“You Can’t Draft For Need; You Draft For Need You Get Fired”

April 23rd, 2019

Bruce Arians speaks

Bucco Bruce Arians put his foot down this afternoon at One Buc Palace after addressing media for the first time in about four weeks.

Sage JoeBucsFan.com columnist Ira Kaufman asked Arians about the team’s preparation for the NFL Draft; Arians replied he and Jason Licht were ready a few weeks ago.

And then Ira asked Arians if he’s a draft-for-need guy. Luckily, Arians wasn’t sipping his water bottle at the time. It seemed like Arians would have choked on it.

“You can’t draft for need; you draft for need, you get fired,” Arians said cutting Ira off. “You draft the best players. If you got two of them, now you’ve got three of them. Just take the best players that are available for you. Now if you’ve got four players right there together and one of them is a need, that’s the home run.”

Interesting. Did Licht draft the best player available over the last few years in the NFL Draft? Does Licht believe in that philosophy?

Was Justin Evans drafted within that mindset? M.J. Stewart? Vita Vea?

35 Responses to ““You Can’t Draft For Need; You Draft For Need You Get Fired””

  1. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Am I wrong to think that the last guy we had that drafted with that philosophy was Rich McKay?

    Worked pretty good for him.

  2. Jr Allen Says:

    That being said if White is the best player on the “BUCS” board that’s who we’re rolling with. LETS GO. Go get the damn best player. agree 100%

  3. GhostofSchiano Says:

    Most of the mock drafts I have seen have the best player available for the # 5 spot is White and Oliver. Can’t wait for the next 48 hours to be over so we will actually know something by then.

  4. Larry Says:

    Let’s hope the 2019 draft is more fruitful than some of Licht’s other drafts. No one is guaranteed to make it in the NFL but I don’t believe Licht’s draft picks and certainly NOT his free agent picks have been anything to write home about. Arians draft’s in Arizona were not either. So let’s hope for the best!

  5. AlteredEgo Say: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    If you draft the BPA well then you don’t draft down… unless you try to get cute and trade down with some BS explanation, the draft has blown up in Jason’s face in recent years. He could have had Fitzpatrick and James last year if he played his hand differently

  6. Kalind Says:

    Let’s hope that strikes White off…I can’t shake the feeling he’d bust in Tampa.

  7. Billy_43 Says:

    White bust LMAO
    That’s probably literally impossible save him breaking his neck or some other God awful mishap.

  8. Loyaltotheend Section 312 Says:

    Arians has gotta be laughing at Lichts last few drafts then

  9. pick6 Says:

    you also can’t draft while ignoring need. that is how you end up with unbalanced rosters that have massive holes at some position groups (like DE) while other position groups are so loaded you are walking away from multiple starters (like WR)

  10. WhatTheBuc Says:

    The people on here that think Licht drafts poorly are wrong. I agree that Licht has some bad picks but he hits at a much higher rate than most GMs. If you haven’t looked back at other team’s past drafts, you’re not qualified to evaluate a GM. Licht is poor in free agency but not the draft. Many JBFers point to the second round misses but fail to realize that 50% of 2nd round picks don’t live up to their draft position. This is across the league. Ali Marpet, Donovan Smith, ASJ, Davis, Evans are all starting caliber 2nd round picks. Licht also consistantly finds starters in late round picks and UDFA. I don’t know what you’re looking for.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    Sorry, not buying it Bruce. What if the BPA this year was a QB? Would you draft him to replace Jameis? And Jason, was VHIII the BPA when you drafted him? Same with Vea (who I really like BTW). Was he the BPA last year when you picked? (Hint: a lot of people didn’t seem to think either of them were BPAs).

    Every team has NEEDS based on the TEAM they’re trying to build towards. Some of those NEEDS are already filled with decent players, some need to be filled via FA and the draft. The Bucs NEED a MLB, RG, RB & more-than-likely a DT to replace GMC. If the BPA at #5 is a RB (say Jacobs), I’d bet the Bucs wouldn’t pick him because other NEEDS would most likely be rated higher in the priority list. ALWAYS picking BPA is nice & catchy, but NEEDS and PRIORITIES also play into the drafting equation when it comes to TEAM-BUILDING.

  12. SB Says:

    Billy_43 Says:
    April 23rd, 2019 at 6:26 pm
    White bust LMAO
    That’s probably literally impossible save him breaking his neck or some other God awful mishap.

