T Jeremy Trueblood has started at left tackle for three seasons for Boston College
Since Jon Gruden's arrival in 2002 and before this weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had never invested anything more lucrative than a third-round pick on the offensive line on draft day. You can now safely put that note to rest.
On Saturday, the Buccaneers followed up their first-round pick of Oklahoma guard Davin Joseph with a second-round selection of Boston College tackle Jeremy Trueblood. After grabbing a powerful drive-blocker to enhance their inside running game in Joseph, the Bucs snapped up the huge (6-8, 316) and mobile Trueblood to potentially protect quarterback Chris Simms' blind side.
Obviously, the offensive line remains a priority, as this is the most attention the team has ever paid to the front wall in the opening rounds of a draft. Tampa Bay had never before drafted an offensive linemen in both the first and second round of the same draft.
The Bucs were more than happy to concentrate on one unit, however, when Trueblood was still available at the 59th overall pick. Despite being one of the tallest players in the college ranks, Trueblood possesses very quick feet and can get into position quickly. Like Joseph, he has long arms and strong hands, which means he can dominate one-on-one matchups when he gets his hands on his man. An All-ACC second-round selection, Trueblood is the type of naturally strong and talented athlete whom scouts feel will raise his game even more on the professional level.
Obviously, both Joseph and Trueblood will have to overcome stiff competition in order to procure a starting spot on the Bucs' offensive line, particularly since all five of last year's starters opened every game and are returning in 2006. However, Tampa Bay feels that their second-round pick can be a force at right tackle.
Trueblood played left tackle at BC, starting since the beginning of his sophomore season. Overall, he opened 36 games and as a senior helped the Eagles average 387.8 yards of offense per game. Last year, he was credited with eight blocks that led to BC touchdowns.
Trueblood hails from Indianapolis, where he was a college teammate of first-round pick Mathias Kiwanuka. He helped lead his high school team to back-to-back state titles in 1998 and 1999.
The Buccaneers are scheduled to make one more selection during the first day of the draft. Barring a trade, they will execute the 26th pick of the third round, number 90 overall.