The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have finally addressed their offensive line, taking Donovan Smith out of Penn State with the second pick of the second round.
The Bucs desperately needed to find at least one starting offensive lineman in this draft, given the fact that they have only one starting tackle, and only one starting guard on their roster. Thanks to flubbing free agency, the team really had to select a lineman with their second pick.
Smith is a massive, 6'6", 338 lbs. tackle who could step in at right tackle immediately, or could even play left tackle. The Bucs have a swing tackle in Demar Dotson, so they can let those two compete to find the best fit for both players. SB Nation's Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries had some mixed things to say about Smith:
As for technique, Smith could use some refinement. Some scouts think the best long-term move would be for him to move to guard, which probably isn't the worst idea that anyone's ever had, but he is going into the league as a tackle. Smith run blocks really, really well. For a guy of his size, he does a good job getting off the line, engaging blockers and clearing a ton of space for running backs. He's not as good of a pass blocker, and scouts knock the way that he handles speed rushers off the edge. However, when he's locked in, Smith does a nice job in pass protection.
This, of course, brings us to the elephant in the room and the biggest knock on Smith: teams really question his motor. It was a complaint that I know I heard from a lot of people in Happy Valley during his tenure at PSU, especially during his junior year, and it appears to be a major concern that scouts have. At times, Smith looks like he has the nastiest mean streak that you'll ever see, but at other times he kind of gets complacent, which leads to him getting manhandled by defensive linemen.
It's a little surprising that the Bucs passed on the more developed Jake Fisher, and the more athletic T.J. Clemmings, but Smith sounds like a mauler who could help kickstart the Bucs' running game -- and someone who can play guard, if that's what the team needs. The fact that he impressed at the Senior Bowl will have helped him, too, and the Bucs may think that they can develop his technique and get him focused and consistent.
The fact that the Bucs went with a massive mauler is also interesting for another reason: the Bucs have a relatively small offensive line, at least in terms of weight, one that would have fit a zone scheme better. This may be an indicator that the Bucs are looking to get back to a power running game, anchored by big linemen.
Stay with us, as the Buccaneers have one more pick tonight: the first pick of the third round.
Buccaneers draft results
|1||1||1||Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State|
|2||2||34||Donovan Smith, T, Penn State|