NFL Hot Press: Guard in Play for Bucs in Round 1

2023 NFL Combine Results - Weigh-Ins and 40 Times

QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

2023 NFL Combine Stock Report:
QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB

Combine Logo Guard in Play for Bucs in Round 1

Updated March 7, 2022
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were not completely caught off guard, many in the NFL were surprised when Pro Bowl offensive lineman Ali Marpet recently retired. The Bucs have a number of big decisions to make on free agent veterans like Carlton Davis, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul and Leonard Fournette. While they hope to re-sign a number of them, they will look to the 2022 NFL Draft for some potential replacements.

Sources shared with that some guard prospects are in play for Tampa Bay at pick No. 27. Specifically, Boston College guard Zion Johnson could be a plug-and-play starter. Sources believe he could be a good option for them late in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht has never drafted the same position twice in the first round. Eventually that is bound to change, but entering the 2022 NFL Draft, Licht has astutely spread his first-round resources to a different position each year.

  • 2014: Mike Evans, WR
  • 2015: Jameis Winston, QB
  • 2016: Vernon Hargreaves, CB
  • 2017: O.J. Howard, TE
  • 2018: Vita Vea, DT
  • 2019: Devin White, LB
  • 2020: Tristan Wirfs, OT
  • 2021: Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, DE

The positions that Licht has not drafted in the first round are the positions by scouts typically downgrade: running back, guard, center and safety. If the Buccaneers are able to retain some of their veterans, don’t be surprised if Licht’s tradition of switching positoing continues with Tampa Bay adding a guard in the first round this year, where Boston College’s Johnson would be a top consideration.