Draft Grades!

May 2nd, 2021

Grading a team’s draft only a few hours after Mr. Irrelevent has been announced is premature, irresponsible and fun as hell.

Fans want to know, damn the clock and to hell with ethics. We live in a microwave-popcorn, drive-through-pharmacy, Amazon-overnight-delivery, Twitter-instant-news society!

As always, Joe aims to please. So here is a sampling of publications’ grades on the Bucs’ 2021 draft. Joe will have more tomorrow, too.

Ryan Dunleavy, New York Post

Grade: C

Analysis: The defending champs are bringing back all 22 starters. That’s a formula for choosing “Best Player Available.” Tryon is a pass-rush specialist with loads of untapped potential. Trask fits the “no risk it, no biscuit” philosophy, but the Bucs are in a win-now window, so why not find a contributor?

Nick Goss, NBC Sports

Grade: B

Bucs first-round pick Joe Tryon is a raw talent with exciting upside, and he’s going to the perfect place to realize his potential. The University of Washington linebacker won’t be thrust into the lineup if he’s not ready. The Bucs have great depth at linebacker and can afford to develop Tryon at an ideal pace.

Tampa Bay’s most intriguing pick was the second-round selection of Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, who could be Tom Brady’s successor, if he ever retires.

Nate Davis, USA Today

With a championship team effectively returning intact, GM Jason Licht and coach Bruce Arians didn’t need anything … and it was worth wondering if the Bucs would try to amass assets when they’re needed for future drafts. But they managed to bolster an already exceptional pass rush with Joe Tryon in Round 1 and found a potential heir apparent for Tom Brady at the end of Round 2 in Kyle Trask, who led the nation with 43 TD passes in 2020.

Grade: B+

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Grade: A-
Draft picks: Washington EDGE Joe Tryon, Florida QB Kyle Trask, Notre Dame OT/G Robert Hainsey, North Texas WR Jaelon Darden, Auburn LB K.J. Britt, BYU CB Chris Wilcox, Houston OLB Grant Stuard

Tampa Bay had an amazing offseason before the draft keeping every single one of their key veteran players intact on their Tom Brady-led Super Bowl 55-winning team. GM Jason Licht kept up the momentum with fine stashes everywhere except defensive tackle. Tryon and Britt are good supporting third options for their great starting linebackers. Hainsey and Darden are good developmental types for the offense. The standout is Trask, who can turn into Brady’s successor in the right pocket passing system under Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich.

46 Responses to “Draft Grades!”

  1. Medicated Pete Says:

    It’s crazy that we didn’t need one starter.

  2. SB~LV Says:

    Yep .. B like most as of now. Mostly because of my extra weight on addressing the future QB.. if it was a draft without a second round pick the draft would have been a C minus on the talent added, but of course the roster is already LOADED with talent.

  3. PSL Bob Says:

    Feeling good about this draft, but only time will tell how well JL did this year. Looking forward to the preseason.

  4. Bird Says:

    Nfl.com gave A –

    Sports illustrated gave B

    Only criticism was hainsey over meinerz but meinerz only inside guy while hainsey will be swing tackle for Haeg most likely when they go 6 wide. Hainsey may be able to play all spots on line. He has to start to some leg workouts though. To much weight in his gut. Not a strong lower body

    Appears , atlanta had good draft. Carolina pretty good. Saints worst in division.

    But chiefs got really good reviews. Same with green bay although rodgers and management hate each other

    Still think rams and then green bay will be toughest road to super bowl with chiefs.

  5. Jason Says:

    Just curious how many of the final 53 man roster are returning.

    I also think it would be more appropriate to grade the 2018 draft which is obviously an A.

  6. David Says:

    They did need one starter… A return man and they drafted that. Can’t wait for the season!!

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    When you think about it, Licht did exactly what he set out to accomplish.

    He found dept at Edge…..a backup for Brady, depth & future starter on Oline

    And with the later picks…..found a KR/PR……Gunner & ST LBs

    Did I think we needed to draft a QB this year…..nope…..but I’m not going to take that out on Trask.

  8. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    I wanted an EDGE, kick return and OL depth. I think Licht did a fantastic job and he even got a potential heir apparent to Brady.

