Greg Cosell Believes Graham Barton Will Start

April 29th, 2024

First-round pick Graham Barton.

Now it is kind of silly to suggest a first-round pick won’t start for a team, unless he’s a quarterback the team is breaking in.

Joe doesn’t think Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht drafted center Graham Barton with the 26th pick just to have him watch the games.

Breaking down Barton’s tape, famed NFL Films analyst Greg Cosell has little doubt Barton will start this season (though Cosell wasn’t overly impressed with his play as a tackle).

Here are highligts of Cosell’s breakdown. The full report is at


– Came off the ball low with leverage, generating strength and power in his core as a down blocker in the run game.

– Efficient as a run blocker with his first and second steps; his second step generated leverage and power to move defensive linemen.

– Showed plus mobility and balance as a run blocker, pulling inside and outside and climbing to the second level.

– Excellent short-area quickness off combo blocks to get to linebackers at the second level, and adjusted to moving targets.

– Consistently strong as a down blocker, washing defensive linemen out of the hole; played with leverage and core strength.

– Strong leverage as a run blocker, driving low to high while staying centered and keeping feet moving to finish with power.

– What consistently stood out was his balance and body control snap after snap, as well as his core strength and contact balance.

– Did an excellent job in pass protection, consistently staying in his cylinder and keeping his head inside his shoulders.

– Consistently did a good job recovering in pass protection when his technique and balance were compromised.

– Looked more comfortable with short and 45-degree sets than vertical sets even on deeper drops by the quarterback.


– Watching his 2022 tape, it appeared he had the body frame and movement traits of a guard more than a tackle.

– On pass protection snaps in which he dropped his head through contact, he lunged and lost control of the rep.

– Has a tendency in pass protection to be a beat late with his hands on deeper sets and struck outside in exposing his chest.

– There were vertical pass set reps in which he did not maintain balance and body control at the top of the arc.

– May not possess the range in his vertical sets to transition to tackle in the NFL; looked labored at times.

– Had issues throughout the 2022 season getting beat to the inside; pass rushers crossed his face and he was caught.

– Balance and body control were recurring issues in the run game; fell off too many blocks and was unable to sustain.

– Tendency to play with wide hands while climbing to the second level in the run game; needs to tighten his hand placement.

– At times in pass protection, was late with his hands and strike timing, resulting in the pass rusher getting into his frame.


“…Barton will move inside to guard or center, where he has a chance to be a first-year starter due to his strong fundamental technique and athleticism in the run game. That athleticism is manifest in his quickness off the ball, back-side reach, cut-off blocks and second-level climbs.”

Joe really believes Barton going up against Vita Vea and Calijah Kancey snap after snap in training camp is going to do a world of good for him to get up to speed and be ready to go for Week 1.

28 Responses to “Greg Cosell Believes Graham Barton Will Start”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    lol.. I don’t think that he would beat Bucky in a side by side 40 yard dash.
    But their recorded 40 times tell otherwise

  2. Jmarkbuc Says:

    That’s more weaknesses than I would’ve expected.

  3. SB~LV Says:

    I think Joe edited the story after I posted.
    I don’t see the video or text I replied to, especially the sub 5 seconds 40 time for Barton and the video of him running the 40 and video of the cone drill

  4. D-Rome Says:

    I’m catching up on all the JBF articles over the weekend. I think Licht did a great job with the draft.

  5. Hodad Says:

    Capt. Obvious also thinks Barton will start. As of right now Barton is our second best O lineman after Wirfs. Mauch, who everyone loves was ranked 54, out of 59 guards. Pretty much garbage, I hope he improves. Goedeke did just OK at RT, but a least 3 RTs taken in the draft are better then him. Right now our LG is the invisible man. So yeah, Barton will be starting.

  6. Marine Buc Says:

    Would the Bucs be better off starting Barton at LG and Hainsey at Center?


    Starting Barton at Center and allowing Opeta and Bredeson to compete for the LG spot…

    It will be interesting to see how this starting O-line comes together during training camp.

  7. SteelStudBuc Says:

    I almost think they should put Barton at left guard, and keep Hainsey at center for continuity. Having a mauler would help Hainsey, and maybe help Baker see over the line LOL

  8. SB~LV Says:

    Steel Buc , I was just thinking the same thing but decided not to post as there is already so much ham and egger playing HC .
    But it would give him the familiar left side movement at the snap.
    Hainsey or any other experienced NFL center will a season left in his body

  9. Olboy Says:

    Im in the camp that is wondering why you would put hainsey anywhere on the line? He’s a turnstile that gets overpowered and loses his ability to technique through the play. Joe posted a pic here of hainsey here with some story (I forgot which) that showed him, mostly full body, next to the other oline dudes. His lower frame is small compared to them. Very small. It was evident that his weight was mostly topside. Hainseys physics just aren’t there for center and I just can’t see a way through to him playing guard at a high professional level. I mean come on, force generation and center of gravity don’t change by moving him over 4 ft.
    Yeah, he has experience at being a turnstile, but does that translate into something worth keeping on the field.

