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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs NFL draft position analysis: Offensive Line

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Published:   |   Updated: May 2, 2014 at 07:04 AM

The Buccaneers have six selections, including the No. 7 overall pick, in the 2014 NFL draft, to be held Thursday through May 10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Tampa Bay has one pick in each of the seven rounds, except the fourth; that pick was sent to the New York Jets to complete the 2013 trade for CB Darrelle Revis. For eight consecutive days, the Tribune will analyze the team’s needs at specific positions.

Offensive line

The Bucs spent the offseason overhauling this unit but still have some work to do, particularly at the guard spots. The team worked undrafted second-year pro Patrick Omameh at right guard during a recent minicamp, but is expected to seek an upgrade early in the draft. The Bucs hope two-time Pro Bowler Carl Nicks can bounce back from consecutive injury-riddled seasons and start at left guard, but they might look for some insurance, if not a long-term replacement. The rest of the line seems set with Anthony Collins at left tackle, Evan Dietrich-Smith at center and Demar Dotson at right tackle, but this draft contains some quality tackles who might be too good to pass on. The team has versatility and depth in Jamon Meredith and Oneil Cousins, but that depth would improve markedly if one of the projected starters was replaced by a high draft pick.

On the Bucs roster

NFL

Player Ht. Wt. Age seasons

Jamon Meredith 6-5 312 27 5

GUARDS

Oniel Cousins 6-4 315 29 6

Evan Dietrich-Smith 6-2 308 27 4

Jason Foster 6-3 300 25 0

Carl Nicks 6-5 349 28 6

Patrick Omameh 6-4 305 24 1

Remaining NFL free agents

TACKLES

NFL

Player Ht. Wt. Age seasons

Bruce Campbell 6-6 320 25 4

Dennis Roland 6-9 315 31 6

GUARDS

Davin Joseph 6-3 313 30 8

Kyle Cook 6-3 310 30 6

Wade Smith 6-4 295 32 11

Dream pick

Greg Robinson, Auburn: At 6-foot-5 and 332 pounds, Robinson has prototypical size, strength and agility and should step in immediately as a starter at left tackle. A powerful run blocker, Robinson also has the long arms and quick feet necessary to be a dominant pass protector. Some scouts consider him the best player in the draft, though he still might need some seasoning, as he has only two years of starting experience in a simplified scheme at Auburn.

Hidden gem

Cyril Richardson, Baylor: Richardson lacks elite agility, but if you’re looking for a dominating drive-blocking guard to power your rushing attack, he’s your man. At 6-foot-5 and 330 pounds, Richardson is a massive mauler type who should have no problem adjusting to an up-tempo NFL offense after playing in Baylor’s scramble system the past two years. He’s also versatile, after a year protecting Robert Griffin III’s blind side at left tackle.

Bucs history

The Bucs spent just one draft choice on an offensive lineman in the past five years — a fifth-round pick they wasted in 2009 on tackle Xavier Fulton. The Bucs have, however, hit on some top level linemen in their past, grabbing tackle Paul Gruber with their first pick in 1988, center Tony Mayberry in the fourth round in 1990 and tackle Charles McRae in the first round in 1991. The decision to spend a first-round pick on guard Davin Joseph paid off, too, but for the most part, the Bucs have used free agency and the waiver wire to build their line. So far, that trend has continued under new coach Lovie Smith.

The schedule

Wednesday: Quarterback

Thursday: Defensive back

Today: Offensive line

Saturday: Defensive end

Sunday: Wide receiver

Monday: Defensive tackle

Tuesday: Running back

Wednesday: Linebacker

Thursday: Tight end

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