Jason Licht’s Traits

April 8th, 2020

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

In trying to figure out a draft, former Redskins and Texans shot-caller Charley Casserly believes it is smart to rummage through the draft history of a team’s general manager.

And so Casserly did. For each of the 32 NFL general managers.

In writing about Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht, Moe Howard Casserly seems to have found a couple of patterns as Licht enters his seventh draft for the Bucs.

(By comparison, here is how long Licht’s three immediate predecessors lasted: Rich McKay 1994-2003; Bruce Almighty 2004-2008; Mark Dominik 2009-2013. If Licht stays as long as Tom Brady’s contract, he will have matched McKay’s tenure.)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jason Licht
Year hired: 2014
Number of players drafted: 42
List of Pro Bowlers: 4. LB Kwon Alexander, WR Mike Evans, WR Chris Godwin, QB Jameis Winston.

BEST PICK: WR Mike Evans, 2014 (Round 1, No. 7 overall). The 6-foot-5 wideout is so hard to stop because of his size, speed and hands. He’s been consistently great with up-and-down quarterback play, logging at least 1,000 receiving yards in every one of his six NFL seasons.

BEST VALUE PICK: LB Kwon Alexander, 2015 (Round 4, No. 124 overall). A true run-and-chase linebacker, Alexander is highly instinctive and was a solid player and leader for the Bucs’ D for four seasons.

DEFINITIVE TRAIT/STYLE: With Licht, the Bucs’ top priority in a prospect is high-character guys who truly love the game. True examples of that: Evans and linebacker Devin White.

Just by what Casserly documented, Licht is quite good at picking linebackers. That’s true. And Joe would also add Licht is damn good picking receivers. Chris Godwin, a third-round pick, was selected to the Pro Bowl last season (though he didn’t play due to injury).

Licht has had misfortunes at other positions, as well.

So just going by Licht’s draft strengths, will Licht grab a linebacker or a wide receiver, even though the team appears loaded at those positions?

41 Responses to “Jason Licht’s Traits”

  1. Carl Nicks' big toe Says:

    Good at picking RBs? Not so much. Hopefully BA will be doing the picking this year. My vote is for Clyde from LSU.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    He likes to make some unconventional choices also……Marpet, Cappa, SMB, Ryan Smith

    Not afraid to choose a player from a small school.

  3. Defense Rules Says:

    So Casserly gives JL credit for selecting Mike Evans, instead of giving the credit to Lovie. And yet, everyone seems to blame Lovie for all the bonehead personnel moves in 2014. Hmmm, double standard? Nah, Charlie just wants to have it both ways.

  4. 2020 Year of the GOAT Says:

    Build the trenches and dominate there…. we dont need just 1 dominating running we can do it by committee if we have a OL that can rub BLOCK….

    head coach Mike Shanahan did for years “zone-blocking scheme”

    Does Shanahan see something we’re all missing? He clearly has a special ability to find backs under rocks, but there’s more to it. Let’s break down the magic.

    Hint: It has something to do with the zone-blocking scheme

    That’s something Shanahan implemented immediately when he arrived in Denver. In that first year, he teamed up with offensive-line coach Alex Gibbs, who also worked for Shanahan in the same role in Los Angeles in the late 1980s, and that coaching duo became the face of zone blocking.
    The concept itself is so simple that it’s almost self-explanatory, but it requires a lot more from the players involved than a regular running play. The idea, of course, is that instead of taking the nearest defensive player on a running down, offensive linemen and tight ends are instead responsible for zones. They have to move quickly and move laterally, and they have to keep moving.

    It lends itself to more double-teams, with one of the two double-teaming linemen quickly releasing to pick up a defender in the next level. That means linemen have to work in each other’s space, which means they have to be on the same page at all times. Who will release, and who will stick? There’s no room for error, but the payoff can be huge.

    It can be done………

  5. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    I think last year’s picks will be one of Licht’s best. These CBs showed a lot of promise. White might make the pro-bowl this year.

  6. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Moe Howard didn’t work too hard on this. So Lichtweight can pick linebackers and receivers. That was tough.

    Tampabaybucfan pointed out a more interesting trait requiring more thought. Small school OL prospects. Pick and pray guys who would have still been available a round or two later. At least they’ve worked out so far.

    Of course you also used the word “pattern.” The first pattern that comes to my mind is the pattern of mostly chasing shiny objects in the early rounds while neglecting the less glamorous, but more important (from a team-building perspective), trenches!

    Makes me afraid we’ll get another WR and maybe a tight end in the first two rounds this year instead of much-needed offensive and defensive line talent.

  7. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    Good Post 2020 Year of the GOAT, and I agree with you that a Zone Blocking scheme can be very effective.
    Besides Zone Blocking, Denver was famous for crack back blocks.

