We're evaluating every position on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' roster ahead of training camp. Today: offensive tackle.
2014 roster: Anthony Collins, Demar Dotson, Kevin Pamphile, Patrick Omameh
2015 roster: Demar Dotson, Donovan Smith, Kevin Pamphile, Patrick Omameh, Edawn Cougman, Reid Fragel
Going into the 2014 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' group of offensive tackles looked fairly solid. Demar Dotson was a reliable veteran, Anthony Collins was coming off a very good year and there were decent hopes for his first year as a Buccaneer, and Kevin Pamphile was a raw but promising fifth-round pick.
That positivity held up for about one game. Collins turned out to be a massive free agency bust, looking like a turnstile at left tackle, while Demar Dotson didn't play quite as well as he had the previous year, though he was still solid. Collins' play was so bad that he was even deactivated for the final six games of the season, replaced by a platoon of Demar Dotson and Kevin Pamphile, who didn't fare that much better in the end.
This year things are much better! Demar Dotson has been replaced by older Demar Dotson! Kevin Pamphile is now slightly less inexperienced Kevin Pamphile! And massive free agency risk Anthony Collins has been replaced by massive draft risk Donovan Smith! We should feel so much better, obviously.
Okay, that may just be a little too snarky. Smith may be a risk, but that's better than Collins, who was just a straight up bust (hurray for hindsight). And this year, if Smith isn't good enough, at least Kevin Pamphile is more likely to be ready to actually step in as a starter.
So yes, I do think the Bucs have improved at offensive tackle. Even with the uncertainty.