A Highly Unlikely Draft Pick

April 27th, 2017

PFF tribe won’t like this.

This will get the PFF tribe’s spreadsheets jammed up in the printer.

Joe understands there are many Bucs fans who think the team’s offensive line is a glorified sieve. For reasons not quite clear, the target of their frustration is third-year left tackle Donovan Smith, who has yet to miss one snap in his NFL career.

Joe guesses fans are getting this from the PFF tribe, the self-annointed guardians of the game. They have tried to run Smith off the roster from the moment Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht drafted him.

Some spreadsheets claim Smith is a right tackle. Not sure where they invented this notion because Smith is on record saying he would struggle mightily at right tackle.

Joe has been fortunate enough to speak with various Bucs movers and shakers, both on and off the record, several times over the past couple of months. At no point has Joe detected any bread crumbs that would lead Joe to believe the Bucs are looking to replace Smith.

Further evidence is in the roster and Licht’s personnel habits. It’s clear by now if Licht thinks he made a mistake, or if a player is playing lousy, Licht wastes no time either cutting said player or going out and acquiring stiff competition(well, hi Nick Folk!).

Aside from third-day draft picks and undrafted free agents, exactly how many tackles has Licht brought to the organization since Smith was drafted? That would be one, Gosder Cherilus, and that was because Demar Doston injured his knee in the first presesaon game at Minnesota in 2015. Joe is not counting guard/tackle Caleb Benenoch drafted in the fifth-round last year.

Unless this is the con of all cons, there is not one shread of evidence, rumor, innuendo or a tap on the shoulder that remotely suggests the Bucs will be in the market for a left tackle tonight or tomorrow.

Joe is awfully confident Smith will be able to rest easy while the spreadsheeters will be up half the night rapping their knuckles together and whining as if someone dumped a Mountain Dew on their PlayStation.

57 Responses to “A Highly Unlikely Draft Pick”

  1. Fred E. Buc Says:

    I’m surprised we haven’t seen any articles about who Joe wants the Bucs to pick. Nothing on needs or anything. haha

  2. TvD head ball coach Says:

    I have more of a problem with our right tackle, than I do with Donovan Smith.

  3. Fred E. Buc Says:

    Sometimes a little patience is needed. Smith is going into this third year. It takes some guys that long. But I’m betting if he continues to have any problems at all, and the Bucs are making a run of it, they will do what they can to address it…internally, or before the trade deadline, or if needed, in the draft next year.
    I realize time is of the essence….Jason and Dirk don’t want anything issue to go unchecked.

  4. Jason Says:

    If Donovan has to move his position it would be to left guard, not right tackle.

  5. NJBucsFan Says:

    Well NFL.com’s original scouting of Smith as a draft prospect states he is better suited to play gaurd than tackle. Mayock stated when he was drafted he will be a right tackle in the league. I’m not convinced LT is his final spot

  6. Zach Says:

    I’m not saying he’s bad as he has only been the the league for only two years, but over the last two years he has given up the second most pressures in the league. It got to the point last year when they had to chip the end on his side on almost every passing play towards the end of last year to give him help. I think he should get one more year at LT but needs to show something.

  7. R.O. Says:

    Rinsed this one off from the other day?

  8. feelthepewterpower Says:

    I can see the Buccs drafting Garrett Bolles

  9. feelthepewterpower Says:

    and moving Smith. Winston was among the leaders in QB hits….some of that is on the line, some of that on good coverage by the defense (or lacking weapons to get open)..and some of that was on Winston holding onto the ball too long…needing a quicker release, Joe.

  10. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Bolles dominated Alabama…btw….before anyone gasps.

  11. DallasBuc Says:

    “Joe guesses fans are getting this from the PFF tribe, the self-annointed guardians of the game”
    …or maybe they just watched the game with their eyes open and could plainly see the line getting savaged on both run and pass plays. It’s easier to be in denial about it when you watch the games with an agenda.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Left Tackle – Smith is young and developing. He’s going to get much better, especially once we have a good oline across the board.

    Left Guard – Sweezy shouldn’t even be playing this spot. He’s new to it, and as long as he is new, they should move him to right guard. He can learn one just as well as the other. But he’s at LG for now.

