Three Potential Replacements For Ali Marpet


Sunday afternoon the Tampa Bay Buccaneers received some unexpected news. Pro Bowl guard Ali Marpet announced his retirement at the young age of 28. This is devastating news to a Buccaneers roster that is already facing several key losses this offseason. This includes potentially losing the rest of the Buccaneers interior offensive line.

Now general manager Jason Licht has one more question to answer. Who can possibly replace Marpet at left guard? With limited cap space this won’t be an easy problem to solve. However, there are a few names that won’t break the bank and also bring stability to an offensive line that is now very much in transition.

Will Hernandez

Hernandez was drafted 34th overall in 2018. At 6’2 and 330 lbs, he was touted as a powerful people mover coming out of University of Texas-El Paso. This was highlighted at the NFL combine when he put up 37 reps on the bench press. That was third most in the draft behind Harrison Phillips and Vita Vea.

Hernandez started all 16 games for the Giants in both 2018 and 2019. However, things seemed to unravel for him as time went on. After a very promising rookie year Hernandez took a step back as a sophomore and was benched in year three. This led to a position change last year, flipping from left guard to right, which went very poorly.

Great Value

Now Hernandez is a free agent and his stock has never been lower. This is good news for the Buccaneers. He still possesses the raw power and quick feet that got him drafted 34th overall and has allowed him to flash brilliance in his young career. Tampa Bay provides a better situation for Hernandez and this could be the type of low risk, high reward signing that pays off in a big way.

Sean Rhyan

The Buccaneers could also opt to replace Marpet through the draft. If that’s the path they choose to take then the most natural fit for the team is UCLA big man Sean Rhyan. At this point Rhyan is projected as a day two pick and would likely be a target for the Buccaneers in the second round.

In terms of fitting the Buccaneers profile, Rhyan is a perfect match. He started at left tackle for the Bruins each of the last three years. At 6’4 and 320 lbs, Rhyan would bring ideal size and power for the interior offensive line. If he’s available when the Buccaneers are on the clock at pick 60 then this could be a ug and play starter next year.

Larry Warford

The last we heard from Warford he had been cut by the Saints as a cap casualty and had opted out of the 2020 season. Now it’s been two full years without taking the field and it’s unclear if the 30 year old will ever play again. However, as far as I can tell, Warford has not retired.

The seven year veteran out of Kentucky has made the Pro Bowl the last three years when he played. He’s very powerful at the point of attack and has always been a good pass protector. If Warford wants to play then he probably has enough left in the tank to be a good short term solution for the Buccaneers.