Drafting An Offensive Lineman In Round 1

March 30th, 2022

It seems Bucs general manager Jason Licht and Chiefs head coach/personnel guru Andy Reid have something in common.

And it’s not because the two worked together with the Eagles.

That was the word delivered to Joe yesterday during a sun-soaked chat at the NFL Owners Meetings in Palm Beach. It came from a guy with strong and direct ties to front office executives around the NFL (whose name Joe is not sharing) .

In a discussion about the bottom of the 2022 NFL Draft (the Bucs have the No. 27 overall pick), the insider was very clear about how overlooked the loss of Ali Marpet is on the Tampa Bay roster and how much the team needs to get younger and deeper on its offensive line, especially if it hopes to keep Tom Brady for many years and maximize what might be the best threesome of receivers in the NFL: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage.

The source talked about how Reid and the Chiefs now have the 29th and 30th overall picks as a result of trades, and combined with Licht at No. 27, that represents a great example of how excellent teams — ones picking that low — routinely reload in the trenches at those positions while other teams feast on players “you have to draft” but know have a higher bust potential.

A can’t-miss guard/center like Zion Johnson out of Boston College, he said, is the perfect match for former college offensive linemen like Licht and Reid.

“Jason is going to have a very hard time resisting Zion. So will Andy,” the source said. “He’s perfect for those guys short term and long-term.

Bucco Bruce Arians said on Buccaneers.com that he loved the trade for guard Shaq Mason because, “we wouldn’t have to go into the draft and have to say, hey, we’ve got to draft a guard to start.”

Joe’s not doubting the ability of Aaron Stinnie to fill in at left guard for Marpet, but nobody knows how Stinnie will hold up through a full season. He’s never been a full-time starter.

What a huge luxury it would be for the Bucs to bring in a blue chip offensive lineman like Johnson and let him try to win the left guard job.

It may make more sense to add a defensive tackle in Round 1, but the O-line argument can be made successfully and Licht has had a ton of success picking at that position.

Enjoy The Ira Kaufman Podcast, Tuesday Night’s Episode!

47 Responses to “Drafting An Offensive Lineman In Round 1”

  1. DoooshLaRue Says:

    OL or DL is fine by me.

  2. Marine Buc Says:

    The question is – do the Bucs trust Stinnie, Hainsey, Leverret and Fred Johnson?

    If one of those four can step up and become a solid starter then we don’t have to draft another OG.

    If BA doesn’t have faith in one of those four then we should be drafting an OG with our first pick if one is available.

  3. VSyl Says:

    I think any great player we can add at LG or DL should be drafted.

  4. Mark A Swygert Says:

    If Johnson is there at 27 he would be a good and safe pick. The DT from GA Davonte Wyatt would also be a great pick for the other side of the ball. We need some new blood on both lines. I trust the Bucs brain-trust to make the right call. They have hit more than they have missed on first round picks since Licht has been GM. Go Bucs!

  5. WillieG Says:

    I think I’d rather have Licht find another small school guy in rounds 3-5. And draft D line with the first pick.

  6. Red86 Says:

    I see nothing wrong with that. The trenches can make or break a team.

  7. Casual Observer Says:

    I think DT is the highest priority. The DTs on the roster then are getting long in the tooth.

  8. SlyPirate Says:

    Depends who’s there?

    If Breece Hall, Devonte Wyatt, and Zion Johnson are on the board, I’d be disappointed if the Bucs selected Zion.

  9. SOEbuc Says:

    Zion Johnson all day if available. Kenyon Green won’t be. Donovan Smith and his $18.4 million cap hit has never been that good and with Marpet missing, Tom won’t enjoy a broken back.

  10. Steven007 Says:

    Off topic, Malcolm Jenkins from the Saints just announced his retirement. Huge blow for their secondary. Even gronk had major problems with Jenkins. If Gronk comes back all the more reason we should have success against an increasingly depleted Saints squad.

  11. Mike Says:

    DT in round 1 or Corner. Licht is very capable of drafting a very good OL in round 2 or 3.

