Ronde Barber Says Bucs Were “Interested” In First-Round Offensive Tackles

May 23rd, 2016

jason licht 0229Last week, we learned Ronde Barber was given advance access to parts of the Buccaneers’ draft board and he serves as a trusted analyst at One Buc Palace.

Now, Joe has more intrigue to add.

Barber was up at this year’s NFL Draft in Chicago, where he was scheduled to announce Tampa Bay’s third-round pick. However, the Bucs traded up to get Roberto Aguayo and did not draft in the third round.

While in Chicago, Barber chatted with Paul Ryan of WFLA-TV, Ch. 8, for a televised post-draft special. It was there that Barber shared more insight into the Bucs’ first-round leanings.

“There were some guys that they really wanted in this draft and, as circumstances worked out, they had an opportunity to trade back and add some value to this draft and get a draft pick. And they did that,” Barber said.

“If there were some guys that would have slid, I think it may have been a little different. I know they were interested in a couple of those offensive tackles. I’m not sure if that changed their decision or not. But Jason [Licht] and his staff had a plan. The few times that I’ve been over there in the offseason, I would say they’re building this team on the other side of the ball now.”

For those obsessed with the Bucs’ real motives in the draft — not the angles fed to media — this is a juicy insider nugget to suck on this morning.

Also, Barber saying, “they’re building this team on the other side of the ball now,” is intriguing. Was he talking offense or defense?

20 Responses to “Ronde Barber Says Bucs Were “Interested” In First-Round Offensive Tackles”

  1. DemBoyzFromDaBay727 Says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious that he was talking about the defensive side of the ball, with all the previous drafts being g offense and only one player on the other side of the ball in Kwon, who turned out to be one of the greatest steals in the history of the 4th rnd imo.

    And the 2 tackles Ronde was talking about were Conklin and Stanley imo wich were both off the board by the time Tampa picked but not the “bong toking tackle” from Ole miss wich I wouldn’t of been mad had they taken him because he was graded as the best Tackle in the draft and no. 1 overall at one point. Imagine adding him to our line. We would of been set for a VERY long time. But they did get a solid player in Benenoch who I think will succeed Dotson so I’m not mad at all.

  2. flmike Says:

    I’d venture to guess he’s talking offense. You have to be an offense first team in this version of the NFL, the rules are stacked in favor of the offense so you build your team to best take advantage of the rules of the league. In Ronde’s era, you could physically abuse WRs and TEs, now you can’t even breath hard on them…

  3. LUVMYBUCS Says:


    Hmm – Sound like we were on point w/T- Jack Conklin.
    When Tennessee trade up for Conklin – our draft room looked seriously dejected.
    We were not the only ones though- The Giants didn’t seem to pleased either.

    O’well life moves on.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    He said first round tackles……not necessarily first pick……It’s possible if one of the tackles dropped later in the first, Licht would have traded up.

    I think Ronde meant…..but, we are concentraing on defense now.

  5. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    I won’t lie I was really hoping for Stanley myself, but the Ravens took him out of the equation for the Bucs. Regardless I think Licht did a very good job of maneuvering in the draft to address team needs while still getting the guys they covetted (with the first three selections anyway). Plus it probably is wise to hold off this draft and use the upcoming season to better evaluate what they already have at the LT and RT positions. Kudos to Licht for showing sound strategy.

  6. ToesOnTheLine! Says:


    agree with you on the Giants. I think they got sucker punched twice (Conklin and then Floyd). I think their GM (Reese) may need an exterminator…there may be a mole problem in NY 🙂

  7. Stanglassman Says:

    Not a surprise they had Stanley and maybe Conklin on their board early, what I want to know who the 2nd choice was after VH3. When they moved down 2 spots they said they had two players in mind was it Apple or Rankins? My guess would be Rankins.

  8. BigPoppaBuc Says:

    Picking in the top ten, there is always a chance at a great tackle. And that’s something that’s hard to pass on. It doesn’t matter how much you lil what you currently have if there’s an opportunity to get an upgrade you take it.

  9. pick6 Says:

    after reading up on Benenoch, it seems like we got a high end prospect at the position for the future without burning a premium pick, so hooray for us. i feel for Dotson, it looks like he will never get the contract he earned, but from the bucs’ standpoint i understand they’d probably rather have a replacement ready vs paying even moderate dollars to a 31/32 year old tackle on a fresh contract

  10. Tiny Tim Says:

    But joe, I thought you said the bucs were not interested in drafting a “right tackle” in the first round. I thought you said there were more important needs Lol. Wrong again Joe. Wrong again. Like I and many on this board said, you draft the best available according to your board and clearly the offensive tackles were rated very high.

    Joe absolutely still stands behind what Joe wrote. But Joe is not the kind of media guy to ignore Ronde’s words because they might not synch up. –Joe

  11. DB55 Says:


    Of course we were don’t be ridiculous! Ha

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    And yet Joe wrote multiple pre-draft articles saying there was no way in hell the Bucs would draft a “right tackle” in the top 10 – asserting such like he had insider info….

    From Ronde’s statements – it sounds like if either Stanley or Conklin was available at #9 – the Bucs would have seriously considered drafting them. You don’t pass on a franchise quality OT prospect when you have a chance to draft one – because drafting is the only way to get one. I said this multiple times in comments pre-draft in response to Joe’s ridiculous take that the Bucs would not consider Stanley or Conklin if available.

    Joe absolutely still stands behind what Joe wrote. But Joe is not the kind of media guy to ignore Ronde’s words because they might not synch up. –Joe

  13. Pa Privateer Says:

    I don’t care about who said what before the draft because everything si speculation anyways. I certainly will not criticize JOE for his perspective and gladly welcome pre-draft discussions.

    Here is my take. When I here this comment by barber, it makes me warm and fuzzy inside. I am so thankful to have a GM and staff that is considering every player and looking to upgrade every position during the Draft. I fully support Licht and he can pick anyone he wants at this point going forward.

    I wasn’t thinking OT in the first this year either, but then again I wasn’t thinking of MLB Alexander last year in the 4th and I am loving that pick. GO BUCS

  14. MadMax Says:

    Who wouldnt be interested in 1st round tackles? Of course it was considered. But our O line wasnt in as much need as DB and DE pass rush. You have to play give and take with this. They gave us a DB and DE, dire needs. And in that they took away the chance of solidifying the O line. But our O line was pretty good last year, so there.

    I wanted WR first and DE second….but here we are. And after the dust has settled, Im on board with Hargreaves. Kid just might be Revis 2.0

  15. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    I think it shows that the brass doesn’t think Smith is championship caliber. He’s a good player; good enough to start on an average team but not championship worthy. But he’s our guy for now so hopefully he continues to improve.

  16. salish_seamonster Says:

    This isn’t surprising. Pre-draft, Joe insisted there was no way the Bucs would take an OT in round 1. I strongly disagreed. Vindicated. If the picks had fallen a certain way, they may very well have drafted OT.

  17. scottfitz Says:

    Conklin was the guy I bet

  18. scott Says:

    Why “awaiting moderation” ? I post here all the time

  19. godzilla13 Says:

    That is so not true about Donovan Smith not being their guy. If that were true they would have drafted Laremy Tunsil at 11 when we could have. I would bet Jack Conklin was the offensive lineman they were interested in. Obviously the Giants thought higher of Eli Apple than Hargreaves? Other than 3 inches I would take Hargreaves all the way.

  20. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I think it is obvious he knows Lovie got railroaded out of defensive draft picks, and being in charge now that the offense is pretty much done, he insisted on defensive draft picks.