Bruce Arians Reveals Buccaneers’ 2019 Draft Strategy

June 22nd, 2019

For months and months, fans of all NFL teams try to figure out what their team’s draft strategy will be.

Sometimes, those same fans keep trying to figure it out even after the actual draft.

The Bucs had a draft like that in 2019. Nobody predicted the team selecting three defensive backs in Rounds 2 and Rounds 3.

Head coach Bucco Bruce Arians himself pulled back the draft war room curtain a bit recently on the Ira Kaufman Podcast. Joe asked Arians to explain how involved he was with scouting cornerbacks.

The coach explained it was a targeted strategy all along.

“I knew we wanted to get into that [cornerbacks] market,” Arians explained. “So I got heavily involved as far as looking at corners. I don’t usually look at a lot of corners. But I knew that this was something, the first pick [of Round 1] was going to be one of two people. And then it’s going to be corners. So Sean [Murphy-Bunting], I fell in love with Sean right away. He had the length, the speed, and then when I met him, how smart he was, how mature of a guy he is. And also played nickel, so his position flexibility playing man-to-man with his length was off the charts right off the bat.

“Jamel, you know, he played the whole year with a broken hand and a big cast on his hand and he’s playing bump and run, so I know he’s got heart, you know.” Arians said. “And whether or not he could catch I didn’t know until we got that cast off. But two guys that we said their length was unbelievable.

“You know, when I think of corners, it’s not always speed. Because of the toughest guys, and we’ll see him in the first game, is Richard Sherman. Richard is very smart but he has lengths. You gotta throw the ball perfect to get it over their arms when you’re throwing fades or back shoulders. It’s different when you got a 5-10 corner and you can pick on him a little bit. But those tall long guys are tough to pick on.”

Very telling take there. And who was the other guy not named Devin White under consideration at No. 5 overall. Quinnen Williams? Kyler Murray?

For those wondering, Vernon Hargreaves measured 5-10 at the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine. Joe wonders whether Arians wonders why Jason Licht drafted Hargreaves at No. 11 overall.

38 Responses to “Bruce Arians Reveals Buccaneers’ 2019 Draft Strategy”

  1. Bird Says:

    I thought it was Quinen Williams and Devin white. Quinen first. Devin second
    Cause bosa had zero chance on making out if top 3

  2. JimmyJack Says:

    Team building stragety is more intriguing to me. This is more scouting stragety but still cool stuff.

    I have thought a good deal about what their stragety was & I think something that kinda goes unnoticed is that most of their picks from Round 2 on are guys that they are probably expecting to help our Special Teams if it’s needed. This adds a good deal of value to a player……It’s almost like getting 2 players with one pick. 1defender and 1 ST player.

    I was very happy that we drafted almost all Defense too. It was sorely needed. Goes without saying that drastic changes were needed on that side of the ball……….With those players, 3 free agents expected to start, burning the Tampa2 playbook, releasing 2 Defensive leaders & a entire new coaching staff I feel very relieved knowing this defense will resemble nothing of last year’s garbage.

  3. JGhoti86 Says:


    “He played the whole year with a broken hand and a big cast on his hand and he’s playing bump and run, so you know he’s got heart”

    When’s the last time we heard that description of a reason why they coveted such player in this organization?!

    With the talent that’s pumped into the NFL these days, that’s how you have to distinguish the difference in a good amount of the players today. It’s shows they know what they’re looking for and are observant and intelligent enough in the game of football, to find those types of players through the most intricate of details. The heart is immeasurable and the ability to know if they have it or not, or at least find ways to validate it and prove it, is a blessing.

    This coaching staff is wonderful. The silver lining of this whole thing is, one way or another, we are going to find out if it’s been the talent or the coaching.

    Not to mention, it will reveal Licht in a clearer light. This is the first real coaching hire he’s made. Lovie PICKED him. His hand was somewhat forced with the hiring of Koetter. This hire however was more wide open, much more reflective (as well as selective) of what he, Jason Licht (Glazers?), wanted for this franchise at the time.

    And that feels great!

  4. BucAllNight Says:

    Long corners plus multiple blitzes > short corners and same coverage

    At a MINIMUM we will LINE UP and give Brees and Ryan something different than they’ve seen from us the last 10 years (although we still picked upba couple of wins vs them in this time span)

    I think we are better off for future and long run…

    First year head coach Matt Nagy’s words still resonate w me till this day: “they did EXACTLY what we thought they WOULD do”

    At least w the multiple different TYPES of players at same position we KNOW this wont be the case this year

    This ALONE is reason for optimism

    Go Bucs!!!