    Center – Joe Hawley played injured most of the year last year, and that affected his strength and production. Once healthy, he will be able to do a much better job. In the meanwhile, Marpet will be in the spot during the first half of the off season program.

    Right Guard – Evan Smith (for now). Sweezy should be moved here since he’s new to oline anyway (and out of football shape), put Marpet back in the LG spot.

    Right Tackle – Our number one biggest weakness on the offensive line. Dotson got his contract and he still sucks. Last year, the RT spot collapsed almost every play. All those Winston scramble miracles? Look at right tackle on those plays. He had no protection on the right side.

    All of these said, I don’t think oline should be addressed until mid to late picks unless the right guy falls to us in the right round.

  13. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    Wow. That statement was ironic.

    If you watched the games without an agenda, you saw Jameis scrambling because the RIGHT SIDE collapsed constantly.

  14. MarkV Says:

    This is a historically weak draft as it pertains to OL quality and depth. That being said, there is no one in this draft of high enough quality to replace Donovan Smith, however he is replaceable. He is an average to slightly above average LT, but he has shown the ability to get abused from time to time. If the Bucs are serious about building a consistent top-5 offense, I don’t see where they can rely on the second most important piece of the offensive puzzle just being average to above average. Donavan Smith has not been a horrible player by any stretch, but I’m not sure why Joe is so enamored that he doesn’t see the sense and potential opportunity to upgrade that critical position at some point. Probably not this year, but if he puts up another year of being a middle of the pack LT who rolls out a couple of inconsistent dud performances, an upgrade should be a priority going into next season.

  15. DallasBuc Says:

    Bonzai- I don’t have an agenda other than seeing the Bucs succeed so I did not specifically point out the right side because all sides were saved pretty equally last season both run and pass. Twist things how you will to meet your agenda however.

  16. DallasBuc Says:

    savaged, not *saved*

  17. Tampa Tony Says:

    Joe doesn’t understand the criticism of Donovan Smith? Does Joe not watch the games? His penalties cost the Bucs possessions and points. You can’t be considered good if you lead the league in penalties at your position

  18. Gencoimports Says:

    Hawley at Center is a huge liability because he is undersized. So is Dotson at this point in his career.

    The only offensive lineman on this team that I have confidence in is Marpet.

    Donavan Smith – he is serviceable and may develop to be an above average tackle. I am not a fan but hardly a hater either. I also do not subscribe to PFF notion that he has to be replaced. I do wish we had a stud at LT but this is not a draft where we are going to find one.

    Sweezy – big question mark because he didn’t practice all last year. His pass blocking was knocked in Seattle his last season there.

    I hope we draft a lineman in the 3rd or 4th round, one that can provide quality depth. Jamies was running for his life too often last year and our OL was ranked dead last in run stuff percentage according to Football Outsiders.

  19. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Joe, I think the reason you hear so much noise from local fans wanting an upgrade at LT has nothing to do with PFT. All of the fans on this site watch every second of every Bucs game and it was very noticable how much the line struggled at times. I guess you didn’t see Jameis running for his life and bailing out the offensive line numerous times with his elusiveness. As for D Smith stating he would struggle at RT. I say BS! Joe is just fine with moving Marpet to probably the most important position on the line even though he has never played a down at center? What gives Joe. Do you think D Smith is just to dumb to switch sides? Nobody wants him run off, i think he would be a great guard and an adequate RT, but he is not a very good LT. We need a very good one protecting our franchise.

  20. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    They were saying on the radio yesterday that the can’t miss offensive lineman in this draft is guard Forrest Lamp. It wouldn’t be a sexy pick but if it is going to protect Jameis I am all for it.

  21. NJBucsFan Says:



  22. Bradinator Says:

    I would not hate a Forrest Lamp pick at all. The dude can play everything on the OL. Stick him in at guard, kick Pamphile out to RT. We have yet to see if Sweezy can play after the back surgery or at what level. He’s really the only OL I would like in the 1st round and that’s only because he’s so versatile.

