The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had quite the haul during the 2018 NFL Draft, selecting eight players after general manager Jason Licht traded down twice – once in the first round and again in the second round. Now it’s time for PewterReport.com’s Scott Reynolds to review the 2018 Bucs draft class and assign some initial grades based on the players’ attributes and value based on the round they were selected.

Offensive lineman Alex Cappa, the team’s third-round pick, is up next, followed by strong safety Jordan Whitehead, who was Tampa Bay’s fourth-round pick.

Round 3: Humboldt State OL Alex Cappa – 6-6, 305 – Senior

The Bucs love tough, aggressive offensive linemen like guard Ali Marpet or new center Ryan Jensen, and Cappa, who was featured in PewterReport.com’s Bucs’ 7-Round Mock Draft and as a Bucs’ Best Bet, has that same mindset. With a long frame and plenty of strength to go with it, Cappa can engulf opponents in the running game, which is a trait Tampa Bay was looking for to help its struggling rushing attack.

Humboldt State OT Alex Cappa - Photo courtesy of Humboldt State

Humboldt State OT Alex Cappa – Photo courtesy of Humboldt State

Tampa Bay loves versatility in its offensive linemen, and Cappa played left tackle at Humboldt State, but moved around at the Senior Bowl, playing snaps at both tackle spots and both guard positions in practice and during the game. That helped raise his draft stock and the Bucs became even more smitten with him as a prospect. Cappa showed he was a finisher on tape and at the Senior Bowl.

Tampa Bay had several guards rated highly in this year’s draft class, including Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson, Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn, UTEP’s Will Hernandez and Nevada’s Austin Corbett, but Cappa is a great fit because of his position flexibility. Cappa might not have the elite athleticism to play left tackle in the NFL and face upper echelon defensive ends, so he might be better suited to play right tackle or guard. He could become a starting guard in Tampa Bay or he may wind up being the heir apparent to Demar Dotson at right tackle.

The Question Marks

Cappa’s biggest question mark will come from the level of competition he played against at Humboldt State where he was clearly the best player on the field in almost every game. A strong showing at the Senior Bowl showed he could hold up or even excel against a higher level of competition, but how will he fare against Pro Bowl-caliber NFL talent on a weekly basis? Cappa had a knack for manhandling opponents and throwing them to the ground. That could lead to many holding calls in the NFL and his technique needs to be cleaned up in this area or he could become a walking 10-yard penalty.

The Rookie Season Expectations

Dotson’s recovery from offseason knee surgery could prompt the Bucs to give either Caleb Benenoch or Cappa reps at right tackle. Prior to Dotson’s injury, Benenoch was poised to challenge J.R. Sweezy for the starting job at right guard. If he does move outside to right tackle for the offseason program, expect Cappa to compete with Sweezy at right guard, while being cross-trained at right tackle during his rookie season. Whether it’s this year or a few years down the road, Benenoch and Cappa could be starting together on the right side of the Bucs’ offensive line. The team would love nothing more than to see Cappa work his way on to the field during his rookie season.

The Grade: A-

Licht packaged a fourth and a sixth-round pick to trade up into the third round to grab Cappa, which was a shrewd draft day maneuver. Cappa has the skills and mentality to be a starter in the NFL, and his nasty attitude as a blocker is a perfect fit in Tampa Bay. To get a potential starter near the bottom of the third round could prove to be a steal for Licht and his scouting staff.


Up Next: SS Jordan Whitehead

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About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 27th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive coordinator/defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
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Pete Wood
Pete Wood
4 years ago

Not sure I would give Cappa an A. Maybe a B minus.
I think this was a great draft, though.
I’m tired of people complaining about not taking James. If we had taken James, Vea would not have been waiting for us in the second round.
My only complaint is that I wish we had found a way to draft a second RB. Or at least had signed more than the kid from Duke after the draft.

Horse
Horse
4 years ago

This is a flip of the coin 50/50; I can’t give it more than a C. I hope it all works out in the next two years as we will need some Replacements soon.

Honey Bear
Honey Bear
4 years ago

Great pick! Let him battle Sweezy and Benenoch for starting LEFT guard. We have a freaking Pro Bowl level Right Guard in Ali Marpet, why we gotta screw with that????

surferdudes
4 years ago

I don’t know why they seem hell bent on moving Ali to left guard. Had they left him at R.G., and gotten a true center last year he probably would ‘ve made the pro bowl. Having position flexibility is a good thing if you’re not a starting caliber player, and can play anywhere in a pinch. However, if you need a R.T., draft the best R.T. you can get, same with guards, and centers. You don’t hear people saying Q. Nelson was a good pick because he can play any line position. What’s the old saying, Jack of all trades,… Read more »

seat26
seat26
4 years ago

I love this guy. He is tough and gritty. Versatile. I feel for him in Camp though. IF he has to go against Vita Vea every day he might wish he never got drafted.

Buc 1976
Buc 1976
4 years ago

He looks good just coach him up some. Hopefully Marpet 2.0.

Alldaway 2.0
Alldaway 2.0
4 years ago

This is an easy A.

Can compete at RT or a guard spot right away. Eventual starting caliber player with some NFL weight training and coaching within three years makes salary cap sense too.

plopes808
plopes808
4 years ago

Another great pick….but I can’t even look at him without seeing the sloth from Zootopia now lol. Thanks for that Trev