Round 5 – Elon RT Oli Udoh
6-4, 336 – Senior
Previous Pick: Maryland DL Byron Cowart
Demar Dotson has been a mainstay at right tackle in Tampa Bay for the last decade, but at 33 – he’ll be 34 in October – age and injuries are catching up to the Bucs’ most tenured player. With backup Leonard Wester now in Jacksonville via free agency and Caleb Benenoch as the only other player with experience at right tackle, the Bucs may want to find an heir apparent for Dotson sooner rather than later. Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht believes in drafting an offensive lineman every year for at least depth and competition – if not to find a starter – and has doubled up on drafting two in both the 2014 and ’15 drafts.
Udoh turned heads at the East-West Shrine Game practices where had an impressive week, showing off his big frame, long arms and tenacity as a blocker. He demonstrated good feet and lateral quickness for such a big man and received the call up for 2019 Senior Bowl next week.
Durability is one of Udoh’s calling cards, evidenced by the fact that he started all 45 games of his Elon career at right tackle. As a senior, Udoh helped the Phoenix average 199.5 yards rushing per game, finishing second in the conference in that category. He played a big role in keeping the quarterback upright with the offensive line allowing just 16 total sacks on the year.
Udoh, who was a first-team All-Conference player and an FCS All-American, is lauded for his intelligence and was a two-time CAA Football Academic All-Conference Team member. Udoh is well versed in pass protection, and shows a nasty, finishing attitude in the run game that would be welcomed in Tampa Bay. The Bucs had him in for a Top 30 pre-draft visit, which indicates a strong interest in the big right tackle.