As is the norm for this time in the offseason — football, please come soon — many outlets are scanning the league as a whole to get a better idea of how each team seems to be shaping up heading into the season.

On the slate this week is evaluations and predictions of each team’s offensive line units. According to Pro Football Focus, the Buccaneers came in ranked 22nd in the league going into 2018.

The signing of Ryan Jensen could pay big dividends off for Tampa Bay as it not only adds a quality starter to the lineup (Jensen earned a 74.9 overall grade last year), but it also moves Ali Marpet back to his more natural guard position where he had a career year in 2016. The issue here is still left tackle Donovan Smith. Last season was the first in which he didn’t allow 50-plus pressures and yet was still below average by allowing 42.

What do you all think? Too high? Too low? What are your expectations with this somewhat new Bucs O-Line unit?

Did they change enough to be successful?

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Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. 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: [email protected]

16 COMMENTS

  1. Important year for Donavan Smith. We need him to come of age this season or start over at LT. Bucs have been touting Benenoch for a while, but he really hasn’t shown anything on the field. Would love to see the rookie from Humbolt be the surprise out of training camp. His college tape was great. Even if it was against lesser competition, displayed serious nastiness!

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    • Agree. Smith has been too inconsistent at LT. If he doesn’t pan out I would try him at RT his position in college.

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      • And that would be a solid plan – Dotson is good, but a little long in tooth now. Draft boards are starting to show up having us draft O-line in rounds 1 & 2!

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  2. This nothing more than pre-training camp filler. It is not about our O-Line ranking in 2018, I’ts about overall team effort and WINS. Wake me in two weeks.

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  3. Factoring in Donovan Smiths inconsistencies, Benenochs shaky play at RT last season and unknown value at RG, and Dotson’s Age/Health. I’d say 22nd is pretty much spot on.

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  4. I’m more interested in our defensive ranking for 2018.

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    • +1

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  5. This is why the Bucs should have traded up into the early 2nd round and gotten Will Hernandez before the Giants did.

    They drafted too many suspect DBs and neglected the OL. And yes that impacted running game and QB play

    Look at the eagles – making over rated QBs look good with top OL. Also they had top OL and near top DL. Lines make great teams – Bucs had neither in 2017. DL definitely improves in 2018 but OL was still not fully addressed.

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  6. A good or developing guard could have solidified the line to average but as of now I’d say with Jensen, Marpet, talented but inconsistent Donovan Smith and talented but old Demar Dotson this is a lot closer to a bottom third unit with limited depth in case of injury than average or above average.

    Which is not surprising given the past 4 years of watching Jason Licht’s premium free agent signings (Anthony Collins, JR Sweezy) flame out.

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  7. Still lot question marks with this O line. I hope they are better than last year and can run the ball. On paper they look better but that doesn’t mean shit. I’ve been disappointed last 10 years so I’ve adopted a wait and see approach without much in the way of expectation. That’s just being a Bucs fan unfortunately. Lol.

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  8. The biggest problem with the OL is the retention of Brown’s reject OL Coach, Warhop. Despite 42 pressures over D. Smith last year Warhop made the statement to Smith and the public that Smith is a top 3 LT in the NFL-LOL! A top 3 LT would not have all the holding penalties called on Smith grabbing DEs who beat him to avoid over 50 pressures last year. An average OL Coach would have realized when Smith was a rookie that his best position was LG just like Lindy’s said in their Draft Guide that year. Now Warhop has been having Cappa learn Center from a former All Pro Center when he already has a veteran Center backup and Koetter had said he wanted Cappa learning RT. If the Bucs had gotten a Buckner Quality OL Coach this year they would be a lot better off there now, Warhop has NO CLUE!

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  9. I’m beginning to think Warhop is fried too…we’ll have to see..

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  10. Only the games will determine their quality. And even then there will be never ending arguments. Last season most thought our offensive line sucked, mainly because our running game sucked. But in sacks allowed, our O-line ranked right in the middle of the league (tied with TN at 17th), and our star running back simply did not perform, and is now off the roster. We tended to pass too often in games where we were playing from behind (our offense was a bad first half team most agree), so perhaps on pass protection our linemen might even have been above average in skill given the game circumstances.

    In 2018, who really knows what we have on the O-line? With better running by the backs, and better red zone scoring, perhaps this year’s line will look pretty good by comparison.

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  11. Smith better show up this year and his iron man status is just that, he hasn’t progressed athletically from all those starts. If he has another mediocre year then we need to look for another LT in the draft and make Smith a solid backup because that’s all he has shown to be thus far.

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  12. I consider a lot will depend on the Offensive scheme – play slow developing, deep passing game and this OLine will look like the 32nd best line (D Smith in particular has ranked near bottom of the league as a pass protector every year). Play run-first, manage to stay out of 3rd and long downs (somehow), and this line could look a lot better stats-wise. That’s a tall order….I suspect we’ll be longing for the 22nd spot as the year moves along…2019 will bring a new LT.

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  13. RG IMO is a concern. As training camps start it would be wise to watch the teams that are deep at guard. Make a trade if we need to say 6 or 7th rd.

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