Offensive line is one of the area’s on the team that the Bucs will have to upgrade if they are to improve the running attack in 2018. The Bucs running game finished 23rd in the league averaging just over 90 yards a carry. The Bucs had only one 100 yard running game last season, that was in the OT loss in Green Bay when Payton Barber ran for 102 yards.
Not being able to successfully run the ball in the 4th quarter was a contributing factor to the 5-11 record. Good teams are able to run the ball with authority late in the game and run down the clock. The Bucs were not able to do that consistently last season.
The big change the Bucs made last year was moving Ali Marpet from guard to center. JR Sweezy was back after a year on IR recovering from a back injury and his play was disappointing. He was not close to the All-pro lineman we had seen in Seattle.
As a group, the Bucs OL was man handled way too much. There was an edge and an overall nastiness that was missing with this group. Whether the Bucs choose to take a lineman in the draft or go the free agent route, this an area that will be addressed and upgraded.
Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame is the No. 1 tackle prospect and will go in the top 10. I like McGlinchey because he is strong in his pass blocking and also run blocking. McGlinchey has good foot speed, is very strong sustaining blocks and gets good movement at the point of attack when run blocking. McGlinchey would be an upgrade over the current group of tackles that include Donavan Smith, Demar Dotson, and Caleb Benonech
Orlando Brown from Oklahoma is another tackle that would be a good addition on this Bucs roster. Brown is much bigger than McGlinchey at 6-8 360. Brown is not nearly as athletic, but is very strong at the point of attck. Brown is a better pass blocker than run blocker. Edge rushers and speed rushers will give him some problems initially in the NFL.
Quenton Nelson is the best guard available in the draft and without question the best overall offensive lineman on the board. There is no weakness in his game as he he just as good pass blocking as run blocking. In the mock drafts, Nelson goes anywhere from 4-25. Nelson willfor sure go off the board in the first round.
Billy Price of Ohio State is the next best guard available in this draft. He is smart, athletic and plays very well against nose tackles. He could move to center full time in the NFL.
Will Hernandez of UTEP is another guard that the Bucs could target in the second round. At 6-3 330, Hernandez is a little shorter than you would like for a guard, but plays very strong at the point of attack.