Jason Licht Names A Receiver In The Draft — After Saying “Without Naming Names”

March 26th, 2017

Has Jason Licht’s attention

General managers very rarely talk about specific prospects in the NFL Draft, especially at positions of considered obvious needs for their team.

Last month at the NFL Scouting Combine, Bucs general manager Jason Licht engaged in a conversation about wide receivers with Rick Neuheisel on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

It was a fun and possibly revealing segment.

Neuheisel asked Licht to name names of guys he likes in this year’s draft at receiver to take pressure off Mike Evans.

Licht said he would not name names. Neuheisel said that was fine but it was his job to ask a GM to identify names.

Licht talked about different types of receivers in this draft class, big beasts similar to Mike Evans, speed guys, “and then you have the guys that are extremely productive in college that are just good football players,” Licht added.

Neuheisel seized on that quote from Licht and asked him if that described Cooper Kupp out of Eastern Washington.

Licht said, “Yep.”

Neuheisel asked if Chad Henson out of Cal was in that class.

Licht said, “Yep.”

And then Licht jumped in himself to add the name Zay Jones, the record-setting receiver out of East Carolina, without being prompted. Licht even said Jones’ name twice.

For the freaks like Joe who look for any shred of insight into the GM’s pre-draft thought process, this was gold.

Jones turned heads at the Senior Bowl and caught 158 passes last season, a new NCAA record.

At 6-2, 205 pounds with 4.45 speed, Jones has plenty of talent, but he seems to be a can’t miss prospect because of his work ethic, toughness and pedigree. His father Robert won Super Bowl rings with the Cowboys as a linebacker.

Jones is widely projects to be a second- or third-round pick.

He seems like a clear No. 2 receiver at the NFL level. And yes, the Bucs sure could use a long term No. 2 to pair with Mike Evans.

56 Responses to “Jason Licht Names A Receiver In The Draft — After Saying “Without Naming Names””

  1. Etzel Says:

    Can’t believe you guys left out that Zay Jones is the FBS all-time leader in receptions! Hard to be angry about dracting this guy in the 2nd or 3rd!

  2. Capt.Tim Says:

    Zay Jones or Josh Reynolds
    Either one would make me feel like Christmas!

  3. Bucballbaby84 Says:

    I’m hoping the bucs work on the defensive backfield and get Obi Melifonwu in the first round and Budda baker in the second round. Obi could be lethal at free safety and Budda baker could be lethal at nickel. That’s just my dream for the first two rounds. Whatever Jason licht and dirk koetter do I believe in them and stand behind whatever decisions they make.

  4. Tackleblockwin Says:

    When you catch 158 passes…surely your not dropping many lol. That is insane at any level of football.

  5. PleadingBuc Says:

    Jones or Kupp, after Cook or Mccaffrey. We need to give Jameis a plethora of weapons to account for injuries.

  6. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Zay Jones would be an amazing addition to our passing game. I would jump up and down in glee if we draft him in round 2.

  7. R.O. Says:

    1st rd pick needs to be a starter or major contributor or there is no value. Positions of need where that would happen is. TE, RB, S. I would be fine trading down and getting Melifonwu or Baker only If Howard, Njoku, Cook, McCaffery are off the board. Evan Engram may be a good consolation prize at TE in the 2nd.

  8. Blake_bucsfan Says:


    New favorite Jameis Highlight reel. One of my favorite things to do this offseason has been to sit back and imagine how flipping good this kid is gonna be with Djax. And then you think about potentially adding a Corey Davis, David Njoku, Zay Jones, Chris Godwin, Curtis Samuel or Christian McCaffrey?

    You talk about explosive? An offense like that could be nuclear.

  9. SteveK Says:

    Double or triple dip on receiver. We need to get some new blood at affordable contracts in the WR corp. give Winston a couple years to break these guys in, and we will be set up nicely.

  10. SB Says:

    The way we are looking at 2nd round running backs and wide receivers it tells me we have a good chance of going offensive line or defensive line at 19

  11. Buc1987 Says:

    Load up the weapons.