    I was not in the draft Brady’s replacement group – we are “going for 2” for crying out loud. BUT, after thinking about it, this give BA’s staff a year to assess if Trask is up for the job. If Trask is not, we have next year to take another shot for our perfect AB incubator without spending major draft capital such as the #1 overall pick for a bust.

  9. Casual Observer Says:

    Senor – I felt the same. Thought all the talk about a QB was a smoke screen. But, also, after reflection, think it was a fine pick. I like all the picks. Going for 2.

  10. Destinjohnny Says:

    We have one injury at any position then We have issues
    So this thinking we are fat cats is prob a bit cocky

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I’m excited about the potential for Trask with this coaching staff and the mentoring of Brady and time on his side to develop. Could be the recipe for success for this young quarterback. We may very likely look back on this draft in a few years and say wow these guys really knew what they were doing. Why bash now. These guys have proven themselves by building a pretty good super bowl winning football team.

  12. SB~LV Says:

    A Nun with a three sided architect rule is still a vision of fear and trust me I was in need of frequent correction

  13. Buc4evr Says:

    Think the draft was a solid B. Tryon Is fast and relentless and can rush standing up. Bucs are looking for a JPP clone. Hainsey could develop in a swing guy and play Guard and Center. Darden is small fast and shifty, but he better hold on to the ball or Brady will kill him. No opinion on Britt, Wilcox or Stuart, but my guess is that they will be special teams gunners. As far as Trask, another Licht roll of the dice. I watched him this year and while he has great numbers, he fell apart in a few games. I don’t like the pick as the first rule of the draft is never draft UF QBs and yes I’m a gator fan. Guess he will just be another arm in training camp. Lol.

  14. Mort Says:

    Only grade appropriate is Incomplete.

  15. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    I gave the Bucs a C.

    Urban Myer and the Jaguars get an AAA+++.

    Not only did they draft the top QB and RB in the draft, they got the #2 CB Tyson Campbell Georgia, the best safety Andre Cisco and the best sleeper in the draft Walker Little LT Stanford.

    I’ve been banging the drum for the Bucs to draft these guys all month. I guess Jason Licht doesn’t read JBF but Urban Meyer certainly does.

    Disclaimer: My dream pick in the 1st was Caleb Farley CB VT but he never got to where the Bucs could get him. My back up !st was Campbell and the Jags got him right after the Bucs chose Tryon.

    I guess I should send my resume to Jax, we think alike.

  16. Pete Says:

    I hated using a 2nd round pick on a qb.
    But, I am a Bucs fan and so I am now a Kyle Trask fan!

  17. geno711 Says:

    I thought that Carolina made a bad tactical move IMO in the 1st round.

    Chicago sent the 20th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, next years first-round pick, a 4th rounder and a 5h rounder to move up to spot 11.

    Got to think that at 8th spot that Carolina gets that same deal or even better.
    Carolina is not just one corner away from being a contender.

    Carolina again could have gotten the same deal the Giants got OR BETTER and still likely got one 4 corners at pick 20. Horn, Surtain, Farley or Newsome. Had extra draft capital as well.

  18. SB~LV Says:

    Ghost… LoL… LoL… just how was JL going to draft any of the names that you dropped…. LoL

  19. Capt.Tim Says:

    I think this was a great draft.
    We got depth at DE, Center.
    We added a gunner and a kick return
    Possibly depth at safety.
    Everything I listed as a need. Really happy

    We didnt add depth at DT, but there wasnt any to be had.
    And we are ok now. Although I wouldnt be surprised to see them sign a DT, if one gets cut.

    We replaced our loses.

    Only complaint was the QB. He cant make all the throws. Thats hard tobwirk around.
    I heard all the” coaching Gurus, Quarterback whisperer, learn from Brady” chatter.
    But Ryan Griffen has been with those guys for 2 years now. And he can make all the throws! If we havent been grooming him, why have we kept him around so long?

    But overall- a great draft. Especially considering we picked 32nd.
    With this draft, I think we will be picking 32nd again!

  20. MarineBucsFan Says:

    Even the preseason will but fun for us this year!!
    PreSeason Offense
    QB – Trask
    RB – Vaughn, Bernard
    WR – Tyler Johnson, Scotty, and Darden


  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    But that’s only because I really don’t know anything about most of the players yet. In fact, this is the first draft I have missed watching in over two decades, thanks to me hectic schedule these days.

