As we wind closer and closer to the draft, we continue to take a look at players that could not only help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this coming season, but the impact they could have over the course of the next few years. A lot of times, that impact may not be seen on the field unless something bad happens first.
For Ohio State Buckeye standout Josh Myers, that’s exactly what the case would be. The offensive line is set – but we all witnessed what happened last season when Ali Marpet went down. Joe Haeg stepped in and struggled, so Ryan Jensen was moved to guard while A.Q. Shipley played center. In the postseason, it was Aaron Stinnie that took over for an injured Alex Cappa. With Josh Myers, the Bucs could find themselves with depth at all three interior positions.
JOSH MYERS’ COLLEGIATE CAREER
Myers was a heavily recruited prospect out of Miamisburg (Ohio) High School, opting to commit to Ohio State over other major programs like Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, and Penn State. Originally recruited as a guard, Myers was behind Michael Jordan on the depth chart in Columbus. After Jordan went to the NFL, Wyatt Davis took over for Jordan and Myers got an opportunity at center.
Myers was a natural fit at the position, earning second team All-Big Ten recognition and helping anchor a line that blocked for the 2,000 yard rusher J.K. Dobbins in 2019. In 2020, Myers helped keep projected top-3 pick Justin Fields upright while clearing the way for another electric running back in Trey Sermon as the Buckeyes made it to the National Championship, falling short against a school that Myers turned down in Alabama.
PRO DAY DATA AND ANALYSIS
Myers measured in at 6’5”, 310 pounds and did 29 reps of 225 pounds at his pro day, but did not participate in any other workouts. Myers is still recovering from offseason surgery where he played through a tough injury in the College Football Playoffs.
Myers had turf toe and opted to play through it against Clemson, injuring the toe even more. Myers still battled through the injury to face Alabama – and go face to face with Christian Barmore, a projected late first round, early second round pick – before getting an MRI. Myers had played on a broken bone in his foot and had an avulsion of the tension on another bone underneath his foot, leading to the surgery.
Myers participated as much as he could, but was there cheering on his fellow teammates from Ohio State. “Literally everything is being evaluated,” Myers told the Dayton Daily News. “I think today is more about the scouts and coaches getting to see us in person, getting to see how we interact and carry ourselves in person in this type of scenario and then also of course the athleticism.”
Myers is not expected to miss any time with his NFL team’s workouts due to the surgery.
WHAT HE BRINGS IN 2021
Depth. Josh Myers brings excellent depth. He can play any of the interior offensive line positions given his experience at both guard and center. With the Bucs not needing any starters, Myers is the perfect candidate for what the Buccaneers are looking for – someone that can develop into a potential starter down the line, but can help if called upon this season.
As I laid out at the beginning, we saw injury problems with the offensive line this season and depth is something the Bucs didn’t have a lot of. In fact, one of their biggest contributors as far as depth suffered a career-ending injury and is now a member of the coaching staff. The only other player on the roster that could step in for Ryan Jensen should he get hurt is Ali Marpet, which then leaves a gap at guard. Josh Myers can fill either of those spots.
Josh Myers might actually be the more desirable Ohio State IOL member. Blocks the DT on the line he finds him and all the way out of the play pic.twitter.com/4HWojYimrj
— Daniel Harms (@D_Harms19) January 11, 2021
Ryan Jensen is a free agent after the season and although one would assume Tom Brady would like to keep Jensen for another year, that isn’t always possible. Myers gives them a big body with high-level experience that can learn the ins-and-outs of the offense as a rookie before becoming the starter in 2022.
Or, let say they do bring back Ryan Jensen in 2022. Great! However, Alex Cappa is a free agent after the 2021 season as well – and as well as Cappa has played he could get a big money offer on the open market. Myers provides that starter in case Cappa priced himself out of Tampa Bay.
Lance Zierlein of NFL.com projects Myers to be an NFL starter and compares him to former Michigan center Graham Glasgow. Though many speculate that Myers’ progress and development may be near its cap, those same draft analysts admit that his floor is so high that he is a starter caliber player in the NFL from day one and will be a reliable part of an offensive line for the foreseeable future.
For the Bucs, his versatility is what makes him such an interesting target for this season, but his consistency and high floor is what makes him a player that would start for the team for the next five to eight years.
Though Myers is a really good player, he isn’t great. If he was great, we wouldn’t be talking about him as an early day three, late day two kind of guy. There are things he needs to work on, but again – he’s a starting caliber player from day one.
One of the knocks on Myers is his inability to help out his guards with quick, lateral movement. He’s powerful, but not quick when he needs to be. His run blocking is solid, but still needs work in the pass game when the line begins to separate and he’s left on an island. Myers struggled mightily against Barmore in the National Championship, but who knows how much that had to do with him playing on a mangled foot rather than if Barmore was really that much better.
Myers is also forthcoming in what he believes is his biggest weakness. When speaking at his pro day, he told the media, “I think my biggest weakness right now is I get myself in a bad position right now sometimes at the second level in the run game. Sometimes I’m just too aggressive. Trying to get a kill shot on a linebacker will put me in a bad position sometimes.”
These are coachable things, but again – has Myers maxed out on his abilities or is there still something left untapped that a good offensive line coach can get out of him?
Most mocks and projections have Myers in the third round with some having him drop in to early day three.
ON THE CLOCK…
So, is Josh Myers the kind of depth the Buccaneers need in 2021 before potentially becoming a starter within the first few years of his NFL career? What should the Buccaneers do if they have the opportunity to take the Ohio State lineman? Vote in our poll and discuss it in the comments below.
For Josh Myers, the Buccaneers should…
…draft him at current projection (third round)
…draft him early (trade up in day two)
…take a better player earlier in the draft
…draft this position, but later than he is projected
…not draft this position group at all
12 votes total