Three More Serviceable Guards Bucs can Target in 2015

NFL NEWS: Tampa Bay Bucs

Guard is one of the concerns at offensive line the Bucs needs to address and one question to ask is who else can they use from free agency?

Here are three more names who can step in and possibly start opposite Logan Mankins.

Dan Connolly

Connolly has history fellow guard, Mankins with the Patriots as teammates from 2007-2013 when Mankins was traded to the Bucs. Connolly took over his spot on the offensive line and proceeded to win a Super Bowl.

Despite being 32, the 6-foot-4 and 305 lb. product of Southeast Missouri State has started 71 of 89 games he’s played in over his 10 years in the league. Since regularly playing in 2009, Connolly has only missed 12 games over a five-year span.

Being reunited with Mankins and having Evan Dietrich-Smith at center can help solidify the interior line for whomever becomes starting starter back in 2015 and allow the Bucs to draft for depth at guard or take a starting tackle in the early round.

If the Bucs were likely to make a move for another guard, Connolly might be the most likely target given general manager Jason Licht’s familarity and prior success.

Justin Blalock

Blalock’s played his entire eight-year career with the Atlanta Falcons as their second round choice in the 2007 draft. The 6-foot-4 and 326 lb. Texas alumni has only missed three games in his career and has started all the games he’s played in.

Former Falcons, now current Bucs offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter‘s well familiar with what Blalock can do on the field and could use his steady hands, whose contributions helped make Matt Ryan become the franchise quarterback he is today.

Blalock’s still has plenty left in him at 31.

Charlie Johnson

Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier‘s all too familiar to what Johnson has to offer stemming from his days as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Johnson arrived from the Indianapolis Colts in 2011 after a serviceable five-year run. Johnson’s remained with the team paving way to help running back Adrian Peterson thrive.

Standing at 6-foot-4 and 305 lb. the product of Oklahoma State has started in 115 games of 134 he’s played in only missing 10 games in his career and three games with the Vikings.

While the Vikings never developed a dominant passing game, Johnson did help protect with arguably one of the best quarterbacks off all time in Peyton Manning while he was with the Colts.


About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News,, and Tampa Tribune.
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