  22. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    Not only did Sporting News rate our draft as A- but, had it listed as the 8th best. Not too shabby for JL & BA in this “unusual” year. 🎉

    The statement that jumps out at me is “The standout is Trask, who can turn into Brady’s successor in the right pocket passing system under Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich.” Pick 64 may well turn out to be a wise one! 🤔 😎

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Capt.Tim Says
    “Only complaint was the QB. He cant make all the throws.”

    The book is certainly still out on him, but I advise reserving judgement on him. We don’t really know if he can make all of the throws. We’re just going by scout reports.

    And he hasn’t been trained by the coaching staff yet.

    Until he proves us wrong…let’s hope on the bright side for a change. We might just be happy about it.

    Personally, I’m hoping that if he plays in a couple games, he does extremely well. That way he might garner some trade interest if it comes to that. Or he could be the future. Or a total bust. We shall see.

    But I’m judging none of these guys yet.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Pete Says:
    “I hated using a 2nd round pick on a qb…”

    May I ask why?

    I mean, of all positions, I would think QB would be the one that could generally be taken in any round and be acceptable.

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’ve seen it said that this was a year for drafting depth…I’ve even said it…but maybe that is the wrong way to look at things.

    We’re also drafting for the future. Odds are good that we’ll lose guys like David, Suh, JLP, Brady, and even our kicker in the next year or so.

    While we are certainly built now to go for two…the truth is that any of our older starters could be one season-ending injury away from retirement. Including TB.

    If that were to happen, a guy like Trask might just be in a good position. He does best when he has time to throw, and Licht has built an OL that provides that.

  26. German Buc Says:

    Ghost, souds to be easier to draft first in each round rather then last. But anyway, I enjoyed drafting last and I am looking forward to doing it again next year.

  27. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    “Ghost… LoL… LoL… just how was JL going to draft any of the names that you dropped…. LoL”

    How?? Except for Farley, they were all on the board when the Bucs picked, the Jags picked behind us.

    They got Campbell at 33, the Bucs chose at 32. I think they reached a bit with Little at 45, I think I would have taken Cisco at 45 and Little at 65 (Bucs chose 64th). Never the less, they got them both.

    According to Bill Polian, if you can draft two starters, like the Bucs did last year, you’ll be successful. Campbell and Cisco would be starters on this Super Bowl Championship team.

    Urban Meyers drafted at least 5 starters for his 1st time ever draft class. Look for them to move up drastically in their division.

  28. Steven007 Says:

    Ghost, the jaguars have been waiting for a fan like you. Feel free. I hear there’s less mad cow disease there as well.

  29. SB~LV Says:

    Ghost you gonna run into a wall driving with your rear view mirror

  30. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:


    “Jason Licht Says He ”Didn’t Want To Do Anything Crazy”

    Well, mission accomplish! Instead pf going for the biscuit and improving on the 2 glaring weaknesses on this team (CB & safety). Whitehead and SMB!

    JL kicked the field goal, with an 8 point deficit, with 4 minutes on the clock in the NFC Championship, just like Matt LeFleur who, “Didn’t Want To Do Anything Crazy”

    JL strove for mediocrity, the Glazers should fire him!

  31. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    @Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    But that’s only because I really don’t know anything about most of the players yet…………..”
    😲🙄😲 if you don’t, why vote?!!!?
    If you don’t know and still vote, why not A, but C+ ???!!!
    unless FSU is around your head… that make sense 😁

  32. crazyBucs_CL Says:

    i vote A, cause they completed the tasks, and they look satisficed. Mission accomplish….how they are going to come-out… who knows. draft is like watermelon…you never know until you cut-in, or like a marriage.. 🤔

  33. orlbucfan Says:

    Ghost, were you dropped on your head as a baby? This is a Bucs blog, not a Jags one. I like Jax BTW. I know less than zero about college players but gave JL an A- cos he picked players the Bucs need. Not the easiest job when your team is the best one in the NFL, and you pick last in the draft.

