From 2021 to 2022 a lot changed for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Most notably the overall team success diminished greatly. 2021’s Buccaneers stacked 13 wins, last year Tampa came in well under expectations with just 8 wins. Speculatively, there’s multiple reasons for the team’s dip in victories. An undeniable factor was the depletion and subsequently poor performance of the Bucs offensive line.
2022 offensive line woes:
—Multi-year starter, Alex Cappa, was lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency.
—Star center and true cornerstone, Ryan Jensen, suffered a major knee injury before the team ever lined up to play a game.
—Rotational starter/reliable depth piece, Aaron Stinnie, was also lost for the season with a knee injury.
With three fairly crucial interior linemen accounting for zero regular season games played, the struggles that ensued were all foreseeable. Tom Brady spent a hefty portion of the season tossing quick screens and throwing passes in the dirt, to avoid taking sacks. Tampa Bay’s running backs had miserable seasons with putrid outputs. Leonard Fournette finished his season, and Buccaneers career, with 668 yards and a horrendous 3.5 yards per carry. Rachaad White, regarded by many to have had a very solid rookie season, averaged just 3.7 yards per rush on his way to totaling 481 yards on the season. The Buccaneers had no ability to depend on their offensive line to execute.
Team needs for the Buccaneers are not as singular as they have been in recent years, so the 2023 draft has the capability to swing a few different ways. The front five is something that consensus would dictate the Bucs are guaranteed to address at some point in this year’s draft. Jason Licht has never been shy about drafting offensive linemen, in the last five years the NFL draft has brought four linemen to Tampa Bay. For the Bucs, the offensive line is undoubtedly a significant concern as they head into next season. After witnessing what last year’s team went through, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the group doesn’t see some new face(s) added through the draft. The questions will be—
Who are the prospects the Bucs feel can come in and have an immediate impact in their new offensive system?
When will the Buccaneers decide to address the need? Is it a day one need?
Where do they look to add talent?
No matter the who, when and where, Tampa Bay is likely to make 2023 the fifth draft class to feature an offensive lineman in the last six years. So, what about O’Cyrus Torrence?
Who is O’Cyrus Torrence?
O’Cyrus Torrence is a 23-year-old guard out of Florida. The former Gator standing at six feet five inches tall, carrying 330 pounds, put up 23 reps on the bench press at the Combine. Torrence was all-district and all-state in high school before starting his college career at the University of Louisiana. During his career as a Ragin’ Cajun, Torrence showed versatile proficiency putting in time at both guard spots. What instigated Torrence’s transfer to Florida was the movement of his head coach. Billy Napier became the head coach of the University of Florida, prior to the 2022 season, and his star offensive lineman followed.
When would the Bucs have to draft him?
O’Cyrus Torrence is a topflight draft prospect, the expectation is that he will be nabbed by a team in the first few rounds of the draft. The Buccaneers will need to make a legitimate investment in him if that is the route they choose to go. At the Senior Bowl, Torrence tormented his peers, establishing himself as a premium offensive line prospect in this year’s draft.
With all eyes on him at the NFL Combine, Torrence’s 23 reps on the bench were coupled with a 5.31 40-yard dash, 4.81 20-yard shuttle, and a 23.5-inch vertical jump. Torrence may not have posted athletically marveling numbers at the Combine, but he is not the style of player who relies strictly on his athleticism. He is slated to be coveted by a team who would rather bolster their line with a guard who is guard, rather than a guard who is a gifted prospect.
Where would he fit in Tampa’s offensive line?
Torrence is a guard which means the likely place for him in Tampa’s line would be inside at one of the guard spots. He has shown he is flexible enough to move to either side of the center. If he is drafted the interior lineup is likely to be Ryan Jensen, O’Cyrus Torrence, and Robert Hainsey, with the potential for Aaron Stinnie and Nick Leverett to be given a chance to participate in some form of a competition. If this were to be the scenario the Buccaneers decide to put themselves in, the assumption is that Tristan Wirfs will have no trouble making the transition to the left side and whether or not it’d be wise to alter something that has manifested such a high level of success, Wirfs would be slated to begin his career at left tackle. Wirfs flipping sides would leave the Buccaneers with a hole at right tackle. Luke Goedeke is a name that has been mentioned as an option for the team on the right side. Goedeke’s name is a sour point for a lot of Bucs fans after his abysmal performance during his rookie campaign. He was a truly disappointing player at guard in his rookie season, where he ultimately got benched for Nick Leverett after an extended stretch of bad games. The drafting of a guard, before addressing the tackle position, would say a lot about how the team feels about Goedeke. After his play last year, the thought of him receiving another starting role may cause some fans to groan, but it was just one year ago that Tampa chose to invest a second-round pick in him. Second round picks don’t come and go without being given numerous chances to fail. Whether he deserves the opportunity or the team’s pride in its decision to draft him forces him into it, if the Bucs believe that Goedeke can handle right tackle there’s a chance that they give him that opportunity.
If Tampa Bay does decide to draft an offensive lineman, they will have their set of options to choose from. If they make O’Cyrus Torrence a Buccaneer, he will be able to step in and sure up the interior of their line. Do you think that O’Cyrus Torrence becoming a Tampa Bay Buc is a good idea?
Should the Buccaneers draft O’Cyrus Torrence?
This poll is closed
Yes! Last year the line was SOOO BAD!
Draft Torrence, draft a tackle, come one, come all. We NEED offensive linemen.
I feel confident in Jensen, Hainsey, and Leverett/Stinnie as our interior guys. We just need a tackle.