    Daddy works a long day
    He be coming home late, and he’s coming home late
    And he’s bringing me a surprise
    ‘Cause dinner’s in the kitchen and it’s packed in ice

    I’ve waited for a long time
    Yeah the sleight of my hand is now a quick-pull trigger
    I reason with my cigarette
    Then say, “Your hair’s on fire, you must’ve lost your wits, yeah?”

    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
    You better run, better run, outrun my gun
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
    You better run, better run, faster than my bullet

  12. Blake_bucsfan Says:

    Sick song drop 87. Respect.

  13. MadMax Says:

    Once again, Zay all day. Get that DE with our first (Barnett hopefully), Obi with our second, then move back into the 2nd for Zay or TE Evan Engram. Perine in the 3rd.

    There you go, weapons for Winston plus weapons for our D!

  14. ManzielMadness Says:

    Lukewarm on him, Kids got great hands and he ran a fast 40… however I don’t see him get a lot of separation on his routes… I did see a number of sick catches though. I think I prefer Godwin just slightly.

  15. MadMax Says:

    Btw, Im seeing some mocks with Corey Davis dropping to us. I dont know….just thinking that trigger would be pulled there. Then Obi and another DE.

  16. feelthepewterpower Says:

    Love Zay Jones myself, and Mayock has Kupp as his fourth or fifth best receiver on his draft board. The receiver NOT being discussed by anyone is Ishmael Zamora….kid out of Baylor who missed the combine due to a misdemeanor and was redshirted his frosh year and therefore lacks the college production. I am on record stating he will be the steal of the draft (in later rounds) and will be even better than Mike Williams (potential top ten pick with the Bills), and has as much upside as Corey Davis (whose stalk may fall missing pro-day and coming off “minor” ankle surgery; remember ASJ?).

    Zamora has attributes I see in both Josh Gordon and Julio Jones: size, quickness, burst (RAC/YAC ability), and high points the ball extremely well! Keep him on your radar, Joe, and fellow Buccs fans. I hope he remains a secret…..he also returns kickoffs, not sure about Punt returns but he’d be electric on punt return duty as well….

    highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBmVYWcvEDo&t=1s

  17. feelthepewterpower Says:

    I also wanted to add about Zamora…he has great body-control (see his amazing goaline dives), and this fluidness about him for his size that makes his upside comparable to Davis.

  18. Mort Says:

    Call me crazy but I’ve never been impressed with watching any video of cooper Kupp.

  19. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I love Licht, but, shut the hell up! Don’t let the whole world know what players you like in the draft! I like that he can be open about things, but some can remain a secret. Come on, man.

  20. Joeypoppems Says:

    Zay Jones would be a great addition. On the flip side, Cooper Kupp is one of the very few guys I would be disappointed with as a pick.

  21. USFBUC Says:

    I would not be disappointed with this pick. I’m still of the mindset that we trade future picks if we can get the guys we want this year.

    If we do this right our offense could be set up for long term success with just the picks we have this year. I think the picks that would set our offense up for the most success would be Howard, Jones, Mixon or Cook, Jones, Leggett. But this still leaves us with some weakness on the defense which is why I want to trade those future picks if the guys we want can be had.

  22. NC Bucs Fan Says:

    As someone that lives in Greenville, home to East Carolina Univ. I have seen Zay Jones play many times. Given Zay played with minimal support, he was always the prime target. With defenses keying on him, he still managed to break the NCAA most receptions record (previously held by Justin Hardy – now Falcon receiver).
    Zay would be an excellent pick up by the Bucs.

  23. Kobe Faker Says:

    Zay seems like he had the skill set we are still missing for Jameis. We still need that quick RAC slant route runner to get Jameis cheap yards. Lets all hope koetter can scheme these routes into his plays

    Here is a thought. Why not burn other teams when they are burning our dbs and linebackers with these quick slants and short crossing patterns

    “If we want to win the 2018 superbowl, we need to draft Christain Mccaffrey” Kobe Faker

  24. Buccaneer scotty Says:


  25. Duke Says:


    You mention looking for insights into how the GM views the draft. Yet, there’s very little emphasis placed on the scheduled individual visits. When these visits were scheduled is even more insightful.

