Hargreaves Over Tunsil

May 3rd, 2016
Jason Licht explains.

Jason Licht explains.

Weeks ago, Joe talked to Bucs types and picked their brains about the draft.

One thing Joe got out of the chats was, yes, the Bucs were interested in a right tackle at some point but not at No. 9 — or as it turns out, at No. 11.

The Bucs were looking at a guy they could take time to develop. They could see both Gosder Cherilus and Demar Dotson are on the wrong side of 30. Their careers are far closer to the end than the beginning.

Of course, Joe wrote several times that the Bucs really like Donovan Smith at left tackle. This only seemed to anger some fans who demanded a move of Smith to right tackle and the drafting of a premium left tackle– a notion the Bucs have zero interest in.

So when The Masked Smoker, Laremy Tunsil, tumbled down the draft as a result of his World War I-gasmask-style-toking video hitting the Interwebs, arguably the highest-rated offensive tackle in the draft was there for the picking even after the Bucs traded back in the first round.

Instead, Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht chose cornerback Vernon Hargreaves. Why? Licht explained on “The Blitz” with co-hosts Bruce Murray and Phil Savage, heard exclusively on SiriusXM NFL Radio yesterday.

In part, Licht said he passed on Tunsil because — shock! — the Bucs are quite happy with Smith at left tackle.

“Well, because we had talked through several, several scenarios, and you know how that goes when you were running your war rooms, that situation came up,” Licht said. “That scenario already came up and we had talked through that before everything came out there Thursday. I’m not saying we were soothsayers and we knew that was going to happen.

“We thought about the possibility of him being there. We had an advantage of seeing our guys out here last week and seeing the veterans practicing and all the things we liked about Donovan Smith last year, were even more so this year. We just thought that this team right now needed a playmaker in the secondary more so than an offensive lineman.

“Only time will tell if that is the case. We really respect Laremy as a player. But on our particular team, we had Vernon rated higher.”

Of course, this revelation will have the PFF tribe — devout haters of Smith — slapping their clenched knuckles together in rage and running to their beloved spreadsheets for solace.

Here is the thing: Drafting an offensive lineman in this day and age has become more and more dicey, in large part thanks to the stain of spread offenses. They just don’t translate to the NFL.

In recent years, finding good offensive linemen in the draft has become trickier than ever. The Bucs found a left tackle in Smith. He has played well. He may not even fit at right tackle.

Why draft a guy — unproven in the NFL — to replace a dude who already has shown he can play the position, and then move the veteran to an unfamiliar slot and possibly screw up two positions in the process?

Just look at the Jags and Luke Joeckel, the second overall pick in the 2013 draft. Yesterday, the Jags decided not to pick up his fifth-year option. Joeckel, by all accounts, has been a bust.

Not saying Tunsil will smoke his way out of the NFL, or not hack it on the field, but no one knows how he will fare. With Smith, the Bucs know what they have. And from all accounts, both on and off the record, the Bucs very much like him.

54 Responses to “Hargreaves Over Tunsil”

  1. MadMax Says:

    I wanted Tunsil so bad. But after everything, the backfield and pass rush was more important. And we did draft Caleb to hopefully develop into a RT. But Im not gonna lie, I wanted Tunsil as he was falling.

  2. Buc1987 Says:

    Well I wanted Tunsil at 11 and I wanted nothing but DL taken in this draft. Tunsil or trade down even more to focus on the DL. They went DB. Sigh.

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

    Someone said on the other thread VH3 is going to take time. Didn’t take that kid in KC much time I don’t expect it to take much time for Vernon either.

  4. Tom S. Says:

    Correct, the recent high draft picks at o-line have not fared as well as in years past in large part due to the spread.

    More troubling is the associations and actions of Tunsil going into the draft. Suspended 7 games for receiving improper benefits and fighting his step father. Getting sued by said person 48 hours before the draft. Then a house of cards-style hack job on his account just as the draft was starting which shows Laremy doesn’t mess around when it comes to getting high.

    Players with worse known issues have been punished less in college than Tunsil and it remains to be seen if he has the ability to maximize his physical gifts at the next level.

  5. Buc1987 Says:

    NOSBOS…I’m accepting him in hopes that he proves me wrong. Personally I don’t think he’s going to pan out, but it’s time to watch and see if I’m wrong. Crossing my fingers.

