New general manager Jason Licht and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have plenty of positions that require upgrades this offseason, but maybe none stand out as much as the offensive line which was unable to generate consistent pass blocking and running lanes in 2013.
With that in mind, Licht and his team have started doing their homework on some of the top options available this summer. With rumors already circulating that the Buccaneers are interested in Branden Albert and Eugene Monroe, the team will also meet with a pair of 2014 NFL Draft prospects at the tackle position.
North Dakota State lineman Billy Turner and Auburn tackle Greg Robinson are both scheduled to meet with the Buccaneers in the near future. Turner’s visit was reported by Gil Brandt of NFL.com, while Robinson’s was reported by Brandon Marcello of AL.com.
Turner comes from a small school with a big-time track record, as the Bison of NDSU have become a dynasty in recent seasons thanks to a hard-nosed style on offense and defense. Turner is an incredibly strong young man who figures to be an early-to-mid-round selection in the draft, and will either play tackle or guard in the NFL.
Robinson, on the other hand, is a freak athlete who played on the biggest of stages with Auburn this past season. His strength and athleticism are undeniable, but his ability to protect the pass remains in question as his offense in college didn’t feature a traditional passing scheme. He figures to be gone within the first 10 picks of the 2014 NFL Draft.
All of this news should be a clear sign to Donald Penn that his job is not safe heading into 2014, as the Buccaneers are well-prepared to sign or draft his replacement and send him packing. Penn is an average player making an average salary for his position, but it wouldn’t be out of the question to see a new regime make an upgrade at an important position like left tackle.