Bucs set to tackle a weakness in the draft

by Gary Shelton on April 17, 2020

in general

Friday, 4 a.m.

The guy the Bucs need is large. He is agile. He has a streak of mean to him.

Ah, but which guy is that?

Let's agree on this: The Bucs need an offensive tackle. They haven't had a great one since Paul Gruber wandered offto that big Ring of Honor in the sky. Even though, technically, Gruber never made a Pro Bowl as a player (too many seasons playing on bad offenses and bad teams).

The Bucs also will start a 43-year-old quarterback with a mediocre running game.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

And this year, there could be a historic run on tackles. Most mocks think that four tackles will go in the top half of the draft, which hasn't happened in the last 10 years (not even in 2013, when. three of the first four overall picks were tackles).

So who will it be?

Tristan Wirfs of Iowa? That's who Charlie Casserly of NFL.com says the Bucs will pick.

Mekhi Becton of Louisville? Pro Football Focus thinks he'll go to the Bucs.

Jedrick Wills of Alabama? Charles Davis of NFL.com thinks that'll happen.

Andrew Thomas of Georgia? That's who CBS.com has the Bucs taking.

So who's the best? And is he better than anyone else available (A safety? A running back?)

Oh, don't be worried about the sheer number. There are often four tackles taken in the first round. In all, there have been 35 first-round tackles since 2010, although few are household names (depends on the household, I suppose).

There is Tyron Smith, who has made seven Pro Bowls for Dallas. There is Zack Martin, who moved to guard and has made six Pro Bowls for the Cowboys. Matt Kalil, Eric Fisher and Taylor Lewan have all made the Pro Bowl. So have Laremy Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley.

But some guys have just been another big boy. Derek Sherrod? Gabe Carimi?

Lately, there have even been reports that the Bucs will trade up in the draft, essentially spending their first- and third-round picks for the correct tackle. That seems pricey to me; Brady is going to need more help than a high-priced right tackle, but what do I know?

I know this.

The Bucs need a tackle. They need other things, too.

Previous post:

Next post: