Former Humboldt State offensive lineman Alex Cappa, who was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a year ago, is expected to make a big push to land a starting job this fall.
Cappa was taken in the third round by the Bucs, who traded up to take the Division-II standout after he caught the national attention at that year’s NFL Combine.
He saw just limited action in his rookie season, mostly at the end of the year, but could be in line to see a lot more playing time this fall, according to the Bucs organization.
Tampa Bay offensive line coach Joe Gilbert told the team’s web site this week that the “kid’s got a pretty good chance.”
One of the reasons the Bucs like the former Lumberjack is because of his versatility, but it appears now they want him to focus on playing right guard, where he saw playing time in 2018.
“There’s a lot of protections, there’s a lot of runs, there’s a lot of screens,” Goodwin was quoted as saying. “There’s a lot of new information coming at you and you have to learn it all. But he’s done a great job. He bounced around a little bit at mini-camp, from tackle to guard – left tackle, right guard, right tackle. So his development as far as the mental game has come a long way. I like where he’s at right now.”
The right guard position is particularly important for a Bucs team that statistically likes to run the ball up the middle more than most teams in the NFL.
The team is set at center and left guard with Ryan Jensen and Ali Marpet, who are penciled in as starters ahead of training camp.
Marpet is also a D-II product.
And that leaves Cappa looking like the leading candidate to grab the right guard position and make it his own, although the Bucs are still considering the possibility of switching tackle Caleb Benenoch to that position.
“We’ve got to figure out, where does Benenoch fit? Where does Capp fit?” said Gilbert. “I think those will be the pieces of the puzzle that we’ve got to put together, put them in the right spot to have the chance to be successful.
“Cappa’s a guy, if the crap hits the fan, he could [play tackle] if he had to. But right now in my mind I envision him at right guard.”
Gilbert readily admits he likes what the former HSU standout brings to the table.
“I’ll be honest: I was shocked when I finally saw him in person,” said Gilbert. “He’s a big kid. He’s put-together, he’s athletic, he’s smart.”
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.