  5. JimmyJack Says:

    Like most I was scratching my head at the positions we took with our picks but as time has passed and the kneejerk reactions went away I’m totally cool with what they did.

    Right now we are setup(and expected) to put together a solid secondary……..And not just that but they are all young and cost effective. Heading into the future I wanna see them keep drafting DBs that they like. You keep that position strong & keep building. That gives you the ability to not have to overpay for that position in free agency & you can spend big money for other positions like Edge or Tackles…………This is sorta the same thing we done at WR.

    Then we took White at LB. He became our immediate Captain and if plays as advertised our LB group looks great heading into the future.

    You never know how a draft class will play out 1,2,3 years from now but if scouting did their job & coaching does theirs we are looking great heading into the future in 2 of 3 position groups on D.

    On Dline we need 3…….You get me a big fat physical animal to start with and I like our chances. We got VitaV. He got my attention finishing out last year!!!!!!?

    GO BUCS!!!!!!

  6. Figures Says:


  7. BucAllNight Says:

    I remember Ronde Saying the first year of Jeff Jags system (I think or maybe it was Tedfords) that he was CONCERNED that we could be “Schemed-Up” remember this was in TRAINING CAMP coming from a future hall of famer who has seen ALOT of football.

    It didnt take him a REAL game he had SEEN it in practice…
    Needless to say Jag then was fired…

    We’ve seen Marriota carve up Lovie OPENING DAY and Trubisky Carve up Mike Smith along w D. Anderson on a plethera of backups (Foles, Cousins, Keenum, etc. CARVE UP or DEFENSE)

    Still the ignorant here find ways to Pin that on JW.

    I have reason to believe that WONT be the case this year and cant WAIT to see what @realist and others have to say/spin when we are on our way to playoffs

    Go Bucs!!!

  8. JimmyJack Says:

    11-5……..but ped up my prediction because McCoy started a saga. I thank him for making CAR a big game all of a sudden.

    It’s well documented McCoy didn’t show up for big games. Opposite for Suh. Thanks McCoy. Extra W for us!!!!!

    GO BUCS!!!!

  9. JimmyJack Says:

    Bumped up my prediction**

  10. Defense Rules Says:

    @BucAllNight … “We’ve seen Marriota carve up Lovie OPENING DAY and Trubisky Carve up Mike Smith … Still the ignorant here find ways to Pin that on JW.”

    If your intent was to find Jameis blameless for Bucs’ losses, you should’ve picked a couple of other games BucAllNight. Did you forget how that 2015 Tennessee game started? Jameis got intercepted on our 1st possession & Titans returned it 26 yds for a TD. Bummer. Jameis also got intercepted again in the 2nd qtr & that also resulted in a Titans’ TD. Double bummer. Mariota for his part only threw the ball 15 times that game, completing 13 for 209 yds (problem was that 4 of those 13 completions went for TDs). Triple bummer.

    The 2018 Chicago game wasn’t so much about Trubisky’s passing as it was about the Bears’ rushing, including Trubisky’s rushing for 53 yds. Check the game logs and you’ll see that the Bears set up their passing game by rushing, and we couldn’t stop them without committing more resources to stoping the run. Beautifully opened up their passing game (one of the key reasons BTW why a running game is so valuable). Bears’ defense for their part totally shut down the Bucs’ offense except for 1 FG in the 1st half. Bummer. Great strategy on the Bears’ part though … they knew we were weak stopping the run & they exploited that early & often. BTW, we didn’t do all that well stopping the Titans run game in 2015 either.

  11. Magadude Says:

    I am first to admit both Licht and Arians have both forgotten more about football than I’ll ever know. HOWEVER, that is not my profession directly but I can tell tap dancing and trying to gloss over wierd decisions when I see it. I just hope they picked the right DBs finally, and I really hope they can straighten out VHIII. If he’s good, I’m sure Davis, Stewart and the new guys will fall into place. But how long will it take?

  12. Magadude Says:

    ^^^Oh, and hanging in with 4-12 and hating the idea of being in Nashville when them already out of contention.

    I’m going to have star taking my road trips in September so we’re still in it when don the red and pewter in another team’s house.

