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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft position analysis: Offensive line

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Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 04:04 AM

The Buccaneers have six selections in the NFL draft, including the No. 5 overall pick. The draft, to be held Thursday-Saturday at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, features seven rounds and 253 total picks, including a handful of compensatory picks. The Bucs have one pick in each round, except Round 4. For eight straight days, the Tampa Tribune will analyze the team's needs at each of eight positions.

Today, we look at offensive line.

If the season started today, the strength of the Buccaneers would be the offensive line. Tampa Bay has spent ample resources up front in recent years and the addition of free agent guard Carl Nicks bolsters a potentially formidable unit. Nicks, right guard Davin Joseph and left tackle Donald Penn have each made the Pro Bowl and Jeremy Zuttah, who played for new head coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers, has been moved from guard to center following the release of veteran Jeff Faine. Jeremy Trueblood comes off his best season at right tackle, but depth is a concern.

On the Bucs roster

Pos.; Player; Ht.; Wt.; Age; Seasons

T; Demar Dotson; 6-9; 315 ; 26 ; 4

T; Derek Hardman; 6-6 ; 300 ; 25 ; 3

T; Mike Ingersoll ; 6-5 ; 303 ; 24 ; 1

G; Davin Joseph ; 6-3 ; 313 ; 28 ; 7

G;Ted Larsen ; 6-2 ; 305 ; 24 ; 3

T; Jamon Meredith ; 6-5 ; 312 ; 25 ; 4

G; Carl Nicks; 6-5; 343 ; 26 ; 5

T ; Donald Penn; 6-5; 305 ; 28 ; 7

T ; Chris Riley ; 6-5; 315 ; 24 ; 1

T ; Jeremy Trueblood; 6-8; 320 ; 28 ; 7

C ;Jeremy Zuttah ; 6-4; 308 ; 25 ; 5

Dream pick

Mike Brewster, Ohio State

A four-year fixture at center, Brewster finished his Buckeye career with 49 consecutive starts. This former standout from Orlando's Edgewater High has the size, strength and athleticism to excel at the next level.

Hidden gem

Nate Potter, Boise State

Potter followed in the footsteps of Ryan Clady as a stalwart left tackle for the Broncos. He is light on his feet for his 6-foot-6, 303-pound frame and Potter could develop into a solid NFL lineman with proper coaching.

Remaining NFL free agents

Pos.; Player; Ht.; Wt.; Age; Seasons

T; Barry Richardson; 6-6; 319 ; 25 ; 5

G; Jake Scott ; 6-5 ; 292 ; 31 ; 9

G ; Vernon Carey ; 6-5 ; 340 ; 30 ; 9

C ; Jason Brown ; 6-3 ;320 ; 28 ; 8

Bucs history

The Bucs found two starters up front in 2006 with their first two picks, selecting guard Davin Joseph and tackle Jeremy Trueblood. Starting center Jeremy Zuttah was chosen in the third round in 2008, but Tampa Bay has had mixed success overall on the offensive line. While left tackle Paul Gruber (first round, 1988) was a gem, tackle Charles McRae (first round, 1991) made little impact. The Bucs traded up in the first round of the 2001 draft to select tackle Kenyatta Walker, but the former Gator standout proved to be a disappointing pro.

The schedule

Thursday: Defensive tackle

Friday: Quarterback

Saturday: Defensive backs

Sunday: Running back

Today: Offensive line

Tuesday: Receiver/Tight end

Wednesday: Defensive end

Thursday: Linebacker

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