There had been a lot of speculation leading up to the draft that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might address the offensive line. After all, with Ali Marpet retiring there is a natural need at left guard. However, I don’t think most expected that to be in the form of Central Michigan’s Luke Goedeke in the second round.
Goedeke checks many of the boxes that Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has coveted in the past. What was it exactly that made the Chippewa’s big man a fit in Tampa Bay? Here’s what you need to know.
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Goedeke is just like every other lineman Licht has targeted in the past. He played offensive tackle in college and has good size at 6’5 and 315 lbs. Just like with Alex Cappa, Goedeke will likely move inside to guard for the Buccaneers. This is the blueprint the team likes under Licht.
In terms of his play on the field, Goedeke is very agile. He moves very well laterally in pass protection and can frame his blocks well. He also does a very good job using these movement skills in making blocks on linebackers at the second level. To say Goedeke light on his feet would be an understatement.
Goedeke also brings good functional strength. Many may not realize it, but there was no running back in college football who had more rushing yards than Central Michigan’s Lew Nichols. This is in part due to Goedeke and his physical and fluid run blocking. This is a strength that we can expect to translate to the NFL level.
The word that keeps coming to mind to describe Goedeke is scrappy. He’s more than happy to put his man on the ground and dish out pancake blocks. And while the hand placement isn’t always perfect, Goedeke is an active hand fighter. In terms of mentality this is a guy who has the make up you want of the offensive line.
Goedeke has short arms and he can give up his chest to longer defenders. This will be mitigated to a degree as he moves inside, but it’s something that will always be a factor. He will have to use his hands extremely well to protect his chest in the NFL.
The problem there is that Goedeke doesn’t always use his hands extremely well. He could be more violent with his punch and when battling for position. He isn’t raw by any means, but Goedeke needs to be better to maximize his talent.
While I think Goedeke will transition well to the interior, there will still be a learning curve. It will take time for him to learn all the finer points of the position. This means that a fairly NFL ready prospect isn’t necessarily prepared to step in and start right away.
Goedeke is a good player. He’s mobile, reasonably strong and gritty. Despite changing positions, I believe he will be the starting left guard to start the season and do reasonably well there.
This was admittedly earlier than I expected Goedeke to be drafted. And yes, I believe there were better players available at the same position. However, that’s not to say this is a bad pick. Goedeke could realistically be a solid ten year starter for the Bucs. All things considered, that’s a good pick.
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