  12. sasquatch Says:

    If we really want a guard that high and we have at least as much, if not far greater, need on the D-Line, I’d advocate trading future picks to get both positions this year. Why wait? I never advocate for trading future picks, but now seems like the time.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    The Pats will draft Zion before he gets to us…..but, in general an Olineman is a sure bet there….

  14. JGhotier Says:

    If Zion and Wyatt both somehow fall to us (or we trade up, but just these 2 in this scenario), who are YOU taking?! ALSO, who do you think Jason “Gerard Depardieu” Licht and Co. WOULD draft in that scenario….

    Curious to hear people’s thoughts

    p.s. I personally don’t think you can go wrong w/ either, but just due to their off-season comments about getting faster and quicker in the middle of the trenches on Defense and since we acquired Shaq Mason and no there’s certainty on Suh (plus we need to get younger, quicker and talented guys anyways on D-Line), I’m leaning Wyatt. But Zion would absolutely fit in perfectly here too 🤷‍♂️

    p.s.s. if both are gone, then who?! Have to go w/ a DB at that point right, nor do I think this Draft is worth investing a first rounder on a TE or RB this Draft. Heck, my dream is for Travon Walker to somehow end up with us on Draft night. I could also see a WR if they dropped or a Jameson Williams. I also really love Sam Williams as a 2nd round oaks-rushing steal to go w/ JTS and “Sack” Barrett.

    Gonna be a fun draft, but I am curious on other’s opinions on the aforementioned questions and scenarios too 🙏

  15. SKBucsFan Says:

    That’s the recipe for success. OL and DL is the priority every year in Round 1. Strong lines equal a strong team. Fact!

  16. New England Patriots Fan Says:

    A left tackle whom can play guard would be valuable in case tackles get hurt. At this point the most needed player would be an edge rusher whom can produce year 1. Edge rusher is the deepest position group according to PFF 14 in top 100 and 3 in top 10 in terms of talent not actual draft location.

    Tampa’s pass rush was hot and cold all year and the defense bliss 40% of snaps.

  17. Rod Munch Says:

    You can’t pay all your offensive lineman nearly $10m or more – and while Licht has been good about getting early production out of guys, you’d prefer to let them sit and learn for a year and not have a start right away. If you can get a top talent to play guard, and who can slide over to center later on if needed, and you’re picking at the back of the 1st, then sure, go ahead and do it.

    But then again you can’t pay all your WRs $10m or more as well, and Evans deal is up after next year, and Godwin the year after that – you want to have some young guys with talent in the pipeline.

    Also defensive lineman are insanely expensive as well… As are corners… Plus TEs are expensive…

    In any case the Bucs are all-in on 2022, and with all info saying Brady isn’t going to be back next year, if you want to change that, you do whatever makes Brady the most happy. So to me, either an offensive lineman or WR or pass catching RB makes the most sense.

  18. RandsABucFan Says:

    Good things happen when you make your offensive line a priority in the draft. Wirfs is the best 1st round pick we’ve made in a while, the 2nd was Vea and he’s on the defensive line.

  19. ErikTheViking Says:

    Championships are won and lost at the line of scrimage. Nothing is more important, except QB. Part of the reason we won a second title was the dominance of the OL and DL. Build now for sustained success. LFG!!!

  20. tampabayallday Says:

    OL is a good value pick but we need a pass rushing DT/De

  21. Marques Says:

    For that reason alone is why he won’t draft an o linemen with his first pick because he has shown to get quality players in lower rounds. He will draft best player available on his board in correlation with the team needs. He will draft for value. If he does not love a player he will trade down.

  22. Rob Says:

    I would trade out of the 27th pick and pick up additional picks. A team will probably trade a 2nd, 3rd and 5th/6th to go up to 27. If we are looking at OL, and you follow Licht’s philosophy, he will draft a tackle and move him inside. Tyler Smith from Tulsa, Darrian Kinnard from Kentucky, or Sean Rhyan can be had in the 2nd or 3rd rounds. All three played LT in college and could move inside early to replace Marpet and then later replace Donovan Smith.

    The extra picks allow you to draft both LT (who will play LG) and DT with the first 3 picks.

  23. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    If Walker somehow falls to the bucs or in the area that would be a great get. The safety from UGA, Cline, would be a great replacement for Whitehead as that guy who fills in the alleys and plays a great underneath in the passing lanes like whitehead did and he is a big $afety that can run.

  24. HC Grover Says:

    Draft Beef.

  25. Mike Johnson Says:

    Yes, Zion Johnson is a can’t miss pick. Now how many other teams know this also? He won’t be there by the time we pick. I would go after a DL instead.

  26. Stanglassman Says:

    Everyone was talking Zion right after Ali retired. Unfortunately since then his stock has skyrocketed. No doubt he’s high on their board but not worth trading away all your draft picks to go up and get. All we can hope for is the gas mask, billowing smoke pictures to magically surface draft morning.

  27. BillyBucco Says:

    We have 3 first round picks on the D Line if Suh comes back.
    Plus an undrafted guy who led the league in sacks.

    If it between the 2 I say add another 1st round talent to Wirfs.

    Otherwise let Licht work his magic and take BPA.
    Really hope we add Burks who will fall because of his combine numbers alone.

    Betcha Brady is lobbying for a WR.
    He is gonna want to simply outscore people because he CANT trust the D evident in the last game.

    What are we gonna add another Tryon that takes a year?
    Or a Vernon Hargreaves that busts?

    We need a LB to replace David too IMO.

  28. Bird Says:


    No doubt. That is huge news. Especially since they lost marcus williams too

    So they have Maye after tearing his achilles last year 👀

    Another huge need for saints…who also need receivers x a lot and a tackle and now safety. Sounds good to me

  29. catcard202 Says:

    With Mason slotted at RG for 2yrs, Stinnie back to compete for starting LG role and Jensen back at C on a 3yr/$39M deal….Do the Bucs really need to draft OG with Hainsey already an in-house option to compete for snaps??? The 3rd round ND product is more than capable & isn’t playing C anytime soon.

    To me, considering the above…DT seems to be a much higher priority for the FO & should be focus (Day1/2).

  30. Allbuccedup Says:

    If Zion Johnson is there at 27 then its a no brainer. But he will probably go long before 27. Plan B trade down and get a middle to high second rounder and third rounder. Then Travis Jones, Logan Hall and best left guard/tackle available.

  31. Cho Says:

    Draft OL. Raimann, Penning, Green or Johnson. A guard that can be backup swing tackle would also work.

  32. Bird Says:

    This guy may be there at our pick and i would be stoked if they got him.
    However , edge rusher and corner are two huge needs for us and ranked #1 and 2 on talent for 2022. You can find guards in rounds 3 and 4..

    Sorry but we cannot have another injury at corner. Especially since SMB may not be the guy. And both SMB and Dean contracts done after this year.

    And you can never have enough edge rushers. Where we are limited. Especially one that could take snaps inside on pass downs. Guy from minnesota would be solid too.

    Cant wait for draft

  33. Biff Barker Says:

    When you think about drafting the darling duo of Wirfs and Winfield there’s always hope to knock it outta the park.
    I’ve come to respect JL and his scouting team. We all hope the FO can tear up this draft with a couple of quality starters.

  34. Defense Rules Says:

    The weak link in the Bucs’ championship hopes right now is the DEFENSE. Our offense can put up 30 or more PPG, but we’ve all seen what happens if our defense can’t hold up for 60 minutes (aka, Rams’ game?). What we’ve got on our defensive roster is pretty much the same as last season, EXCEPT that we’re missing Suh & JPP as starters and a handful of fairly important back-ups like McLendon, Minter & Adams, all of whom got quite a few snaps.

    The only player that we still NEED on offense is Gronk, plus we’ll need to add another RB & probably another TE. If this draft’s PRIORTY in Rnds 1-3 (at least) isn’t on defense (DT, DE, CB) then no one should be surprised if 2022 ends the same way that 2021 ended. We’ve got holes in the starting rotation AND we lack depth.

  35. Bucs Guy Says:

    Highly doubt Zion Johnson will be there at 27. Bucs are going D-Line.

  36. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    We needed Donovan Smith against the rams, and he was a sieve. His replacement could easily be found in the 1st or 2nd round of this draft. The other pick should be Travis Jones, DL from UConn. 4.92 40 at 6’4″ 330lbs is beyond impressive, and he has the size to backup across the line.

