Grading Jason Licht — Round 2

April 14th, 2022

Time to uncap your red pen (too soon?) and grade the NFL Draft record of Super Bowl general manager Jason Licht.

Grading a veteran general manager’s draft record is a fun exercise and not so easy. It’s tough assessing the moves made versus the ones that possibly should have been.

It’s also challenging to score a team-building pick versus a best-player-available selection. Then there’s the reality meter: a club’s record and a players’ impact.

Injuries are an X-factor because while a GM can’t really be blamed for injuries, GMs also proudly boast how they have elite medical and training staffs. And that staff evaluates prospects’ health and performance to project potential injuries – and to prevent them.

So injuries can’t just be written off as bad luck. Joe has heard the tired line many times, “Medical evaluation is the most important aspect of the NFL Scouting Combine.”

Bucs fans are now entering the ninth draft of Licht’s Tampa Bay tenure. So how is he doing in Round 2?

2014 – Austin Seferian-Jenkins
2015 – Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet
2016 – Noah Spence, Roberto Aguayo
2017 – Justin Evans
2018 – Ronald Jones, M.J. Stewart, Carlton Davis
2019 – Sean Murphy-Bunting
2020 – Antoine Winfield, Jr.
2021 — Kyle Trask

Licht is drafting better than the league average in Round 2. Less than half are/were busts.

Yeah, Licht has dropped historic strikeouts deuces in the second round, but overall he has done well — two Pro Bowlers, Super Bowl starters and a wild card at quarterback. Even M.J. Stewart scored himself a free agent contract with Houston this offseason. Joe still doesn’t know what the Bucs saw in Stewart to select him two picks before Davis and then-LSU cornerback Donte Jackson. But it all worked out.

Considering the rest of Round 2 taken after Murphy-Bunting, picking him was better than it might appear.

The Evans pick was aggravating at the time because the Bucs were desperate for a running back and didn’t seem to know it, and that draft was loaded with special backs.

In Licht’s second draft (2015), Joe thought Licht and former head coach Lovie Smith flashed major confidence ignoring offensive line in free agency and drafting Smith and Marpet to start immediately.

Joe has to hand Licht a B+ for Round 2. Have your say below.


31 Responses to “Grading Jason Licht — Round 2”

  1. tampabayallday Says:

    smh 2016

  2. Pewter941 Says:

    Im still traumatized about Aguayo, but i want to change my vote to a B, because I overlooked Marpet and Smith

  3. Pewter941 Says:

    from a C

  4. GOB Says:

    Considering the vast majority of those picks were in the top half of the second round, the grade is a C+. It’s much easier to draft good players with higher picks, all should accept that as an axiom. Licht is a good GM, probably in the top 15. Let’s just not anoint his feet with oil, for drafting in the top fifteen of every round.

  5. Drebucsfan Says:

    Jason Licht gets a special pass from me as his two former head coaches L. Smith and koetter staff were horrible drafting/developing and bringing in talent..licht only did what his head coaches asked of him. When a real head coach and leader came in he quickly showed his talent as a GM! He should be arguably praised as maybe the best Gm in history for bucs

  6. Smashsquatch Says:

    By my count he’s 5-6 with the jury still out on Trask.

  7. SlyPirate Says:

    The team has 22 starters. 5 of the Bucs current starters came from the 2nd Round. Find another NFL team that can tout that stat. Easy A.

  8. Dewey Selmon Says:

    C until BA showed up. A- since.

  9. WVBuc Says:

    Let’s look at this through a baseball analogy.

    Home runs –

    2015 – Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet
    2020 – Antoine Winfield, Jr.

    Triples –


    Doubles –

    2018 – Ronald Jones, M.J. Stewart, Carlton Davis

    Singles –

    2019 – Sean Murphy-Bunting

    Hit by pitch –

    2014 – Austin Seferian-Jenkins

    Strike out –

    2017 – Justin Evans

    Base on balls –

    2021 — Kyle Trask

    Gut wrenching, game ending, double play grounder with the bases loaded while tripping over his bat trying to leave the batter’s box –

    2016 – Noah Spence, Roberto Aguayo

    I’ve gotta go C+ or B- because the good is great but the bad is ridiculously horrible.

  10. Tampabaybucfsn Says:

    C +….agree with GOB

  11. WVBuc Says:


    I have to leave and won’t be back for several hours…but if I remember I will take that challenge. I would be shocked if it isn’t close to half of the teams with 5 starters from the 2nd round. If an NFL team flanks the 2nd round consistently, they’re the Jets.

  12. WVBuc Says:

    Flanks = flunks

    I swear to all that is good and holy that I hate spellchecker here n there and from time to time

  13. Letsbuccinggo Says:

    2014 and 2016 were really the only bad years. Justin Evans a good player until the injury. MJ was a bust Davis was a good pick and Rojo was ok probably should have been a third rounder.

