Jason Licht Needs Four Hours

April 15th, 2016
jason licht 0224b

No, the headline has nothing to do with Cialis commercials

Nearly every team outside the Tampa Bay area aches for quality offensive linemen. That includes your reigning NFC champion Panthers.

College O-linemen have turned into spread offense track stars making it difficult for NFL teams to evaluate them.

Pre-draft evaluation is failing a lot of teams, and development is stunted because NFL labor laws limit real practice time in the trenches.

Bucs general manager Jason Licht is the exception. The man has become a Hog Whisperer, nailing three of his four draft picks on the offensive line. Trading up to draft Division-III Ali Marpet in the second round last year was epic. Licht also has won in free agency and trades. Gosder Cherilus, Joe Hawley and Logan Mankins were excellent moves.

Yes, Licht whiffed badly on the Anthony Collins/Donald Penn debacle. And dumping Jeremy Zuttah to nab Evan Smith wasn’t a good move. But the end result is Licht built a top-10 offensive line two seasons without investing a first-round pick.

Licht was asked about the challenge of evaluating young offensive linemen yesterday, and he revealed his four-hour focus.

“At the core, you want an athletic guy, a smart guy, a tough guy and a guy that can pick up what you’re teaching him, which is where the value of a personal workout is,” Licht said. You can learn a lot in two hours, three hours – hour on the field, three hours in the classroom with a guy. Some guys just can’t pick it up, some guys can. Some guys are playing without a playbook in college. Some guys don’t know protections. It makes it a little more challenging, but it makes it a little more fun, too.”

Joe thinks there’s zero chance the Bucs draft an offensive lineman with their first-round pick. Why the hell would they with Licht’s track record of finding value elsewhere?

9 Responses to “Jason Licht Needs Four Hours”

  1. Bucsfaninchina Says:

    I could see us going center as this draft is chock full of them. But not in the first 3 rounds. Really like Joe Dahl and Mad Tuerk as potential 3rd day picks that need a little time to transition to the game but are both athletic and can play any position along the line which seems to be the guys Licht likes.

  2. Nole on Sat.-Bucc on Sun. Says:

    Great point Joe.

  3. Louis Says:

    Hopefully we can recreate the same magic drafting d line as we did o line last year…draft 2 quality d line in round 2 by trading back into the second round…lots of quality is usually found round two in most positions in each years draft

  4. Mike Johnson Says:

    Makes sense Joe. After all we are a..value oriented team. I’ll be shocked if we went O line with the 9th pick. Especially with the holes in our D.

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    That caption!!!!!!! lol!

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I think that, regardless about all this talk about not drafting by need, the first pick will most likely be DE…with an off chance of it being RT or WR.

    It won’t be CB, Safety, LB or TE.

    Licht WILL draft by need with the first pick.

  7. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    He won’t draft a center…he has Joe Hawley.

    Next year? Maybe…when we have fewer needs. Too many bigger needs this year.

  8. mark2001 Says:

    Joe…. only one reason…a guy that he thinks is the franchise left tackle of the very near future falls to him. A doubt it.

  9. Tom of Steel Says:

    there’s not a wide receiver worth taking ninth overall and the only offensive lineman worth taking ninth overall is Stanley and he’s a finesse player Donovan Smith iss a great left tackle we have two good right tackles there’s no sense to waste draft picks on a tackle