    Didn’t want to have to think this way after the first pick, but it is what it is.

  6. Buc1987 Says:

    Tom S….Yes but Jameis had about 10 red flags everyone kept bringing up before the draft.

    So far so great.

  7. Buc1987 Says:

    Let’s not forget Talib either. I’m mentioning these guys, because I’ll tell you what when they shine on the football field no one is even thinking about their off-the field crap. They like watching him play. It never crosses the fans mind. Well maybe TMZ and Joe.

  8. Howard Cosell Says:

    So (gasp!) Licht drafted VH3 over Tunsil because of a NEED?
    Say it ain’t so, Best Available Mob.

  9. David Says:

    I just hope VHIII has that chip Ronde had on his shoulder and plays with attitude and shows everyone he should have been the 1st corner drafted. If he does it works out great for us.

  10. rayjay1122 Says:

    The Bucs did so much background checking on Jameis, that he could be granted a top secret clearance. LOL And yes Jameis has been great. Tunsil would have required more time to investigate before dropping a high first round pick on him. Personally, I don’t have a problem with him smoking out but obviously the system demonizes his actions. I am a Gator supporter and I like VH3 as a person and I know he really wanted to be a Buc which is a good thing. He has no character issues to worry about, so in those regards he is clean and a safe pick. His getting burned in the SEC championship game and the Bowl game VS Michigan were disturbing though but the whole defense was exposed and he was just one player on the field. I guess the bottom line is that since Ramsey was gone, who I preferred, they felt like VH3 was the best choice at that spot and that CB was a need. I am going to support this pick but with cautious optimism.

  11. DallasBuc Says:

    87- bottom line is always going to be the play on the field on Sundays. Same goes for the last coaching staff and the new one. Same goes for Winston too. I like the Hargraves pick and will be pulling for him to dominate this fall.

  12. Rick Says:

    I could’nt help it to not take a quick look at a (self described) “way too early mock draft” for next year. Obviously we have no way of knowing our wins and losses and subsequent draft slot. If this guy has it right we pick at #8. I personally feel we will be around 15-20. He has- The Pick: DE Jonathan Allen, Alabama
    After grabbing defensive end Noah Spence in Round 2, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still need a big, powerful defensive end on the other side of the line. There is also the possibility that Spence may play linebacker in the 4-3 defense, which makes Alabama’s Jonathan Allen an even better fit for Tampa.

    Allen is a monster at left defensive end for Alabama. He may very well be my No. 1 overall prospect heading into next season thanks to his speed-to-power ability and what he brings to the table as a three-down rusher and run defender. He’s close to perfect for a 4-3 defensive end role at 6’3″, 272 pounds.

    With excellent production and athleticism, Allen looks to be a lock as a top-10 pick in 2017.

  13. Dick Butkiss Says:

    Just ordered my #19 Roberto Aguayo jersey.

  14. duthsty rhothdes Says:

    I still think that taking Tunsil would benefit this team now and help the run game and slow the clock and hopefully not have us in shootouts, no clue about the defense in 2016, it has to better than Lovies but one CB is not going to do that, julio eats up every corner in the league, so ATL game is a non factor, Panthers, we need to stop them up front and contain cam, Saints? they are on the downslide, so getting the corner doesnt really impact the division as much as the best player in the draft that we passed on or a stud DT that 2 of the 4 teams took, tunsil and spence would have been a great 1-2

  15. Bama Rich Says:

    I hope they use VH3 in the same role the Cardinals use the Honey Badger.

  16. CrustyCrab Says:

    The Dallas Cowboys doesn’t have a problem going o line heavy

  17. USFBUC Says:

    @Rick – I looked at that draft too and next years draft looks loaded with defensive talent as well.

    One concerning thing though is the WR situation going into next year. It looks like we will have to spend some money to get a FA WR to pair with ME.

  18. Mike Johnson Says:

    Mr. Tunsil will be a great lineman for years to come. The Dolphins got themselves a straight up steal of this years draft. As were a few others like Rankins. A lot of draftees had college issues. Most of them put that crap behind them when they find out they can actually get rich playing ball. Tunsil learned a valuable and costly lesson at the price of a few million dollars. But he’s still gonna ball out.

