Licht: Safeties “A Good Group”

April 21st, 2017


More than a couple of folks out there believe Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht should draft a safety in the first round.

Joe can only assume the majority who feel this way are consumed by ConteHate.

Fan favorite Chris Conte returns, and if he is the same player he was late in the season before he got hurt, he’s no slouch. The Bucs seem to think the Keith Tandy that replaced Conte after his injury is the real Tandy, not the Tandy who was awful earlier in the year and got clowned by Tavon Austin on a gut-wrenching gift of a touchdown.

And, yes, the Bucs signed free agent J.J. Wilcox, presumably not to sit the pine.

During Licht’s pre-draft address Monday, he seemed to suggest the Bucs actually improved at safety.

“We feel better about it and that’s another position just like all positions, I hate to sound vanilla here, but we’re going to continually look to upgrade whether it’s a starter or depth,” Licht said. “We have a lot of places where we can do that, a lot of holes that we can fill. We could be coming off of a Super Bowl championship and we’d probably be saying the same thing.

“But, that’s one position that we’ll continually look for depth or for starters. We’ve got a good group right now that we feel a combination of; Keith [Tandy], J.J. [Wilcox], Chris [Conte] … so, two guys are going to shake out as starters and competition is great. So, if we can add to that competition, it would be even better.”

Joe isn’t saying Licht won’t draft a safety, but does the quote above seem to indicate Licht would draft a safety at No. 19? Not to Joe it doesn’t.

Especially when this team needs a running back, needs an edge rusher (still!) and needs wide receiver depth, perhaps a second round pick to take over when DeSean Jackson leaves. The name “Chris Godwin” springs to mind.

65 Responses to “Licht: Safeties “A Good Group””

  1. Miko Says:

    Disagree…we have 4 capable, starter quality DE’s…a starting SS and/or FS is the biggest need…must add RB and WR for sure…if Peppers or Adams fall to #19, it’s a no brainer pick…

  2. Joeypoppems Says:

    The same argument against drafting a RB in the 1st this year could be made about the Safety position.

    It is a deep Safety class this year and Safety is also an undervalued position, like RB.

    A Safety and RB need to be drafted. However, due to the depth if the class, we can find starters at those positions in the round 2-4 range. Doesn’t need to be a 1st round pick.

  3. Joeypoppems Says:

    Josh Jones from NC State is a name Ive seen mocked to us in Round 2 a lot lately. I know nothing about him to form an opinion, but it could be a name to keep an eye on.

  4. Eric Denman Says:

    Budda Baker would fit in nice in this secondary..

  5. tnew Says:

    x2 for your first take Joey…

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs need a starting-caliber Free Safety as badly as they need a starting RB or a WR to replace Desean in a couple of yrs. Plenty of quality RBs available in this draft and no urgency on WR unless Davis falls to us at #19. However, doubt that any of the top 3 Safeties (Hooker, Adams or Peppers) will still be on the board when we pick at #19. Not sure Budda Baker is a 1st rnd pick.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Joe, Chris Conte is not the problem.

    JJ Wilcox is.

    Licht signed him to replace a player who was nearly twice as good stat-wise. It doesn’t make sense if he is trying to make the team better. Wilcox is more than likely intended as depth. If Licht intended otherwise, then it is a huge mistake on his part, and I just don’t buy that.

    So Safety has to be a target in or after the draft. First round? Probably not. Second round? VERY likely.

  8. gotbbucs Says:

    The fact that they don’t know which of those three will be a starter tells you all you need to know.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I do agree with Miko that Safety is our biggest need, but I don’t think the two great ones will fall to us in round 1 and I DO NOT want to trade up.

    But there are 3 that are 2nd round worthy…very good ones. Round 2 is the sweet spot. After that, the talent level drops off for the most part.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I think the first pick will be either TE or DE.

    Finally finished my wish list. It evolved this year as I got more indepth in regard to how I chose the players, including some influences by the Bucs themselves. The list is a little longer than expected, but its a good draft (unless you need a starting QB).

