PewterReport.com analyzes the top players in the 2019 NFL Draft with its position previews. Taylor Jenkins previews the offensive tackle position with a comprehensive look at what the Bucs have and what they need from the tackle position, a detailed list of this year’s top offensive tackles, and Scott Reynolds offers up the annual PewterReport.com Bucs’ Best Bets – one early round pick, and a pick from the later rounds.

What The Bucs Have At Offensive Tackle

For the time being, the Bucs are relatively set at their starting offensive tackle spots, barring injury. Demar Dotson will presumably continue to start at right tackle in 2019 and, fresh off of his new three-year contract, Donovan Smith is locked down to start at left tackle for the immediate future.

Bucs RT Demar Dotson - Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Bucs RT Demar Dotson – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

Behind Smith and Dotson, the Bucs are young and relatively thin when it comes to depth at the position. Should Dotson or Smith leave the field, as of now, the team is left with the combination of Michael Liedtke, Cole Boozer and, tackle-turned-guard-turned-back-to-tackle, Caleb Benenoch, and perhaps Alex Cappa, who will cross-train at right guard and right tackle. It’s likely that Tampa Bay bring in another tackle, either through a free agent signing or the draft, to either compete at camp or prepare for a future starting spot at right tackle.

What The Bucs Need At Offensive Tackle

As mentioned before, the Bucs are young and shallow when it comes to depth at the tackle position, especially with the departure of Leonard Wester. Liedtke is average at best, while Boozer is just 24-years-old with limited NFL experience. Benenoch has had most of his work at guard since being drafted out of UCLA.

With the signing of Earl Watford to ideally battle Cappa for a chance take over the right guard position, it allows Benenoch to move back to his natural right tackle spot and help with depth there. Cappa will also get a shot at right tackle in training camp, especially if Watford performs well at right guard.

Not only will the Bucs need depth to compete and possibly fight for a spot backing up the team’s two starters, but with Dotson moving into the twilight of his career, it’s time that the Bucs begin to groom their next starter at right tackle. It’s going to be interesting to see what Tampa Bay does to fill the area of need, but if the team finds someone that it believes can be the future at right tackle, don’t be surprised if the Bucs go after him in this year’s draft.

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

Watch Pewter Reporters Scott Reynolds, Mark Cook, Taylor Jenkins and Matt Matera, as well as other special guests, live on-air via PewterReport.com from the team’s headquarters at One Buccaneer Place beginning on Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft at 7:00 p.m. ET.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I hope we grab 3 Lineman in the first 3-4 rounds, however we have to get it done and that it clicks for guys like Cappa this year…

    It is crazy how you can’t find one Offensive Lineman comin our of College anymore who you can just say “Yeah he’s good to go, technique and pad level are great, solid in Run Blocking and Pass Protection” with just the usual “Will just have to get in the weight room and and add some strength” Isn’t that how they used to come out? I understand NFL is a big step up Fromm college and I know that the Spread and Pass Happy Offenses have taken over in college but it’s almost like they don’t even coach Offensive Lineman anymore, like they just stick em out there and 4 years later they go to the NFL and they all need major work on technique and either Run or Pass Protection and you just cross your fingers and hope you grab one that can learn.

    It’s also crazy how guys like Jonah Williams are seen as a Too 5 pick because he only had 1 not so good game against Clemson but then they find out his Arms are 3/4 of an in shorter than the next guy and all of a sudden he’s gonna have to be a Guard and is a mid first round pick… This whole process is just mind blowing and exhausting… Draft Day just needs to get here and let’s pick our guys and go already…

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    • I had heard different than you on Jonah Williams. I heard that he had a few just average games in the 2nd half last year not just the Clemson game. But again what is surprising to me is that in his overall career, it was much stronger than the Florida right tackle. But since the end of the season, his stock has dropped and Taylor’s has risen. Apparently because one guys arms are an inch and 1/2 longer than the others.

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  2. Spitfire, you can thank college footballs transition to RPO style of play which retards their development. When you have an offense molded to little more than a street ball pickup game, why develop lineman when half the time the lineman have little knowledge of what play is going to develop behind them.

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  3. You lost me at, “For the time being, the Bucs are relatively set…”

    Licht’s underinvestment in the OL over the last half decade is the wood rot undermining all other aspects of our game. Failing to address it yet again virtually ensures that at best we’ll go on streaks that may feel exciting while they last, but will be unable to perform at a high level with any consistency.

    It’s time for a change, if you know what I mean and I think you do

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    • Football 101 is the way I learned. First you must build a wall. The rest will follow. Licht was hell bent on giving Winston weapons he failed to protect his QB. Great GM’s are able to admit their mistakes and correct them. Licht has not done that IMO. I’m afraid that this year Licht is going to go OL early. In this draft with the Defense so top heavy with legit impact players that would be a huge mistake. One or more of these top 4 OT are going to get pushed down into the 2nd round.

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  4. Wow, Jonah Williams has really fallen far to just be completely out of the rankings.

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  5. PR is projecting him as OG, I’m sure.

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  6. Obviously Pewter Report guys are much more tied into information than any of us. I am shocked though that they project Greg Little of Mississippi as a 4th rounder or later.

    He is probably more naturally big than any other offensive lineman and some teams look for that. He was all freshman SEC and last year was 2nd team SEC to Jonah Williams at left tackle.

    There are 102 picks in the 1st three rounds.
    My Carnac the Magnificent says he goes number 40 to Buffalo.

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  7. Every year PR staff say Bucs are set on the OL and the OL draft is weak. And every year the rest of the NFL finds year 1 rookie contributors throughout the draft rounds.

    Good coaching and scouting can always yield NFL caliber players. The first step is making the attempt which is a lot harder to do if you put ego aside. Can Licht put his ego aside and say that this team needs to load up on OL? He did it last year on the DL so he is capable of doing it for the OL as well.

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  8. I don’t think the issue is Licht not drafting offensive linemen. Both Smith and Marpet were 2nd rounders who became immediate starters. The issue is that a few of Licht’s recent attempts haven’t yet excelled as much as we would like. But were our expectations realistic? Benenoch was a only 5th rounder who has bounced from one position to another and yet found his way to the starting lineup. We were more hopeful about Cappa since he was hyped a bit more than maybe he should have been. I think his head was spinning. Way too early to write off the youngster. Just need to find his proper position. Many times offensive linemen are late rounders who are developed by coaching. Perhaps that’s what has been lacking.

    The player most concerning to me is Big Dot. Last year he really struggled at times. At least the ridiculous flip flopping the RG throughout the game will end with the departure of Warhop. Hopefully Jensen won’t think he has to show his toughness after the whistle.

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  9. With the money we’re paying the left side of the line, the only way to solidify the right side is the draft. We could use a good RT on a first round rookie deal. Dotson has played a year to long already. B.A. admitted Dot can’t run block, and his pass blocking is OK, that’s not exactly a glowing endorsement. I’d go Taylor in the first round if we didn’t need defense more. Risner in the second would be the way I’d go.

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