clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Evaluating the Buccaneers by position: Guards, guards!

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Currently on the roster: Ali Marpet, J.R. Sweezy, Evan Smith, Kevin Pamphile, Antoine Everett

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a disastrous interior offensive line in 2014, but fixed that rapidly in 2015. Rookie Ali Marpet was a stalwart at right guard, and played very well -- especially toward the end of the season. Logan Mankins bounced back and had one of his best years in the past half-decade, but he retired this offseason. Evan Smith proved to be a solid backup option after losing his starting position at center to Joe Hawley, and Kevin Pamphile looked good in limited time replacing Mankins.

This year, the Bucs go into the season with J.R. Sweezy as their new addition at left guard. Apparently the team didn't trust Pamphile to hold down the fort for the season. The question is whether they should trust Sweezy: outside evaluators like Pro Football Focus tend not to be impressed with his inconsistent play, especially in pass protection, while NFL teams seem to value him highly: the Seattle Seahawks certainly wanted him back, but couldn't afford his services. Because Sweezy's a converted defensive lineman, the Bucs hope he can continue to develop and his inconsistency is just a part of that.

On the right side, Ali Marpet was very good for a rookie. There's no real reason to believe he'll be anything less than solid, and there's a good chance he even plays at a Pro Bowl level. In terms of depth, the Bucs have Evan Smith, a veteran marginally-starting-quality center who can also play guard, and Kevin Pamphile, now a third-year fifth-round pick who's looked pretty good whenever he's gotten on the field.

In all, the Bucs look solid at guard with little room for new players in the draft. They have quality starters and quality depth, and all of those players are relatively young and on long-term contracts. This may be the one position where the Bucs almost certainly won't look for reinforcements in the draft.