  11. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    RB in round 3.

  12. 1Gr8Buc Says:


    How can you skip over where he says they will continue to upgrade that position per depth or starters? He says it twice but the only thing you take from it is we have a good group? Do you think he will publicly bash the group? I just think you are terribly wrong about our safety position.

  13. Tampa Tony Says:

    Didn’t Licht say that about the WR’s last year?

  14. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Yeah, the ‘or starters’ part stood out for my too.

    Wilcox was a smoke screen.

    But I still think Joe is right. Unless either S Malik Hooker or S Jamal Adams falls to us, we wait until round 2.

  15. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I’ve said it before, and take it to the bank: Bucs draft a DE at #19 and a RB with their 3rd rd pick. That is my rock solid prediction. (Not sure about our 2nd rd pick…).

    Sorry NOS-BOS, no Dalvin. Almost all of the RBs the Bucs have given intensive looks at are mid-round picks. Also, lots of love for DL that might be available at #19 – not too hard to predict where they are going. I have to admit, as much as I would like a DE at #19, I would be very excited to see Dalvin in pewter.

  16. Jim Says:

    You don’t need freak athletes at safety if you have a pass rush.

  17. Gencoimports Says:

    Just don’t draft a safety in the first round please.

  18. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    Joe, if Licht were at the podium saying we have two capable QBs who can throw spirals and we are going to let them compete to see who emerges as the starter would you say the same thing about that position? I remember that same conversation going on when we Leftwich and McCown and everyone knew that meant we had sh1t QBs on the roster.

  19. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    If I had to guess, it should play out like this:

    Rd 1 DE or TE
    Rd 2 S or CB
    Rd 3 RB or S
    Rd 4 RT or C
    Rd 5 DE (if not taken), RB (if not taken)
    Rd 6 OT or C (if not taken)
    Rd 7 QB or S (if not taken)

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    And no, I did not include WR. I did that on purpose. Jameis worked out with the WRs that will make the final roster in Houston (plus Humphries). Those are the ones he’s bonding with.

  21. DPewter Says:

    I like your setup Buccaneer Bonzai, but I wouldn’t mind if we ended up with John Ross or David Corey.

  22. broy34 Says:

    they also said “were happy with the guys we got” at running back and now perine says tampa showered him with love…SMOKE.SCREEN however….this is more believable than when it was said about running backs…if they produce a more consistent pass rush the secondary will be better that is obvious…still want peppers round 1 and godwin 2 perine 3

  23. DPewter Says:

    OJ Howard or David Njoku. If those TEs are gone go for John Ross or David Corey. If all four are gone just pick the best available player.

  24. DPewter Says:

    Perine is almost a must draft, I can see the Bucs trading up in the 3rd to acquire him.

    He can be our powerback/full back. Like a less round Tolbert is for Carolina

  25. Pa Privateer Says:

    Tedric Thompson, Colorado, in the 7th round
    Williams, Utah in the 4th round

  26. Pa Privateer Says:

    ^^^^not both, just suggestions

  27. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    Uh who the FKUC is David Corey?

  28. USFBUC Says:

    I agree that if one of the top safeties were to somehow fall to us that it should be a no brainer to pick them above all other options in the first round. I am sure if Grimes and Hargreaves felt more confident in the safeties behind them they would gamble a bit more and potentially come up with more interceptions and pass breakups.

  29. USFBUC Says:

    Bonzai – I don’t see any WRs in your suggested draft, we still need to improve that depth.

  30. broy34 Says:

    I think this sadly misinformed poster means corey davis…btw if he is available and taken at 19 this team is guaranteed for playoffs….davis 1 budda/obi 2 perine 3 is my absolute dream scenario

  31. Pickgrin Says:

    Budda Baker please!

