Jason Licht Reveals A Draft-Board Strategy

April 1st, 2021

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Ahhhh, April is here and it finally feels like NFL Draft season.

What an awesome change to the Bucs’ draft usually being a heated conversation at Thanksgiving dinner.

Super Bowl general manager Jason Licht was chatting with media today and Joe asked a question about whether Licht is feeling like he could find a Day 1 starter this month to bust through his incredible starting lineup.

Licht’s reply included a sweet peek at how his staff sets its draft board.

“It’s a luxury that we have this year that we can pick who we think is who’s going to be the best player in two years,” Licht said. “And that’s [how] we always kind of set our draft board — is what this guy is going to be in two years. And in today’s day and age everybody wants it to be, you know, in two games. But we’re going to take the long view here and bring in the player that we’re going to be happy with for the long haul.”

Joe hadn’t heard that “two-year” assessment from Licht previously. And, of course, it’s more relevant now that the Bucs don’t need a Day 1 starter out of the draft like in previous seasons.

What makes the two-year look extra interesting is the reality that the Bucs’ first- and second-round picks might not get many snaps this season to develop. So that has to be factored into the equation.

For example, the Bucs might draft a stud center/guard prospect at No. 32 overall, but how might his development be limited without 2021 game action? And who do you successfully assess a prospect who can progress with few snaps versus one who can’t?

All Joe knows is it’s damn fun to be drafting at No. 32 without a hole in the starting lineup.

You can hear Licht by clicking the audio above.

20 Responses to “Jason Licht Reveals A Draft-Board Strategy”

  1. Hawk Says:

    4th quarter blowouts will give the youngsters some quality reps. And you want Day-1 quality starters from every draft, because some of your starters are going to miss snaps.

  2. Casual Observer Says:

    The only team weakness is a kick/punt returner. And, I suspect, that can be handled with a mid-range draft pick; probably a RB, who could be that 3rd. down back (good hands) and has had a good track record returning kicks. Early rounds are for DL and OLB “trainees” – as Licht hints at.

  3. ocala Says:

    Agree Hawk. Injuries are inevitable also. Just using last year as an example. Bucs had players out for injuries/Wuhan Virus at guard, tackle, WR, TE, DL/OLB, S, CB, LB, DT.

  4. Robert Says:

    Is there a kicker worth the 1st round?

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I believe the best picks for 1 & 2 would be Dline & Edge……because of those positions, they won’t start but can be worked into rotations.

    A luxury 1st round pick would be a WR/KR/PR…….who would be our 3rd WR if AB isn’t signed.
    A pick that high would be one of the best at the position.

    Anther would be a CB……

    You can never have enough WRs or CBs

  6. BA4President Says:

    Don’t draft a WR. I WANT LARRY FITZGERALD!!

  7. SKBucsFan Says:

    I hope that’s GM speak for drafting O-line and D-line early in this draft.

  8. Leighroy Says:

    Suh isn’t getting younger and limits himself to 1yr deals, Gholston and JPP are in contract years too. So if they’re looking to 2 years from now I’d have to agree with Tampabaybucfan. Toney if he falls could be hard to pass up as that luxury WR/KR too, but that’s a big if.

    I’m not so sure they’re in a hurry to replace Jensen or Cappa despite those 2 in contract years. Obv that will come down to $ negotiations, but both have performed well enough not to be actively replaced just yet. Their replacement if can’t resign could be drafted next year all the same. But if you draft a swing guy early, you probably seal 1 of their fates for certain.

    Someone always seems to fall to the 2nd round in the draft each year. Bucs are in a great position to take just about anybody who does if the upside is worth it.

  9. Bucfanforever Says:


    2 years

    Tom Brady replacement?

  10. SC Bucs Fan Says:

    Robert my God that is funny. That or something like it hasn’t been said 10,000 times in this forum but it never gets old.

    Actually, it does.

  11. mark2001 Says:

    Have to love the audio link. So may things can be understood from the pacing, tone, and certainty of the answer, that you just can’t get from the written word. Thanks Joe.

  12. Breathgasp Says:

    Trade up get speed at DE. Develop a 2yr projected starter to learn from the veterans.. Get interior d lineman , get more o lineman, get another cb and safety. Next year draft wr and linebackers.

  13. DoooshLaRue Says:

    For example, the Bucs might draft a stud center/guard prospect at No. 32 overall, but how might his development be limited without 2021 game action? And who do you successfully assess a prospect who can progress with few snaps versus one who can’t?

    If only the NFL had 3-4 games before the actual season started…….boy, that would sure be one way to get the new guys some reps.

    Maybe one day, huh Joe?

  14. Bucanero Says:

    It looks like AB won’t be back I almost heard Licht closing the door on that as he gave a big endorsement to Tyler Johnson but then I think receiver is an option in the first round. I personally would prefer one of the top linebackers specially the guy from Notre Dame #6 he is a big time play maker and he is versatile, has speed in defense, and loves the game. I would also be happy with the center/guard from Wisconsin. They say this draft is not he best for d-line so I think we should keep Mclendon around.

  15. Cobraboy Says:

    Edge & DL, two years of beefing up and crashing the weight room…

  16. Mike Honcho Says:

    I think that strategy really says something about Licht’s sense of job security. Obviously the Bucs that he built just won the Super Bowl, so there should be the job security, but guys have said ‘why am I going to draft X player for the next coach? That’s short sighted thinking. Licht is playing the long game.

  17. BUCFAN4LIFE Says:

    They’ll do what they always do . Draft the highest rated player left that the have on their wish list although I’d like to see them pick a QB (if a quality ones still available) for Brady to “groom” .

  18. m0j0 Says:

    There is a very good chance the Bucs trade up into the 20’s, especially if a player they really, really like is still on the board. I would be hunting for pass rushers in the first round, then whoever is BPA from there. This is another deep draft for WR, so I would expect a mid to late round WR pick due to value.

  19. Mr. B Says:

    Sit back and let the draft come to them.If Najee Harris is there grab him. He’s about as can’t miss as they come and either Rojo or Fournette will be gone next year.

  20. Smokeeey Says:

    Unless you’re in love with pick 32. like a player that really fell I’d trade back.