Here we have a trio of offensive lineman who the Bucs absolutely need to make a priority on Day 2. Tampa Bay struck out on help up front in the first round, which is something that will likely need to be corrected with at least one of the team’s picks in Round 2 or Round 3.
Offensive line is a thinning position, but there’s still talent to be had.
Wypler is described as a guy who is locked in at the center position, and won’t be able to move around the interior offensive line. That’s fine for the Bucs, who have depth at other positions on the line and wouldn’t need Wypler to take on a guard role with the team.
It sounds like forcing him to do that would be a mistake anyway. He’s a gifted center who entered the draft as a junior yet is being called one of the smartest players in the draft because of it. “Wypler is well beyond his years from a technical standpoint,” PFF wrote of him. “How many times do you hear of an early draft declaree at center?”
Joe Tippmann from Wisconsin could be considered a third-best center if the Bucs choose to go this route but strike out at No. 50.
The best center in the draft is probably Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz. He’s hailed as a guy who will be able to come in and change an offensive line, which is music to the ears of Bucs fans hoping to see a totally different unit than what they were subjected to last season.
Ryan Jensen is still under contract for a few more seasons, but he has injury concerns and could also decide to retire before his contract is up. Even if he stays, the Bucs only have Jensen through the 2024 season and have an out the previous offseason that would save the team $12.5 million.
Schmitz probably isn’t taking Jensen’s job this year, but he’ll be able to learn the ropes from an experienced veteran which should only make him even smarter than he already is and even more prepared to be the anchor of the Bucs offensive line once he takes the reins.
Both Schmitz is unlikely to be available when the Bucs go on the clock which means they might have to trade up to get him if they want him.
After missing out on all of the tackles in the first round, there’s a serious need to address the offensive line with at least one of the picks the Bucs have, if not using them to try and trade up to secure the last of the top-tier tackles.
That guy is probably Dawand Jones, and even if he’s outside of the tier of guys who were taken on Thursday he’s the last truly top tackle before there’s a drop off in talent. Tampa Bay would likely have to trade up for him though, as he’s not going to last until No. 50.
Jones checks all of the boxes the Bucs need though, and enough that Jason Licht might pull the trigger on a trade to get him. He’s a natural right tackle, which fits with the Bucs plans to move Tristan Wirfs to left tackle, and wouldn’t have to try too hard to fit into the scheme.
He was projected a few times to be the Bucs first round pick in early mock drafts (The Ringer had him mocked at No. 19) so getting him in the second round feels like great value if the Bucs can make it happen.