  13. JimmyJack Says:

    BucAllNight that is a disturbing quote from Ronde(can’t wait to hear him comment on our new defense that he doesn’t u derstand as well). Remember fans talking about that quote here. Forgot that one so thanks for reminding.

    The thing that made me sickest about this defense under Mike Smith, and Lovie for that matter, was that it’s design and a core purpose of that defense is the biggest strength will be clamping down and shutting you out when the field shrinks inside the red zone. The defenses Main goal is that it may give up yardage but it will stop you from scoring points and will hold you out of the endzone.

    Then you go back and you look at the tape and we were a freaking doormat in the redone. O e of the worst in the league. We couldn’t even do what we are best at. We could do nothing………..then you see that we are freaking unprepared and don’t even know our freaking assignment down in the red zone? Freaking speechless……..In our last freaking game ever that we played in this stank ass defense we gave up one final 4th QT TD. Three years in!!!!!! And the TD was scored because 3…..not 2……3 defenders all collided because they didn’t know where to be. Grimes looked the most lost. I will not fix the hole in the wall from that one’s. It serves as a valued reminder.

  14. JimmyJack Says:

    Three guys all colliding in the endzone. They didn’t run into the other team they run into each other.

    Three Bucs on the ground and the Falcons get the easiest TD ever. Had two guys standing wide open with hands in pockets waiting for the QB. WRs waiting…………..

    In the third year of the same defense Bucs? Really? This is why freaking fans don’t waste money on this spit!!!!

    How about Shaq Barley catching in the flat going untouched into the endzone. Our defense isn’t prepared to guard Shaq coming out of the backfield………It should get worse then that but it does. Several other teams ran the same freaking play on us and went in untouched also. This happened in consecutive weeks as well. We didn’t adjust in game and we couldn’t even adjust week to week………Freeman ran the same play on us and got in untouched. Karama……same thing untouched………..Zeke untouched………..I may have gotten some of the names wrong of which RBs did it to us but the point is valid. Teams kept running the same danged on freaking play on us and the defense was helpless and unprepared.

  15. tye Says:

    11-5 or 10-6 I can’t take these people seriously with the way this team is built and the schedule the way it is…
    4-12 is WAY more probable.. If a few calls go their way, 6-10 would be an achievement for this team…

  16. JimmyJack Says:

    Tye when you call 10-6 a achievement there is something wrong. Dos Equis got upset at your comment and said that he doesn’t often quote twax but when he does it’s to tell you to rise your standards.

    And there is no such thing as “probable”. When you watch Winston play do you think that if he threw a TD then his probility to throw an INT is 76% because that’s what the numbers say? Of course you dont because you know that every game and every drive is unique in it’s own way………..same theroy applys for a new season…….ESPECIALLY when we have now recruited new leadership to run the team. This is a entire new Era and this will be a different team. The only probabilities that apply have little relevance to the 2019 Buccaneers. If this team fails it won’t be from probability. This new Era has nothing to do with that probability. Silly notion at best.

  17. snookman Says:

    im at 7-9, 8-8, 9-7. Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles know what they are doing. They are smart coaches who will get the most out of this team. NO they are not going to the playoffs, No they are not going to compete for the division in late December. They will be much improved will be a respectable team from this point onward. Football is a game of strategy and coaching can impact the amount of wins a team achieves. I really believe we are on the right track. No need to set expectations too high. I would like to see the foundation in place now for seasons to come. Anything over 7-9 will be a major step forward for this team. The good thing about this season is we are finally going to know whether or not Jameis Winston is franchise QB. I have seen enough to go either way with him. …………………..It is going to be an interesting season………all I ask for is play hard and be respectable

  18. Billy_43 Says:

    Nobody has ANY idea of just how good this team will be in terms of W/L record.

    For anybody saying 3-13 or even 4-12 you have lost your damn mind or are simply a troll of epic proportions.

    No way is this team WORSE than last year.

    Anything less than 7-9 will be a disappointment in my book.
    This defense will actually WIN us games.

    It’s been SO SO long since Tampa fans saw INDIVIDUAL effort change a game, most have forgotten what it is like.

    Shouldn’t take past the SF annihalation for most to jump on board.