  14. godlovesbucs Says:

    Justin Evans was derailed by injuries, not a gm problem. He looked good when he was playing. Trask is complete unknown, drop him from the equation. ROJO was decent, but team never got behind him, also fragile mentally it seems.

    Marpet, Smith, dean, Winfield, smb all solid starters. Some of them are VERY good starters.

    Aguayo was terrible on all levels

    Spence and asj we’re misses.

    MJ was forgettable.

    The big question is what do you expect out of a 2nd rd pick? I think you want 50% to make it to a second contract as a solid starter. With Trask out of the equation, 5 of the 10 are solid starters and either have had or probably will get a second contract with the team. 3 are well above expectation (Smith,marpet,Winfield). To me, that is almost an a, with the. B+ being because of aguayo.

  15. PSL Bob Says:

    Agree with GOB, but gave him a B-. You really need to establish some metrics and then compare his picks with the rest of the league. Not even sure what the metrics would be. You can’t use team records in games played by each player. Perhaps % of snaps played at their respective positions adjusted for the number of years since being drafted. It’s difficult to quantify their relative importance. I’m sure Cynthia Frelund has a program for that.

  16. rrsrq Says:

    B+ for sure, ASJ was talented, but he was mental, ROJO drafted by the wrong coach, Evans was a baller when on the field, have not figured how MJ Stewart has lasted this long, but kudos to him.

  17. SufferingSince76 Says:

    WVBuc, thumbs up on the baseball analogy.

  18. BUCman Says:

    Several hits, several misses……. about 50/50

  19. bob Says:

    hes good

  20. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


    But he has improved as time went on. Based on the past 4 years? B+ or A

  21. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Hopefully, having Gronk showed him what to look for in tight ends…

  22. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    ASJ and OJ Howard were virtual twins drafted a round apart (and years).

  23. Bucs Guy Says:

    MJ Stewart and Rojo as doubles? Really. Maybe a single for Rojo at best. Never should have picked him with his red flags — only played well against poor teams and didn’t perform against big schools in college. Evans was very good when healthy. The problem was he couldn’t stay healthy (not JL’s fault).

    I agree with your other assessments though WVBuc.

  24. NDog is an Idiot Says:

    It’ll take quite a few A+ 2nd round picks to get it out of a grade c because of the trade up for Aguayo!!

  25. Craig Says:

    He has progressed from the D and F of his first couple drafts. Hopefully Brady will shoot a few spitballs at him if he drifts too far from a decent pick and he will wake up.

    He needs a good draft this season, which means got for line guys through three rounds, then try FB, RB and the like.

  26. Tbbucs3 Says:


    I wouldn’t count MJ Stewart or ROJO as doubles and would add CD3 as a Tripple.

    MJ Stewart seems to be developing well with the Browns but he was bad here.

  27. WVBuc Says:

    They aren’t double guys, the year is…it’s by year.

  28. David Says:

    B+ or A-.
    4 out of 11 players were duds. 7 were good to great (and I include MJ in that).
    I don’t count Trask because we don’t know.

    2016 and 17 sucked but overall it is much better than most teams

  29. Matlok727 Says:

    How about a football analogy

  30. Buczilla Says:

    Licht is the best gm in the league now, but since we are looking at his entire body of work in the second round I’ll give him a C. Antoine and Ali are the only pro bowlers, Carlton is crazy overrated, but still above average, Donovan is good, Sean is below average, who knows about Trask, and everyone else was a bust or damn close to it.

  31. WVBuc Says:

    A football analogy made too much sense and baseball just started but I’ll give it a go.

    A key I might have indicated before on the Baseball analogy is these are based on the year and those drafted that year combined.


    2015 – Donovan Smith, Ali Marpet

    Field goal

    2020 – Antoine Winfield, Jr.

    First down inside the 20

    2018 – Ronald Jones, M.J. Stewart, Carlton Davis

    Big play First down


    First down from your own end of the field

    2019 – Sean Murphy-Bunting

    Roughing the passer First down

    2014 – Austin Seferian-Jenkins

    Offsetting penalties repeat first down

    2021 — Kyle Trask

    Fumble or interception


    Turnover on downs

    2017 – Justin Evans

    Buttfumble, Jim Marshall, Leon Lett, the Heidi Bowl and Jerome Bettis calling heads or tails caused less indigestion combined…

    2016 – Noah Spence, Roberto Aguayo

    It’s more challenging to break the analogy down for football because there are plentiful more steps and possibilities involved with scoring points. Baseball is mainly hit or miss but merely taking a swing is the first of several this or that options that build upon each other…

    Either the batter swings or doesn’t

    If he does, he either hits it or he doesn’t

    About 1,001 thing might happen once the foorball is snapped and that’s just the beginning of the play.