analyzes the top players in the 2019 NFL Draft with its position previews. Matt Matera previews the guard and center position with a comprehensive look at what the Bucs have and what they need under center, a detailed list of this year’s top guards and centers, and Scott Reynolds offers up the annual Bucs’ Best Bets – one early round pick, and a pick from the later rounds.

What The Bucs Have At Guard And Center

The Bucs have two-thirds of these starting positions in the interior past of their offensive line locked down with Ali Marpet at left guard and Ryan Jensen at center. Marpet is considered to be one of the best guards in the NFL, who became a team captain last season after three years of being a starter. After going from right guard to center in his first two years, it looks like Marpet will stay put at left guard. He was moved out of necessity, not because he didn’t have a spot on the line.

Jensen came to the Bucs last year, signing as a free agent after four years with the Baltimore Ravens. He may have had a couple of questionable personal foul penalties – four of them – but Jensen plays with a fiery passion that brings up the intensity of the entire offensive line. Despite the likes of Jensen and Marpet, the rest of the Bucs offensive line struggled, which led to them being 29th in the NFL in total rushing yards.

Starting at right guard last season was Caleb Benenoch, and he struggled so mightily that general manager Jason Licht already came out and said that Benenoch would be best suited at right tackle, which he will be moved to. Right guard was the weakest position where Benenoch constantly let defensive tackles run through him regardless of if it was a pass or a run. This position needs an upgrade in 2019.

Bucs OL Alex Cappa

Bucs OL Alex Cappa – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

In the reserve role last year were the versatile Mike Liedtke and Evan Smith, along with rookie Alex Cappa. Smith played in seven games, alternating with Benenoch at right guard before ending the season on injured reserve with a hip injury.

Cappa was expected to develop into an every game starter at guard, but the progress went slower than desired because he came from a small school in Humboldt State. He played in some games to take reps for Benenoch, but didn’t do enough to sustain a starting role. The plan is for Cappa to compete for the starting right guard job this season with newcomer Earl Watford, who played for Bruce Arians in Arizona, with the belief that he will develop further with new coaching around him. Cappa, who played left tackle in college, will also get a look at right tackle, too.

What The Bucs Need At Center And Guard

They need a guard that can come in right away and start. The Bucs could very much use a guard that is an absolute mauler, someone who isn’t afraid to get their nose dirty and attack. The offensive line has been pushed back for too long, so they need a guard that is physical upfront at the line of scrimmage who can dominate at run blocking and hold is own at pass blocking. Bruce Arians is going to play to his teams strengths, but that means they need to fix things first, which starts with the run game.

Take note of Chris Lindstrom from Boston College. He is a player that fits right into the Bucs scheme for what they are looking for. He’s a physical, in your face player that has a great base and enough upper body strength to move the defender in front of him. At 6’4″ and 308 pounds, he takes up plenty of space. Same goes for Wisconsin guards Michael Deiter and Beau Benzschawel. Wisconsin has pretty much become a breeding ground for offensive linemen. Both of these players have characteristics that make them thrive in the running game, it’s what they were built on in Madison. Deiter is 6’5″ and 309 pounds, while Benzschawel is 6’6″ and 309. Each are technically sound that would fit on the Bucs along with Lindstrom if it came to it.

This year’s’s 2019 Draft Previews + Bucs’ Best Bets and Draft Videocast are presented by Edmonson Electric & Security – the official smart home and security company of

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Click Page 2 For The Guards/Centers Rankings

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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2 years ago

RT is obviously very important but the RG spot being weak just collapses the entire pocket and ruins everything… Dotson has been a solid player for us for a long time and we need to find his replacement but RG is probably the most important… We absolutely have to get a RG in the first 3 rounds, preferably Round 2 at the latest…

2 years ago

I’m a big fan of Lindstrom. If he is still on the board when the Bucs have their 2nd round pick my hope is he is the selection. Of course I want the Bucs to concentrate on both lines in the draft.

2 years ago

For the last two years all we have needed is one good offensive starting guard to replace Logan Mankins and Licht has virtually whiffed on everything he has done. Kevin Pampolle, gone. JR Sweezy, a RG, injured and gone but should have stayed after he renegotiated his contract. Caleb Bennonoch,a RT in college on shaky ground going back to tackle. Alex Cappa, who also played tackle in college, who knows? We also picked up a center in FA we didn’t really need because Joe Hawley was playing fine as far as I was concerned. Should it really take two years… Read more »

2 years ago

1st round will be a defensive player for sure, but I’m hoping that the 2nd is the best OL on the board. It remains to be seen whether the issue was players or coaching, but one thing’s for sure, the coaching will be much better this year. Hopefully this helps some of the guys we have reach their potential in addition to adding 2-3 OL in the draft

2 years ago

I don’t understand classifying Jonah Williams as a G at all. It was pure speculation before his measurements came in and there’s no reason he should be here and not with the T’s imo.

You play a man at T before they prove you wrong, THEN you kick them inside.

2 years ago

This is a funny time of year when an all american SEC LT becomes a guard because his arms are three quarters of an inch shorter then anyone ever knew! I will say I don’t know how Licht came to the conclusion Cappa could be an NFL guard looking at his college tape where he played LT? If we need a RG, draft one from a program like Wisconsin where a kid has been a three year starter there. Don’t try to out think the room Jason.

2 years ago

Unfortunately, the Bucs will probably have to trade back into the end of the first round to pick up Lindstrom. A lot of teams are looking for a guy every draft site describes as “plug and play starter”.

2 years ago

Move down so we have two second round picks and use one for the top Guard available and a top DE who can play DE in our 3-4.