Two “Safe” Plays For Jason Licht

April 28th, 2017

Safe zones

General manager Jason Licht talked about how “safe” players are prevalent in this draft.

Not every GM uses that word like Licht did. And now the question is whether Licht will stay “safe” in Rounds 2.

Tight end O.J. Howard was not just a “safe” pick, he was a no-brainer. If you think a prospect has Hall of Famer written all over him like the Bucs do with Howard, then you grab him, especially when your star quarterback is 23 years old.

(Short ecstasy pause. Mike Evans is 23. Jameis is 23. Howard turns 23 in November.)

Licht doesn’t have a history of playing it “safe” in Round 2. But it’s a different Licht this year, one coming off a 9-7 record with a very secure head coach and defensive coordinator. Licht really cannot go wrong with this next draft pick, as long as the guy performs.

So who is a “safe” pick that actually will be there at No. 50 overall, where the Bucs sit tonight?

Joe has to believe that is record-setting East Carolina receiver Zay Jones is that guy. Remember when Licht talked about Jones without being asked? That was damn telling.

The Bucs need a rookie receiver with superior hands who can stretch the field. That’s Jones.

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.

Joe loves receiver Chris Godwin from Penn State, but it’s almost unrealistic to believe he’s there at No. 50. There’s a much better shot for Jones, though after the run on receivers early last night — 3 in the top 9 overall picks! — the Bucs might have to trade up a little to get Jones.

On the defensive side of the ball, you can never have enough talented defensive linemen. Ever! Michigan’s Chris Wormley could be there at No. 50 for the Bucs. He’s 6-5, 298 pounds, athletic and considered a versatile threat/talent in the NFL.

The Bucs have an incredible incubator established for a talented rookie at defensive line, with guys like Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy, Clinton McDonald and Will Gholston around, plus workaholic second-year man Noah Spence and a hell of a D-line coach in Jay Hayes.

Joe could always stomach a live D-line beast added to the mix.

56 Responses to “Two “Safe” Plays For Jason Licht”

  1. MarcBucs88 Says:

    QUICK! Throw as many articles and ads between the banner and the article suggesting that Brate has become trade bate!

    Seriously, which Joe is responsible for writing that? Don’t let him operate a motor vehicle until he has sobered up.

  2. Joeypoppems Says:

    That run on WRs was crazy last night and could cause guys like Godwin and Zay to go earlier than expected, I agree with you there Joe.

    Imo, I think the Top 2 DBs that are left are safe. Chidobe Awuzie and Budda Baker.

  3. Gencoimports Says:

    Jones will be gone by the time the Bucs draft at 50

  4. tdtb2015 Says:

    So much talent. It doesn’t make sense to trade up.

    This is the draft to be patient.

    In Licht We Trust!!!

  5. @SarasotaJay Says:

    Great meeting one of the Joe’s last night at the epic draft party! Yes the three of them at 23 is pure ecstasy. I think we are in a great spot to get another great player tonight!

  6. Locked In Says:

    I would like to see DL or safety in 2, RB or WR at 3.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Jones is on my wish list, so I could live with him being the pick.

    Not Chris Wormley!

    I really don’t see how you cannot see the extreme need at Safety, Joe. Have you not even looked at the stats for Willis? He isn’t even as good as Conte! If we do not land our safety in the 2nd, our defense will take a major hit. It won’t be as good as last year without a lateral move or an upgrade to Safety.

    This time next year, you will be comparing McDougald to Bennett if we don’t fix this now.

    Worth a trade up to get Budda Baker, Obi Melifonwu or Marcus Williams.

  8. SCBucsFan Says:

    If you need a backup WR who can spot start save the pick and sign VJax if he’s OK with the role.

  9. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Failing that, Xavier Woods a little later.

  10. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    WR would be a backup role. That makes zero sense. We need a starter, Joe. Wake up and ease off the sauce.

