Bucs Scouting Chief Highlights Marpet Gamble

August 6th, 2017

Yes, yes, yes, Ali Marpet is an amazing center prospect and is having a good transition to the position after two strong years at right guard.

Everyone in the know seems to be in agreement, including training camp visitor Brian Baldinger, the former 12-season NFL guard/center now working as an NFL Network personality.

He was at One Buc Palace for Saturday’s practice and shared lots of love about what he saw of Marpet.

However, all those early reviews can’t cover up the fact Marpet was a damn good right guard. Joe has typed this repeatedly. And it’s risky to relocate a well-developing young guard. What happens if Marpet is just average at center?

It’s an intriguing gamble. And for Joe the gamble kicked up a notch over the weekend. That’s when Buccaneers director of college scouting Mike Biehl jumped on the Buccaneers Insider show on Buccaneers.com and said confidently that Marpet was on an “All-Pro” track at guard. That wasn’t Pro Bowl, but All-Pro, which is far more prestigious.

Winning head coach Dirk Koetter wisely noted on the Ira Kaufman Podcast this summer that only one NFL team last year had the same starting offensive line all year long: the Falcons. So every team must expect eventual shuffling on the O-line.

The Bucs, of course, have lots of versatility and can shuffle in various ways. But still, the Marpet move is one of the gutsiest calls of the season and is clearly designed to get guard J.R. Sweezy on the field.

Since needlessly cutting Donald Penn, trading Jeremy Zuttah, and signing Evan Smith and Anthony Collins to start in 2014, general manager Jason Licht has had a supremely magical touch with his offensive line.

Joe’s going to take a deep August breath and hope that continues.

11 Responses to “Bucs Scouting Chief Highlights Marpet Gamble”

  1. Ocala Says:

    I’m very excited at having such a great talent at Center.
    It’s pretty obvious Ali is a smart person so I would be very surprised if he doesn’t play very well this year.

  2. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Market was born to play interior offensive line. He’ll be an all-pro center, right guard, left guard, whatever. Best draft pick (outside of Winston) Licht has made.

  3. webster Says:

    Joe stop tripping. Many offensive linemen have change positions throughout their career with brian baldinger being one of them. The bucs train their olinemen to be versatile. That is why pamphile will kick out to tackle if dotson goes down and evan smith will play guard. You are making a mountain out of a mole hill evident by the fact that when marpet was drafted, the organization said they saw him playing center down the line. Finding an all pro center is more difficult than finding an all pro guard or a adequate guard period. Stop with the over analysing. Marpet will be fine. Your man crush mccoy has said so countless times.

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    Its not that much of a “gamble”. Adjustment? Yes. Gamble – NO

    You know what IS a gamble? Expecting our starting offensive tackles to be “just fine” with even less depth to back them up.

    Caleb Benenoch better come on strong this year or we are in trouble at RT.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    Pickgrin, it’s interesting that you mentioned Caleb Benenoch as our primary backup tackle. He’s definitely versatile (played both guard & tackle in college) but all of his tackle time was at RT I believe. I’d like to see him get some LT time during preseason games just to see how he does there.

  6. BucEmUo Says:

    No need for hope Joe its here….its all good. Better to have an all pro center over joe Hawley anyway Marley is going to be a stud

  7. BucEmUo Says:

    I agree RT is a concern after seeing what happened when flag magnet Dotson went down last year and the one guy Cheryl I us or however you spell it came in……HORRIBLE!

  8. bucsfaninchina Says:

    “magical touch”

    Please… let’s get that yards per carry up and blaming the tackle play (the Dallas game comes to mind) for the deflating of the Bucs playoff hopes last year before we start calling Jason Licht the O-line whisperer.

  9. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    What pays more in free agency, an all-pro center or an all-pro guard?

  10. stpetebucsfan Says:

    Again I wish I could credit the poster who first made this observation…I think it may have been LUV….Kevin Mawae!!!!

    Mawaee just missed the HOF cut this year. He played his first two years at RG before moving to Center and a long string of All Pro seasons.

    Not asking Ali to be HOF material but I think he will challenge for All Pro honors.

  11. Owlykat Says:

    Marpet was a star at Center in the Sr. Bowl and was backup at center in high school and college. The Bucs should have made him a Center here as a rookie, and started Our LT Smith as a RT from the beginning too and we would be better off now. Pamphile will be an outstanding Tackle for us and if we need another Tackle Beneoch will be serviceable and could turn into another good one in time. I am real pleased with Sweeney, who brings a lot of attitude, power, and Super Bowl experience to the guard position.