Bold Or Foolish?

May 2nd, 2015

lovie smith 0511Yes, Joe is having trouble sleeping. The Buccaneers traded up, back into the second round last night, for the rights to draft a Division III offensive guard/tackle named Ali Marpet — while South-Carolina guard A.J. Cann, a stud four-year starter, was available.

That’s one hell of a bold move by Jason Licht and Lovie Smith. Or was it one hell of a foolish move?

Yes, the Bucs claim Marpet was a Senior Bowl standout. But that’s just one All-Star game.

Licht also said fans would be unwise to judge Marpet negatively because he played for Hobart College. Joe, however, finds that logic silly. Lovie and Licht have previously told media they were impressed by prospects based on their success in a major conference, such as the SEC.

So if fans are to accept that premise, then it’s fair to question a guy who played his college ball against undersized athletes whose commitment to the game is typically far less than what you’d find at a major college football program.

Also, a little research reveals that mighty Hobart primarily was a zone-blocking running team. It’s unlikely that’s what Marpet will be doing under Bucs’ offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

Joe’s not ripping Division III. Heck, Joe was a successful Division III athlete and loves an underdog, and who could forget dominant NFL linebacker Sam Mills — a 5-9 freight train out of Montclair State. There are other NFL examples, too.

But Licht and Lovie, by snatching Marpet in the middle of the second round, are basically declaring Marpet an NFL starter. That’s what a second-rounder must be.

It was a bold move, one that will be scrutinized heavily in the coming years.

59 Responses to “Bold Or Foolish?”

  1. feelthepewterpower Says:

    neither…..the word is a lot of teams were interested in Marpet apparently. the draft is a crapshoot, period.

  2. BUC IT Says:

    Ali Marpet will be a quality player for a long time. He’s going to get bigger just with age. I’m very excited that he’s a buc. Now will he be ready this year…….thats hard to see but we I seriously doubt it will matter anyways. We are probably another year away from being dangerous.

  3. Mr. T Says:

    As Licht said they had been scouting him since last year and I’m sure dug up as much intel on him as they could. That info along with his performances at the combine, senior bowl, pro day and private workouts apparently convinced them he could not only play but excel at the pro level better than any other OL left on the board. He said the sky is the limit regarding this kids potential. He certainly has the size, strength, determination and athleticism to succeed but will he, we won’t know that for sure until training camp, preseason and the regular season get here. I’m sure rooting for him though, great success story if he works out as well as they think he will.

  4. Andrew 1 Says:

    @ Joe

    There’s a reason why he fell all the way to the third round. I used to just go along with the hype about the guy from the talking heads, then I actually took the time to watch him… and I was not all that impressed. I’m fine with the bucs passing on him.

  5. See Below Says:

    I like Cann too. But 96 picks later the 4 year starter is still available in a widely considered weak OL draft.

    Jus sayin.

  6. Ed Says:

    I think Marpets versatility was something we highly valued. Is it possible he can develop into a center?

  7. The Real Drew Says:

    Well, the Seahawks were set to take him, so the Bucs traded up to get him. But I’m guessing the Seahawks taking him would have been viewed as unquestioned genius.

  8. WinstonBomb3 Says:

    Dotson , Smith, Marpet, Mankins, and hopefully upgraded EDS sounds like a solid versatile power run block AND excellent pass block line. I know RB isn’t a need but Duke Johnson could be amazing day three

  9. bigsombrero Says:

    Yeah who ended up stealing Cann? Oh, nevermind…

  10. Sam Says:

    Dedication to fixing the worst part of the team. Good picks!

  11. Bird Says:

    so joe is D3 football player. Making more sense

  12. Bird Says:

    Sorry successful d3 joe. I was 1993 player of the year in central fl. They called me d1

  13. Bird Says:

    What position?

  14. CJW Says:

    The reason Marpet played DIII is because he was 200 lbs his senior year of highschool. He now weighs 310 and moves well. Check out his interview on the rich eisen show.