  37. MadMax Says:

    Im telling ya, trade down and grab LG Ed Ingram in the 2nd…similar size to Ali and is a beast the way he squats his base. Then get that DT/DE Logan Hall.

  38. ocala Says:

    DoooshLaRue Says:
    March 30th, 2022 at 11:52 am
    OL or DL is fine by me.

    100% agree with this post!

  39. Pryda...Sec147 Says:

    Win the Trenches win the War!

  40. Tony Says:

    I’d consider Travis Jones. They’re gonna have to consider trading down being that they’ve only got five picks now. Still need at least one maybe two CB, one S, at least one OL, one DE, one DT & then depending on a RB, WR & TE. Just bring Bernard back & then they’d have him Fournette & Vaughn.

  41. Cobraboy Says:


    They win games.

  42. BucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Max is right on with Ed Ingram of LSU , and he may be there in the 3rd. Ingram is a great pass blocker and has a real nasty streak. Latest mock from Mike Tannenbaum has Bucs taking Jordan Davis at 27 (Please God let Tannie be right), but I do not think he lasts that long.
    However , that being said , I still believe you cannot have too many great WR’s for TB12 to distribute to as it is a high injury loss position. Chris Olave from OSU is the best route runner in the draft , a trait that Brady admires tremendously. Jameson Williams of Bama is the most explosive and I see both of them available at 27. Jordan Davis or Devonte Wyatt if they are there , but if not get another top notch WR and win this SuperBowl.

  43. gotbbucs Says:

    I think 27 is kind of the sweet spot where the best value on the board is going to be offensive linemen and possibly defensive backs. I could see them doubling up on defensive line/pass rush in rounds 2-4.
    I doubt if he’ll still be on the board, but I’d love to see them grab TE Jelani Woods with our 2nd round pick.

  44. steele Says:

    I think the draft should heavily emphasize defense. Heavily.

    However, a top OL in rd 1 is usually a good investment.

    Trenches. Toughness. Nastiness. Smash the Rams. Smash the Saints.

  45. BelleGladeBuc Says:

    Against the Rams in the playoff game this was the Bucs offensive production per drive in for the 1st – 3rd Quarter:

    1st drive: 6 plays, 2 first downs, and then punt
    2nd drive: 3 plays, 0 first downs, and then punt
    3rd drive: 6 plays, 2 first downs, and then FG
    4th drive: 3 plays, 0 first downs, and then punt
    5th drive: 12 plays, 3 first downs, and then a missed FG
    6th drive: 2 plays, 0 first downs, and then TB12 throws an INT
    7th drive: 1 play, 0 first downs, kneel down to end half
    8th drive: 3 plays, 0 first downs, and then punt
    9th drive: 10 plays, 3 first downs, and then FG
    10th drive: 7 plays, 2 first downs, and then TD

    In 3 quarters of the Bucs playoff game against the Rams the offense had 10 drives, 4 punts, 1 missed FG, 1 turnover, 1 kneel down, 2 FG’s, 1 TD

    The Bucs offense failed on 70% of their drives in the first 3 quarters of their playoff loss to the Rams.

    The truth is, that despite the amazing comeback of the Bucs in the 4th quarter, their loss to the Rams is much more complicated than simply blaming the defense entirely. That same defense that also gave the Bucs two turnovers in those first three quarters, one fumble stopping the Rams at the goal line.

    Our offense has to figure out how to be successful against physical teams like the Rams.

    The Rams defense was successful at stopping the Bucs offense 70 percent of the time in the first 3 quarters.

    You can’t expect to win football games when 75% of the game your offense is struggling.

    That’s a major problem.

  46. Pete Says:

    Football games are still won and lost at the line of scrimmage. Improvement and depth on both sides of the ball should be a priority.

  47. David Says:

    It all depends on what they feel the value is. I think they go D line but if they think there’s great value at that position in round two and there’s an O lineman with a lot higher value in rd 1, then I would not be surprised.
    I still think D line, DB, RB are the first three rounds. I think TE, O line, WR or the next three. None of that is in any particular order