Buccaneers 5-round 2024 mock draft: Jason Licht trades down and rebuilds offense

It's never too early for the Bucs to start thinking about the future, especially now.
Syracuse v Florida State
Syracuse v Florida State / James Gilbert/GettyImages
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Round 4: Zak Zinter, OG/Michigan

Rebuilding the offense starts upfront, as the Bucs have struggled over the last few years to find consistent and solid offensive line play. Outside of Tristan Wirfs, the Bucs have a lot of work to do in finding the right pieces to build an offensive line that can anchor the offense.

For as frustrating as Baker Mayfield has been this year, poor offensive line play has held him back, and the same can be said for Rachaad White and the run game. Tampa Bay can improve those two positions all it wants, but whoever they put there will only be as good as the offensive line allows.

Other factors played a role, but look no further than Tom Brady having the worst year of his career behind the Bucs offensive line for proof.

Assuming the Bucs are locking in Wirfs and Cody Mauch, and they draft a center like Jackson Powers-Johnson, a final piece of the puzzle could be a guy like Zack Zinter out of Michigan. He’d be able to replace Matt Feiler at guard, leaving only the left tackle position as a question for the Bucs — although it seems Luke Goedeke is in line to earn that role moving forward.

Drafting Zinter would give Tampa Bay another young offensive lineman to develop, and would put every player upfront on the same career timeline. Wirfs would grow into the Jason Kelce-style veteran leader while Mauch, Zinter, Goedeke, and Powers-Johnson all develop into studs together.

In a dream world, this all ends with the Bucs completely rebuilding the offensive line into something akin to what the Eagles and Chiefs have. Both offenses have well-protected quarterbacks and can run the ball effectively, and suddenly Tampa Bay’s offensive woes aren’t holding everyone back the way they are now.