When The Smoke Cleared, The Bucs Drafted For Need

May 2nd, 2022

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

Joe is quite certain the best-player-available crowd wanted to vomit watching the Bucs’ 2022 NFL Draft.

The BPA crowd is rarely happy.

Why is life tough on them? Because teams largely draft for need, or perceived need. The bad teams don’t know what their needs are.

The Bucs entered last week’s draft with a departed young Pro Bowler at left guard and an unsigned 35-year-old defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh, whose playing time was at a career low last season. Suh also wants a salary the Bucs don’t want to pay him.

Throw in that one of Suh’s backups, Steve McClendon, was the oldest defensive player in the NFL the past two seasons, and it’s no surprise the Bucs felt a pressing need on their interior defensive line and at guard.

And whaddya know, the Bucs drafted a defensive tackle and a guard with their first two picks. It’s amazing how that worked out after Bucs fans listened to general manager Jason Licht and head coach Todd Bowles talk about the importance of sticking to the draft board and taking the best available player.

The Bucs may have drafted best-available, but the coincidence is too much fun to ignore.

Tampa Bay also lost a productive running back this offseason, a Super Bowl season hero in 24-year-old Ronald Jones. The Bucs’ third draft pick on Friday was a running back, Rachaad White. And fourth came a tight end to replace O.J. Howard (and hopefully not Rob Gronkowski).

Need. Need. Need. Need.

Joe hopes the Bucs nailed their needs successfully, and that they did not lie at edge rusher and cornerback.

54 Responses to “When The Smoke Cleared, The Bucs Drafted For Need”

  1. SB~LV Says:

    Of course!

  2. Red Skeleton Says:

    Sometimes building depth is as important as finding starters. We have a loaded lineup but there were depth issues that can ruin a season very quickly.

  3. D-Rok Says:

    A pretty solid overall draft. I’m anxious to see how a few of these players fit in with the Bucs. Good job, Mr. Licht and scouts!!

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    Shaq Mason should be included in our list of picks. Number 5. Too many are leaving him out in their ratings of Licht’s draft, I suspect. He is a great “pick”.

  5. SlyPirate Says:

    A LOOK AHEAD – The Bucs 2023 UFA include …

    Offense: TB12
    Defense: LVD, Gholston, Nacho, SMB, Dean, Edwards

    Expect Gholston, Nacho, and two of the DBs to resign.

    The Bucs will need to pick up: Will and QB. They’ll have $63M in cap space.

    If Trask can emerge, the Bucs are doing great!

  6. Cobraboy Says:

    Bad teams draft BPA because they have needs everywhere.

    All-in good teams draft BPA that fit their needs.

  7. Cobraboy Says:

    Casual Observer makes an excellent point: Shaq Mason was also a draft pick.

  8. sasquatch Says:

    They always draft for need. There is no reason to draft a guy if he’s not going to make your team better, especially at positions of weakness. The whole best player available just means don’t reach for need. It also means having a plan based on where the value is on the board.

  9. Bruce Blahak Says:

    best player available, at a position of need…

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    And….you can call the drafting of Camara a need…..need to dump Pinion’s $2.9 mil salary……
    If they don’t come back, the salaries of replaced players by draft picks is quite high.

    Suh $8mil
    Gronk $8mil
    Marpet $11mi
    Pinion $3mil

    That’s $30 mil with those 4 players……now we expect Gronk & possibly Suh to come back….but going forward into 2023 it will help immensely on the cap.

    Also, it could be argued that both CB & TE depth could be needs….so those two picks can be added to the list.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:


  12. Posey99 Says:

    Big strong players all the way through the draft. No real finesse guys.

  13. HC Grover Says:

    Drafted to plug holes. Can’t put square peg in round hole.

  14. Smashsquatch Says:

    Needs nailed indeed. Not a coincidence. Happy with their picks nonetheless.

  15. gotbbucs Says:

    They put players in grouping pods and have a value assigned to those pods. Just like when Bowles said they had 4 or 5 players that they liked enough to pick them at 27 so they knew they could move back to 33 and be pretty confident that at least one of those guys would be there.
    Of course they’re going to pick a player that they need out of that valued pod grouping. You would have to be pretty naive to not see how this works. Every single team is drafting the players that fit their perceived team need. The more team needs, the larger the mix of players could be. The Bucs are unique in that they have a 45 year old QB and need the players they draft to contribute now.
    A team like the Jets can almost literally pick a player at any position and they’ll have an opportunity to contribute. Bucs used to be that way too not that long ago.

  16. Buczilla Says:

    I hope so too Joes.

