The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line has been critiqued repeatedly and thoroughly this offseason. Especially by Pro Football Focus. So it should come as no surprise that the Bucs are ranked 30th in their attempt to rank every NFL team’s offensive line.
While Tampa’s line has the potential to be much better than this ranking, they have yet to prove anything. Ali Marpet is a star in the making after finishing as the 13th-highest-graded guard in the league in his sophomore campaign, and his transition to center could pay dividends. However, the same cannot be said for fellow 2015 draftee Donovan Smith. He finished 66th out of 78 qualifying tackles a season ago in overall grade and that was an improvement.
Well, at least they’re admitting that the Bucs’ linemen have the potential to be much better than PFF think they were last year. That’s something. It’s interesting that they pick on Donovan Smith again, without noting that according to their own numbers, he actually performed very well over the second half of the season.
Regardless of PFF’s overly pessimistic view of the Bucs’ line, though, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding them. Donovan Smith has the potential to be very good, but he does actually have to get better. Demar Dotson is nearing the end of his productive career, so how long can he hang on? And how will J.R. Sweezy look after missing a year with injury?
Mostly, I think that there’s so much uncertainty surrounding the Bucs offensive line that ranking them is pointless. They could easily turn into a top 10 unit or a bottom five unit this year, and neither result should surprise us.