    1. Corey Davis
    2 Budda Baker (trade up)
    3. Hunt/Perine/Mack

    Better yet:

    1. Budda Baker (trade down)
    2. Adore Jackson (trade up)
    3. Hunt/Perine/Mack
    3. Josh Reynolds

  32. broy34 Says:

    wow pickgrin within 30 seconds we posted the same thing…always was a fan of your posts

  33. USFBUC Says:

    I see your other post, I guess it makes sense, but I don’t like it. I think we need to at least draft one WR this year.

  34. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Smoke screen!!!!!!

  35. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    Pickgrin – if the draft plays out that way I would lose my damn mind. That would be absolutely amazing! Body slams and atomic elbows will be in store for any opposingvteams fans I see if that happens.

  36. webster Says:

    Any one who thinks wont draft a safety in the first round is fooling themselves. There is not one safety on this current roster is a long term solution and the bucs know it. Look how much better atlanta’s defense played with the rookie neal at safety. Look at earl thomas, eric berry, landon collins, clinton dicks, harrison smith etc. Yes, safety is a big need so dont be suprised if the bucs draft one in the first round.

  37. Pickgrin Says:

    Yea – I saw that Broy. Great minds think alike.

    IMO – Budda Baker is gonna be a badass safety in the NFL. I would lay $ he’s gonna be a top 10 safety in short order.

    1Gr8 – if we could pull off the 2nd scenario it would be amazing. Baker and Adore Jackson (along w/ VH3 last year) shores up our back end on defense for years to come and also solves our returner problem. And Hunt/Perine/Mack along with Josh Reynolds for the next 2 picks (and BPA TE in 4th/5th rd) gives the needed weapons for Winston.

    Next year? Heavy on DL, plug an OLine hole or 2 and LB.

    If Licht plays his cards right and drafts well as expected – we should have 0 major holes left to fill after the next 2 drafts

  38. mike10 Says:

    Ya he’s not drafting a safety… God help us..

  39. broy34 Says:

    honestly pick- we don’t have holes now except depending on sweezy a o line spot…I look at a hole as a position of liability…the d line is fine…we have 3 solid d tackles 2 legit d ends and 2 solid d ends…our linebackers considering in 2017 are just fine…bond is the third linebacker imo…safety- I think tandy is better than people think and conte played his ass off second half of the year..Wilcox solid too. offense- one hole and that’s running back…with center being owned by marpet the o line is fine. have a franchise quarterback 3 good receivers, an offensive line with potential, an elite pass catching tight end. that in my opinion leaves running back as the only true HOLE. I honestly believe (and I can admit I don’t know the depth of other rosters like this one) that the second half of the season is who we are and not the first half of it. as soon as we developed in the defensive scheme we were fine. we had zero weapons outside of evans and he was being double and tripled which single handedly cost us games. fill in running back, grab a safety and a receiver and we r ready to cruise. I think our lines have great depth. a sleeper hole is cornerback tho. I would love to see us snag a running back, safety, wideout corner and have no doubt they will all be addressed

  40. gotbbucs Says:

    PA…Tedric Thompson is a deep sleeper for me too. I like him alot, he didn’t run well in testing but he is a ball hawk. Much like Fish Smithson from Kansas.

  41. rayjay1122 Says:

    So glad smoke screen season is almost done.

  42. Pickgrin Says:

    broy – Center and RT were both quite problematic up front last year. If Sweezy is healthy and Marpet makes a good transition to Center then we are fine in the middle – but RT IS a problem. Dot needs to be riding the bench. He’s a solid back up but not so much as a starter. I have high hopes for Benenoch but that’s all it is at this point – hope. We shall see. They like Wester too – but he was a UDFA so obviously doesn’t have the innate intangibles and athleticism that a higher draft pick would.

