Ali Marpet is one of the more unlikely NFL success stories in recent memory. He began the most recent chapter on Tuesday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed the fourth-year left guard to a five-year extension worth $55 million. It includes $27.125 million in guaranteed money and keeps him with the club through the 2023 season.
G Ali Marpet’s extension with the #Buccaneers: five years, $55m with $27.125m in guarantees, source says. One of the top pending free agents this offseason is now locked in to Tampa for a while.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 9, 2018
Ali Marpet Signs Multiyear Extension With Tampa Bay Buccaneers
What makes Marpet’s emergence as one of the NFL’s top offensive linemen is his collegiate background. Marpet played his college ball at Division III Hobart College which certainly isn’t a hotbed of pro-caliber talent. But he received an invite to the 2015 Combine and turned heads when he was the only offensive lineman to run a sub-five second 40-yard dash.
The Bucs decided to take a chance on him, selecting Marpet in the second round (61st overall) of the 2015 draft. In so doing, he became the highest ever Division III draft pick, a mark that remains to this day. He immediately slotted into the starting lineup at right guard and impressed right off the bat. That became readily apparent in Week Eight when Pro Football Focus gave him the best run-blocking grade among NFL guards.
Over the course of his career thus far, Marpet has exhibited immense versatility. Last year, he replaced Joe Hawley at center and started 11 games there. He proved himself highly reliable in that time before a knee injury put him on injured reserve in late November. Opposing defenses sacked his quarterback on just 4.5 percent of plays when he was on the field while that number ballooned to twice that amount when he was off it.
In 2018, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter moved Marpet to left guard. Four games into the season and he’s continued to cement himself as one of the league’s most versatile offensive linemen. It’s a major reason the Bucs decided to get a deal done now rather than risk losing him in free agency next year.