Buccaneers: Offensive line should have five Pro Bowlers

Tristan Wirfs, Alex Cappa, Ryan Jensen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Tristan Wirfs, Alex Cappa, Ryan Jensen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The offensive line of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be the first in NFL history to have every member voted to the Pro Bowl. Of course, that’s assuming the Buccaneers players are eligible to play in the game of course.

The offensive line of the Buccaneers was among the best in 2020 and so ar in 2021, has been even better. The offensive line and quarterback work hand-in-hand, the line protects the quarterback and makes him look good. Conversely, the quarterback, in this case, being the greatest of all time in Tom Brady, make the offensive line look better as he’s able to get the ball out super quickly. Thus, it limits the number of hits and sacks he takes, and one of the few stats offensive linemen have going for them looks fantastic on the sheet.

Perhaps the most shocking part about the Bucs’ offensive line, is that none of them have made a Pro Bowl. That will almost certainly change starting this season. This unit not only has Pro Bowl potential but All-Pro potential.

The twin towers of small colleges at the two guard spots, Ali Marpet of Hobart College and Humboldt State’s Alex Cappa form one of the best guard tandems in all of football. Marpet, who has gone from a good guard to a great one, has an offensive Pro Football Focus grade of 80.8, second among all NFC guards, while Cappa, who at one point in 2020 was one of the leading Pro Bowl vote-getters before his injury, has a pass-protection grade of 71.6, which ranks fourth among NFC right guards.

At tackle, Tristan Wirfs was arguably the best right tackle in football a year ago as a rookie, and now in his sophomore season, hasn’t done anything to lose that title. His pass-protection grade of 81.4 leads all NFC right tackles. At the other tackle is Donovan Smith. Smith had something of an up and down 2020 at the blind side, such as been the tale in his career thus far, but really came on strong down the stretch and had a solid playoff performance. He was rewarded with a two-year contract extension worth $31.8 million this offseason. His improvement in 2021 can not be talked about enough, and his pass-protection grade of 85.8 ranks third among NFC left tackles (and higher than Wirfs).

Rounding out the line we have the center. Since coming over from the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent, the versatile Ryan Jensen has found a home at center and been an absolute rock. He’s a throwback-type layer from a bygone era, with a run-block grade of 77.3 that is fourth among NFC centers.

In a nutshell, this offensive line features top-five players in the conference across the board which is madness. Other stats that show their dominance include their 3.0% sacks allowed per pass attempt, nine games since 2020 without giving up a sack, and 13 sacks given up this season, all of which are the NFL’s best. They are also second in the NFL in yards per play with 6.22, thanks to the offensive line.

Tom Brady is spectacular, but the offensive line are the unsung heroes in why the Buccaneers have gotten to where they are. All five are deserving of Pro Bowl nods, but hopefully they won’t ge to play in the game, due to being busy with more important endeavors.

Next. From Pro Bowl votes to Hall of Fame votes. dark