  34. Capt.Tim Says:

    With the rest of the draft class, I totally agree with you.
    But I watched Trask play.
    He can throw 50 yards down field, with accuracy. He can throw 10 yards across the middle, with accuracy.
    But every time I watched him throw an out pattern, I thought- In the NFL, “thats a pick 6.”.
    He doesn’t “Drive” the ball, with enough velocity.
    That is one thing that coaching and mentoring cant fix.
    Its not fair.
    But I cant make that throw either. And if you’re reading this, and your name isnt Brady, Gabbert, or Griffen; then you can’t make that throw either.

  35. ArmchairGM Says:

    Pundits are way too enamored with running QBs. 5 of the last 7 SBs were won by last gen QBs (4 by Brady and 1 by Manning). The other two were won by Foles and Mahommes. It makes sense when you consider running QBs take more hits and have a higher chance for injury (especially once you get to the playoffs). It’ll be interesting to see how long their careers last. All that to say I like the Trask pick and feel he’s being underrated.

  36. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    As basketball Coach Pat Riley says, “If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.” There is no middle ground.

    Joe Paterno…..You’re gonna get better or you’re gonna get worse, but you’re not gonna stay the same. Which will it be?

    “Jason Licht Says He ”Didn’t Want To Do Anything Crazy”

    Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has no regrets taking the ball away from Aaron Rodgers. With the 2020 NFC Championship Game on the line.

    No guts, no glory!

  37. MadMax Says:

    I watched Trask’s pro day….hmm, he has some line drive throws, but the rest just seemed slow….but what do i know as an armchair scout/GM lol. I’ll def pull for the kid. If he can tap more into those line drive throws with that kind of accuracy, we have something to work with.

  38. Cainishere Says:

    I graded them an A. Tryon was a great pick as he will be amongst some of the NFL best on defense. That should enhance his aggressive play style.Trask was a great pick beingvthat he is a Florida man. The important thing to remember is he has some years to learn from the games best QB ever. What more could you ask for? The Oline depth was needed but I worry about a player who wore leg braces in college. Could have just been a preventative thing but to me was a head scratcher. The rest we will just have to see.

  39. BradyBucs Says:

    LOL @ Ghost

    Of course, Meyer drafted 5 starters. They’re the WORST TEAM IN THE NFL. They had a ton of starting positions to fill.

    The Bucs are obviously a different team… THE DEFENDING CHAMPS. A team that brought back all of their starters.

  40. BradyBucs Says:

    I was surprised we didn’t draft a CORNER high in the draft. Corner definitely seems to be the weakest link on the team. We could have used an upgrade there. Only issue is I think corner is one of the hardest positions to scout/draft.

    CAPT. TIM – Arians has already said that Trask can make all the throws in the Bucs Offense. I seriously doubt they’d draft a guy that couldn’t make all the throws someone needed to make in their Offense.

  41. D1 Says:

    Capt tim,

    Actually driving the ball is an easy fix.

  42. buc15 Says:

    I’m with Capt Tim about Trask. I don’t think he will be able to make all the throws but hopefully I’m wrong. He can work on his foot work to help drive the ball but I just don’t think he has the arm strength needed. When I see his highlights I see looping passes down field with little zip.

  43. Jay Mack Says:

    I don’t know if Joe has written an article about this yet, but Ryan Succop was the first Mr. Irrelevent to win a Super Bowl. He also won it against the team that drafted him.

  44. Buczilla Says:

    I’m happy with who we picked, but the draft just isn’t the same unless your team is picking in the top 15. It was kinda boring this year and I just want the damn season to start already!

  45. Robert Eaton Your Dinner Says:

    Ghost is rather roll with the front office of the Super Bowl champs rather than the dumpster diving Jags. There’s a reason they got to pick too talent and that is because of draft position. They have that draft position because their front office has been terrible at building a football team. That’s not the front office I would want to “ think alike” with.

  46. MrSandman Says:

    They could trade down 10 positions and still pick tyron (they probably could trade down with broncos and gain 2 4th or maybe a 3rd and a 4th, or a 4th and a future pick), Levi was still on the board anyway.
    Besides tyron, nothing on the draft will help the starter team, they could try to reinforce DE, CB and Safety as well. They could at least get johnson at 4th round and reinforce safety.
    They tried to reinforce the special teams with picks 3 to 7, that’s something. But they failed to make the team stronger, and this failure will look worse next year with all the contracts expiring.