The Biggest Draft Wild Card

April 27th, 2016
You think you can predict Jason Licht's moves? Think again.

You think you can predict Jason Licht’s moves? Think again.

The biggest wild card in the Bucs’ draft is not what happens with the first eight overall picks tomorrow night, it’s general manager Jason Licht himself.

Just look at Licht’s history with the Bucs.

In 2014, the Bucs were desperate for a starting quarterback. It was as clear the sun in the sky, yet Licht passed on a quarterback in the first and second rounds.

In Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2014 NFL Draft, Licht drafted a tight end and a running back, respectively, two positions where the Bucs already had depth. Tampa Bay was aching for offensive line help after the needless jettisoning of Donald Penn and Jeremy Zuttah, but Licht passed on Panthers Pro Bowl left guard Trai Turner.

In the 2015 NFL Draft, Licht went right after needs. America’s Quarterback, Jameis Winston, was a no-brainer as the No. 1 overall pick, but second-rounders Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet (Bucs traded up) were straight need selections. Throw in the Bucs staying true to their board in the fourth round, Kwon Alexander, and Licht hit an historic grand slam.

So what does Licht do now?

Good luck guessing.

In the four latest mock drafts at, from hired personnel gurus Daniel Jeremiah, Charley Casserly, Charles Davis and Bucky Brooks, all have Licht drafting Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves at No. 9 overall.

Joe wouldn’t bet one damn nickel on that happening.

Remember, Licht angered the Best Available crowd last month when he said “need” is a key factor in his drafting.

But how much do the Bucs need a corner? It’s not what Joe thinks; it’s what Licht thinks.

Yesterday, Licht watched practice with four-time Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes and 2013 Pro Bowler Alterraun Verner (a guy Licht signed and retained) taking the lead reps. Johnthan Banks and Josh Robinson (a fast free agent signing in March) are the next-tier corners. Licht might not think he has a pressing need.


28 Responses to “The Biggest Draft Wild Card”

  1. buccfan305 Says:

    If J- Ram falls to 9 and we don’t take him, I might have to make a trip to Tampa and pay Licht a visit.

  2. jvato24 Says:

    the Bucs did not give Josh Robinson 2 million dollars for nothing, he was a priority signing

  3. jvato24 Says:

    Yeah buccfan305, Licht really gives a Damn about what you think

  4. uckinator Says:

    Ramsey won’t make it past Dallas at 4. Probably San Diego at 3.

  5. Blackflag87 Says:

    I agree with you we need a stud back there

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I’m not predicting anything.

    Not this year.

    I “hope” for a DE or RT…but I’m not making any predictions. Licht is impossible to read.

    It’s funny…for a decade, we’ve had coaches and GMs play at misleading the media where the draft is concerned. I give Jason Licht props in this area, because the man is an expert at being unpredictable.

    EVEN IF he takes a DE, as many think he will, that doesn’t mean it will be the one we all expect. He MIGHT take a CB…but not Vernon Hargreaves (even if available). He might surprise us all and take a Tight End.

    Unpredictable. And he comes by it naturally…probably because lying is natural for him too.

  7. HarlemBuc Says:

    Pick Noah spence and let’s all go home.

  8. Couch Fan Says:

    It’s pretty clear Licht’s philosophy is to go after the BPA at a position of need and he will do nothing different tomorrow night. Only question is who will be BPA when we are on the clock? Im predicting a DT.

  9. buc15 Says:

    don’t worry buccfan305, Ramsey won’t fall to 9 although I fantasize about it everyday

  10. Kalind Says:

    There’s a way Ramsey falls to 8 but it requires some seriously stupid drafting….

  11. JimBucsFan Says:

    Zero chance Ramsey makes it past the Jags at 5. There’s rumblings that the Cowboys really like him too. Our best bet for a falling guy is Bosa, but I would still like to see our Bucs trade back, acquire more ammo, and take someone like Shaq Lawson in the 1st.

  12. mike Says:

    Would love to see a good OT there at 9 and the titans give us a 2nd to move up. Then we could take VH3 or spence at 15 and have 2 2nds.

  13. SB with Jameis Says:

    Not sure if anyone noticed but in the Mock Draft last night, Andrew Billings wasn’t selected in the First round. Wow if that cat were to somehow fall to us in the Second round then we would have already Won the draft! Kid is the strongest DL in the whole class with speed and agility like This? Crazy.

  14. SB with Jameis Says:

    Even as a Gator I would only wish Licht took Hargreaves at 9 IF he somehow scooped up Andrew Billings with the next pick! That is a HUGE if though.

  15. SB with Jameis Says:

    ” Uses violent, powerful swats and slaps to free of opposing hand placement. Instant reaction time makes it difficult to cross his face. Gets arm extension into blocker and stays clean as he pursues laterally. Ridiculous closing burst to the sideline for a big man. Dominates single blocks and is a sure­fire tackler when he gets hands on a running back. Improving pass rusher with an effective bull­ rush.”
    Gimme some of This^^^^^^

  16. nate_tweetz Says:

    I will be shocked if we stay at the 9th pick. I am fully anticipating Licht trading back (if possible) for more picks. Other than that, I have no clue who he picks with the first pick. It could be anyone… and I’m ok with that. In Licht I Trust!!!