    There’s countless articles on which RB will be drafted in rd 1. Interesting as it is, it’s not that insightful into how the team is evaluating the needs and players available. The idea of who the team is more likely to consider at 19 is a separate discussion from who the fans want them to select. The fact that the team has scheduled 1-1 visits with the top 3 rated T.E.’s and they where among the first scheduled visits is insightful. Even more so is the RB’ s scheduled, who is and isn’t. The idea that this GM is going to draft a first rounder without a visit to the team’s facility is possible. But to date, that isn’t what they have done in the past. Yes, they could break new ground but it’s highly speculative.

    Really hard to say all that. First, you don’t know the quality of the player visit conducted at the Combine and/or Pro Day, and/or the discussion with a scout previously and which scout. So much key info we don’t know, like who is being investigated and who isn’t by the Bucs. Regarding the three tight ends, maybe part of that is giving the new tight ends coach experience in the process, or the Bucs are thinking 1 will fall to the 2nd round. Back in 2014, the Bucs brought three QBs in for a visit, and clearly they had no plan to draft any of them. Also, sometimes a guy is brought in for a visit because the team didn’t feel sold on him during previous discussions, but not enough to knock him out of the mix. –Joe

  26. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    All the way until April 27th? This board will be crazy by then!! LMAO

    I can’t wait for the open thread for the opening round! People will be going nucking futs.

  27. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Wow the slow time…might as well take a second and congratulate you Gators, That’s an entertaining basketballl team with a high energy coach….good luck against the Gamecocks today.

  28. 1nebuv Says:

    1st DE C.HARRIS
    7th QB C. KELLY

  29. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Love me some Zay Jones. I’d be surprised if he was available in R2 for us

  30. Eric Denman Says:

    I’ll take my hometown kid KD Cannon please Licht.

  31. Tampabayucfan Says:

    @ NC Bucs Fan

    I live just south of you in Wilmington I have followed ECU for years and was totally impressed with Zay’s father, Robert Jones.
    If we want Jones, we will need to pick him in the 2nd….I don’ think he will make it to our pick number in the third.

    I would be very happy with a TE in round 1 & a WR in 2.

  32. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Licht has a pension for positings himself – to make moves in the 2nd round.

    Case In Point:

    2014 NFL DRAFT
    • No. 61: Indianapolis → Tampa Bay (D). Indianapolis traded this selection and their fourth round selection (128th) to Tampa Bay in exchange for Tampa Bay’s 2015 third round selection and a fourth round selection (65th & 109th)

    **Recap: They took tackle Donovan Smith with the 34th pick of the round and then traded back up to the 61st pick in order to select Hobart offensive lineman Ali Marpet.

    2015 NFL DRAFT
    • No. 9: Tampa Bay → Chicago (D). Tampa Bay traded its first-round selections (9th) to Chicago in exchange for Chicago’s first- and fourth-round selections (11th and 106th)

    • No. 59: Kansas City → Tampa Bay (D). Kansas City traded this selection to Tampa Bay in exchange for Tampa Bay’s third- and fourth-round selections (74th and 106th)

    **Recap: The Bucs traded a third-round pick (No. 74) and a fourth rounder (106) to Kansas City to move to No. 59 overall to snag the kicker.

    Given that bit of Intel. If he can acquire the following prosepcts.
    Within the first 4 rounds. I think we’ll be well on our way.

    • HB – Evan Engram (22)
    • FS – Budda Baker (22)
    • WR – Isaiah “Zay” Jones (21)
    • RB – Samaje Perine (22)

  33. LUVMYBUCS Says:


  34. Chris Says:

    Holy Crow, Pablo lives in NC? I’m in Cary, next to Raleigh, small world.

  35. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    I still think it’s going to be TE at 19 not saying I love it just think it’s going to happen.

  36. Buc1987 Says:

    Chris…I lived in Raleigh for 6 years.

  37. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Speaking for Pablo

    “Pablo lives in Pasco County, a “Sanctuary” County”

  38. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    TBBF lived in Tampa from 64-78..,,where he became a Buc Fan for life…..

  39. SoCalBucFan Says:

    My un-educated draft

    1st Cook or McCaffrey or Melifonwu Best to trade down and get more picks.
    2nd DE Jordan Willis
    3rd RB Brian Hill or WR Godwin or Jones This pick depends on what position they pick in round 1.
    4th DT Larry Ogunjobi
    5th Center
    6th development DL or WR or S
    7th development LB

  40. SoCalBucFan Says:

    Development TE in play the final day of draft too.

