Continuing our preview of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster, today we’re looking at the offensive line.
Shortly after the season concluded, Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter said he considered his offensive line as one in the top half of the league.
Going a bit beyond stats, if you can’t settle on who your starting guards are, then you have a worse line than any NFL line who knows their starting five.
Consistency is possibly the most important factor to creating an elite offensive line. But it doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what Koetter and general manager Jason Licht think.
Here’s a look at how the offensive line looks heading into the 2018 NFL year, and what we might see happen to it along the way.
Offensive Linemen projected to the 2018 Roster
The Buccaneers have a clear need for interior linemen. Interior linemen and exterior linemen are different for a reason.
Only four players on the roster are identified as interior guys, and while some of the listed tackles certainly are capable of lining up inside, it doesn’t mean they are viable long-term solutions.
Last off-season, the team declined to address the offensive line in any serious way either through the draft or free-agency.
Instead, they relied on getting their 2016 group healthy and bringing in J.R. Sweezy who missed his first year in Tampa due to an injured back.
The result was inconsistency throughout the season and a rotation at guard which left fans and media equally frustrated trying to figure out what the end game was.
Now, a year later, the team still has questions on the front line and absolutely has to do something. If not a first-round pick, a day two pick to bolster the interior line certainly seems in order.
Only time will tell, but saying a line is in the top half of the league doesn’t mean they aren’t the sixteenth-worst unit in the NFL. Or – you know – worse.