Shortly after investing their first-round pick on Oklahoma guard Davin Joseph, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers addressed another need along their offensive line with their second-round pick, selecting Boston College tackle Jeremy Trueblood.
"It's a real honor," said Trueblood. "If I had to pick one place where I really wanted to go, this would be it. I thought to myself the whole time, I really want to be a Buccaneer."
The 6-foot-8, 297-pound Trueblood started 24 games at left tackle over the final two years of his collegiate career. However, he is viewed more as a right tackle prospect at the pro level.
"I am pretty sure that I will probably be playing a lot of right tackle," said Trueblood. "That's fine with me. It's something I want to work on and get better at."
Pro scouts and coaches moved Trueblood to right tackle at the Senior Bowl, and he struggled. Still, Trueblood was an extremely productive blocker at Boston College. He used his 33 ½-inch arm length and power (bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times) to record 52 key blocks/knockdowns and eight touchdown-resulting blocks as a senior.
In an intersting sidenote, Trueblood lined up next to Joseph, Tampa Bay's first-round pick, at the Senior Bowl. As it turns out, that was a sign of things to come in Tampa Bay.
"I played right next to Davin in the Senior Bowl," said Trueblood. "I was excited for him. I hoped that I would get drafted, and that we would get to play right next to each other for a few more years."
Trueblood, who earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team honors as a senior, is considered a better run blocker than he is a pass protector. Although he allowed five quarterback sacks and four pressures as a senior, Trueblood helped Boston College produce four 100-yard rushing performances.
It is not yet clear what the addition of Trueblood means for secod-year T Chris Colmer, who joined the Bucs in 2005 as a third-round pick out of North Carolina State.
Colmer had an injury-plagued collegiate career before joining the Bucs. Colmer struggled mightily in training camp and preseason after Tampa Bay moved him from left to right tackle. Colmer also struggled with a shoulder injury during his rookie season, and the ailment required offseason surgery that apparently will sideline him until training camp.
"He will be ready to go for training camp," Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said of Colmer. "He will be our third round draft choice. We are going to give [wide receiver] Michael Clayton, [linebacker] Barrett Ruud, Chris Colmer and [linebacker] Marquis Cooper. We will talk about him tonight. We have some guys that haven't exploded on the scene like we think they are going to. We think that Chris has done the rehab. He's on schedule. We are staging some things for him to learn our offense, get more comfortable, and hopefully be a real competitor at the right tackle position.
With Tampa Bay re-signing T Kenyatta Walker and inking T Torrin Tucker to a two-year contract earlier this offseason, Colmer's future with the team appears to be uncertain. While he hasn't given up on Colmer, or at least not publicly, Gruden said the Bucs like the competition and depth they have at the offensive tackle positions.
"I thought he did well," Gruden said of Colmer. "Once again, it's a process. He had some injuries that derailed him a little bit. That position change didn't help. Going against [defensive end] Greg Spires and company everyday made it tough on him. As a right tackle with a left-handed quarterback, pass protection will be scrutinized carefully. Kenyatta Walker and certainly Torrin Tucker and Anthony Davis gives us [five] tackle that we think can play. We will see what happens."
If you liked this story, be sure to get the inside scoop and more detailed information on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offseason plans regarding roster changes, free agency and the NFL Draft with a Pewter Insider premium subscription.
Visit BucGear.com today to view and choose from the largest selection of Tampa Bay Buccaneers merchandise in the world.