After taking quarterback Jameis Winston with the first overall pick last night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the hunt for some protection for him. According to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, GM Jason Licht will shift his focus to the offensive line and draft either Oregon tackle Jake Fisher or Pittsburgh’s T.J. Clemmings.
This would certainly be a smart decision on Tampa Bay’s end. The offensive line is definitely in need of an upgrade and with Demar Dotson expected to move to the blind side, the strong side is a hole that will need filling. Given how Winston is expected to primarily be a pocket passer, protecting him as much as possible is and should be a priority.
Given the two players that Licht is targeting, the Bucs’ passing game could be very much improved going into the 2015 campaign. Fisher has fine size at 6’6″, 306 pounds and uses his whole body to protect against both the pass and the run. So long as he bulks up a bit, he’d be a fine option for Tampa Bay or any team looking for offensive line help.
Then there’s Clemmings, who would be slightly more of a reach pick. He has the size at 6’5″, 309 pounds, but is still learning the position and won’t be effective immediately, though his ceiling is high. Once he stops scrambling and stays focused in protection, he’ll be fine.
When push comes to shove, either player would be a solid pick for the Bucs early in the second round. The team landed the top quarterback in the draft class, and now it’s time to protect the investment. Needless to say, their pick will be one to watch tonight.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports