Looking at a potential option for Tampa Bay’s offensive line.
Every year we here at Bucs Nation identify 30 NFL Draft prospects we’d either like to see the Tampa Bay Bucs target or have reason to believe they will, at the end of April.
It’s not an easy list to make, and this year’s group was perhaps the most challenging of all.
To pick just 30 out of all the talented young men about to start their NFL careers was difficult, but it’s done, and now we turn our attention to someone who can come in and help the depth of the Bucs cornerback room, Darian Kinnard out of Kentucky
DARIAN KINNARD’S COLLEGIATE CAREER
Kinnard played in 46 career games while at Kentucky, starting 39 of those games both at tackle and at guard. Kinnard also won the Jacobs blocking trophy in 2021 and was named a first-team all-American in the 2021 season as well. During his time at Kentucky, Kinnard was part of an offensive line unit known as the “Big Blue Wall”, considered one of the best offensive line units in college football throughout Kinnard’s four years with the program.
PRO DAY AND SCOUTING COMBINE
Kinnard did not participate in the Bench Press or the 60-yard shuttle at the NFL Combine. However, Kinnard did post a 5.31 40-yard dash, a 25-inch vertical jump, a 99-inch broad jump, an 8.11 three-cone drill, and a 4.96 20-yard shuttle while at the Combine.
WHAT KINNARD CAN DO FOR THE Bucs IN 2022
There is a strong chance that if Kinnard was drafted by the Bucs in the upcoming NFL draft, he would be competing for a starting job right away. With Ali Marpet retiring and Alex Cappa joining the Bengals in free agency, the Bucs started the offseason with needs at both starting guard positions along the offensive line. However, the Bucs traded for star right guard Shaq Mason, and now only have a need for a starting Left Guard and could look to Kinnard to fill that void. Kinnard would likely have to compete with veteran Aaron Stinnie, and former 2021 third-round pick Robert Hainsey for the position, but there would be a very good chance he would be able to beat out both.
Based on what was written in the previous section, Kinnard would likely continue to be the starting option at Left Guard after three years with the team. After three seasons with the team, the hope for the Bucs would be Kinnard has a progression similar to offensive linemen that Jason Licht has drafted in the past like Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet, and Alex Cappa where they have grown into solid, and capable starters in the case of Smith and Cappa, or a top tier offensive lineman in the case of Marpet.
The stock of Darian Kinnard has been consistent with him getting selected at some point in the second round of the upcoming NFL Draft. There are legitimate questions as to whether or not Kinnard would be available at the Bucs second-round pick and those questions are justified. Kinnard has enough talent to where it’s likely he’s selected in the early portions of the second round or possibly in the late stages of round one.
ON THE CLOCK…
Darian Kinnard is a player I believe the Tampa Bay Bucs should consider in the upcoming Draft but am not sure a player they will have the chance to select as it is likely Kinnard will not be available at the Bucs second-round pick.
Let us know Bucs Fans, what do you think about the possibility of the Bucs drafting Darian Kinnard?