TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Draft week has finally arrived for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the questions of what the team plans to do on night one, Thursday, seem to have answers pointed to one area: the offensive line.
News Channel 8’s Dan Lucas broke down the Bucs’ first-round options with Scott Reynolds of PewterReport.com. There are four elite offensive tackles that could fill the void at right tackle, should the Bucs ultimately decide not to bring back veteran Demar Dotson. A month into free agency, Dotson remains unsigned and the team added a different veteran to the mix, Joe Haeg, who comes from the Indianapolis Colts.
The top four tackles available on Thursday are Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas. In the event that all four players are gone before the Bucs’ 14th pick, Houston’s Josh Jones is another strong candidate.
The usual draft week rumors will have the Bucs thinking as teams like the San Francisco 49ers are reportedly trying to move up to the 13th selection. If they jump one pick ahead of the Bucs, is this a sign of a run for one of the offensive linemen?
The Bucs can also consider defensive players at pick 14 in the event that a tackle is not the choice. Defensive tackles Derrick Brown of Auburn and Javon Kinlaw of South Carolina would both fit the Bucs 3-4 run stopping scheme. Both players could also be a long-term solution in the absence of veteran Ndamukong Suh.