  11. Joeypoppems Says:

    With them picking OJ last night, I can see them waiting on WR a little longer now. Unless another run on WR happens and they feel a guy they like wont be there the next time they pick

  12. Guzzie Says:

    Plenty of talented WRs all the way down this draft, for example KD Cannon, Artavis Scott, Robert Davis, Chad Williams, Mack Hollins, Shelton Gibson, Ishmael Zamora (Josh Gordon clone even some off field stuff), Dede Westbrook (Heisman finalist DJax clone 4.34 speed 6′ 178 off field concerns), these guys are 4th round and beyond type players, anyone of them are upgrades talent wise over Hump, but are allowed to be groomed for a couple of years behind our top 3

  13. Guzzie Says:

    Man if Budda Baker or Marcus Williams falls to 50 that’ll be awesome

  14. RedDevil Buc4Life Says:

    RB please! Mr. Licht

    Joe Mixon – 2016 Totals = 187 carries for 1274 yds and 10 TDs, 37 Rec for 538 yds and 5 TDs


    1.) Dalvin Cook FSU 2016 = 288 for 1765 (19 TD), Rec 33 for 488 yards (1 TD) injury concerns? Cook or Mixon for me is coin flip.

    2.) Samaje Perine OKLA 2016 = 196 for 1060 (12 TD), Rec 10 for 106 yards (1 TD), draft only in 3rd or later rounds in my opinion.

    3.) Alvin Kamara TEN 2016 = 103 for 596 (9 TD), Rec 40 for 392 yards (4 TD) off the field problems too, 3rd or later or no deal.

    4.) D’Onta Foreman TEX 2016 = 323 for 2028 (15 TD) ton of carries, not used in passing game?
    Big bruiser, 3rd or later or no deal.

    5.) Marlon Mack USF 2016 = 174 for 1187 (15 TD), Rec 28 for 227 yards, hometown kid, light weight, I would pass.

  15. Miko Says:

    Love Zay Jones but the defense needs some attention, namely SAFETY…Desmond King at 50!

  16. Gencoimports Says:

    I would rather draft defense in the second round but if it’s offense,
    RB/WR Curtis Samuel would be a great pick.

  17. Dreambig Says:

    We need more 2nd round picks! We have plenty of 3rd or 4th round talent at RB already (Sims, Quiz, Barber). Stud RB still high priority but I sure would love to have a safety or DE who can get to the QB. Too many needs, too few picks!

  18. Dreambig Says:

    Would love to have WR depth as well but we have bigger needs for the 2nd round pick.

  19. Issic Haggins Says:

    @ red devil , I concur

  20. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Mayock picked Cam Robinson, OT (Alabama) and that would be an intriguing pick if still available, although I would favor either WR, DE, or CB/S.

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    My Updated Wish List

    If Budda Baker, Obi Melifonwu, and Marcus Williams are all taken when we pick in the 2nd, then I can see waiting a little longer and getting Xavier Woods.

    The Bucs interviewed Budda Baker, Obi Melifonwu and Xavier Woods, so I would guess one of them is targeted.

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    2ND ROUND: 5.7 – 5.9
    • FS Budda Baker (5.9) *
    • S Obi Melifonwu (5.7) *
    • S Marcus Williams (5.8)
    • TE Adam Shaheen (5.8)
    • C Pat Elflein (5.8)
    • G Dorian Johnson 5.78 *
    • OG/C Dan Feeney (5.7)
    • WR Cooper Kupp (5.7)

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I guess TE Adam Shaheen could be removed, since we got Howard.

  24. Dusthty Rhothdes Says:

    Cam Robinson great pick, then mack or perrine and Caleb Brantley in round 3 and then sydney jones round 5-6

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    Agree with Bonzai … “We need a starter.” Safety I think is our biggest need right now, but DE isn’t far behind. Not a big fan of Budda Baker (too small for a safety, although he’d make a great nickel CB I bet). Obi has all the physical traits I like, but he’s raw I think and won’t help us much this year. Lots of other projected Rnd 2 safeties still available (Marcus Maye, Justin Evans, Marcus Williams) but seriously doubt any of them are starter material right now (based on what I’ve read at least). Quite a few DEs (and several DTs) still available who could help the Bucs as key rotational players, so that might be the way to go in Rnd 2. Oh ya, plus pick up a starting RB.

