And here you thought the Buccaneers were going to go with a guy who you might not have heard about. The Buccaneers traded up with the Indianapolis Colts to select one of the most talked about Division III football prospects of all-time. Indianapolis will also sent the 128th pick of the draft to Tampa in exchange for the 65th and 109th selections.
Here is his scouting profile from NFL.com:
Good foot quickness with ability to reach and hook opponents. Quick out of stance and into defender. Usually the low man, using hips and arm extension to lock out and control his man. Has leg drive to drive his man backward and finish. Consistent with hand placement in run and pass. Plays with advanced technique for a Division III player. More than held his own at the Senior Bowl against both quickness and strength. Moved from tackle to guard with no issues during the week of practice. Outstanding NFL Scouting Combine with impressive showing on bench press (30 reps).
Played against inferior athletic competition and wasn’t challenged enough. Gets caught leaning and lunging. Lets inferior athletes get to his edge. Average with redirect. Has short legs. Needs to add more thickness through entire body.
Round 2 or 3
SOURCES TELL US
“Everyone is talking about Marpet non-stop but I see a player who is stiff and who is a project. He may end up being a player but I wouldn’t trust him to give you snaps for the first couple of years.” – NFL Director of Personnel
THE BOTTOM LINE
Has the body type and movement of a zone-scheme center with guard potential. Technically sound and has athleticism to become an NFL starter, but must prove he can handle the substantial jump in power and speed he will see. Looked strong enough at the Senior Bowl, but he could be a year away from being ready. Ascending prospect with a chance to be one of the steals from this year’s group of interior blockers.
I love that Tampa is making it a priority to upgrade the offensive line. I thought this selection might be another full-fledge tackle; Marpet has the ability to play guard or tackle. I am not sure what to make of his upside. He could be a Mike Mamula type of combine specimen who doesn’t translate to the NFL game, but Jason Licht seems to think otherwise.
He obviously has a nastiness about him that you need on the interior line to climb up the ranks of DIII football and into the NFL in the second round. Hopefully Marpet makes a couple Pro Bowls and grades out really high next year on Pro Football Focus and all that good stuff.
I like what Daniel Jeremiah said on NFL Network just prior to the pick. Select another lineman to upgrade Jameis Winston’s protection and allow this team to grow up together. In two days, the Buccaneers have added Winston, Donovan Smith, and the Hobart Statesmen Ali Marpet. I wouldn’t mind seeing Tampa take one more lineman tomorrow.
Licht said tonight that they’re going to begin playing Marpet at guard, and he may develop the versatility to someday play center. He commented that the talent pool was drying up for Offensive Lineman and they didn’t want to miss out on this guy.
You can see the GM talking about the two lineman selected today here.