Sorely needing offensive line help, it's perhaps not surprising that the Bucs' third pick in the 2015 draft was another big guy to protect their shiny new QB. What's more surprising, though, is that the third pick came in the second round, as the Bucs traded up with the Colts to select their next prospect, Hobart offensive lineman Ali Marpet.
Marpet, who plied his tried in the lowly depths of Division III, really caught the eyes of scouts at the Senior Bowl, and he solidified his high draft grade at the combine with an impressive showing, especially with his speed and agility.
After the Bucs drafted Donovan Smith at the top of the second round, I wrote that it was a bit of a head scratcher to draft a prototypical RT when Demar Dotson was already on the roster; well, the Marpet pick definitely adds some significant depth to the Bucs' tackle situation, and is someone who certainly has the skillset to develop into a long term starter.
Best of all, the Bucs only had to pay a relatively small price to move up to grab Marpet - flipping fourth round picks with the Colts in order to turn their 65th pick into the 61st pick, moving back just 19 spots in the fourth round. To move up without strait up losing a pick in order to select someone who will be useful depth from day 1, and who could before long be a starter on this team at left tackle, was a very savvy move by Jason Licht. The only thing preventing me giving this pick an A is that Marpet, for all that he impressed at the senior bowl and at the combine, nonetheless did play in DIII where he wasn't exactly playing against the future defensive stars of the pros, so the selection still isn't without risk. If I was giving 'minus' grades, this would have been an A-; but as it stands...