Following the 2018 NFL Draft, Bleacher Report’s Ian Wharton went through all 32 teams and selected a “biggest rookie surprise” for each team, meaning a player who was drafted who may not have been the star of the class on draft night but could be a key player in the team’s development when it’s all said and done.

For the Buccaneers, Wharton picked Alex Cappa, the third round offensive lineman from Humboldt State,

Three years after finding a huge success story in Hobart guard Ali Marpet, Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht went back to the small-school well in Round 3 to draft Alex Cappa. Considering Demar Dotson hasn’t played a full season since 2014, Cappa can be the latest Day 2 success story for Licht.

The 6-foot-6, 305-pound Cappa dominated his competition and drew NFL attention. He’s a power-blocker despite being light for his frame, combining advanced hand work and leverage play. He often threw defenders out of the way as if he were competing against middle schoolers.

That won’t happen as much in the NFL, and Cappa must continue to add muscle to improve in the run game. But he’s likely to get the chance to play, and if he does, he’s one of the rare Division II rookies who could make an impact.

Cappa is going to have a chance to play as a guard and a tackle for the Buccaneers, and that versatility could earn him some playing time early and make Wharton’s prediction a correct one.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at:
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3 years ago

The film on Cappa is fun to watch. And yeah, its D II and against smaller guys. But this guy likes to dominate. Lots of “ifs”, but would be great to see him add 20lbs, get some pro-styled coaching and become a Conrad Dobler type NFL O lineman! [The “old guys” will know who I’m talking about!]

Reply to  Dman
3 years ago

Dobler was my favorite lineman. I loved to watch him play. Now we need to find a “Romo” for the defense.

Reply to  76Buc
2 years ago


3 years ago

He’s to long, and lean for a guard, D.T.’s like A. Donald will get under his pads, and knock him right back into Jameis. We have Caleb, Sweezy, and Evans who can play guard. We need to find someone to replace Dotson sooner, rather then later. Start him out at R.T.. Let him learn that position before screwing with his head trying to make him something he’s not. The kid comes from a small school, and faced zero competition. It’s going to take him some time to adjust to playing against men, let alone trying to learn more then one… Read more »

Reply to  surferdudes
3 years ago

Well Andrew Norwell is 6’6, Andrus Peat is 6’7, a good portion of the leagues most dominant Guards are 6’5. I say put him where he plays best. I don’t care if it’s at Tackle or Guard.

Pete Wood
3 years ago

I agree unless we stash him away and don’t fully use him.
Ahem, like a certain tight end we drafted in the first round last year.

3 years ago

Hey there, Trevor!
If I may, I’d like to give a piece of advice for you guys in your next live coverage.
It would be nice if you could hang a clock behind you guys. My point is to make it easier for us to find a particular commentary about a Bucs pick or a unexpected trade that happened during the event.

The War Daddy
Reply to  AlexanderNascimento
3 years ago

Best way to check is just to look at the chat…usually multiple people will be mentioning/talking about the last player drafted. Grab the 2018 draft Wikipedia page and figure out where you’re at.

Reply to  The War Daddy
3 years ago

That’s a good idea but with the clock you wouldn’t have to scroll the page.
I’m just saying it would be easier in my mind