  23. JJBucFan Says:

    Tampa Tony- this hurts me so much to say…you are absolutely correct, LOL. I usually disagree with your posts (but respect your opinions), but you are absolutely correct. Both Right tackles and Left tackle ended so many drives for us from penalties or giving up sacks or pressures. I wonder how many of Winston’s INTs came after a penalty from one of the 2 positions, it would be interesting. I am not a D Smith Hater, just think he may actually dominate at RT, but is overmatched at LT.

  24. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    I have never been on a PFF site but watched D Smith struggle at LT the past 2 years which is why he was a 2nd roudn pick and should be a RT, and then licht passed on a 10 year LT last year in laremy tunsil and should have picked him last year gas mask and all, then you have 2 solid OTs for the next at least 5 years, but now the bucs OL is a mess and no one seems to see that excpet jamesi when he is on his arse next year a bunch and the running game is non existent again

  25. DallasBuc Says:

    Just JoeLichtFan sticking up for their best bud in charge!

  26. Cobraboy Says:

    Dotson is undersized?

  27. Lord Cornelius Says:

    @Bonzai – i read that Sweezy would play RG if Marpet works out at C and Pamphile would play LG. Can’t remember where though it was a few weeks ago probably.

    Also in general there aren’t any safe LT picks in this draft so there is no best value LT pick that makes any sense at all

    RObinson-most project as a Guard or RT at best
    Bolles/Ramychk-most would project them to start at RT not LT but eventually move
    Lamp-projected guard or RT maybe

    And that’s the cream of this o-line class lol

  28. LakeLandBuc Says:

    PFF saw exactly what i saw last season from our O-Line.This is what they saw and actually what happen on the field. Thank God for PFF……….The left side of the Buccaneers’ line was a real problem area, with the play of LT Donovan Smith proving to be a real issue. Smith surrendered 57 total QB pressures and 14 penalties over his season, with Kevin Pamphile inside of him chipping in with 32 pressures of his own. Second-year player Ali Marpet continued his development with solid play, especially in the run game, while Joe Hawley and Demar Dotson were capable starters at center and right tackle, respectively. The line wasn’t helped when injury forced them to bring Gosder Cherilus into the lineup at right tackle, as he was beaten for three sacks and two hurries in just two games starting before being sent back to the bench to end the year.

  29. Cobraboy Says:

    Bonzai, Sweeny will be at RG, not left. Pamphile at LG. Hawley is the odd man out, and he should be. He’s undersized, and while full if p!ss & vinegar got blown backwards entirely too often, a real problem on obvious run downs.

    I suspect the line will look look this:


  30. Pickgrin Says:

    Our tackle play was not good last year. RT in particular and especially after Dotson went down. But D. Smith also had plenty of problems on the left side. If Donovan’s play does not improve in 2017 – then we need to be figuring out how to get a legit and solid LT up in here. Jameis deserves to have a top 10 LT protecting his blind side and I’m just not sure Donovan Smith will ever get there. Fingers crossed because that’s one hell of a hard and expensive position to find a stud at.

  31. Lord Cornelius Says:


    Do you want Light fired? What is your agenda of hate? What is the bottom line with you and him?

    And don’t give me that Light gets a free pass bullsh1t. Most everyone has criticized his bad decisions; but most those people also understand that every other GM is making bad decisions and typically at a higher rate than Light does.

    He’s batting 100% so far in the 1st round and 50% in the 2nd through 3 drafts. Both are much better than the NFL average. His first FA without being tied to Lovie was mostly all success across the board. His FA since 2016 ended has addressed needs and added a high profile proven player in Djax at the biggest position of need. Not sure why you’re SO down on him and have to talk sh1t about him in every thread. You’re not educating anyone or enlightening anyone. You’re really not bringing anything to the table other than negativity. What’s the point dude? Why so much anger?

  32. Lord Cornelius Says:

    I still want to know wtf is a QB pressure? Is it any time a defender gets pressure on a QB regardless of time from snap? Because if so that stat is completely and utterly worthless to me.

    I’m sure Big Ben always has tons of QB pressures on him because he – like Winston – holds on to the ball longer to make plays much more than an average QB. We also have a lot of long developing plays / routes in this system we ran last year.

