analyzes the top players in the 2020 NFL Draft with its position previews. Jon Ledyard previews the offensive guard/center positions with a comprehensive look at what the Bucs have and what they need along the interior offensive line, 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-Center

Bucs RG Alex Cappa

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

The good news? The Bucs have two locked-in starters on the interior offensive line in Ryan Jensen at center and Ali Marpet at left guard, with another promising young talent in Alex Cappa slated to start at right guard for a second straight year. The bad news? They have basically no depth at all.

With Joe Haeg currently slated to start at right tackle despite experience all along the offensive line, the Bucs top reserve is second-year undrafted free agent Zach Bailey from South Carolina, who has been training at center to offer more versatility to the team in 2020. Earl Watford, the top interior lineman reserve from last year, was not re-signed.

What The Bucs Need At Guard-Center

Competition for Cappa and overall depth are the two main missing ingredients. The Bucs don’t know what direction Cappa will head in 2021, and if he’s stagnant, replacing him could make sense. Also, if Jensen gets hurt, they are really thin on options at center.

Finding an interior offensive lineman with at least the versatility to learn the pivot spot will be key for Tampa Bay in this draft. Unfortunately it is not a great guard-center class, so if the team doesn’t address the position in the first two rounds, it might make sense to spend a few Day 3 picks on depth types rather than reaching for what’s left in the third round.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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1 year ago

Nice analysis, Jon. I’m in the camp that we need to draft an OT early and OG mid to late. My pick in RD4 is Ben Bredeson if he’s there. I like the guy from Clemson as well, just no idea where he’ll get picked.

Alldaway 2.0
1 year ago

I would be very happy with an OC or OG in the mid rounds. As long as it is not another small school project that Licht is fond of it would be good.

Reply to  Alldaway 2.0
1 year ago

Here we go again with the notion that guys from small schools can’t play in the NFL. What a tired cliché. Andre Reed, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Larry Little, Malcolm Butler, Wayne Chrebet, Ben Roethlisberger, Robert Mathis, Steve McNair, Shannon Sharpe, Emmitt Thomas, Antonio Gates, Larry Allen, Gene Upshaw, Wilbert Montgomery, Darrell Green, Donald Driver, Randy Moss, Willie Roaf, Doug Williams, Cameron Brate, Ali Marpet and Kurt Warner would all like to have a word with you. I could probably come up many, many more, but I think you get the point.

Alldaway 2.0
Reply to  AlbJack65
1 year ago

I thought about what you posted and I am inclined to say I still don’t want the Bucs to draft a small school prospect. Teams like the Saints make it work because they already have good starting OL and let the small school guys develop.

Bucs do not have that luxury and thus it is not a good idea for the Bucs to be drafting small school Ol that need work. Marpet was a lucky shot but as Cappa has shown it takes more time for small school OL to develop.

Not worth the time investment.

1 year ago

Missing a couple really important players:

Robert Hunt: Louisiana. Total beast.

Solomon kindley: Georgia. One best guard in the draft.

Hockey Duckie
Reply to  KingTampa007
1 year ago

There are a few OT’s who could be better if they slid inside to guard. You can throw Ben Bartch and TCU’s Niang.

The prospects presented by Jon is strictly traditional of C/G and doesn’t include which OT’s can slide to guard and could be gems.

1 year ago

I’m so tired of seeing scouting reports like “Well, he’s got the worst body in football, he’s short with T-Rex Arms, slow feet, he fell on his 40 time, has no muscles, did 2 bench reps, and scored a 1 on the wonderlic, which means he will probably slide so we should get him in the 4th round. I want the Bucs to pick up guys that have the production and abilities. Maybe they aren’t as coveted or from a school that faced only some competition so the slide a little, but works hard as hell. Those are the guys… Read more »

1 year ago

IOL is like Edge, DT and WR this draft. The Bucs don’t need to reach or take it in the 1. Round but they have to do something here.

1 year ago

It was just a short video but I thought the attached film of Damien Lewis showed a lack of lower trunk strength. His upper body seemed to be working very hard to maintain control of his blocking in college and I wonder if that becomes more exposed in the NFL.

Reply to  geno711
1 year ago

Some scout stuff I found on Lewis: DAMIEN LEWIS, LSU (6-2, 327, 5.24, 3-4): Lewis played two seasons of junior-college ball before starting all 28 games at RG from 2018-’19 for LSU. “Like him,” said one scout. “He is f—— powerful. He’s short, but he’s compact. The key with him is, will he be able to play center? He’s a really good Day 3 guy. He’s too short but he’ll end up playing for somebody.” His ability to play center might hinge on his ability to make the line calls. His Wonderlic score of 11 was low among the top… Read more »

1 year ago

So few comments for such an important position. Sad.

Looks like the sweet spot of the draft for C/G in this draft is mid 3rd through Mid 4th. I can see all of these players falling in that range – Netane Muti, Damien Lewis, Ben Bredeson, Logan Stenberg, Shane Lemieux, Hakeem Adeniji, John Simpson, Solomon Kindley, Matt Hennessy, Nick Harris, Tyler Biadasz