  15. MadMax Says:

    Im a Gamecock. Cann will be good but he never played Center. Marpet will be great, and he can play Center PLUS Guard on both sides. I wish he was big enough to play LT at the NFL level, he wouldve went in the first.

    Trust me, he’s going to open holes for our RB’s and protect Winston. He’s also got Buc Man written all over him.

  16. Max Says:

    I think this is the highest draft pick for a player of jewish heritage. I’m excited to see how he does.

  17. MadMax Says:

    Heres another vid on him

  18. MadMax Says:

    Saw this in another post:

    “Ali Marpet’s coach was told by NFL Scouts that he was a “rare 30-30-30″ player.”
    30 reps of 225lbs bench press
    30 inch vertical
    30 wonderlic

    and the fastest 40 of O linemen….like they’re going to be running 40’s, but you never know after opening that hole for our RB.

  19. Bucnut2 Says:

    Great o line picks. The godfather Gil Brandt loves both guys.

  20. OneBuc55 Says:

    I’m excited about both of the O-linemen we picked….They’re both big, strong, athletic, and smart…great attributes for an O-lineman…all three of the players we drafted so far were coveted by us so it’s good to see that we have a draft plan and have gotten every player we wanted so far…

  21. dusthty rhothdes Says:

    Zuttah and Penn who they pushed out the door were better than every OL we currently have so I am not too high on their OL evaluation skills and Collins sucked…. if i was licht id be in baton rouge talking to a detective about laeil collins yesterday

  22. Bawlmerbucfan Says:

    I was all ready to disagree with Joe, so I Googled “Division III Football Players in the NFL”, figuring it was a long list. Since 1991, the only players names recognizable are Cecil Shorts and Pierre Garçon. As for the OL who have made it, never heard of any of the dudes. Even though I like the Marpet pick, the odds aren’t in his favor. Good piece of writing Joe.

  23. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Remaining Good Offensive Prospects

    (Running Backs)
    • Mike Davis South Carolina 5-9 217<-Freight Train
    • Cameron Artis-Payne Auburn 5-10 212 <-Poor man's version of Dalvin Cook
    • John Crockett N.Dakota 6-0 217

    • Karlos Williams Florida State 6-1 230 <-Would be a solid return man 2
    • Jalston Fowler Alabama 5-11 254

    • Nick O’Leary FSU 6-3 252

    (Tight Ends)
    • Ben Koyack Notre Dame 6-5 255
    • Jesse James Penn State 6-7 261 <–Red Zone Mismatch

    (Slot Receivers)
    • Rashad Greene FSU 5-11 182
    • Justin Hardy East Carolina 5-10 192 <–3rd down & Ike
    • Tre McBride William & Mary 6-0 210
    • Jordan Taylor Rice 6-5 204

    B.J. Finney KSU 6-4 324
    • Shaquille Mason G.Tech 6-2 310 <-Mauler
    Dillon Day Miss.State 6-4 305 <-LUV this Kid
    • Max Garcia Florida 6-4 309 <-versatile

    Right Guards
    • Tre’ Jackson FSU 6-4 330 <-Even w/ the chronic knee issue#stud
    • Tayo Fabuluje TCU 6-7 353

  24. iHATEdumbBUCSfans Says:

    Bawlmerbucfan is another misinformed Bucs’ fan. I guess he/she has never heard of London Fletcher or Fred Jackson.

  25. Dreambig Says:

    Lovmybucs – Good List! I would avoid Karlos Williams though. He drastically underperfomed last year and was a big factor in FSU not having a running game last year until Cook took over.

  26. Dreambig Says:

    I am also scratching my head on Marpet going in the second round. Seems like he might have a bit of growing to do before he can start which is why it seems a bit of a reach. He does have the look of a future beast. Cant be worse than Cousins.

  27. Patrick in VA Says:

    Do you guys think they’ll go 3 deep on the OL by picking another one up in the 4th or should we expect to start seeing some skill players coming off? I think one of those 4th rounders could go toward a viable slot/return guy, if there’s one there they like

  28. Bawlmerbucfan Says:


    The list I googled didn’t have either Jackson or Fletcher’s name on it.