  43. Pickgrin Says:

    and yes they like Bond apparently – but he was out all last year and got 0 real game experience. Expecting a 6th round pick with no NFL snaps under his belt to step in and play a starting role at LB is a bit of a stretch at best…

  44. USFBUC Says:

    1, 2, 3 – Some combination of FS, WR, TE, CB, RB, DT, DE with a trade back for an extra second and third.
    1 – FS Budda Baker
    2 – WR Chris Godwin
    2 – RB Joe Mixon
    3 – TE Adam Shaheen
    3 – CB Sidney Jones
    4 – OG Nico Siragusa
    5 – OT Julien Davenport
    6 – OLB Hardy Nickerson
    7 – WR Robert Davis

  45. Pickgrin Says:

    Our current “holes” as I see them based on what we saw last year and the FA additions are:

    RB, C, RT, Safety, SLB, WR depth, CB depth, DL depth

    We are soooo much better off now than when Licht stepped into the building – but there is certainly more work to be done if we want to be legitimate contenders year in and year out.

    Ayers, Grimes and DJax are all solid starters at their positions – but father time is gonna necessitate replacing all of them with just as solid or better young players within 1-2 years. Our DTs are starting to get up there in age as well.

  46. 1Gr8Buc Says:

    IDK me personally, I like the first scenario you provided. If I was a defensive coordinator and had to gameplan against Evans, Jackson, Brate, Davis, Perine/Mack, Humphries, and Sims I would throw my hands in the air and hope for the best.

    You stack up against a power back like Perine you will get blown away by our WRs and TE. you go into a nickle or Dime package Perine will power his way to a 4+ ypc average.

    I agree with the thoughts for next year. DL, CB, and OL. Depending on how Bond plays this year there is a LB coming out of Arizona next year who is an absolute beast. I would do ANYTHING to get that kid on this defense. Name is DJ Calhoun.

  47. Pickgrin Says:

    USF – its not possible to get an extra 2nd and 3rd rd picks just for a trade back from 19.

    Just as an example – KC at 27 seems like one of the more likely partners to trade down with.

    #19 pick = 875 value points
    #27 pick = 680 value points

    875 – 680 = 195

    KCs 3rd (136 value points) and 4th (49 value points) round picks would likely get it done.

  48. Pickgrin Says:

    1Gr8 – it would be a pretty easy decision to draft Davis at 19 IMO assuming Howard, Cook and the 2 top safties are off the board. I kind of doubt Davis will be there at 19 is the thing. I would definitely want Davis over Williams if we were going WR in the 1st round. CMac MIGHT be an option at 19.

    The reason I would prefer a trade back is the depth of this draft with good potential for finding starters into the 4th round. And the strengths of this deep draft – RB, Safety, TE do line up pretty well with our “needs”. The difference in talent between pick #35 and #100 is much less than it is most years. Trade downs may well be very tough to pull off this year for that reason though

    If our 1st 4 picks – wherever they occur – wind up being RB, Safety, WR and TE in whatever order – this team WILL improve.

  49. Bradinator Says:

    For Safety we draft in either the 7th or UDFA, the pick has to be Weston Steelhammer from AFA. C’mon! Coolest name in the draft. I’d buy a jersey that has “Steelhammer” on the back. Wouldn’t you?!

  50. USFBUC Says:

    Pick – I saw a writer the other day that I think suggested it would take a second and third for that move, I could be wrong though. There is always the possibility of a second trade back though too. Even adding a fourth rounder in this draft though would probably net us a decent player.

  51. USFBUC Says:

    I’m also thinking Licht sticks to his patterns and he has averaged like three moves per year for draft picks and so far he hasn’t made any so I am thinking there will be two moves by Licht in the draft.

  52. Call Me W Says:

    Adams ain’t dropping to us, but if him, hooker, or even budda are there o think we hit a Homerun! Good news is as long as we take BTA for one of our positional needs I think we will be a better team if that player pans out.. but infortuantly it’s most likely not Adams, dudes a freak!

  53. Brandon Says:

    Why all the love for Godwin, Joes? The Bus have visited him more than any other player (according to in the draft other than Ohio St. WR?RB Curtis Samuel, whom you’ve never mentioned. Watch some tape on this guy…. who better to take over for DeSean than another guy that has flames shooting from his feet in Samuel? And in the meantime… Samuel would be a pretty darn good slot receiver in the Harvin/Tyreek Hill mold plus he is a return guy… those qualities to me put Samuel above Godwin, who never played to his 4.42 Combine speed… but Samuel certainly played to his 4.31 speed.