  17. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    Last night on the NFL’s nets draft show…too many hosts…too much distracting conversation as the guys just yuck it up and are so freaking impressed with their own senses of humor.

    But I waded through what to me was a tedious production because of the expertise on that panel. The guys divided up teams and each predicted. Charles Davis had the Bucs and he now has the Bucs taking Joey Bosa.

    I don’t mind dropping but I do not want to give up any picks for anybody in this draft. Nobody blows my doors off enough. MG8 or EDS to sweeten the pot..OK but do not give up any picks!

  18. 813bucboi Says:

    licht should’ve been at practice saying, “I’ve got to get a talented cb asap”…we have too many question marks regarding our cb situation…drafting vhg in the first with a player like billings, bullard, ogbah chris jones in the second would be a 2 for 1….upgrading at the positions and quality depth….very possible top 10 mock from nflnetwork…

    …GO BUCS!!!!

  19. 813bucboi Says:

    @stpete…I saw that last night as well…did you also see once davis made the pick how mjd, ike taylor Michael irving and Daniel Jeremy started to throw out red flags about bosa and sing vhg praise…those guys all said the bucs should draft vhg at #9 stating that he is the most nfl ready cb in the draft and would be an impact player from day 1….GO BUCS!!!!

  20. Tom S. Says:

    Joe is right in that Licht drafted some players that weren’t needs in 2014, Charles Sims being the most glaring example. But I think Joe misses the mark when he notes the ‘need picks’ of 2015. Who didn’t believe that Jameis Winston a top player in the draft? McShay had Winston and Leonard Williams as his only two Tier 1 players, most people had Winston rated as a top 3 player whether they loved Mariota or not. So that was a mix of BPA and need coming together.

    Donovan Smith was invited to Chicago for the draft and rated around where the Bucs selected him, Ali Marpet was a trade up because there was good reason to believe the Seahawks or Patriots were going to take him next, so while guard was a need, was it a reach? If the next two teams would have taken your player couldn’t you argue you took the BPA?

    Need and BPA are not mutually exclusive, it’s often a mix and because a player was at a position of need it does not make it a reach right? So while Joe tries to make this black-and-white argument that you can only choose BPA or need that is a strawman. If the player is good enough to merit the selection, Licht will take them, I have yet to see Licht draft a players that people thought he reached out of need yet, and don’t plan on seeing it in 2016.

  21. gotbbucs Says:

    If Bosa is there, you take him. If Bosa is gone and Myles Jack is there, you take him. If Bosa and Jack are both gone, you take Corey Coleman. All three would be the biggest difference makers that we can get at pick 9 coming out of the gate as rookies.
    Licht is not going to use the pick on an offensive lineman or cornerback.

  22. K2 Says:

    Jason is going to pick the best guy based on the needs of the team. Wow…not sure how we’re going to live with that. What I think might surprise fans is how often those free agent calls were responding to coaching requests to fit the system. This years free agents could be very telling.

  23. CrustyCrab Says:

    Lets not sit here make it seem like it he was looking to the future. In 2014 the Great Buc Depression happened. Licht&Lovie thought they found their QB and LT and their DE how soon we forget , shall I remind you.

    LT Anthony SOFT Collins
    OG Oniel Cousins
    LB Dane Fletcher
    CB Mike SLANT Jenkins
    DE Micheal GHOST Johnson
    QB Josh CLOWN McCown
    TE Brandon Myers
    C Evans THE QB Dietrich Smith

  24. WheresYourBuccaneers? Says:

    Can’t understand, why am I bracing to be pissed off about our pick? I really WANT to be enthusiastic but I have a feeling he’ll find a way to F it up. BTW, I consider Hargeaves a failure ay #9…

  25. WheresYourBuccaneers? Says:

    sorry about the language…

  26. MadMax Says:

    Unless we move up for Ramsey or he magically does fall to us, Im hoping for a trade back (probably Titans so they can get Stanley), and go with Dodd at 15. He has the length and I think he could be coached into a monster DE. Hopefully we land one of the Titan’s 2nd’s and then go with Noah Spence or Nkimdiche next pick, or CB Alexander or WR Doctson (would have to move back up for that one).

    And I know some of the people here hate Clemson DE’s. I normally do too, but these guys did go to a national championship. So that would be two DE’s, then a CB or WR in a trade back scenario; 1st, 2nd, 2nd. Thats where I am right now. I still like Floyd too and he’s been rising the past few days.

  27. Tom S. Says:

    Dodd and Lawson were studs in the championship game. But how many Clemson DE’s look great in college and can’t figure our the pros?

    Eventually someone will hit but Jesus, if All-American, ACC DPOY and absolute combine stud Vic Beasley looks bad as a rookie, as well as the Buc Bust Brothers Gaines Adams and number one high school recruit DaQuan Bowers couldn’t make a mark, what makes you think one-year wonders Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd would?

  28. MadMax Says:

    Hardly anytime to post for now, but I’ll say this. Those guys didnt get them to a national championship. Thats the main difference I see. Bowers had injury issues we knew about when we drafted him. We took a gamble and it didnt pay off. Adams was before I really started following football closely. But again, he wasnt on a national title playing team.