    I would like to congratulate YOU though. Your name popped up when I googled, “Biggest D-bag Internet Posters”. Your trophy will arrive in the mail soon.

  29. BucsQcCity Says:

    I would still pick another OL. Marpet choice is surprising but this draft makes a lot more sense than last year.

    OL+S+WR next please

  30. bucrightoff Says:

    We’ll find out in about 3 years. Lovie’s track record is obviously abysmal though so we’ll see.

  31. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    RB Cameron Artis-Payne
    2014-2015 Highlights
    (Poor man’s version of FSU’s RB Dalvin Cook)

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Thank U brotha

    Can’t believe DT Michael Bennetis still available.

    With DT Henry Melton’s Balky Knee-Bennett would great insurance policy/rotational interior pass rusher.

    Note: Both Melton & McDonald are free agents in 2016

    DT Michael Bennett
    Ohio State Highlights

  33. Stanglassman Says:

    If you read between the lines I think Jason L. told everyone the big difference between he and AJCann was intelligence, I’m sure they liked his versatility and potential too. This is one of the times you got to trust the fact that they have more information so you give them the benefit of the doubt. He seemed to know some other team was was likely to get him before their pick and didn’t want to take the chance. I can respect that too. Love all the picks so far.

  34. Stanglassman Says:

    You know Jameis is lobbying hard for O’Leary and Green his closest very productive friends. If O’Leary is there at 5 or 6 I sure hope they grab him. You can teach his smarts and toughness. I got a feeling GB is going to grab him soon and he will go on to a long & productive career.

  35. Louis Friend Says:

    If you’re an evaluator and you’re completely beholden to arbitrary rules like “I like prospects based on their success in major conferences” you’re blind to the diamond in the rough guys who were missed by those schools.

    This guy is either going to make it in the NFL or die trying. I think that mentality already puts him ahead of some of his line mates with the Bucs. I wouldn’t bet against him at all.

  36. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Marpet will start this year.

    Stop going by what analysts who get their mocks wrong 90 percent of the time.

    As far as size, he’s fine. You’ll see.

    And he will be center, even if the Bucs say otherwise right now.

  37. Buc1987 Says:

    Miguel grande …I think they were going after Gregory too.

  38. Cobraboy Says:

    A 6’4″, 310lb. hardbody, big, fast, quick, smart, athletic and coachable OL, a guy that Big School players gravitated toward his personality at the Senior Bowl & Combine, a young leader? He can put on another 20 and still keep his quicks.

    I say outstanding pick!

  39. Couch Fan Says:

    Love how people pretend to know what was going on in the war room. Lol, What makes you think we moved up to get him? It’s highly probable they moved up to get Marpet which was indeed another need instead of the guy they passed on twice.

  40. BDorry55 Says:

    WalterFootball said Marpet was about to get picked by the Seahawks and that’s why we moved up. I was never a fan of Cann…he’s a mauler with bad movement skill…and what do we know about Cann’s personality? Marpet seems like a kid who is going to climb over any challenge you put in front of him…maybe that was the deciding factor.

  41. lurker Says:

    so payasito is back….why leave the eagle’s boards? they get tired of you too?

    so you come here to complain, still, and still not knowing what u r talking about! this is the same silly man who kept emphatically stating gmc was a bust. seems that the rest of the intelligent nfl people disagree with you.

  42. WS99 Says:

    I’m with Miguel and 87. It was an obvious move to get Gregory aka snoop dawg. I’m lovin the Ali pick though. This is a great mesh of very very very young talent. A+

  43. mac Says:

    We will see how good the Marpet pick is… Last year he was playing against lineman that weigh 230 pounds… Making the leap from Div. 3 to the NFL is going to be very difficult… He has some very impressive traits both physical and mental… But I am fearful his new level of competition may overwealm him… Sure, he showed well at the senior bowl and that does show he can stand on the same field but that was still a very small sample size and his game film is garbage because he is playing against the worst college football players in America… Div. 3…

    Sorry, but with AJ Cann on the board this is a head scratcher…

  44. WS99 Says:


    Who pissed in your corn flakes?

