We all know the story of Bucs offensive lineman Ali Marpet. Tampa Bay’s best player at the position was drafted in the second round out of Division III school Hobart College back in 2015.
Marpet’s success has been astounding and has Bucs GM Jason Licht scouring the lower-level schools for any potential talent that may be going unnoticed around the league.
It looks like he may have found another diamond in the rough in Humboldt State left tackle Alex Cappa, however, that’s very hard to prognosticate considering where he played.
Biggest Reach: Alex Cappa, LT, Humboldt State, (3rd Round, 94th pick)
Despite dominating at his position for all four years at Humboldt, what Cappa will end up becoming is still a mystery. Licht has recently stated that Cappa will end up at right tackle, but his current style of play suits him better at guard.
Cappa is long, athletic, and mean - in other words, he fits the mold when referring to blue-collar NFL players. He started every single game after redshirting his freshman year.
But he doesn’t have near the measurables that Marpet had when Tampa took him back in 2015:
Now, here are Cappa’s from the past draft:
The difference is quite impressive. And just to complete the trifecta, here is one more very interesting graph:
Cappa did not meet any of the requirements on that board.
Combine all of this information with the fact that he played at the D-II level could spell disaster for this pick. There were only a few players that Tampa could’ve picked at the time - mainly Da’Shawn Hand and Antonio Callaway - so it’s not like the Bucs passed on anyone who was just heads and shoulders above Cappa.
A lot of Cappa’s success will depend on not only himself, but Bucs offensive line coach George Warhop. He has been responsible for Marpet’s development, which works in Cappa’s favor. Warhop, however, has also struggled with developing Donovan Smith.
There are a lot of factors that will go into Cappa’s success with Tampa and oftentimes it takes a lot of luck for everything to go right in the NFL. If Cappa turns out as expected, the Bucs will be set up on the offensive line for the next 4-5 years as long as Smith pans out.
As always, there are two sides to every argument and I’ll leave everyone with some highlights of Cappa’s best moments in 2017. I hate to beat a dead horse, but keep in mind, these highlights are against D-II talent, where Cappa was the first player to be drafted since 1991.
Here he is showing an excellent burst off the line of scrimmage. He then uses his strength at the point of attack to absolutely destroy his opponent:
Some guys never stood a chance, but that will change in the NFL:
And here is a great example of his athletic prowess:
Hopefully Licht is onto something with these smaller-school offensive lineman. The NFL is a copy-cat league so the secret won’t stay in the Bay if Cappa proves the doubters wrong.
Something tells me Bucs fans will be ok with letting the “Cappa” out of the bag if he turns out how Licht envisions (reserve all hatred and discussion for my lame joke in the comments section, please).