  19. Tom S. Says:

    Bruce Arians has an incredible football mind, particularly on offense and will go down as one of the best in the modern game on that side of the ball HOWEVER bringing up Richard Sherman as an example of not needing speed at the corner position is way overselling it. Speed matters more to a corner than literally any other position on the field. It’s not the end all be all, but very, very few people who walk the earth can get paid to cover wide receivers for a living in the NFL without being one of the fastest people on the field. Period.

    Anyone remember Bucs bust, 2nd Team All American and Jim Thorpe finalist Alan Zemaitis? 6-1 ran a 4.57 40 at the combine.

    How about Bucs Bust, 2nd Team All American and Jim Thorpe Award winner Johnthan Banks? 6-2 and ran a 4.61 40 at the combine.

    Banks teammate Darius Slay who had almost no accolades relative to Banks or Zemaitis was taken above Banks in the draft in large part due to a 4.3 40 at the combine at 6-0. Slay is a two time Pro Bowler, First Team All Pro with 17 career INTs and 91 PDs in 6 seasons. Banks is out of the league.

    Anyone want to bet on Bucs 2nd round pick MJ Stewart who was first team all ACC at 5-11 who ran a 4.54 and despite being the best cover corner at the senior bowl being absolutely incapable of covering people at the NFL level last year. Would anyone rather have 5-10.5 Donte Jackson who had less production at the college level but ran a 4.32 40 at the combine?

    Speed kills productive college corners in the NFL more than any other position and for every Richard Sherman or Ronde Barber there are a dozen guys who were productive on Saturday but couldn’t stay in front of their guys on Sunday because their feet weren’t quick enough to do so.

  20. richbucsfan Says:

    Whew, too many words for preseason. Save some for September -December.

  21. D1 Says:


    Quick and fast are two different things. Depending on the scheme and position , one may be more valuable than the other.

    Split times in the 40 is something you didn’t mention and it’s extremely important to look at if a player has great cover skills but his 40 is avg or below.

    There’s another metric that carries an inordinate amount of weight when scouting DBs. It’s not something ever mentioned in discussions among fans,
    but if there’s one metric that has been shown to be correlated to success from college to the pros it’s this . Vertical leap. Players that under perform in that area, have been documented to struggle with the transition. Struggle as in not successful.

    I’m not suggesting that 40 times aren’t important. It’s just not as simple as that.

  22. AlteredEgo Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. Says:

    We’ll see how our DL & OL measure up against superior OL & DL’s….just saying what is on the other side of the coin

  23. Todd Says:


    I live next door to Mike Biehl, Director of College Recruiting for the Bucs. I know for a fact that it was Williams/White…either/or. Whichever one was in the board. Not sure what would have happened if they both were…I didn’t ask.

  24. Bird Says:

    Buc all night

    Well spoken
    Maybe IRA post or logical Jo$?
    I feel talent and sense Tallahassee ?

  25. Bird Says:


    Seriously? i just cast out and I’m biting
    Cool. I’ll go 6-0 for you then I get it now

    I would throw something in his yard all day and ask questions?

  26. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    I don’t think there is any justification for their draft picks. Some people may be great field generals but lousy judges of talent and ability.

    There is a reason nobody drafts a middle linebacker with the 5th pick. Draft grade C+.

    Josh Allan was the correct pick at that position.

    Sean Murphy Bunting could have been selected with their 4th round selection. There were many very good OL picks available. Draft grade D.

    If they needed a CB, Trayvon Mullen, was a legend at National Champion Clemson and had his biggest game against Alabama (MVP). SMB has never had a big game at Division 3 Central Michigan (1-11).

    In the 3rd round they had a miracle befall them at a position of need. Darrell Henderson, the greatest 3rd down back in the history of the NCAA fell to the 70th pick because at 5’9″, he was 2′ shorter than ideal.

    The Bucs were weak in the red zone, DH scored 26 TD’s last year. At 3.7 yards per carry, the Bucs really needed DH and his all time NCAA career leading 8.2 YPC.

    DH might have been the answer to their perenial Special teams woes. DH was the 2nd team kick returner behind Tony Pollard, who was the greatest of all time with 7 TD’s. The one game DH got to return kicks, he averaged over 50 yards with a 99 yard TD.

    DH was rated the best receiving back in the 2019 draft with a 14.5 yard average. He is considered a genuine “Home run hitter” and a danger to score from any spot on the field.