  8. bogiedr Says:

    Who will be this years small school o lineman? 4th round??

  9. BringBucsBack Says:

    Forty-two, top-of-each-round, players drafted and only 3.5 players (#3 was the alternate’s alternate) selected to the pro-bowl, seems pathetic. Evans was the rare instance were need met availability, most fortuitously which, made that the 2nd easiest pick in mankind’s history. The entire 2016 draft class are gone 3.5 short years after being selected! Etc…

    Whether it be Litcht, Lovie, Koetter, Smith or the entire player personnel department, the lack of impactful players selected has been quite astonishing and has/ should have gotten more folks (Licht) fired than I believe it has. Yes, I have not forgotten the great irony that Licht’s continued employment has brought to our Bucs the past two seasons.

    I wish I kept my job and received pay-raises by simply being pathetic.

  10. Allbuccedup Says:

    I see the bucs trading down not selecting a tackle until round three.

  11. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    the horrible losing record is the proof in lichts picks

  12. NDog is an idiot Says:

    Not Sold at all on Licht! Last years draft seems to be his best. He will never escape trading multiple picks to move up to the 2nd round to draft a Horrendous kicker! Other GM’s play with Licht!

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    @Allbuccedup … “I see the bucs trading down not selecting a tackle until round three.”

    HOPEFULLY you see wrong, because the 2 most significant missing STARTERS are at RT & RB. Historically, Rnd 1 & 2 draft picks have a much better chance of starting as ROOKIES than those selected later on down the chain. And IF this pandemic goes on for any length of time, our rookies won’t get nearly the individual coaching attention that they would get in more ‘normal’ years.

    Nope, still sticking with RT in Rnd 1 and RB in Rnd 2, then DLineman in Rnd 3, unless a ‘can’t miss’ BPA in another position of need falls into our lap. But can’t see any way with this draft class that the Bucs would not select a Tackle until Rnd 3. Too much at stake.

  14. Joe in Michigan Says:

    There’s no doubt BA and Bowles had a hand in last year’s draft, helping Licht. It was great, we actually got players that fit the system.

  15. Marine Buc Says:

    BA has only drafted one lineman in the first round – pick #24 2015 DJ Humphries OT. Jason Licht has drafted zero offensive lineman in the first round.

    Two statements made by BA and Licht shed a little light on their draft process.
    #1. BA stated when you draft an offensive lineman you are drafting them for the next coach because it takes 2-3 seasons for them to mature.
    #2. GM Licht once stated when asked “Why don’t you draft lineman earlier?” His answer was “an offensive lineman can’t catch a screen pass and take it 80 yards to the house”.

    Don’t be shocked if we don’t take an OT with pick #14.

  16. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Yes, Team Glazer should create a new position with a title of “GM for WRs and LBs”. In that case, I would agree that he has done a great job. In other areas of the team, not so much. #PaidFloridaVacation

  17. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Doesn’t really matter. Jason Licht is our GM and he’s not going anywhere, so no matter how much the haters spew their rants, they are not getting their way.

    Jason Licht is a good GM. It is a GMs job to:

    • fulfill the vision of the head coach. In doing so, that means giving him what he wants

    • Make sure that cap is manageable

    • If the cap becomes and issue, it is his job to get it back under control

    • Conduct staff searches according to the desires of the owners

    • Conduct trades, drafts and free agent signings according to the goals of the head coach

    No one can accurately say Jason Licht has not done exactly this.

  18. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Marine Buc: 2013 Cardinals (BA’s 1st year there) took Guard Jonathan Cooper in the 1st Round, 7th overall. They were burned badly, as Cooper was a bust. I agree with you, if we’re looking at traits, it doesn’t look like we’ll go O-Line in the 1st. Especially if the Big 4 are gone.

  19. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Joe in Mich

    Your right. Forgot about Cooper. Dude busted his knee in preseason his rookie year and never fully recovered.

    I bet Licht will wait until round 2 and draft OT Ben Barch. You know how Licht loves those small school lineman…

  20. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai: Agreed. Some people only look at the negative with Jason Licht, draft picks that busted under his watch. Every GM has had busted draft picks, even the Hall of Fame caliber ones (Ron Wolf, Bobby Beathard, Bill Polian).
    It doesn’t help that some media people (Bassinger) keep throwing gas on the fire about a certain 2nd Round bust in 2016, at a certain position. FIRST ROUNDERS bust every year, who has time to worry about a late 2nd Rounder who busted? Ah, but he knows how to stir up trouble, hate and discontent by bringing this up. He needs to get some new material.

  21. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Marine Buc: You know Licht has his eyes on Bartch, he fits the profile. There are some other intriguing O-Linemen that could be there in the 2nd day of the draft. It might take them time to develop, though (just as BA has said).

  22. Swampbuc Says:

    He really knows how to draft kickers. Casserly missed that.

