Jason Licht, General Manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is confident that the two second round offensive linemen his team drafted will be starters this season. In fact, he told Charley Casserly in an interview for the NFL Network that he believes that Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith can be starters “maybe as soon as week one.”
This comes after a season where the Buccaneers put Josh McCown in harm’s way week after week behind a “rebuilt” offensive line that couldn’t stop anyone from reaching the pocket. The 2014 season meant that the Buccaneers could select Jameis Winston #1 overall to be their franchise quarterback.
Of course, with an offensive Offensive Line, the Bucs were afraid to put their #1 pick behind them without some massive changes. With the 2 second round rookies showing significant improvement in the first 5 days of camp, the prospects of Winston’s survival through week 3 of the regular season is looking up. Licht is feeling better about the improvement of the line after seeing the rookies learning the offense and adapting to the speed of the NFL (and the Buccaneers defensive line).