Tampa Bay first-round pick Davin Joseph and second-round selection Jeremy Trueblood made their Bucs debuts at the team’s rookie mini-camp practice on Friday.
In fact, Joseph and Trueblood spent much of the afternoon practice lined up next to each other at the right guard and right tackle positions, respectively, which could be a sign of things to come down the road for the Buccaneers offense line.
“You see size, you see athletic ability,” Bucs head coach Jon Gruden said of Joseph and Trueblood. “The big fella at right tackle [Trueblood] was a fine high school basketball player. He’s making a transition to right tackle where he played left tackle at Boston College. But you have two big athletic people that have a physical status about them that’s going to help us and it’s going to make things very competitive out there.”
The 6-foot-2, 307-pound Joseph, who made a name for himself at Oklahoma as a right guard but was forced to spend his senior season at left tackle due to injuries sustained by some of his teammates, felt comfortable for his first practice with the Bucs.
“It felt great to be back at right guard,” Joseph said with a big smile.
Friday wasn’t the first time Trueblood, who spent his entire collegiate career at Boston College playing left tackle, lined up at right tackle. That’s something he first did at the Senior Bowl in January, and according to the former Boston College standout, his debut at right tackle as a Buc went much smoother than it did Mobile, Ala. a few months ago.
“It went well,” said Trueblood. “It was a lot better than my first day at the Senior Bowl. That’s for sure.”
While he didn’t make a big deal of it, Trueblood did acknowledge the fact that switching from left to right tackle does present some challenges.
“It’s kind of like writing with the other hand,” said Trueblood. “The only part that’s really hard is pass protection. The run blocking part is kind of like second nature.”
With Sean Mahan moving to center to compete with John Wade, Joseph is expected to line up as Tampa Bay’s starting right guard when the team’s mandatory mini-camp rolls around in June.
Trueblood, however, has his work cut out for him. In order to start at right tackle as a rookie, Trueblood must first beat out former first-round pick Kenyatta Walker and second-year T Chris Colmer.
That will be a tall order for the 6-foot-8, 297-pound Trueblood, who must first adjust to life at right tackle before he seriously challenges Walker for a starting job. But one thing is for sure – Trueblood is up for the challenge.
“That’s my goal, and I think that’s everybody’s goal here,” Trueblood said of starting. “But that’s not disrespecting anyone’s play here, or anybody that played here before I got here, because this team has great players. But I think that’s everyone’s goal, and it’s certainly mine.”
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