  17. Colonel Angus Says:

    And that’s how you grade this draft today. Did we fill holes, time will tell if he made the right choices.

  18. CharlieV Says:

    Best player available at position most in need. Seems everyone should be happy. Never happen.

  19. geno711 Says:

    Nate Tice is an ex scout and NFL quality control coach that now works for The Athletic. He was one of three draft experts from The Athletic that were asked to give their opinion on what team did the best.

    His response:

    Tice: The Jets and Ravens are two great answers, but if I had to go away from those two teams, how about a team without a first-round pick in the Buccaneers? Logan Hall can play along the defensive line and has plenty of upside to tap into, and Luke Goedeke will bring versatility along the interior offensive line and can play early at left guard. Rachaad White, my RB3, is a personal favorite, and I love his receiving ability and running style for the Bucs’ “at you” run scheme. And to start off Round 4, the Bucs took a legit Y tight end in Cade Otton. Just a fun array of starting-level talent.

  20. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I consider myself part of the general BPA community. When I say BPA I mean best available tempered by perceived needs. This appoach can be summed up conceptually by one word ‘value’. That value is always seen from the point of view of the franchise. 🕵🏼‍♂️

    I am very happy with the results of our draft after having spent a couple days researching our picks. I give us an A- rating for our draft. I don’t care what the nationa pundits’ opinions are. I do care what local analyst and hard core fans think.

    Go Bucs!

  21. BucsFan 4Ever Says:

    It only makes sense that the Bucs would draft according to their needs this year. If they had more room under the salary cap it would give them more flexibility to address their needs via free agency. But we’re already challenged just to bring back some of the players we really want. It’s not possible to address all needs via free agency without creating even more dead cap space in future years than we already have. So it has to be done via the draft.

    Our GM isn’t going to acknowledge our strategy prior to the draft letting other teams they’re going to draft according to needs. If he had then the Glazer’s might have had him drug-tested. Feeding the reporters disinformation as he does IS exactly what he needs to do before the draft if he is doing his job properly.

  22. Beeej Says:

    We drafted by need, but I don’t think we drafted people above their assessment, other than mebbe the punter

  23. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    I think that the appoach I just outlined is the one that was “built into” the Buccaneers’ draft board. I have been observing how Lich has matured as a GM. He deferred too much to the HC (and maybe other coaches) his first few years.

  24. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    I hope Logan Hall works out, but Travis Jones would’ve been a much better pick/fit as a DT/DE in this defense. Carmada could’ve been had in the 7th (wasted pick as a 4th). White was picked WAAAY to early (was he even on anyone else’s draft board?!?). Love the Goedeke, McCollum, and both TE pick’s. I’m saddened to give this draft a C+ because the potential was there throughout to do so much better.

  25. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘the Bucs drafted a defensive tackle and a guard with their first two picks.’

    Continually calling Logan Hall a ‘defensive tackle’ Joe won’t make him one. Logan Hall is a 3-4 DE who can play inside some (like JPP did). At 278 lbs he’d take a beating inside if used there too much.

    I’m convinced he was drafted as JPP’s replacement, not Suh’s (Hall is 6’6″ & 278 while JPP is 6’5″ & 275). Suh in comparison is 6’4″ & 313 lbs … that’s like 35 lbs heavier than Hall. Plus Suh is a once-in-a-generation beast.

  26. Admiral Redbeard Says:

    Defense Rules, nice to see SOMEBODY else gets it!

  27. RioDeJaneiroBucsFan Says:

    IMHO, the 2022 draft was one of the strangest of all time. Sauce Gardner was the lone sure pick. Even Aiden Hutchinson in any other year would be considered a reach at #2.
    I think that Logan Hall was a very good choice. The guy can play all around the DL. And if his major problem is facing double teams, there`s no problem at all because no DC in the league will double team a rookie, leaving VV handling just one iOL.
    The 2nd pick is a classic Licht move, his record with small school Guards make me very comfortable with this one (but the trade up is questionable).
    Rachaad White is a freak athlete and he seems to have soft hands. He will be coached to improve the pass protection, good pick.
    TE was the most glaring need, it needed to be adressed. Besides Trey McBride, there was a pack of guys with nothing more than promise. I hope that JL picked the right one in Cade Otton.
    Zyon McCollum seems like a steal, very intriging pick.
    The Punter was a cap oriented pick.
    6th and 7th rounders are ST guys, maybe the TE can develop into a vicious blocker.
    Overall, it seems like a good draft – considering the low quality crop.

