right tackle during training camp and the preseason, but it's his versatility that could now keep him on the roster in 2015. If you can play multiple positions on the offensive line, your value goes way up.
Josh Allen - I'm not sure who will be Evan Smith's backup at center, but Josh Allen could be a sneaky contender to be just that and get a roster spot.
Garrett Gilkey - Please no. Gilkey can play multiple positions, but he doesn't play any of those positions well.
Matthew Masifilo - I'm not sure how he does it, but Masifilo just sticks around. I can very well see Masifilo coming out of nowhere to be a backup for the Bucs offensive line.
Like to Be Cut
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