Bucs first-year offensive lineman Nick Leverett is a natural guard. At 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, Leverett looks like a guard and has the power in the running game a team would want in an interior lineman.
But the way to make any team’s 53-man roster as a reserve is through versatility, and Leverett might have become Tampa Bay’s most versatile offensive lineman in training camp. When veteran Josh Wells was absent from camp for the week leading up to the preseason opener, Leverett was called on to play left tackle and did so for most of the game against Cincinnati.
Bucs LT Nick Leverett – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
After injuries to Robert Hainsey, Donell Stanley, who was waived, and John Molchon depleted the center position, Leverett was called up on to go wire-to-wire at center on Saturday night in Tampa Bay’s 34-3 loss to Tennessee. Leverett received high praise from head coach Bruce Arians on Sunday when asked who stood out along the offensive line.
“I think the top three guys – [Aaron] Stinnie, Josh Wells and Nick – all showed what they could do,” Arians said. “Brad Seaton played better. He played right and left. I’d like to get Molchon back out there. He was doing really well before he got injured. We know where Earl [Watford] is. Everybody else – they’re still fighting. You know those guys showed me last night we have good solid depth there.”
Leverett was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Rice last year and released in the final round of roster cuts in September. He spent the 2020 season on Tampa Bay’s practice squad, but was released prior to the Super Bowl as the team signed Watford to the practice squad for his experience.
This year, it looks like Leverette’s improved play and versatility will have him beat out Watford and others for the Bucs’ ninth offensive line spot on the roster.
“It’s a great thing to be that position flexible, especially if you want to dress on Sunday Nick has shown us that,” Arians said. “One thing about Nick is he is a tremendous effort player. Very smart player. If you can play five positions you’ve got a great chance to dress on Sundays.”
Scott Reynolds is in his 25th 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 line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: email@example.com
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