  54. JimmyJack Says:

    If safety is not on their radar and if they are not ready to pull the trigger In the first round for a player they feel can be a top tier and feared player at that position then they are making a mistake.

  55. Stpetebucsfan Says:


    Agree with you completely…whatever you believe about draft RB’s in the first this year should apply to safeties for exactly the same reasons….lots of them and the league doesn’t value safeties that much.

    I tried to think of game changing Safeties like Polomalou…Ed Reed and others but outside of that occasional giant hit or int they don’t really seem to get the same opportunities as RB’s who touch the ball so much more and are a focus of an offense.

    I get the folks who have “shibboleths”…BPA only…no RB’s in the first round…I can support them to a degree but my major take is this…if it’s a generational player…position becomes irrelevant…he’s not just the BPA he’s a freaking generational player you gotta take him…even if he’s and RB or safety.

    I happend to think that Fournette and Cook are generational players…McCaffery maybe…I don’t see enough West Coast football to make an informed opinion.

    But I’m also with you on just how far I might move for a “generational player”.
    I’m pretty conservative about trading up unless Licht is 100% ABSOLUTELY certain it’s a can’t miss game changer.

  56. Kalind Says:

    Agreed Joe, but look at Obi…that kind of athleticism doesn’t come around every year…

  57. Chris Says:

    A 6’4 200 pound safety/corner, 4.4 , 41 inch vertical. No longer have to see Julio and Coopers of the world torching our slow, small secondary. We have one proven cb, whos getting up there in age.

  58. Chris Says:

    Obi Won Kenobi please

  59. Chris Says:

    Joes from the land of 1970s big ten, where 40 times doesn’t matter, athletic ability doesnt matter.

  60. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Post of the day! This what I’m talking bout! Let’s go BUCS!!!!!!!!
    1Gr8Buc Says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 9:59 am
    Pickgrin – if the draft plays out that way I would lose my damn mind. That would be absolutely amazing! Body slams and atomic elbows will be in store for any opposingvteams fans I see if that happens.

  61. WhatdaBUCisthis Says:

    Post of the day! This what I’m talking bout! Let’s go BUCS!!!!!!!!
    1Gr8Buc Says:
    April 21st, 2017 at 9:59 am
    Pickgrin – if the draft plays out that way I would lose my damn mind. That would be absolutely amazing! Body slams and atomic elbows will be in store for any opposing teams fans I see if that happens.

  62. Capt.Tim Says:

    I believe it is, and was always going to be
    1) DE
    It’s been a glaring need fir YEARS now

    “We have 4 Capable, starter quality Defensive ends . .”
    Whew!! Thats a relief!
    When will they be arriving?

    Cause right now we got
    Gholsten- no pass rush ability
    Jac Smith- always hurt. Always
    Noah Spence- meybe! Rookie, coming off an injury. And really a LB. hes small
    Ayers.- love the Guy. But hes 32, starting to get long in the tooth. And he is small,also

    If thats your answer, Then Im not sure you understand the Question

  63. SOE buc Says:

    I’m no one for moving up in the first and I know we’re not going to, but Hooker,VH3, and Adje berima and possibly Ryan Smith could be the beginning of a young dominant secondary. There’s lots of other good safeties out there but Hooker would be a dream for the position that we need most (its not RB).

  64. Bucsalltheway Says:

    Ryan smith gets installed at safety as well don’t forget that. So number 1 pick will be (rb,te,or bpa)

  65. DB55 Says:

    Didn’t we draft a safety in the 4th just last yr?

    Wilcox is worse than Conte if that’s even possible. Simply put the Bucs fo looked at the safety position and said “mcdougle is the problem here”. Smh.

    They should have made a play at Eric Berry.