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Grading the Buccaneers free agent acquisitions: Ryan Jensen

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Looking into the importance of signing center Ryan Jensen.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers offensive line could have had a better performance as a unit in 2017. It wasn’t terrible, but last season showed there is room for improvement.

They experimented with moving Ali Marpet from right guard to center, rotated Kevin Pamphile and Evan Smith at left guard, and J.R. Sweezy was not the lineman they had hoped to be when they signed him in 2016 — mainly because he had back surgery shortly after signing.

But the Bucs acknowledged their issues up front and went after the top center in free agency, signing Ryan Jensen.

Jensen, a 2013 sixth-round selection by the Baltimore Ravens, is known for his attitude and nastiness in the trenches. He was part of a line in 2017 that allowed the seventh-fewest sacks in the league. Starting all 16 games for the Ravens last season, he helped Baltimore rank 11th in the league in rushing yards per game.

Tampa Bay gave up the ninth-most sacks in the league last season and were 27th in the league in rushing. The signing of Jensen will help in those two departments as they will be anchoring the center of the offensive line along with moving Marpet back to guard where he has been most successful.

Grade: B+