    Unless he can re-learn how to tackle it is Very possible. Arm tackling doesn’t work in the NFL. I am not saying that he is incapable of it but he needs to improve tackling.

  13. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    You draft the best player available that also fills a need…..

    All these teams (last year good example)……moving up to pick a QB…..why, they needed a QB….and they chose the best QB available to them.

  14. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Here is the Patriots 2016 draft. 3 years later Thuney and Kerras are the only good picks. Everyone else is gone I believe. I selected this at random because everyone tends to agree that the Pats draft well.

    Cyrus Jones
    Joe Thuney, G, No. 78 Overall. …
    Vincent Valentine, DT, No. 96 Overall. …
    Malcolm Mitchell, WR, No. 113 Overall. …
    Elandon Roberts, LB, No. 214 Overall.
    Johnathan Jones
    Ted Kerras

  15. Not there yet Says:

    MJ Stewart over Donte Jackson tells you licht has never drafted best player available. Maybe there is hope for us this draft after all

  16. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Steelers 2016 draft. Steelers generally draft well. Burns is ok but considered a bust by their fans. Davis is pretty good. Hargrave is pretty good. Hawkins and Feeney have 2 total appearances between them. Matakavich was a steal and played almost every game since the draft. That’s still only 3 out of 7 picks that are quality starters 50% if you count burns. This is an above average draft

    1 Artie Burns
    2 Sean Davis
    3 Javon Hargrave
    4 Jerald Hawkins
    6 Travis Feeney
    7 Demarcus Ayers
    7. Tyler Matakevich

  17. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Not there yet, Do you understand what the best player available strategy means? It doesn’t me that you are always correct in judging who is the best player. It means that a team selects the player that is rated highest on their board regardless of position or need. Taking Stewart over Jackson is a missevaluation and has nothing to do with strategy. I’d also point out that it’s too early to say for sure who will have a better career but Jackson looks good.

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    @TBBF … “You draft the best player available that also fills a need.” Thank you TBBF. Far too many spew the ‘Always draft BPA Regardless of Position or Need’ philosophy, but that has to be tempered with your vision of TEAM-BUILDING. Other than that, we’d end up with an awesome team of WRs & TEs but have a crappy defense. Oh wait … been there, done that. And we know how that’s worked out.

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    Kalind … Devin White has a lot going for him, especially in the LEADERSHIP area (something the Bucs desperately need BTW). Besides, anyone who loves horses will always be OK in my book (horses can sense good people even better than dogs can IMO). Check out this ESPN video clip of White & his SEVEN horses (nice gig if you can get it) … http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=25165620.

  20. rrsrq Says:

    Taking Stewart over Carlton Davis was a head scratcher

  21. Eric Says:

    Coach speak.

    If you got Anthony Munoz you don’t draft a left tackle, even if he’s the best player. The chiefs aren’t taking a QB this year even if he is the best player on the board. Etc. Etc. Etc.

    It’s one of those things everyone sez, no one does.

    A close cousin to “all jobs are open competition”


  22. Tom S. Says:

    Nice of WhatTheBuc to cherry pick a Patriots Draft where their top pick was number 60 overall. Yeah guy, that’s exactly the same as the Bucs who started with a top 10 pick in every round that year and turned a trade down into 11, 39 and 59 – literally 3 selections before the Patriots drafted once. So sure that should totally worth comparing. I also like to compare my income to people that live in Somalia too, makes me feel good knowing I can screw up and even minimum wage does better than the majority of them.

    Common sense is a misnomer.

  23. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Man Tom, work on your reading comprehension. I posted 2 drafts. Both were 2016 because 3 season is the accepted evaluation period. I never compared it to our draft. I selected 2 teams that are highly regarded without any prejudice. Tom, I see you’re just learning to read but look at the picks on their own. Regardless of who other teams picked. The point is that most draft pick in all drafts don’t pan out. The point is that Licht’s ability to find players in all rounds of the draft is on par with or superior to other GMs.

