Bruce Arians And Drafting Tackles

February 26th, 2020

Eye on rookie o-linemen.

A lot of Bucs fans groan out loud between chugs of Big Storm Brewing beers when they hear Bucs coach Bucco Bruce Arians discuss how low he rates college offensive linemen in the 21st century.

Arians, as he

explained in detail

two years ago to Barstool Sports, believes if you draft an offensive lineman high in the draft you are drafting the guy for the next coach because you will get fired.

Arians explained, in large part due to spread offenses in college being so foreign to NFL offenses where blocking technique and assignments are very different, offensive linemen coming into the league need much more time to develop than in the past.

That is, if they can ever develop.

So Arians was asked about his theory of rookie offensive linemen yesterday when he took to a podium at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis. Arians cited an example of why he is leery of young offensive linemen as we begin the third decade of the 21st century.

“When you draft a guy and he’s never been in a three-point stance and he’s going to block J.J. Watt, there is probably going to be a problem. For somebody,” Arians said. “Either the quarterback or the running back.”

In fact, Arians believes there should be another league other than the XFL, with a focus on training players to play in the trenches.

“I think we need another spring league for offensive linemen,” Arans said. [For a CBA] to shorten practices for those guys is really hurting the game.”

Arians is hardly alone in the NFL with this theory. Some believe the NFL is in an offensive line crisis for the very same reasons Arians cites.

Shoot, Joe overheard former NFL scout and NFL Network talking head Daniel Jeremiah talk to a Cleveland radio station on radio row at the combine; he said college football, in general, is hurting for good tackles. Jeremiah even relayed a story he heard from a college coach that once an offensive tackle enters his name into the dreaded transfer protocol, by the time a coach contacts the player, he is usually already taken by another program.

What does this mean for the Bucs? It sure smells like unless a guy is such a superior physical specimen or already plays in a pro-style offense, Arians will stay away from drafting a tackle high in the draft.

28 Responses to “Bruce Arians And Drafting Tackles”

  1. pelbuc Says:

    Dline in the 1st round, Jake Fromm in the 2nd, Oline in 3rd, RB in Free agency.

  2. Dewey Selmon Says:

    That’s why you sign Dotson to a one year deal and draft his replacement.

  3. #1 Pick QB 2 Cent Brain Says:

    Holding a coach to a comment he made two years ago is silly. Opinions change and if the right prospect is available do you just pass them over because, of a comment made two years ago?

  4. Tye Says:

    I wouldn’t hate it if the Bucs draft Jake Fromm..
    Or Eason…
    The Bucs surely need to go the way of a vet and quality rookie in 2020..
    Warming up to the idea of Andy Dalton (his age being mid-range and trusting Arians can get the best out of him) and a quality rookie QB..

  5. Joe Says:

    Holding a coach to a comment he made two years ago is silly.

    Not silly when he hasn’t changed his mind. And his premise, in theory, is correct.

  6. chris L Says:

    arians better get used to it. with the new CBA, practices will not get longer and less physical practice. eventually this will be the new norm in the NFL for o-lineman. it is a bad excuse because eventually it will catch up to teams so might as well get guys now for the future.

  7. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    This dude is like lovie smith minus the super bowl and more jive talking. How can he not adapt to the skill set around him

  8. Ocala Says:

    It may take a while to develop a tackle, but the Bucs do a terrible job of investing premium picks(1st round) on offensive linemen.

    The Bucs have picked a lot of non-premium positions in the first round(ILB, TE, DT, CB) lately.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    BA knows better than any of us how good or bad the OLine did last year. It’s ‘inconsistent’ at best, and especially in run blocking. He & JL have 3 ways to fix it: FA, the draft, or a trade. Since he’s recently made the statement that he doesn’t want to move Cappa to RT, I think it’s safe to ASSUME that the Bucs will be looking for a Tackle right now. And those won’t come cheap in FA or a trade (Conklin’s most likely asking price of $15 mil comes to mind).

    With all the other FAs we NEED to sign, I seriously doubt that the Bucs will have any choice but to DRAFT a starting-caliber tackle, regardless of what BA says. Right now I see 4 (maybe 5) Tackles who meet that criteria, and IF we’re lucky, one of those will fall to us at #14 in Rnd 1. There’s apparently a big dropoff after Thomas, Becton, Wills & Wirfs (those are the only ones who seem to show up with a Top-20 rating). There are several others with Rnd 1 POTENTIAL, but right now they’d be considered ‘a reach’ at #14.

    Yes we could get lucky and draft a Tackle in Rnd 2 or 3 & find a starter. He could just as easily turn out to be Benenoch reincarnated. JL has some work to do.

  10. catcard202 Says:

    If you look at the 2019 All-Pro team…Of the 4 OT’s that were selected =

    1st Team All-Pro:
    LT – 1st Rd pick (#6) in 2016
    RT – 1st Rd pick (#32) in 2017

    2nd team All-Pro
    LT – 2rd Rd pick in 2013
    RT – 4th Rd pick in 2012

    Of the 11 O-linemen selected to All-Pro 1st/2nd teams…the VAST majority were either 1st-2nd Rd draftees (8 of 11) w/ only 1 being lower than a 4th Rd pick. (6th Rd C from the Eagles)

  11. martinii Says:

    One of the reasons I have been adamant about picking D-line or RB in first round. I recall reading BA’s and other coaches take on the difficulty an O-Lineman has adjusting to NFL. Many college teams run spread offense and lineman never put their hand in the dirt. Best approach now is to take best RD2-3-4 prospects and give them a year to adjust. Of course there is always the 1st Rd exception that will start from day one but they are few and far between. Specialty players especially Pass rushers, DB’s, and yes RB’s Should top the modern day Draft Board.

