Talk about protecting your investment. After selecting Jameis Winston first overall, the team drafts two offensive linemen in the second round.
Tampa Bay selects Penn State offensive tackle Donovan Smith with pick No. 34 and Hobart College offensive tackle Ali Marpet with pick No. 61 after trading up four spots. Both picks may have been a surprise for some, but they were both high on the Bucs boards.
Here was general Jason Licht talking about both rookies.
“Donovan is a very patient left tackle. Sometimes patience is something that’s really tough to coach. He’s got great feet, he’s patient, he doesn’t get bull-rushed – he’s a big man that’s got a strong punch. Very fluid – bends well. He’s also a very tenacious run blocker, very powerful and can dominate up front there, too. He’s got a very unique skillset, where he’s got a great blend of being able to do both well. Ali, we think that the sky’s the limit on his upside. I think he’s got a chance to be really, really good as an interior offensive lineman, in both areas.”
Licht said Marpet will play at guard and can also play some center. He added that Smith will play at left tackle and be given every opportunity to start.
Head coach Lovie Smith acknowledge the potential of both linemen starting along with Winston.
“We feel like we added – potentially, yes. I think all of these three players definitely have a chance to play a lot of football for us. Of course, you draft the first pick in the draft, that goes without saying, but both of these offensive linemen have a chance to help us some day.”
Rounds 4-7 begin at noon Saturday with the Bucs holding picks No. 128, 162, 184, 218, and 231.