Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NFL draft: Offensive line

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Offensive line

NFL draft

When: Thursday (Round 1), 8 p.m., ESPN, NFL Network; May 9 (Rounds 2-3), 6:30 p.m., ESPN, ESPN2, NFLN; May 10 (Rounds 4-7), noon, ESPN, NFLN

Where: Radio City Music Hall, New York

Bucs picks (round/overall): 1/7, 2/38, 3/69, 5/143, 6/185, 7/221.

Bucs watch party: Thursday, Raymond James Stadium. Gates C and D open 6 p.m.

First-round order: 1. Texans, 2. Rams (from Redskins), 3. Jaguars, 4. Browns, 5. Raiders, 6. Falcons, 7. Bucs, 8. Vikings, 9. Bills, 10. Lions, 11. Titans, 12. Giants, 13. Rams, 14. Bears, 15. Steelers, 16. Cowboys, 17. Ravens, 18. Jets, 19. Dolphins, 20. Cardinals, 21. Packers, 22. Eagles, 23. Chiefs, 24. Bengals, 25. Chargers, 26. Browns (from Colts), 27. Saints, 28. Panthers, 29. Patriots, 30. 49ers, 31. Broncos, 32. Seahawks

Who the Bucs have

Anthony Collins, LT: Top free agent grab steps in as a full-time starter for first time, but he has excelled behind Pro Bowl players in his time with Bengals.

Carl Nicks, LG: Played only two games in 2013 with toe injury and MRSA infection, so his health is a major concern. Team says it is pleased with his progress.

Evan Dietrich-Smith, C: Another free agent addition, stepped in as Aaron Rodgers' center for all 16 games in Green Bay in 2013. Just nine career starts before last season.

Jamon Meredith, RG: Twenty starts in past two years with Bucs, re-signed in free agency, but he's not paid enough to presume he's a starter.

Demar Dotson, RT: Quietly had best season of any Bucs lineman in 2013, and he's inexpensive, signed through 2016 with three-year, $4.5 million extension last year.

Top five prospects in draft

Greg Robinson, T, Auburn (6-5, 332): Played only two years but has established himself as best lineman in the draft, a potential franchise left tackle and a top-five pick.

Jake Matthews, T, Texas A&M (6-5, 308): Son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews and with two cousins in the NFL, this Matthews is one of three potential top-10 picks from A&M's offense.

Taylor Lewan, T, Michigan (6-7, 309): Four-year starter, fastest 40 of any lineman at combine. Allegations of assault don't appear to have impacted draft status.

Zack Martin, T/G, Notre Dame (6-4, 308): Three-year starter at left tackle likely moves inside to guard in NFL. Pristine record with intangibles, leadership.

David Yankey, G, Stanford (6-6, 312): Has started at guard and left tackle but projects inside as a pro. Could be there when Bucs pick at No. 38.

Under the radar

Billy Turner, OT, 6-5, 315; North Dakota State: Small-school prospect has visited with Bucs — helped program to three straight I-AA national titles. Father Maurice Turner was NFL running back in 1980s.

Free agency

The Bucs were active in overhauling the offensive line in free agency — T Donald Penn and G Davin Joseph were released and C Jeremy Zuttah was traded to the Ravens. LT Anthony Collins didn't allow a single quarterback hit in seven starts for Cincinnati last year, and Evan Dietrich-Smith started every game for Green Bay in 2013. If the Bucs were to sign anyone else, it'd be at guard should the draft not line up for them and someone comes available to provide insurance against Nicks' health.

Best guess

Amazingly, the Bucs haven't drafted an offensive lineman since 2009, but expect that streak to end, likely in the first three rounds. Several top guard prospects match up well for Tampa Bay's second-round selection (No. 38 overall) — offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, fresh from his Cal days, should know Stanford's David Yankey and UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo well. Su'a-Filo could sneak in at the end of Round 1, so let's go with Yankey, who could step in as a starter from Week 1.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

NFL draft: Offensive line 05/01/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 1, 2014 8:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Five reasons why Kentucky can beat Florida for the first time since 1986

    College

    By Matt Baker

    GAINESVILLE — Florida's 30-game winning streak over Kentucky is one of the most impressive feats in the country.

    Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) celebrates Florida Gators running back Mark Thompson's  (24) touch down in the first quarter, putting Florida on the board 6-0 during the game between the University of Florida and the University of Kentucky in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 45-7. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Times

  2. Once targeted by the Bucs, Dalvin Cook thrills for the Vikings

    Bucs

    How good would the Bucs be with running back Dalvin Cook?

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) slips a tackle by Steelers strong safety Sean Davis (28) to score a touchdown Sunday in Pittsburgh. [AP photo]
  3. Boxer LaMotta, immortalized in 'Raging Bull,' dies at 95

    Obituaries

    MIAMI — Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life in and out of the ring was depicted in the film Raging Bull, for which Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award, has died, his fiancee said Wednesday. He was 95.

    Jake LaMotta, retired professional boxer, shakes hands with Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) on the field before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15, 2015. LaMotta was on hand to sign autographs in the Ted Williams Museum.
  4. J.R. Sweezy shows what Bucs were missing

    Bucs

    By Greg Auman

    TAMPA —- Sunday's season-opening win against the Bears saw the debut of 13 Bucs, a mix of rookies and free-agent veterans.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive guard J.R. Sweezy (73), seen at center, runs through drills during training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, July 31, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  5. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Vikings features a battle of top rookies

    Bucs

    Greg Auman looks at how much the Bucs have changed since the last time they played the Minnesota Vikings in 2014 in our latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]