Adam Schefter: Bucs Would Have Drafted Jonathan Taylor If Tristan Wirfs Was Off The Board

November 28th, 2021

Bucs GM Jason Licht

Joe’s not really buying this, but it certainly is interesting.

First, let Joe remind readers that ESPN super NFL insider Adam Schefter is a friend of Bucs general manager Jason Licht’s right hand man, salary cap/contract guru Mike Greenberg. They’re from the same small town in New York. So it’s no stretch to say that Schefter’s pipeline to the Bucs is Greenberg. Great source.

So today’s report by Schefter at is extra intriguing.

Per Schefter, the Bucs were going to draft Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor at No. 14 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft if right tackle Tristan Wirfs was unavailable. (The Bucs traded up to No. 13 with San Francisco to draft Wirfs.)

Joe is having a hard time swallowing that, primarily because Taylor fell all the way to No. 40 overall in Round 2 of that draft.

Are we to believe the Bucs were so high on Taylor they were going to draft him at No. 14, but then they didn’t trade up for the guy after seeing him make it to Round 2?  That doesn’t fully jibe, considering the Bucs were in full win-now mode.

Sure, Antoine Winfield, Jr. was a fine pick at No. 46 overall, five slots after the Colts snagged Taylor. But something isn’t adding up for Joe, especially with the Bucs drafting running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn in Round 3 (76 overall).

Regardless, it’s a fun nugget of Bucs history to discuss over a couple of Big Storm beers.

One thing the Colts and Bucs have in common certainly is nailing the 2020 draft. Indianapolis also drafted receiver Michael Pittman, Jr., earlier in that second round.

17 Responses to “Adam Schefter: Bucs Would Have Drafted Jonathan Taylor If Tristan Wirfs Was Off The Board”

  1. Ward Burns Says:

    Here is another one for you. Licht wanted Derek Carr in round 2 in 2014. We took Mike Evans first then the raiders took Carr 1 pick before us. That’s why our OC Tedford I believe quit before the season and we were left with Josh McCown and OC Marcus arroyo

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Glad Wirfs was there……he will likely be playing at a high level long after Taylor is done……RBs simply don’t have the durability, in general.

    I also find this very hard to believe…….Buc fans would have erupted….and Taylor wouldn’t run that well behind our Oline.

  3. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Who cares, if you’re gonna have Brady as your QB, Wirf was the obvious right choice. RB’s are injured far more than olineman.

  4. BuucccNASTY Says:

    Taylor would have been a prize at 14, but Wirfs was a gift from God.. I’ve been banging the drum on Taylor since his freshman year and I’m not even a badger fan, he’s that good to me. But I’m not buying it either. I was yelling at the Bucs (via yelling at my TV) to trade up for Taylor soon as the dinner bell rang on day 2, when he went 4 picks before me I was disgusted! However, I don’t think I’d take Taylor for one reason alone, and that was Winfield’s #2 in the Super Bowl lol

  5. BuucccNASTY Says:


  6. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Yes, very happy with Winfield. And he too will likely last longer than Taylor. RBs do have a short shelf life unfortunately.

  7. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    We might not win the Super Bowl without Wirfs.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Son of a former buccaneer! Did amazing in that super bowl vs the raiders

  9. Rayjay1122 Says:

    Yup, and that 15 yard penalty for Winfield flashing sauces at Hill was the best penalty in franchise history! Priceless!!!

  10. Bojim Says:

    If we knew then what we know now but we didn’t and Wirfs turned out to be pretty good no? 😁

  11. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    We needed an offensive lineman more than a running back, so Wirfs was the right pick.
    Remember, he FELL to us, he was not projected to be there at our draft pick.
    It was a total no brainer pick to take him.

  12. Winny Testaverde Says:

    The Bucs might not win the Super Bowl w/o Winfield as well ( Giants/Falcons game 1, Saints in playoffs ). Taylor is a great back and a perfect fit for the Colts. A big test today.

  13. Jerry Says:

    I hate these type of stories. They’re pointless.

    Good OLinemen are harder to find than RBs. In the modern NFL, elite RBs aren’t as critical as they used to be. That’s just how the game as evolved. It’s a passing league now. Guys like Taylor, Henry, McCaffrey, and Kamara are great players no doubt. And they are playmakers that can take over games. But they are also too easy for good teams to scheme against and too easy to get injured. Sure most teams are also sunk if their starting QB is hurt. But with a good OL, you can at least protect that player. On the other hand a RB is slammed to the turf every time he touches the ball. In an 17-game season where you feed him the ball 20+ times a game, the probability of injury is high, and his longevity is limited.

  14. SOEbuc Says:

    Plzzzzzzzzzz shut up. I hear this “we could of got Dalvin Cook” BS every day! And no pick is identical. People can put in bids determined by every pick and there is no guarantee if they will or will not accept.

    The woulda, shoulda, coulda is so f-ing dumb in the draft.

  15. SOEbuc Says:

    Not to mention anyone could be a total bust coming in as a rookie to a different system.

  16. Listnfrmafar Says:

    How would Taylor work in a no risk it no biscuit offense???

  17. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    It’s not a bad thing, the Bucs are stuck with Tristin Wirfs, lol