  19. Tampabaybucfan Says:


    I know you are all about protecting Jameis for years to come and its hard to disagree with that….but I think we will always be looking to do that in FA & the draft.
    Here’s a thought…….the defense & VH3 can help Jameis by getting him the ball back quicker and more often. Keeping opponents scores down helps Jameis by allowing us to run more……therefore, protecting him.

  20. MadMax Says:

    @Rick, I was excited about Allen when I thought he was coming out, but then he decided to stay for one more year. As long as he stays healthy, we’ll have to be picking high or trading up (which will be worth it to me). But I hope we’re not picking high….so sick of losing!! I like Garrett too but hopefully Spence works out in that role at that size.

  21. bryan Says:

    The best available thing to me is a little misunderstood but granted I am not a GM. If a team’s talent pool is at a deficit then drafting for need or, as Licht likes to say, drafting where best available meets need is required. Once a team has a surplus of talent then drafting best available becomes possible because the team has that luxury. With the last few drafts (provided Evans starts holding onto balls and ASJ gets his head out of his hind parts) it may be that Licht will lead us to the days when best available is an option. If that was the case this year then Tunsil may have been a viable option. Also, if a team has a stud QB capable of putting a team on his back then that luxury may be option as well. The great thing is there is hope. The Glazers have not been very good owners the past decade but empowering Licht seems likely to change that. Go Bucs!

  22. Buc1987 Says:

    TBBF…like I said I wasn’t a big VHG fan. Hopeful though.

  23. Buc1987 Says:

    Trading up to get Aguayo, but not trading up to get Jalen over VHG.

    Are you mental Licht?

  24. Buc1987 Says:

    Then again screw it. What’s done is done. Perhaps the asking price was too high and they did try to move up. I suspect not though seeing how most of the mocks had us taking VHG anyways for months.

  25. Dave Says:

    Best pure CB, pass rusher and kicker in the draft.
    3 starters, or at least heavy in the rotation.
    Then they have a CB/S who will push for playing time at S.
    A LB and OL to develop
    A FB/TE that can catch everything and block.

    Looking pretty decent even if it is a couple years away from being able to evaluate.
    The late round S, LB, and FB will be playing special teams.

    As far as Tunsil, why? The Bucs have a young OT and 2 OGs and center. The RT guys are good and they have a young guy developing behind them now.

    I am liking what they are doing. I still would have preferred another D lineman in Rd 2 and just wait to see if the kicker was there in the 3rd.
    But… I still am liking it.

    Can’t wait to see how this defense progresses.

  26. Dave Says:

    jalen is not a game changing ball hawk.
    He’s a better safety and barely better at CB, if he even is. We shall see.
    On top of that, moving up would have cost them a bunch of pics and no one in this draft seemed worth that.
    In the end, they got a 4th then dealt it for one of the NCAA’s most accurate kickers ever.

  27. Dave Says:


    Exactly. I don’t get these people who say draft the BPA.

    No one does that in the first couple of rounds. Very few do it all. It has always been a combination of need and BPA.

    The last team I remember drafting a bunch of BPA in the first round was the lions when they draft several WRs year after year in round 1. Finally CALVIN. Panned out but they ran themselves into the ground getting him.

  28. GhostofTedford Says:

    OL Dominique Robertson, West Georgia
    6’5″, 324 lbs. 5.36-second 40-yard dash. All-around disappointing combine numbers. Started college at Texas Tech but didn’t play much. Nephew of OL coach George Warhop.

    I thought the nepotism left with lovie……SMH

  29. Guzzie Says:

    ASJ and Brate, one online, one as Hback, Evans and Vjax/Bell out wide on each side, Simms, one of the best dualthreat backs (500 yards both rushing n receiving) and superback Dan Vitale (best hands on the team) both in the backfield, now Simms, Vitale, or the HBack goes into motion presnap, that’s like having a 5 receiver offense lined up in a base offense set, that’s pretty awesome huh……NOW IMAGINE IT IN A HURRY UP OFFENSE….OMG

  30. Joe Says:

    Exactly. I don’t get these people who say draft the BPA. No one does that in the first couple of rounds.

    Jimmy Johnson didn’t.

    Bill Walsh didn’t.

    Bill Parcells didn’t (always).