    To my eye – our pass blocking was about average outside of the freakshow at Dallas. Just based on watching us and watching a lot of other teams every week. It was our run game that was truly sh1t and too many backs were getting hit behind the line

  33. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    He is not batting 100% in the 1st round because jury still out on hargreaves and the Pro-Licht crowd cannot have it both ways…all the bad picks under lovie/licht time frame are lovies so then so should the good picks so, then by that reasoning licht has only had one 1st round pick on his own and that is hargreaves and the 2016 draft, so jury definitely out on licht and his 2nd round Kicker pick

  34. BFFL Says:

    I saw a 2016 redraft on yahoo sports based on how players performed in 2016.

    They had Bucs taking OT Taylor Decker because Smith is 31st ranked LT.

    They didn’t even have Hargreaves in the 1st round because they said his size was exploited and he lacked play-making impact worthy of a top 10 pick.

    I like Hargreaves but he does need to step it up and I think he will. Smith will get better but we all witnessed a huge drop off from him last year without Mankins by his side. Dotson on the other hand is getting old and not that great plus there is absolutely no depth at RT without pulling Pamphile over which then leaves a hole at LG. Watch Dallas and Saints game. OL was terrible. Scary bad….Lamp is my pick. Can play LG or RT which gives much needed depth.

  35. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    @LordC Very well said. I’ve given up but you said it better than me anyway.

    I think the Bucs are thinking like Cobraboy for their starting lineup which is in house. There are questions of course. Can Marpet make the switch to Center. I am not even a little concerned there. Is Sweezy healthy? I have NO idea…I suspect nobody here does either…but we all just have to trust the team.

    And is Benenoch ready as Pamphile was when he got his turn. If he is we’re fine…if not…we’ll have to hope for cap casualty or other FA OL to pick up before camp.

    Still we can at least “imagine” an NFL caliber OL in house. I do not even “imagine” an NFL quality back in the house. Martin when he’s healthy and drug free…40% of the time so far…is ADEQUATE…he’s not a game changer and he’s the back everybody’s beotching about when they say don’t take a back in the first round. I like Quizz but at best I see him as part of a committee and I’m not sure Barber has even earned his spot on that committee although I’m willing to give him camp to find out.

  36. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “Dusthty Rhothdes Says:
    April 27th, 2017 at 11:24 am
    He is not batting 100% in the 1st round because jury still out on hargreaves and the Pro-Licht crowd cannot have it both ways…all the bad picks under lovie/licht time frame are lovies so then so should the good picks so, then by that reasoning licht has only had one 1st round pick on his own and that is hargreaves and the 2016 draft, so jury definitely out on licht and his 2nd round Kicker pick”

    If you want to look at everything in black/white terms that’s cool but there was so much evidence and articles to suggest who was behind what moves. Ignore it if you want but I think these facts are pretty important to being informed about who is doing what:

    -fact – Lovie had total personnel control and was hired before Light
    -fact – when Light was hired the biggest thing they stressed about him in terms of what he brought to the table was a meathead scout mentality about the draft – and he had a history of being part of successful drafts in his prior tenures
    -fact – Lovie immediately talked sh1t about the O-line when hired saying a change was needed. (I think this was before we even hired Light – so yes – it’s hard to solely blame Light for making those changes )
    -fact- Lovie’s scheme was talked about non stop immediately when the debate on keeping Revis came up – i.e. he dictated the swap of revis for 2 other players he thought were more valuable in his scheme
    -fact-Lovie only “perked up” when Light brought up defensive players in the draft – i.e. he did not give a sh1t about the offensive players which are most the successful drafted players from his time
    -fact -Lovie proclaimed Josh McCown the starter before a competition was even had – and you think Light was behind that signing lol?
    -fact-all the defensive FAs brought in during Lovie’s tenure were pretty much all ex Lovie players. And they all sucked pretty much.

    Light makes mistakes. I don’t think he’s the best GM in the league or some sh1t. But as a Bucs fan how can you not be happy with him compared to what we’ve had historically? 2014 may be one of the best drafts we’ve ever had (i’ve already seen it ranked high in some article looking at all our drafts); and you guys talk as if you want him fired. I just don’t get it. I don’t get the agenda or where you’re going with it.