  23. ElBajito43 Says:

    Trash 🗑 LICHT is the worst GM in all of North America

  24. Perimeter Blocker Says:

    Hey Joe, I would like to see how Licht stacks up against the other 31 GM’s. What is his total number of hits and busts? I am taking a shot in the dark but it “feels” like he hits on only about 30%. How close am I with my guess?

  25. 541BucsFan Says:

    I find OJ Howard an interesting draft discussion. Licht drafts OJ. The steal of the first round. He put up crazy numbers in 2 National Championship games. His combine stats were bananas. He’s a probowl lock but the coaches don’t use him.

    Is he a draft day win or bust?

  26. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I went through all of Licht’s picks after last year’s draft, with grade of Good/Okay/Terrible/Insignificant…I think I had around 60% in the Good/Okay side, 40% in the Terrible/Insignificant side. Feel free to go through the Bucs 2014-2019 picks and grade them for yourself.

  27. Joe in Michigan Says:

    I thought OJ Howard was pretty good, until last year. The knock on him before that was that he was injury prone, couldn’t make it through a whole season. Did that get in his head? It looked as though he was playing soft, to not get hurt. So he made it through the season, but didn’t look good in the process.

  28. Jimmy Says:

    Jason Licht traits:

    — Erection for small school offensive linemen.

    — Loves to draft bad kickers.

    — Hates to draft pass rushers (better to trade for and sign expensive veterans).

    — Every bad free agent known to man.

    — Losing year after year after year.

    Other than that, he’s a helluva football man.

  29. Jimmy Says:

    Jason Licht is also allergic to drafting good running backs.

  30. Joe in Michigan Says:

    He also traded a 3rd Rounder for a guy with over 20 sacks over the last 2 years, paid $4 million to a guy with 19.5 sacks last year. That was okay.

  31. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Joe in Mich

    Licht has been better in both free agency and the draft the past few seasons. He definitely got off to a very rough start. That 2016 draft was an abomination. Most GMs would have been fired after such futility.

    Bringing BA to Tampa helped save Licht’s hide. Now BA is calling the shots.

  32. bucnole Says:

    I don’t have any faith in JL at this point
    He literally will be out of a job if he screws this draft up
    Im not crossing my fingers
    And to say he is good at drafting receivers is hogwash – ME fell into his hands it was a no brainer – just like OJ if he could just find a coach smart enough to keep feeding him the rock in games
    Most of his picks have been trash and don’t get me started on the wasted picks trying to get cute during the draft
    If anything JL is known for trying to be the smartest kid in the class by drafting small school guys he wants to hit the lotto instead of finding talent.
    He is to blame equally or even more than JW for the failure of this team
    end of rant

  33. Sorryjackchuckiesback Says:

    Dude again this is arians draft… It will be either RB or edge type of players for first and second… Possibly safety in the second…. Those are the only 2 positions really that can come in and immediately play well in the NFL not as much edge as running back but you can still get 12 sacks from a rookie edge or olb

  34. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Marine Buc: Right. The 2016 Draft was murder. I’m not saying Licht doesn’t have his faults, he does, all I’m saying is it hasn’t all been bad and I don’t hate/despise/rue the day he was born like some fans do.

  35. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Bucnole: Chris Godwin was a gem in the 3rd Round. Yes, we got lucky in that he’s as good as he is, as the Bucs also got lucky in how good Shaq Barrett is.

  36. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    Last year was far and away Jason’s offseason, between the draft & the signings of Barrett & Suh….

    but how much of that is actually due to Arians & Bowles?

  37. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    (best offseason)

  38. Buczilla Says:

    I’m cool with another receiver and a rush linebacker with our 2 4th rounders. Light has a knack for 4th round picks.

  39. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Marine Buc:
    GM Licht once stated when asked “Why don’t you draft lineman earlier?” His answer was “an offensive lineman can’t catch a screen pass and take it 80 yards to the house”.

    Wow. I hadn’t seen that before. That might be a stupider statement than when he said the 2017(?) team was one of the best offenses “in the history of the NFL.”

  40. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    Joe in Michigan Says:
    “He also traded a 3rd Rounder for a guy with over 20 sacks over the last 2 years, paid $4 million to a guy with 19.5 sacks last year. That was okay.”

    I’ll see your point, and raise you: buying muscle hamster another $7 million dollars worth of [Can’t let that fly, sorry. — Joe] when he should have had his contract voided. I wish I could f#ck up at a high-paying job all year and have my boss finance a repeat performance.

  41. Barack's Crack Pipe Says:

    [Can’t let that fly, sorry. — Joe]

    LOL. I think that’s only the second time you’ve ever edited this usename. I can live with that. The first time was a doozie, too. =^D

    You guys are way more tolerant than you have to be these days, and I hope I’m not the only one who appreciates it.