    But what do those guys know? The others who preach this nonsense — Kiper, McShay, the PFF tribe — to the best of Joe’s knowledge have never worked one day in an NFL front office.

  31. Guzzie Says:

    Another thing about Sims, last year was basically his rookie year, especially since it was a new offense, the guy is 6’0 and 211 lbs, that was his rookie weight he looks thicker now, ran in the 4.3s, has the best hands on the team, averaged 5.0 YPC had 500 rushing and receiving, and a great character guy, he reminds me of David Johnson just a little less physical, Doug goes down he might not get his job back, Sims could be our future lead RB but never gets any love, Doug was great but feeling pretty confident Sims is already a stud

  32. bryan Says:

    I hear you Dave. The Lions tried and that is why Matt Millen’s @ss is back in the booth.

    However, look at the Panthers draft this year. They take Vernon Butler in the 1st. DT was not a need but their other DT’s are going to demand big money soon so by drafting a DT it gives them the option of letting one go in the future if the price is too high. Nice to have the kind of talent on the team to be able to anticipate something like that instead of desperately attempting to fill holes. Then they had a need at CB due to Josh Norman’s departure. They addressed this need by taking 3 CB’s. They had the luxury of taking what they thought were the best 3 CB’s available in hopes of filling the need. Those are the kind of things you can do when you have a talented roster and a stud QB. We are not there yet. We have to thread the needle until we create a situation like that. In Licht I trust, I believe we will get there but it will be a few more years yet.

  33. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    But what do those guys know? The others who preach this nonsense — Kiper, McShay, the PFF tribe — to the best of Joe’s knowledge have never worked one day in an NFL front office.

    And if Tunsil ends up being Walter Jones and VHIII ends up as, let’s say Ike Taylor — a nice player, but no HOFer — will we still be happy with the pick?

  34. Pat Says:

    I am happy with the drafted bucs on the ship deck. Rankins and Tunsil are now the foes. Do a roll call and let’s move onward. BUCS AHOY!

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

    BSPN Adam Clayton says he ranks the Buccs draft 2nd best in the entire league behind in his opinion Jville.

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

    For those that like to bring up Vernon Hargreaves bowl game against Michigan let me pose a question, how motivated would you be to participate wihout QB. I mean is Darrelle Revis any less a top cornerback after what DeAndre Hopkins did to him last season… I think not.

  37. Bob in Valrico Says:

    I would have to say Brate,Simms and Humphries are best hands people on team .
    they have done it on an nfl level where vitale has not.but anything he can add
    is a very good thing.
    also simms receiving skills could have been used as a receiver during the times VJAX was hurt.Throwing wheel routes to bobby Rainey or doug Martin
    never made sense to me with their smaller size and lesser receiving skills.

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

    He’s a Bucc now I give-a-$!#@ about where he came from I’m ridin wit’em. I suggest you so the same. Study his footwork and come back an explain to me why he won’t become elite.

  39. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    How can we not be very happy (overall) with this draft?……we drafted 7 players….all at different positions…..and likely all seven are better than players currently oh the roster.
    Some of the positions like WR will be improved by FA…..this year, next year or next year’s draft.

    We still have some cap space and there will be more opportunities to improve.

    The main disappointment for me with the draft is that we didn’t get a pick for Glennon…..and I don’t relish carrying 3 QBs on the active roster another year.

  40. MadMax Says:

    *John Clayton

    Just google john clayton draft grades since I cant link here, especially to bspn (showing respect Joes)

    Yeah, I’d rank our draft in the top 5 also, maybe 3rd. 2nd for me would be Houston….boy did they land some WR help.

  41. Buc1987 Says:


  42. Buc1987 Says:

    I’m not arguing with anyone. It’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

    Let’s hope I’m wrong about VHG. I want to be completely wrong.

    Yes I’ve studied his film before and after the draft.

    No the logo on his college jersey has nothing to do with it.

    Yes I think this draft was flawed. (Licht’s right hand man was gone??)

    Time will tell.

  43. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    Vitale changing his number already from 33 to 85. Does this mean they see him as more of a TE than FB?

  44. Lord Cornelius Says:

    87 I hope you’re wrong too. I came away very impressed with his film.

    I’m hoping we just got another Joe Haden but without bad luck injuries.