  41. Pawel Says:

    Good catch Joe.

  42. Defense Rules Says:

    With one month to go until the draft, 3 things have become obvious:
    1 – None of us, not even the Joes, has the foggiest idea who Jason Licht will draft in the 1st rnd, much less the 2nd or 3rd rnds. For all I know, Jason Licht may not have any idea who he’s going to draft at this point.
    2 – The NFL really does need to either flip-flop FA & the draft or schedule the 2 of them much closer together. Having the draft so late is just bizarre.
    3 – I’m seeing so many JBF commenters write that they’re from out of state that I’m beginning to wonder if any Bucs fans live in Tampa any more.

  43. cmurda Says:

    @D Rules. Well,Licht might have ideas about who may be available which likely doesn’t include Dalvin Cook, but if a guy like Dalvin slips to 19 then Licht will pounce. If Cook is gone but McAff is there, I hope we grab. I want Dalvin but if that can’t happen, I still want a RB.

  44. Fred E. Buc Says:

    Makes sense…I’d definitely not want to see a WR as their #1 pick…think they need a Safety more than anything. So S at #1, WR at #2, maybe LB at #3 (maybe they’ll strike gold again). Developmental O line and D line at LG and DE.

  45. Pa Privateer Says:

    I have no problem with any of the receivers listed in the article. In fact I like the idea of taking one of these compared to taking one in the first round.

    This year is a very good defensive Draft. What is killing me inside is that I find myself wanting a WR, RB, TE and C in this draft when the BUCS could come away with some great defensive talent that can reap rewards for many years.

    Because of the above statements, I would like to trade down in the 1st Round and get a couple more picks in the 2-4 rounds.

  46. Fred E. Buc Says:

    So IF they were to draft Zay Jones, he looks like a guy to compete with Humphries in the slot as well as do kickoffs…which he’s done in college. He’s not the fastest guy but has good hands for away-from-body catches (perfect for developing Jameis) and has no issues running in traffic. So he’s not the speedster they’d use to replace D. Jax in a few years…but he’d be a weapon for sure.

  47. Fred E. Buc Says:

    And…can we please stay away from Cal. I never want to hear “Tedford” or any association again.

  48. SOEbuc Says:

    OMG!!!!!! I love Cooper Kupp soo much and have been prayng every day for the Bucs to pick him up. I’ve been afraid he will get picked up before we can get to him in the the third. His stock has been skyrocketing and could possibly go at the end of the second. Looks like a stalkier, white Corey Davis.

  49. Pepsi Says:

    it’s definitley possible that senior bowl practices and performances hold bigger weight to Licht then some other things. The two lineman I remember hearing great things from in the senior bowl practices was Ali Marpet and Donovan Smith. So him mentioning Zay Jones, and Jones being a senior bowl standout – could very well mean hes high on Licht’s wish list

  50. Joeypoppems Says:

    To add to your point Pepsi, Noah Spence was a senior bowl standout as well.

  51. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    I also like DE Harris at 19 🏈I just really belive the are sold on TE , but who knows? We need S,CB,and RB plus a center! We need a great draft plus we will have the undrafted players and the guys who get cut after the draft .Good ,exciting times ahead !!! GO BUCS

  52. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Noah is going to be a great player give him a frigging chance !

  53. Buc1987 Says:

    Scotty…Spence should be an animal. I think many of us tend to forget about Noah Spence as I rarely see his name mentioned on these boards. Not me. I know, depth and we need more on the DL. Sure. Just sayin. I like this kid.

  54. Buc1987 Says:

    lol Pablo….Pasco with it’s 2% mexican population it’s no wonder it’s a “sanctuary” county. We hardly see ye.

    Raleigh and Wake county on the other hand. That’s a mess.

  55. Eric Says:

    Guys this is insane. I live in Cary, I am always in Raleigh, I went to UNCW in Wilmington and have partied in Greenville all through college. Small world.

  56. Eric Says:

    Guys this is insane, I live in Cary, I am always in Raleigh, I went to UNCW, and partied in Greenville all through college. Small world.

    We should make a bucs triangle fan club.