Who takes his roster spot: Cody Mauch
Just like Logan Hall, the new crop of Buccaneers rookies is putting John Molchon in a tough spot.
Unlike Hall, Molchon has guys already on the roster who could beat him out of a job based on how things shake out with the offensive line.
One of the biggest questions of the offseason is how the Bucs will stack its line upfront, especially after how bad things got last year. Cody Mauch was drafted in the second round and is already a fan favorite. He’ll likely be getting tutored by his doppelgänger Ryan Jensen, which also seems to indicate he’s gaining credit among teammates which is half the battle in winning a job.
It’s unclear where Mauch will play, as he was announced as a tackle at the podium but projects to be a guard. Jason Licht said as much while talking about the pick but also noted that he’s not setting the offensive line depth chart in April.
Still, it’s not hard to see how Molchon could get edged out of a roster spot in training camp. Tristan Wirfs is a lock and is going to be moving to left tackle, while Ryan Jensen is locked in as the starting center.
Let’s assume that Cody Mauch plays right guard, which leaves just two spots available. Jason Licht teased that Luke Goedeke is the early favorite to replace Wirfs at right tackle which means the battle will be for left guard.
In that scenario, Nick Leverett is penciled in as the starter there, and he has the endorsement of the front office since they scrounged up some money this offseason to re-sign him. That says a lot about how he’s viewed, and could be an early indication that he’s going to be the left guard next season.
That makes Molchon the odd man out. The good news is that he’s probably not on the bubble when it comes time to cut the roster down. While he might not be a starter, the Bucs will need offensive line depth, especially after what they experienced last season, which means there’s a place for Molchon even if it’s on the bench.