Bucs should look for offensive line with their first round pick
With free agency behind us now, all attention is now focused on the upcoming draft which will be held April 23-25.
This will be a different draft in format as it will be entirely virtual as all NFL team facilities have been closed till further notice due to COVID-19.
The Buccaneers have the 14th selection in the first round and there are still many needs on this Bucs team.
Offensive line, depth at running back now that Peyton Barber is in Washington, a third wide receiver, and depth in the secondary and on the defensive line.
There is no question that the most pressing need on the team is at offensive tackle. With DeMar Dotson not being re-signed, the Bucs need another tackle to come in and protect their new 60 million dollar investment in Tom Brady.
Joe Haeg is penciled in as the starting right tackle right now, with Donavan Smith at left tackle. Brad Seaton is listed on the depth chart as the only backup tackle.
There are four and possibly five tackles with first round talent that could all be taken in the first round or early second round.
Andrew Thomas of Georgia, Jedrick Willis of Alabama, and Tristan Wirfs Of Iowa will probably all be gone by the time the Bucs make their selection at number 14.
There are two other tackles that have first round talent and could come in and start right away for the Bucs.
Mekhi Becton of LSU and Austin Jackson of USC are the two tackles that will be available at number 14 and one of them should end up in Tampa.
Mekhi Becton is a six foot six 355 pound offensive tackle that was a three year starter at Louisville.
Becton is very versatile and can play both the right and left side which should appeal to Bucs head coach Bruce Arians who likes a lot of versatility in his offensive linemen.
Becton is very mobile and that makes it difficult for edge rushers to get around him.
Becton is a solid blocker in the run game, is very light on his feet, and has good lateral movement in pass protection.
The weak area of Becton’s game is due to his small hands, he has trouble on occasion allowing defenders to slip out of his blocks.
Becton has played in a two point stance most of his career and that is something that is important to coach Arians. He is also one of the best pass blocking tackles in the draft.
Austin Jackson of USC is another tackle that will be available at number 14.
Jackson is 6-5 305 pounds and had 25 career starts in college.
Jackson holds the point of attack very well, and excels at cutting off the edge. He has good quickness and is one of the quickest offensive linemen in the draft.
Jackson can also play at both left and right tackle, and has played in a two point stance most of his career.
The weak area of Jackson’s game is he needs to stay with the play a bit longer. Jackson has had a tendency to quit on a play before it is over. He needs to become more of a finisher.
Jackson also needs work on his technique as it is a bit sloppy at times.
Either way, if the Bucs go with an offensive linemen at number 14, they will be getting a very good offensive linemen. Of course the preference would be Andrew Thomas, or even Jedrick Willis or Tristan Wirfs.
If one of those guys are there at 14, the Bucs will no doubt make them a Buccaneer.
Mekhi Becton is the better of the two compared to Austin Jackson, but you really can’t go wrong with either player.