Round 3: Humboldt State G Alex Cappa – 6-5, 299 – 5.27 – Senior
Previous pick: Georgia OLB-DE Lorenzo Carter
The temptation is there for Licht, a former offensive lineman in college, to bolster the guard position with Nelson in the first round or UTEP’s Will Hernandez or Georgia’s Isaiah Wynn in the second round. And while the top of the third round may be a bit high for Cappa, his performance during the week of the Senior Bowl showed he belongs in the conversation as a mid-round pick.
Cappa played left tackle at Humboldt State, but projects inside at guard at the next level due to his power in the running game. Cappa shined at the Senior Bowl the way Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet, who was once a left tackle at Hobart College, did back in 2015. Licht loved Marpet’s competitiveness and nastiness in the run game, and will surely feel that way about Cappa, too.
“This guy had the nastiest tape I’ve ever seen,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said in an on-air conversation with Daniel Jeremiah during the Senior Bowl coverage. “He just hip-torques people out of the club. He’s got a nasty demeanor.”
“I literally had tears streaming down my face because I was laughing so hard,” Jeremiah responded. “You go through the range of emotions, Mike. You’re excited because you see how tough and physical he is, and you feel a little sadness for his opponents. That can’t feel good. Then it was just tears of pure joy when you put it all together.”
In the Senior Bowl, Cappa started at left guard, but played quite a bit at left tackle where he gave up two sacks to Rutgers’ Kemoki Turay and Oklahoma’s Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. In the fourth quarter he was moved to right guard where he looked the best, stonewalling North Carolina State defensive tackle Justin Jones, which is not an easy feat.
Cappa’s 33 1/8-inch arm length is shorter than ideal, which is another reason why he’s going to move inside to guard at the next level. Marpet faced a similar challenge coming out of college, which is why he transitioned inside in Tampa Bay.
The one thing Cappa is going to have to work on is anchoring better in the passing game, as pass protection inside is far different than it is playing left tackle. Cappa also had a tendency to grab and throw defensive linemen with those hip-torques Mayock was mentioning. That could lead to some holding calls in the NFL, as he may not be able to get away with that technique nearly as often at the next level.
With the long hair, the nasty demeanor and “throwing guys out of the club,” as Mayock mentioned, Cappa could earn the nickname “The Bouncer” at the next level. At with Tampa Bay’s running game needing some more lanes to run through in 2018, the Bucs would be smart hire Cappa to serve as the bouncer along the offensive line this year.