    At least Realist wanted Lovie fired. He doesn’t come in here spewing negative sh1t for no reason – he only does it if he truly wants a coach / GM / player gone. If you don’t want Light fired – then wtf is the point of all this?

  37. ptwalk Says:

    When there is pressure up the middle of the O line, it makes the tackles job harder because there’s no pockets for the QB to step up into. That’s why Marpet to C will help the tackles. He will stonewall whoever is in front of him.

  38. Lord Cornelius Says:

    “BFFL Says:
    April 27th, 2017 at 11:41 am
    I saw a 2016 redraft on yahoo sports based on how players performed in 2016.”

    Interesting but i’d rather see a 2013 or 2014 re-draft since you typically need 3 years of play to get a good idea of a player’s value. Especially lineman on both sides and secondary players since those positions seem to take longer to develop than RB/WR/LB. Very rare that DEs/DTs/OTs/OGs come in and dominate immediately – it happens but it’s rare.

    Jake Mathews struggled for a while before finally getting his sh1t together for example. HIs rookie year he was labeled one of the worst tackles in the NFL (including RTs). 2nd year did better but still wasn’t rated that high. He would have been labeled a bust if going off his first yery but is on his 2nd contract now and a promising core player.

  39. gilhealy Says:

    Don’t forget Gottshalk looked good before the late season injury. Showed a lot of toughness. Wester may be coming along as well. Deep breaths. The football guys know what’s up.

  40. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    signing revis was one of the dumbest moves in bucs history up there with bo jackson booker reese moves and I will give you that that, I thought that schiano had a great eye for talent but did not have enought input I also thought he deserved one more year but that didnt happen, I personally think that licht has had time to transform the bucs into his version of what a team should be and he has changed that each year…this is a huge year for him to add to a team on the verge of the playoffs I just hope that some moves that he has and has not made in the past 2-3 years doesn’t shoot this year back to 7-9

  41. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Dusty – Honestly with Jameis Winston going into year 3 i think Light could try to f*ck the team up and he’d still get us to a positive record with this schedule being much easier than last year. We shall see tho

    Hoping for the best man! Go Bucs

  42. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    LC, I am with you man!!! The coaching staff is solid and I will tell you Licht’s best move in my opinion was signing the K in the off-season to either make or break Aguayo…GO BUCS…its getting hot outside already

  43. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    @ptwalk That is an excellent point! Too frequently we forget football is a team sport and perhaps nowhere more than the OL. If part of the OL is absent or deficient it makes not just the entire OL look bad but also the other individuals who may not really be the cause…they can end up messing up their own games trying to continually cover up for teammates mistakes or simple lack of ability.

    Lord C and 87 have brought up points about OL and Olineman that are also germane to this discussion.

    As Lord C points out OL is a position that takes as much time…save for QB..as any to figure out. WR’s and RB’s can come right out of school and make a huge splash…not done that frequently by Olineman. Let’s see how Donovan plays this year with both another year of experience and hopefully better teammates.

    And as 87 has mentioned…OL requires a lot of teamwork. Typically the best OL’s are the ones that have played awhile together. I think our OL is well on the way there. I’m excited to see how they play this year…especially if they have an “explosive” RB to block for.

  44. LargoBuc Says:

    I say Licht has done a good job in the draft. Way better than Dominik or Allen. Mike Evans was a great pick. Finding a starter in the fifth round in Pamphile is nice. Taking Jameis when many on the outside were going on about his off field problems turned out to be bs. Two starting o linemen in Smith and Marpet. Hargreaves looked decent as a rookie starter, certainly better than alot of corners (see Carolina, Philly, Tennessee, San Fran) and at worst Spence looks to be a solid third down pass rusher. And of course Kwon has been the leader of our defense, which is what you hope for from your starting middle linebacker. Thats a pretty solid core Licht has drafted his first three years. We actually have a nucleus to build around now thanks to Lichts drafting. Under Allen our core was a bunch of old free agents and our aging stars from the super bowl. Under Dom we had no freaking core! Especially the first three years! I say Licht has done a solid job building the Bucs we have today. And that far outweighs the misses in free agency and Aguayo. We have an actual core nucleus of players! All drafted! Thats not something to take for granted!