    Gump traded DH to the Rams for two magic beans that will be lucky to make the practice squad. Those two players could have been easily acquired in the 5th and 6th rounds. 3rd round draft grade FFF.

    If BA is responsible for this horrendous draft, the Bucs need to fire the Gump immediately and hire a professional and strong GM that will put this team back into playoff contention.

    Some one like Chris Simms.

  27. BA FAN Says:

    For those worrying about Licht, it should be clear that BA has done some scouting for the draft and directed its priorities and made sure it is bringing in the players that are required for his system. No wonder this draft got a B plus from Lindy’s and was as good as the other team in our conference got and two other teams in our conference got lesser marks—exactly what we need to help catch up with our top competitors. Our program is finally on the right track despite what our nay saying posters think just based on our prior production.

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    JimmyJack Says:
    “You never know how a draft class will play out 1,2,3 years from now…”

    I agree. Which means a lot of people are going to be impressed by our 2018 picks soon.

  29. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Everything is currently over-hyped or completely negative. We’re seeing bad predictions and good predictions in regard to our record.

    I’m making neither. Clean slate for a new coach. Anything is possible.


    Was listening to a great podcast yesterday. One of the hosts said many fans feel the same way. After years of overhype fans are reserved but supportive.

  30. Race to 10 Says:

    Everyone should wonder why a 5-10 corner is drafted that high in this passing era. BA may after all save licht job. I’ve always preferred big long corners so I hope these guys become cornerstones. Can’t wait to see these guys perform in preseason under the big lights

  31. Jean Lafitte Says:

    At the time of the pick the consensus all agreed that Hargreaves was the right pick when the Bucs were on the clock. All the draft boards had the Bucs taking Hargreaves. You act as if Licht reached for him when it’s not true at all. Same thing goes for taking ASJ, OJ Howard or Vita Vea. All the mocks had these players going high in the draft and they happened to be available when the Bucs picked. Your revisionism is unfairly warranted.

  32. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    If our 2019 draft selections are so good, why are there national articles being written that 5-9 UDFA’s will probably make this team? Do the math?

    Are the best UDFA’s flocking to Tampa because of the weather or because Gump completely f*cked up the draft?

    Why has Darrell Henderson been crowned the starting RB for the NFC Champions

  33. geno711 Says:

    Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:
    June 23rd, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:
    June 23rd, 2019 at 9:36 am

    So are you going by your own superior ability to evaluate players or the national columnist opinions on things?

    How many of the players have you watched in this Buc’s team scheme. How many plays of Sean Bunting Murphy did you watch compared to Trayvon Mullen? Sean Bunting was 29th rated prospect on one National draft profile list so your 4th round prediction is absurd.

    By the way, many teams (see New England Patriots) value defensive backs over offensive line.

    Everyone had Ameer Abdullah rated higher as a running back then David Johnson the year they both came out. One from large school Nebraska – One from small school Northern Iowa. Who worked out.

    Luckily for the Buc’s and Sean Bunting Murphy, it appear they have a better DB coach than Oakland does for Mullen. Which will have the better career, I am taking Bunting-Murphy. I hear Mullen may not even beat out Oakland’s 4th round draft pick, Isiah Johnson on the depth chart.

    By the way, I personally love Darrell Henderson. However, I keep seeing a RBC notes for the LA Rams. Where do you see that he is crowned the starter?

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    I knew they’d focus on corners as well.

    How did I have this amazing insight? I looked at the depth chart.

  35. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    Arians took a big shot at Licht. Smart move distancing himself from Licht, who will no doubt not be retained at the end of the season

  36. Jameis Almighty! Says:

    People! Life is simple! If you are having a bad day! Blame Jameis… if the Bucs can’t stop the run! Blame Jameis! If Fitz throws 5 picks and the Dolphins lose, Blame Jameis! Jason Licht over-drafted a bust corner back who is 5-10 with the most valuable Bucs pick in the draft! Blame Jameis!

  37. ElBajito43 Says:

    Fire LICHT this draft was total BS like most his draft picks 🗑

  38. Bucki40 Says:

    My only issue with this type of draft strategy if it pigeon whole the entire draft process and you overlook other talented players. I’ve always been of the mindset that you draft BPA not for need. As long as this was a one time draft strategy then ok. This team was seriously depleted in the Secondary and young developmental talent was needed. Let’s hope we didn’t pass on a DE, OL or RB talent just because we had a big need in the Secondary