  12. LordCornelius Says:

    “What does this mean for the Bucs? It sure smells like unless a guy is such a superior physical specimen or already plays in a pro-style offense, Arians will stay away from drafting a tackle high in the draft.”

    BA also was quoted saying this “Oh gosh, there’s about five or six tackles that are big-time.”

    I’m not sure if the 5-6 guys play in pro style offenses or not, but to me that’s the key takeaway: that he’s got 5-6 tackles he’s identified as having a round 1 grade if not a high round 1 grade. Same as the rest of the draft community basically.

    Right now I’d say it’s like 70% the Bucs go OT round 1 given the value & need and that we likely do not sign a high priced O-lineman in FA.

  13. El Buco Realisto Says:

    Would not mind a combo of D-line and O-line with the first two rounds for the next regime to work with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    go bucs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. jcscycles Says:

    Experience over the years has proven that the best offensive tackles are drafted first round. Sure, there are exceptions. Some bust, and some undrafted become stars. But the majority first rounders pan out. Ideally you want someone with a good kick slide and experience playing in a pro style offense and experience in a three point stance. Major college programs do best, with a nod to the SEC. Getting Wills from Alabama or Thomas from Georgia would be a good safe bet. And yes, Becton is a monster, but there are concerns with his kick slide and weight. Coaches want to see him come in to camp at 340 lbs.
    I see alot of mocks pairing us up with Wirfs, and that’s a worry. Several scouts and PFF see him as a guard at the pro level. Wills is the gold standard. He has played both sides, and played right for Tua because thats where the left tackle plays when the QB is a lefty.

  15. Ocala Says:

    If you want the Bucs to draft a tackle in the first round(I do). Then I hope it is not Wirfs from Iowa. Watch Wirfs in his game against Michigan. After you watch that game you will wonder why he is not considered an undrafted free agent. The guy is on the ground in that game so much you’d think he was playing on the grass you get from Columbia.

  16. PSL Bob Says:

    As I’ve said all along, and knowing Arian’s thoughts on the matter, get a replacement for Dotson in FA, and then pick up at least one O-line development player in later rounds of the draft.

  17. catcard202 Says:

    Wills has been a RT since HS… (Landon Young UK’s starting LT – who’ll be a 1st/2nd Rd pick in 2021..was his LT mate while both were at Lafayette HS in Lexington, KY)

    Wills has been a RT his entire career at ALA. He’ll be a RT Only in the NFL.

    Thomas / Becton have duel T capabilities & experience …& they are the ONLY combo T’s worth taking in the 1st Rd. (If the thought process is RT in 2020 / LT to replace D.Smith in 2021)

  18. PSL Bob Says:

    An earlier article you posted Joe, seems to contradict the implication here that Arians would not draft a tackle.

    Posted earlier: Licht was asked about the depth of the offensive tackle class and replied, “it’s probably better than it’s been in the last several years.” Arians said there are “five or six tackles that are big time.”

    Perhaps another smoke screen. Love your reporting from the combine, Joe, and look forward to any news to keep me sane until the new season begins, but you just can’t put any stock in the comments of coaches and GMs this time of year.

  19. SOEbuc Says:

    BA rarely responds with BS considering his bold statements like this.Third round at the most for OL and you can get good OL in the third+ rounds anyway. Look at $40 million man trying to “hold” the edge. Making space in the bank for a quality FA OL is the best bet for 2020.

  20. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    LOL…superior talent > than lesser talent ..there will always be OLmen taken high in the draft…that will never change and goes for every position….exhibit Shaquan Barkley a few year ago( RB are not drafted high anymore in the NFL )

  21. TexBuc Says:

    My guess would be DL in the 1st and at best 2nd round for the first OL pick.

  22. SOEbuc Says:

    Gimme a legit oline and no problem drafting Jonathan Taylor in the second round. Great vision and speed. Kinlaw, Delpit, or Epenesa in the first round.

  23. PSL Bob Says:

    Delpit in Rd#1. Any stud RB in Rd#2.

  24. MadMax Says:

    Since we’re in win now mode….Suh, JPP, and Shaq will be back… down, draft Delpit for our free safety, then go after RB/Oline….clyde edwards-helaire, ben bartch for RT….G/OT robert hunt in the 5th.

  25. MadMax Says:

    RB Clyde edwards-helaire is being requested to workout with the WR group too…boy can catch and run routes….so rb/wr with that pick

    Guess what else….WR Chase Claypool being requested to workout with the TE group also…

    Theres 2 picks I want that cover 2 positions each…and we let Brate go for Brady money, Chase is his replacement!

  26. The Coroner Says:

    Sign free agent to Jack Conklin.

  27. QBKilla Says:

    Belicheat picks O-lineman in the first round. Is he wrong?

  28. westernbuc Says:

    Meanwhile, Quinton Nelson gets drafted in the top-ten and becomes the best guard in all of football.

    A lot of experts claimed that he was drafted too high. Well, they were wrong.

    Here’s what I can gather about Arians: He doesn’t use tight ends and he doesn’t want to develop offensive linemen.

    Quite frankly, I’m fine if we move on from Jameis. But Arians isn’t helping him out at all. Not every throw has to be 30 yards downfield. Not every play has to be explosive

    Here’s the reality: Tight ends are fundamental to the Chiefs and 49ers offense. The Niners use a fullback. The Patriots fell off the map without a tight end.

    Arians, who’s never been to a Super Bowl as a head coach, thinks he’s smarter than Reid, Shanahan, and Belichick.