With the move of Caleb Benenoch to tackle, Alex Cappa has an opportunity to win the starting job at right tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It is a secret to no fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that right guard Caleb Benenoch struggled mightily in 2018. Last week while speaking to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine, general manager Jason Licht dropped the bomb that he would be moving to tackle in 2019.
The fifth round pick from UCLA in 2016 has started 22 games for the Buccaneers, and many thought that this move to tackle would be the precursor to Tampa Bay moving on from longtime Buc Demar Dotson in order to free up cap space. However, yesterday the team announced that they had picked up Dotson’s option for 2019, keeping him around for his 11th season with the team.
With Benenoch likely to become the backup tackle to Donovan Smith and Dotson in 2019, a void is left at the right guard slot on the depth chart. Second year guard and third round pick from a year ago out of Humboldt State is presented with a wonderful opportunity to win himself a starting spot along the Buccaneers offensive line.
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With Pro Bowler Ali Marpet and above average starters across the line in Smith, Dotson, and Ryan Jenson, the Buccaneers are a right guard away from fortifying their offensive line. This is a crucial hole to fill as Jameis Winston must be protected if Tampa Bay has any sort of dreams for the postseason in 2019.
Although Cappa played his collegiate ball at a small school, he received an invitation to the Senior Bowl and put his name on the map in front of NFL scouts and general managers, and was inevitably selected on day-two in 2018. Using a valuable third rounder on Cappa, the Buccaneers are hoping their investment pays off mightily, potentially as soon as this upcoming season.
Standing at a massive 6’6 and weighing 305 pounds, the 24-year-old has the stature necessary to make a formidable guard in the NFL, and Tampa Bay hopes that he can take advantage of the opportunity that sits right in front of him.
While it is expected that Tampa Bay will bring in either a veteran interior lineman in free agency or another piece through the draft, at this point it looks like the starting right guard job is Cappa’s to lose.