There was only one NCAA Division III football player who competed in the Reese’s Senior Bowl and that was offensive tackle Ben Bartch. Bartch attended Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota where he played tight end for his first two years of college before moving to offensive tackle.
In his sophomore year, he caught four passes for 43 yards and one touchdown. After switching over to offensive tackle, Bartch started every game for the Johnnies. He was named Second Team All-MIAC as a junior. In his senior year, Bartch was named First Team All-MIAC as well as Second Team AP All-American.
Heading into the Senior Bowl, Bartch was an expected day three pick. The 6’6”, 308 pound lineman boosted himself to a top 100 prospect following his week in Mobile, Alabama. He was consistent all week and showed he could compete with the top draft prospects. Bartch will also be participating in the NFL Combine.
For Tampa Bay, one of the biggest offseason needs is offensive tackle. In many mock drafts, the Bucs are linked to OT Mekhi Bacon from Louisville. Bartch is projected to be selected midway through the 3rd round. If the Bucs decided to wait and select Bartch in the 3rd round, they could get more value that is needed at a different position.
Here are some of his strengths and weaknesses:
- Converted tight end with lots of athletic ability
- Plays through the whistle
- Intense blocker when getting hands on lineman quickly
- Dense inside hand
- Strong building blocks in legs
- Can counter and hand fight with a strong balance
- Quick out of stance and blocks well down field
- Lack of experience at position
- Competition and size will be much more improved
- Becomes impatient at times causing bad position
- Stance technique may need to be adjusted
- Timing is a little off at times