  10. bucsfan990 Says:

    very good draft

  11. SB~LV Says:

    Olboy… yes to all about Hainsey and his weaknesses, it’s not so much that he’s bad , more like he is just not really that good.
    The NFL has physical stats for everything, I bet if they had a measurement for hip bone to ankle Hainsey would be the shortest leg length of any OL in the league.
    I can’t dog him because he has done everything asked but he simply isn’t a long term answer for the center position

  12. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Hainsey is a backup G/C. Put the fridge at RG and move Cody to LG – if he can, with Barton at C. That’s all the beef we need.

    That is IF Cody has bulked up. I like that kid for his toughness but he needs to blow open holes this year. Cappa struggled his first year then flourished. Hoping the same for Cody.

  13. JimBobBuc Says:

    I’m not going to sit and grade our OL, so here’s what PFF says:

    2023 PFF Grade
    Stinnie 56.6
    Hainsey 52.8
    Bredeson 42.1
    Opeta 53.2
    Mauch 44.7

    I would guess Bredeson is a backup and his grade reflects the Giants letting him go, not a ringing endorsement. It’s interesting that Mauch is graded so much worse than Hainsey. Carberry and Picucci will need to look at both Mauch and Hainsey’s play toward the end of last year and see if Hainsey could move to RG and replace Mauch?

    The challenge for Carberry and Picucci will be to efficiently evaluate the lineup possibilities during camp. There are a few combinations of guys at different positions, and that competition is good, but going though the lineup combinations will take time. Hopefully they can land on the best lineup and get them a lot of reps together to build communication and become a true unit.

    Barton practicing against Vita, Will, and Kancey will be great. Hopefully Jensen will be around as a consultant or coach too!

  14. Lord Cornelius Says:

    It is weird having no certainty at any interior line starter.

    IMO they should prioritize Barton’s best position to be a potential all pro and if that’s LG and not C then so be it.

    I think their dream scenario is somehow this 6th round fridge dude immediately being good enough to challenge for RG, and then playing Mauch at LG and Barton at C.

    Mauch is a big X factor. If he’s not playing solid in year 2 we may have to look to draft another interior lineman next year.

  15. BridleOaksBuc Says:

    “Showed plus mobility and balance as a run blocker, pulling inside and outside and climbing to the second level.”

    “Balance and body control were recurring issues in the run game; fell off too many blocks and was unable to sustain.”

    Well, which is it? This is why I just don’t trust these draft “pundits.” It seems that he’s just cutting and pasting from other reports. As much as I like Cosell on a few levels, it’s reports like these where credibility is lost.

  16. BakerFan Says:

    Wish Joe would drill down on “Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht”
    Which lead does he prefer, Bon Scott or Brian Johnson???

    Then he could write “Bucs AC/DC Bon Scott lead vocals-loving general manager Jason Licht” or

    “Bucs AC/DC Brian Johnson lead vocals-loving general manager Jason Licht”

  17. SenileSenior Says:

    How is it one man is a refrgerater at 306 while another is just a turnstile?

  18. Darin Says:

    Greg’s not a rocket surgeon. Pretty much all centers picked in the first round start right away. Guards too. But thanks Greg

  19. Ugo Says:

    SenileSenior, that’s because Hainsey is completely maxed out at that weight while the fridge can put on some additional weight. He is also listed at 319 lbs everywhere except the website where he is at 306lbs. My guess is come playing time he will be closer to 320 than 300

  20. Hodad Says:

    The reason they won’t keep Hainsey at center is because he’s in a contract year. Barton is the future center, and the future is NOW. Bucs aren’t going to pay Hainsey next year as their starting center. His position should be valuable backup. If gets a second contract with Tampa, that’s what they’d pay him as.

  21. Buddha Says:

    Don’t fall asleep on Elijah Klein. Watch the interview with him after he was drafted. The kid is pure joy and just ecstatic to be on the Bucs. Got to love him. A Jason Licht special.

  22. John Sinclear Says:

    Cannot possibly be an NFL player. He is clean shaven, neatly dressed nice haircut, speaks clear and concise English. Doesn’t fit the mold.

  23. Jw94buc Says:

    No shi*. He’s a first rounder. You start them unless you reached. Which we did not.

  24. unbelievable Says:

    To be honest all the weaknesses seem to pertain almost exclusively to the tackle position, which he won’t be playing. So I’m not too worried. Of course his technique will have to improve when he gets to the NFL, same as almost every college player ever.

  25. Shane Callahan Says:

    I was thinking JPJ, but I’m warming up to this pick.

  26. Proudbucsfan Says:

    I’m really pulling for Elijah Klein, he’s my favorite pick this year. I’m thinking he is the sleeper from our whole draft class

  27. olboy Says:

    I wonder what Liam has to say about all of his new field weapons. I wonder where he would like to see Barton.

  28. Rob Says:

    Those negative evaluations come from him playing LT. On the inside, he will be protected by both guard spots. He’s strong and big enough to be an elite center in the NFL.