  45. pick6 Says:

    they must think highly of the guys they drafted last year, because it sounds like both OL picks from yesterday are fixer-uppers that shouldn’t be counted on to contribute heavily this year

  46. cbell96825 Says:

    If Marpit would have made it to a team like the Seahawks or Patriots they would be praising Carroll or Belicheat for thinking outside the box but because we sucked last year they question the pick. Lets just be happy that our leadership is addressing our weaknesses we had no QB-Winston we couldnt block Richard Simmons last year so we got Smith and Marpit.

    Go Bucs.

  47. grafikdetail Says:

    this is a shaping up to be a quality draft class… seems like all the teams are getting good solid players and there’s still a ton of great prospects remaining…can’t wait to see the undrafted free agent signings! there will be some gems!

  48. grafikdetail Says:

    also Ali Marpet was a consensus 2nd or 3rd prospect to begin with…

  49. drdneast Says:

    Ray Perkins used to draft heavily from the SEC and we saw where that led.
    Marpet chose Hobart because he wanted to play football but also preferred a smaller school with smaller classes so he could get a better education.
    I know it may come as a big surprise to some people but that is the main purpose of college. They were not instituted to become farm systems for the NFL although that is what they are now because they have become perverted by big moneyed alumni and networks.
    It may be a reach, but for everyone who keeps calling for better character for this team, they should celebrate this pick.

  50. iamkingsu Says:

    Stop talking bout 40 times when it comes to olineman. You have to move grown men in the nfl. Div 3 to a week of senior bowl practice is one thing but week in and week out against world class professional athletes is another. I like the kid though but we couldve got him later

  51. mac Says:


    I don’t eat corn flakes… This is just my $.02… Sorry you don’t like when someone has an opinion that doesn’t match yours… But anyone who plays at Div 3 and makes the leap to the NFL should be considered a “project”… We don’t need another ” project”… We needed a starter who has played four years at a high level… I liked AJ Cann and he was there…

    Sorry that I’m skeptical but Jason Licht has not earned my trust at all when it comes to offensive line evaluation…

  52. bucrightoff Says:

    I seriously doubt they were coming for Gregory. He’s a full year away at least from being physically able to play NFL DE. He’s maybe 230 lbs soaking wet. That, more than blazing herb, is why he fell down the board. A bit of DaQuan going on too methinks.

  53. WS99 Says:


    Get excited brother it’s a beautiful day in Tampa bay. We’re moving in the right direction. Consider that last yr we used our third for a 4th rb who’s only highlight was running into his own player during a breakaway in a wide field. Funniest play of the year!!

  54. mac Says:


    Sorry… Something about being a Bucs fan can make you a tad bit pessimistic… I hope Marpet turns out to be a stud… Time will tell…

    Go Bucs!!!

  55. BuccaneEric Says:

    Marpet will give maximum effort I’m my opinion. I still would have taken AJ Cann, but I’m not a GM

  56. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Louis Friend and Cobraboy I totally agree.

  57. loggedontosay Says:

    Bold or Foolish?

    When a man wants it, he wants it. This young man wants to be the best. That where you put your money. All of the opinions are just white noise.

  58. cover deuce Says:

    They weren’t basing the pick on one game, Joe. Come down off the ledge. The senior bowl also has a full week of these crazy things called practices. Word is he dominated his competition there too. The Seahawks wanted him at pick 65, what does that tell you?

  59. NFL: 1920s Offensive Lineman vs 2014, A Huge Difference - 12th Man Rising - A Seattle Seahawks Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more. Says:

    […] recently listened to an interview done with Division III offensive line prospect, Ali Marpet, who was preparing for this year’s draft (2nd round Tampa Bay). In college he weighed […]