  45. Capt.Tim Says:

    Jameis never gives up on a play.
    Eventually, the right side of the line collapses.
    Jameis scambles left- to his Rock wall, Donovan

    Jameis holds the ball to the last second.
    Gets hit as he throws.
    Idiots at PFF have no acurate way to register that,
    So they ring Donovan up with a pressure.
    If you get your info from watching the game- instead of spredsheets and playstation- you already know that.

    I believe you can never go wrong- drafting linemen
    But if we are drafting offensive linemen, Id look at the right side- long before Id worry about our powerful young left Tackle

  46. Issic Haggins Says:

    Robinson may be the best player on the board

  47. DPewter Says:

    I don’t look at PFF and I doubt most bucs fans to do. We watch the field and watch Smith get beat and Jamesis running for his life.

    Don’t know why Joe keeps defending someone who will most likely end up causing the franchise quarterback’s season ending injury.

  48. Guzzie Says:

    Every year it’s some other problem that all the fans see wrong with the team that management doesn’t see even though it’s obvious, start 4 years ago, the beginning of the Licht Era, although he gets a pass because of Lovie, not the point. That year everyone knew Glennon was better than McClown, but that tanked the season, but brought us JW3. The following season, the defense was horrendous, everyone but management knew this would doom the season. Lovie fired, going into last season everyone knew WRs were suspect, except management, plus the kicker debacle, what happens, other than Evans, bunch of UDFAs catching, actually not catching passes, for the Bucs…..now to the present, trying to fix the WR corps along with the massively weak RB corps, the thin TE corps, the aging DL, what’s the excuse next year….my bet is the OL particularly, the revolving door at both tackle spots, will doom our season next year. It seems the Bucs are always playing catchup instead of preparing for the future. The Cowboys got that OL by drafting 1st round guys, weapons are nice but how’s Andrew Luck or Russel Wilson doing with injuries and sacks without an OL?

  49. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Lord Cornelius Says:
    April 27th, 2017 at 11:09 am
    @Bonzai – i read that Sweezy would play RG if Marpet works out at C and Pamphile would play LG. Can’t remember where though it was a few weeks ago probably.

    Also in general there aren’t any safe LT picks in this draft so there is no best value LT pick that makes any sense at all

    RObinson-most project as a Guard or RT at best
    Bolles/Ramychk-most would project them to start at RT not LT but eventually move
    Lamp-projected guard or RT maybe

    Cornelius, the only question about Bolles is his size going against bigger power rushers. However, he has the frame to put on the bulk needed to take on those power rushers. He also is much more athletic than Donovan Smith….has LT arm length, and excellent foot speed. The kid will be a stud left tackle in this league, and there aren’t many left tackles in this draft. You’d also add more depth to your oline moving Smith over to guard most likely, and depth is so valuable in today’s NFL.

  50. JimmyJack Says:

    Regardless of how you feel about Smith the Bucs need an OT.

  51. Jim Says:

    I say dump Licht and make Lou from Port Richey the GM…

  52. Rod Munch Says:

    It’s not a bad idea to get offensive linemen – it’s not like Dotson is getting any younger. But a 1st round right tackle? If the Bucs have their choice of any offensive linemen I wouldn’t hate it if they took someone and actually gave them a year to learn how to play the game before throwing him out there to start. I think the idea should be as a Dotson replacement but you make them a swing player and if he outperforms Smith then so be it. I think Smith has been a solid player as well, not sure why people don’t think so – watch the games he rarely stands out – which is what you want.

  53. Rod Munch Says:

    Jim – Rod from Hudson is much more qualified, he’s got over 50,000 hours of Madden man hours and I, I mean he has successfully taken hundreds of teams to the Madden Bowl since 1990. Let’s think outside the box and get this done!

  54. mike10 Says:

    Our O line is S-O-F-T.

    Sorry if that offends some. There is one guy that generates any kind of push off the line, and he just got moved to center.

  55. LakeLandBuc Says:

    mike10..some people are in denial.

  56. DislocatedBucsFan Says:

    Have not once even looked at PFF. What I have seen him do and not do, has led me to dislike his play.

  57. Jim Says:

    @ Rod,..a lot of talent out there. We’ve got to consider all our options…