Most Important Trait At No. 7?April 30th, 2014
Teams often look for certain traits in a player they draft high in the first round. It’s sort of a philosophy that comes from the top of an organization.
With former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik, it was being a “Buccaneer Man.” With Raheem Morris it might have been, “who could best chest bump or swill ale with the coach?”
That key trait for the Bucs has changed under the direction of new Bucs coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht. Sure, the duo want a good football player at No. 7. And being quick is almost a prerequisite. But Licht said a player picked in the top 10 must be mentally tough.
“There’s a high bust rate up there, especially where we’re picking, so you want somebody that can handle the expectations that are placed on them from us, from you guys, from our fans,” Licht said yesterday during a draft chat at One Buc Palace. “He’s got to be a mentally strong player in addition to being a great player – he’s got to be very mentally strong. That’s probably the number one thing we look for.”
Just trying to connect the dots from Licht, he means “mentally strong” is a guy who can shut out the noise if things go bad — locked in on the job and dedicated to working at the craft in order to get over the hump.
If that is the definition, then it’s the opposite of leaky, sleepy Rip Van Freman.