Pro Football Focus projected the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line to be in the bottom half of the league.
Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner ranked every single offensive in the NFL heading into the 2018 campaign.
His rankings weren’t kind to the Buccaneers which slotted in at the number 22 spot. Tampa dropped five spots from their PFF ranking at the end of 2017.
As other teams invested more and more in the trenches, the Buccaneers only added one piece to an offensive line which has struggled protecting Jameis Winston.
Having the 22nd best line in the league may seem harsh, but it makes sense. Considering the past few seasons and the major question marks at two spots along the o-line, there isn’t a reason to be too optimistic about this group.
Here’s Renner’s take on Tampa’s front:
"The signing of Ryan Jensen could pay big dividends off for Tampa Bay as it not only adds a quality starter to the lineup (Jensen earned a 74.9 overall grade last year), but it also moves Ali Marpet back to his more natural guard position where he had a career year in 2016. The issue here is still left tackle Donovan Smith. Last season was the first in which he didn’t allow 50-plus pressures and yet was still below average by allowing 42."
On paper, Ryan Jensen could solve a ton of problems along the offensive line. With Ali Marpet forced to play center last season, he can finally switch back to guard where he belongs.
Marpet and Jensen can help bring an attitude to the interior of the offensive line. They will open up running lanes for Ronald Jones and company. Not only can they help improve one of the league’s worst rushing attacks, they will help keep pressure out of the face of Winston.
At the other guard spot will be a position battle in camp. Caleb Benenoch and rookie Alex Kappa appear to be the favorites, but they project to be fringe starters at best.
The best player along the line for the Buccaneers is right tackle Demar Dotson. He has been one of the best right tackles in the NFL and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. If he can continue his strong play, it will make the right guard’s job that much easier.
Renner projects the Bucs starting line with Smith and Dotson as the bookends. With Marpet and Benenoch at the guard spots and Jensen at center.
There are three solid starters along the Tampa offensive line. However, the two question marks at left tackle and right guard loom over what could be a strong offense.