  26. R.O. Says:

    I think you’ll see a run of RBs in the 2nd. Dalvin Cook going to GB with the 33rd pick tonight.

  27. Guzzie Says:

    Hey Joe, where’s all the Dalvin Cook to the Bucs 50 stories, gonna be hilarious if he lasts to 50 and the Bucs pass on him, guess Boogers inside sources don’t know shyte, oh well, super stoked about Howard, after that 4.51, there real was no point even discussing him getting drafted at 19 he was expected long gone, starting to warm up to Jordan Willis, Derek Rivers, Tim Williams, Chris Wormley for that 50 pick

  28. USFBUC Says:

    Let’s just hope day two plays out similar to day one and there are multiple guys the Bucs like and need available. I believe it can happen. Also trade some picks please so we can stock up. Package up some second and third round picks to grab an extra pick this year.

  29. Guzzie Says:

    Don’t need a starting WR like Zay Jones, Juju, or Godwin, only guy I’d consider at 50 is Samuel because of his pure speed 4.31 and versatility, RB, WR and returner, this draft is deep at WR, RB and Safety, DE not so much

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Interesting note.

    The Bucs had interviewed or brought for a visit in 3 tight ends, Howard being one of them.

    They did the same with Running Back. 3 of them being Cook, Perine and Brian Hill.

    But the position they talked the most to players at?

    Defensive End/ OLB (DE in 4-3).

    They talked to five players…the most of any other position. Taco, Barnett, Watt are all taken.

    That leaves Jordan Willis (will go in round 2) and Bryan Cox (Might last until Round 5 if lucky).

  31. DB55 Says:

    Simeon Rice may be in this draft class and his name is Jordan Willis.

  32. Dave Says:

    I agree with DL but not sure about WR now
    DL or DB sure SEEMS like the way they’d go to me, but who really knows, I didn’t expect TE in rd 1.

  33. Casual Observer Says:

    Willis is a hope in round 2. Flexible role, apparently. Big 12 D player of the year.

  34. BigHogHaynes Says:


  35. Guzzie Says:

    I’d love Joe Mixon, but seeing how this draft is laid out, getting a talented DE or S makes more sense in the 2nd, so many talented RBs to be had round 3 and beyond

  36. Tampa Tony Says:


    Mack is bigger than Cook…

  37. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Would love Curtis Samuel! He can be our primary kick/punt returner, plus play the slot receiver, even take snaps as a change of pace back! Hell, he even ran some “wildcat” at Ohio State! He’s a real weapon, and very versatile!

  38. BUC55 Says:

    I agree with Zay Jones. My dream second round pick from the beginning. Or Budda Baker would be awesome!

  39. Buc'n Enough Says:

    Licht has done a great job with 2nd round picks…


  40. RedDevil Buc4Life Says:

    @Tampa Tony

    Yeah, that was a bad point on my part, but I was thinking in comparison to Mixon.

    Looking at teams in the market for RB:

    33. Green Bay
    41. Cinc
    42. Saints (maybe not now after signing AP)
    43. PHI
    46. Colts
    48. Min
    49. Was
    50. Bucs

    So, I think that Cook will be off the board by pick #50, possibly Mixon as well, but I’ll support whoever the team picks.

  41. Mr. Simmons Says:

    Mixon, Cook, baker or Jones please!

  42. America's QB Says:

    I want cook butbhebis gonna land in green bay or philly. We are gonna go safety 2nd round although am hoping to go d end rb or wr. We need depth at wr. It can’t be ignored. Dream never plays a full season.

  43. Eric Says:

    I’m going to be pissed if we get a receiver over a safety.

    Joe wrote an article about trading Brate…..


  44. Bucs Guy Says:

    I think you have to go DE in the 2nd. You may find one in the 3rd and very doubtful you find a good one after that. Go safety in 3 and RB in 4th (maybe trade up). I know that doesn’t get you a WR, but I believe you re-sign VJAX at a greatly reduced price for your #4.

