The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the worst offensive line in the league last year, at least if you ask me. But Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com thinks the Buccaneers will still have the worst offensive line in the NFL this year, which might just present a bit of a problem.
The Bucs are hoping that rookies Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet save them. This group can only get better with improved coaching, but they struggled to run block and pass protect last year. It's a recipe for trouble for Jameis Winston.
Rosenthal makes an interesting point: the Bucs can only get better with improved coaching, but they still have the offensive line coach they did last year. George Warhop did have a pretty successful history in Cleveland and he has a lot of experience coaching offensive lines in the NFL, but it's always difficult to separate a coach's performance from the talent he's given. How do we judge whether he's making players better, or getting the most out of them?
But the only real change the Bucs have made to their offensive line this offseason was to draft two second-round picks. Both of them certainly have the talent to turn into starters but, as I keep saying, relying on two rookies on the offensive line is never a solid plan. There's a lot of uncertainty with any rookie, and while we can all create a narrative where both of these players succeed, there's an extremely high chance that one of the two will bust -- that's just how the draft works.
So what happens if one of them busts, or someone else just misses a lot of time with injury? Well, the Bucs will have to rely on two fifth-round picks from last year: Kadeem Edwards and Kevin Pamphile. Neither of them tested, although Pamphile displayed some potential in a few snaps last year. How likely is it that the team will get a good enough performance out of them to actually field a competent line?