NFL DRAFT Links
INFOGRAPHIC: ALI MARPET
On Friday, Ali Marpet became the second offensive lineman in the Buccaneers' 2015 draft class when the team selected him in the second round, at pick No. 61. Marpet, an interior offensive lineman from Division III Hobart, joins Penn State tackle Donovan Smith, who was drafted earlier in the second round, and quarterback Jameis Winston, who was selected No. 1 overall on Thursday.
Marpet and Smith will face the tall task of protecting Winston. During a conference call shortly after being drafted, Marpet said that he is relishing the opportunity to play with the former Heisman Trophy-winner.
READ: BUCS DRAFT ALI MARPET
"I'm excited as hell," Marpet said. "Obviously Jameis is a great player and I think Tampa addressed that need and I think he's going to impress people next year. He's a heck of an athlete and, from what I hear, he's a heck of a teammate, so I'm excited to play with him."
Marpet played tackle in college, but will move to guard with the Bucs. He can play center, too, if needed. Moving from tackle to guard can be a difficult transition, but Marpet believes, after playing well at guard during the Senior Bowl, that he's ready for the challenge.
"I think I showed teams that I made a pretty fluid transition from tackle to guard," Marpet said. "It was my first time playing guard at the Senior Bowl. When I was there I think I showed teams that I could anchor well against the size and I could play with the best in the country."
His performance at the Senior Bowl was paramount. There were questions as to how well he could compete against high-level competition, and he proved capable during his time in Mobile.
"The Senior Bowl was huge for me, obviously, because I was able to show teams that I was able to step up to the competition and that I could play with the speed and the size of the next level," he said. "And I know the NFL is obviously a bigger jump than the Senior Bowl, but I honestly think that I can make the same jump to the NFL like I did to the Senior Bowl and I can adjust to the speed and the size of the competition, but I know it's different."
In regard to the level of competition at Hobart, Marpet added, "All I can tell you is that I couldn't control my level of competition. What I could control was my effort on each play, what I was doing in the offseason, and I think I approached that the right way. I think that's what's going to make me successful at the next level."
Marpet, Donovan and Winston will get to work soon; The Bucs are holding their rookie minicamp next week.
READ: BUCS DRAFT DONOVAN SMITH