Protecting Brady: Where does Goedeke fit with Tampa Bay?
Immediately after being selected No. 57 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, former Central Michigan offensive tackle Luke Goedeke expressed his excitement via Twitter.
Expected to be the second CMU offensive tackle off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft, Goedeke became the highest Chippewa offensive tackle drafted in nine years.
But with Tom Brady returning to the Buccaneers for his 23rd season, the question remains. Where does Goedeke fit in with the 2021 Lombardi Trophy winners?
Switching to Guard
Prior to the draft, Pro Football Focus ranked Goedeke as the sixth-best tackle available.
“The other half of college football's best tackle duo from last year, Goedeke Is a very steady run-blocker who likely projects best to guard at the next level. His 94.3 run-blocking grade in 2021 was among the top marks in the nation.”
The Buccaneers lost both starting guards following the 2021 season as Alex Cappa signed with the Cincinnati Bengals and Ali Marpet hung up the cleats.
Although Tampa Bay traded for Shaq Mason seemingly securing the right guard spot, the left guard position remains wide open.
Joining a unit featuring Tristan Wirfs and Donovan Smith, Goedeke is currently projected to back up four-year veteran Aaron Stinnie at left guard. However, Vice President of Player Personnel John Spytek believes Goedeke could become a starter.
"He's a really smart kid who loves football," Spytek said to Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com. "He fits what we've been talking about as a Buccaneer: 'I'm that man.' Small-town Wisconsin kid, kind of self-made, went over to Central and played right tackle. I think we see him as a guard. He'll be in that competition at left guard with a chance to start, depending upon how he does this year. He's a great kid, really smart, humble, really tough."
While Goedeke hasn’t taken snaps at guard during his career, he has shown versatility moving from tight end to right tackle after arriving at CMU.