    Hargreaves ran a faster 40 than Haden at the combine (although Haden improved a bit in his pro day). He weighs another like 10 lbs and can jump 4″ higher than Haden (although he is .5 – 1″ shorter with 1″ shorter arms).

    Both were considered the top pure CBs in the draft on their skills. The only knock on VHIII has consistently been size – despite many of the top CBs in the current NFL being very similar in stature (Chris Harris JR / Revis / others).

    Haden’s first 3 years in the NFL = probowl/probowl/All-Pro. Injuries and playing on a terrible team haven’t really helped him the last few years though

  45. Patrick in VA Says:

    You guys know that Hargreaves is one word, right? I mean, I get that you guys like to make cute acronym names for our players, but you can’t assign a new letter just because there are two syllables in his last name. Should he be VNHG?

  46. MadMax Says:

    According to how fast Vitale adjusts to NFL speed, which I think he’ll do well, Id rather see him as a TE. Especially if ASJ is still injured or just not playing well. Hope we can keep Brate though. Lots of talent and heart in that guy.

  47. Love and Warrick Dunn Says:

    I just wish he was VHI or VHII

    VHIII was the one with Gary Cherone.

    That’s disconcerting.

  48. Patrick in VA Says:

    He was a first rounder. Can we call him VH1?

  49. Tiny Tim Says:

    Joe is definitely a spin doctor. He keep writing these articles trying to convince himself about the tackle argument. He keeps trying to sell that many cried for a tackle. How many times do i have to explain it was never about the tackle. It was about drafting the best player availabe. Joe was so h3ll bent on drafting a DE at 9 and it did not make any difference to joe if said DE was a second round talent because it was our biggest need. We educated fans tried to tell joe that is idiotic to do that if you have a tackle, WR, CB etc graded higher. Stop the lunacy joe. You are not fooling anyone by trying to harp on the tackle. You were wrong. Oh and this you do not draft BPA in the first couple of rounds ala jimmy johnson etc…well yes you do and licht just did it when he drafted Agauyo. There was no one graded higher than him on the bucs board at that point in the draft. Its called best player available.

  50. Couch Fan Says:

    So i read this article almost as if its some vindication that Joe was right about the Bucs not wanting to draft a tackle, yet nothing Licht says acknowledges that. He said VG3 was rated higher on his board so thats who they went with. If Tunsil was rated higher he would of been the pick according to his statement.

  51. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    If you drafted a Tackle in the first round……you would have to sit a starter….Likely Dotson……cut Cherilus……and…and….IMO would not have improved our line play significantly.
    We had glaring deficiencies on Defense that needed to be addressed.
    I think we made the right decision.
    Our first 2nd round pick of Spence….again IMO…..made our draft automatically successful against team needs and I also believe he was the best DE available.
    The BPA…..I think was Myles Jack.

  52. Bring bucs back Says:

    I would have had a hard time passing over the best LT and possibly best player in the draft. The pot doesn’t bother me. Tell me which player in this or any other draft had not smoked pot before or now! Besides it’s legal in some states and will be legal everywhere soon. LT is a PREMIERE position. His job, as you recall is to keep Jameis alive. Smith is good, maybe not better than Tunsil, though. I hope I’m wrong.

    VH is here and I hope he is all-world. I just wonder if he’ll even start, which he should drafted #11 on a 6-10 team.

    I also agree with Joe, WR & DL all day 3 (& 2 for that matter). Our current roster of WR’s is very weak.

  53. SB with Jameis Says:

    Buc1987 Says:
    May 3rd, 2016 at 11:37 am
    NOSBOS…I’m accepting him in hopes that he proves me wrong. Personally I don’t think he’s going to pan out, but it’s time to watch and see if I’m wrong. Crossing my fingers.

    Didn’t want to have to think this way after the first pick, but it is what it is.
    I build High End Homes for a living and I am Damn good at what I do.
    Not sure what you do 87 but I know what Jason Licht does.
    Don’t overthink this thing as a fan.

  54. Guzzie Says:

    Bring Bucs back…honestly, a starter is mostly in name only, VH3 will be on the field often enough to make some plays, so will Spence, it’s what you do with those opportunities that matter most, our top 2 picks can be difference makers even in sub packages, it’s bout making plays that matter, bot are player makers with explosives tendencies GO BUCS