    This covers all of your needs. Think about it — WR is a pick to fill a hole only if someone gets hurt. You can still try to find a WR, CB in rounds 5-7.

  45. Pa Privateer Says:

    I agree Bonzai. I use the same info and breakdown as you do with trying to project the Bucs direction in each round.

    Round 2: Safety, DE most likely, followed by WR
    Round 3: RB, WR most likely followed by OL

    I think Litch tries very hard to get 3 picks today if possible.

  46. biff barker Says:

    Some of you Cat’s need a Xanax the size of a hockey puck.


    Every single team has holes in the roster, one player or one draft for that matter, is going to bring you a Lombardi. Go BPA. Keep making sensible picks who can be future starters, then coach them well.

  47. Patrickbucs Says:

    Just like the Pats 2 TE sets, my god Joe’s. Now they are on their heels not on their toes as much. Makes our line and rb’s that much better. Has Bill ever drafted a Rb in round 1? His protege is doing well.

  48. JameisDungy Says:

    Booger said a team might trade up for Cook..


  49. BucsFanFromSaintsLand Says:

    JameisDungy Says:
    April 28th, 2017 at 11:31 am
    Booger said a team might trade up for Cook..


    Where did you hear/read that?

  50. unbelievable Says:

    Wouldn’t mind either of those WRs, but would also love Buddha Baker!

    Then target a running back in round 3 like Mack if Perrine, Foreman, or Cook don’t somehow fall that far (which I don’t think they will).

  51. briandorry55 Says:

    Zay Jones would be a great damn pick. I like him a lot better than Godwin, who had dominant games and games where he looked really underwhelming.

  52. Tampa Tony Says:

    Booger also said 99% sure Cook to Bucs lol

  53. NFLNut Says:

    We can easily get Godwin, Zay or Juju in the 2nd and then D’Onta, Perine, Mack or Hunt in the 3rd and spend a 4th on a safety like Fish Smithson …. or we could go with a top safety in the 2nd like Budda, Maye, Williams or even Obi and go RB in the 3rd and then grab the best WR on the board in the 4th … or we could go Cook/Kamara/Mixon in the 2nd and take the BWRA or BSA in the 3rd and 4th … whatever happens we should get some more high-quality players and at least 2 more game-changers imo …

  54. Stpetebucsfan Says:

    Yeah this kid looks good and I’m down with him but next I want our RB!!!

    It’s not just supply in the draft it’s also the demand as we saw last night when a meager supply of QB’s, none of whom is considered a day one starter but a guy in need of mentoring…ran up against the demand for franchise QB’s and it sure looked to me like a few GM’s in need of a QB may have lost it last night.

    It’s not just the best talent remaining that determines our pick…it’s the other teams needs as well. So Ladainlian Tomlinson…perhaps prejudiced because it’s his position…thinks this is going to be a big round for RB’s and was particularly high on Dalvin and Mixon. His reason? He ran down the teams and easily rattled off ten including us, who need a back. There aren’;t THAT many good RB’s on the board. This is going to be a tricky round unless we could get some obvious luck like we did in the first. If those other nine teams who need RB’s instead filled a defensive hole instead of RB…or if a couple more QB desperate teams snuck up even a couple of spots to take a QB that would help.

    But I’m nervous until we get a star RB. Sorry but watching USF last year I NEVER noticed Marlon Mack because ONE player on that team just sucked up the attention…Quinton Flowers looked like the proverbial man against boys when USF played weak competition…he simply looked like a baller against good competition. I’m actually looking forward to watching some USF games this year just to keep up with Flowers. I’m not a Bull but that kid is EXCITING.

    I would be happy even with a trade up if we got Dalvin, Mixon, Foreman…Kamara and Perine would not have me jumping up and down but they may be workable solutions.

  55. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    DB55, I agree about Willis. I’d be thrilled to get that guy.

  56. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    I’d love Zay, but we need depth at WR, not a replacement for Jackson this year. I could see a WR in round 4 or 5, but if they picked Jones I’d be going crazy with excitement! Greatest show on grass!