  24. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Here Tom, since you seem to be having a hard time, I’ll post the Pats 2015 draft. Pay attention to the number of players that didn’t pan out. This isn’t being compared to any one else. Brown is pretty good. Richards was awful. Geissom awful. Trey Flowers very good. Jackson awful. Mason good to very good, Cardona is a long snapper, all 4 6-7 round picks were garbage. That’s 3-4 good players out of 11
    Round 1: DT Malcom Brown, Texas
    Round 2: SS Jordan Richards, Stanford
    Round 3: DE Geneo Grissom, Oklahoma
    Round 4: DE Trey Flowers, Arkansas
    Round 4: OG Tre’ Jackson, Florida State
    Round 4: OG Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech
    Round 5: LS Joe Cardona, Navy
    Round 6: LB Matthew Wells, Miss. St
    Round 6: TE A.J. Derby, Arkansas
    Round 7: CB Darryl Roberts, Marshall
    Round 7: LB Xzavier Dickson, Alabama

  25. Jonathan Limpchimpi Says:

    Licht Weight drafts to be clever typically. And can’t seem to get fired despite a solid effort to do so.

  26. Tom S. Says:

    Hey you know who owned the pick that was used to select Trey Flowers WhatTheBuc? The Bucs. Licht traded the Flowers pick to Belichick for 2 years of Logan Mankins. Who won the trade WhatTheBuc?

    But your selecting of playoff teams who are selecting in the back of each round vs a GM in Licht that started with 5 top 10 picks in 6 years got me thinking. Did you think for a second that maybe Licht should be drafting better players than most teams purely on the basis of starting with a premium top 10 pick almost every year vs a team like the Patriots or Steelers who commonly pick at the end of the round? If anything it further dings his reputation to know what he’s starting with as his return should be noticeably greater than average. If a team isn’t making the best of “earning” a top pick each year what else is there to fall back on? Definitely not free agent success.

  27. chief K Says:

    We all know the problem, it seems like Bruce is gonna help out his buddy and “teach” him how to draft players. Like a team that wants to win, not like a kid playing fantasy draft. Fans deserve better.


  28. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    What if DK Metcalf is the best player on the board? The guy is being compared to Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, etc. Does any sane fan really believe the Bucs would take a WR at #5? With Evans and Godwin already on the roster? With WR being one of the strongest position groups on team?

    Or how about Kyler Murray? Or Dwayne Haskins? Do you really think the Bucs would pick the best player on their board while ignoring need completely?

    Give me a friggin’ break already. Everyone knows need plays a role in the draft for every team in the NFL. For some teams it’s less of a role, for others it’s almost 100% of the decision, but nonetheless EVERY team considers need with EVERY draft pick to some extent.

    Taking us for fools. What a load of horsesh-t.

  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    It’s best player available in a position of need.

    Arians doesn’t exactly have a good draft history. Perhaps his perceptions of the best available are off kilter?

  30. WhatTheBuc Says:

    Tom, you are a special kind of special. Get over the team and draft position. I wrote multiple times that I’m not comparing it to anyone else. Pull up the draft for any team. In 3 years most players will have failed in most draft classes. You are obviously one of the people that think Licht does a poor job because not all of his picks are hits. The problem is you are ignorant and aren’t basing expectations in reality. The only recent draft class that hit on most picks was the Saints 2017.

  31. Hodad Says:

    You don’t lead the SEC in tackles, and bust.

  32. Buccernutter Says:

    Whatthebuc is actually very right. Most drafts have 1 great starter if that, 2-3 capable starters and most end up busts. Licht has done very well in comparison to other general managers but our fan base is full of casual fans with casual opinions. People will focus on who we didn’t get and call it a bust. Derwin James was possibly the best pick in the first round. Potentially every other pick could be worse and vea could still be great but they’ll focus on perfection.

    Bust rate in round 2 is like 60%. It’s much worse as it goes on. If people are complaining about which drafts you pulled whatthebuc, then I challenge them to find 5 drafts in last 3 years with 5 average or better players and 3 of which are great. U won’t.

  33. danr Says:

    Light certainly did BPA with OJ Howard.

  34. Dapostman Says:

    If DK Metcalf at #5 is the best player on the board you take him. The thing is this is a loaded defensive draft and he’s not. If it was a weak defensive draft then I’d take the next Mike Evans who was a #7 pick. It’s really not that hard. You can fill needs in FA. Core players should be the best on your team.

  35. Bucco Bruce Says:

    Weird he drafted need and not best available player. So is it him or Licht fired at the end of this year. I know who I am hoping for. Bye bye Jason and hello someone finally worth a damn to GM this team into the future.