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    BTW Joe, there were several DTs picked in Rnd 3 (we had Pick 91 there but chose RB White & Pick 106 but chose TE Otton) who could’ve served our NEED for a DT very nicely.

    o Pick 95: Zachary Carter, DT Florida
    o Pick 108: Perrion Winfrey, DT Oklahoma

    Could’ve also had Travis Jones (DT, Conn) taken at Pick #76 (Rnd 3) or DeMarvin Leal (DT, Texas A&M) taken at Pick #84 (Rnd 3) IF we were willing to pay to move up just a few spots.

    As it is, we’d better re-sign Suh.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    Horrible draft

  30. geno711 Says:


    I agree with Joe and not you on the subject of Logan Hall.
    We will see. I think the Bucs clearly seeing Logan Hall as a Defensive Tackle and not the outside linebacker position that JPP had in this defense.

    JPP had most of his snaps at the C gap. Hall will be playing the B gap just like he did in Houston. Everything I read is that he is very strong and disruptive in the middle.

  31. D-Rome Says:

    I thought the Bucs had a great draft.

  32. geno711 Says:

    On Logan Hall — Think Calais Campbell not JPP for comparison.

    Probably does not reach either in terms of success but I think Bucs see Logan Hall more like Calais Campbell then they do JPP.

    Logan Hall and Calais Campbell both were 282 at the combine.

  33. Cobraboy Says:

    Too many get hung up on a DT/DE designation.

    It all depends on the defense, whether a traditional 4-3 or Bowles 3-4.

    I do not see Hall as necessarily a 3-4 DT because he’s not stout like Suh, Vea or even Gholston (despite the ht/wt comparison).

    I don’t believe he was drafted to be a primary knuckle-on-the-groung Ugly.

    I think he’s more of a JPP-type guy, mostly stand-up OLB which, really, is a traditional DE who can occasionally go inside.

    The Bucs are said to run a 3-4 D, and a 3-4 D is supposed to be somehow “unique: vis-a-vis the king of player that fit it.

    I kinda disagree. I see the Bucs running a sort of 5-2 which was popular in HS and college years ago, but with a few twists. 5-2’s have a stout NG (Vea), stout inside guys (Gholston & Suh), and outside guys who stand up and read the play and can sometimes get on the ground and sometimes drop into coverage. 5-2’s have stout inside LB’s who can also run.

    I also see the fact Hall was drafted as a sign that Suh will come back, otherwise, the Bucs might have drafted a true hands-on-the-ground stout Big Ugly…like Wyatt (baggage and all.)

    IMO, Hall brings a LOT of flexibility to the Buc D that a Wyatt could not.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Defense rules Logan hall is 285 not 278 plus Bowles said they want to get him up 295 300 so he is definitely going to play suh’s spot

  35. GOB Says:

    Was secondary a need they ignored? Guess we’ll find out. The bucs secondary overachieved during the superbowl run. The next season they were decimated due to injury. Anyone here expecting the DB’s to play like they did two years ago is fooling themselves.

  36. Mike Says:

    The best drafts are when they can draft at need areas but that the value of the pick is commensurate with where they are drafted. They didn’t do too badly on value, but did somewhat overdraft on all of their first 4 draft picks. However, if they can make the team and eventually be starters, it’s all good.

  37. jerseybuc Says:

    Good players find their way to the field. If we drafted Micah Parsons, he would be on the field, no matter that we are strong at linebacker. Good coaches find a way to make it work. Bellicheck once played 5 linebackers for a good portion of
    a “winning” season. if you have a strong at a position doesn’t mean you ignore it, cause one play could change that in a hurry as well.

  38. Defense Rules Says:

    Geno I hope you’re right, because would’ve loved to see Calais Campbell as a Buc. He’s a beast in the same mold as Ndamukong Suh IMO. Apparently he filled out nicely after the Combine, because they list him as 6’8″ & 300 lbs. Interestingly the only year they listed him as a DT was last year (his 14th). Pretty much a LDE before that. He was also a 2nd Rnd pick BTW so there are some good ones who can be had there.

  39. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR & Cobra

    I predict L. Hall will be playing every position along our D-line depending on the situation.

    They had JTS rushing the passer from DT last year and playing outside on perceived run downs. We will do the same with L. Hall.

    He will move inside to rush the passer and will play on the outside more on run heavy downs…

  40. Defense Rules Says:

    Cobraboy … Fascinating perspective. You got me wondering if Bowles is planning on tinkering with what he expects the DLine to do in his defense. Lots of folks have said that he’s excellent at adapting his defenses to what his players bring to the table. Maybe he’s just taking that one step further.

  41. Marine Buc Says:

    Also I believe JTS and Hall had similar numbers at the combine…

    JTS was faster in the 40 but Hall was similar @ 3-cone, vertical and broad jump, etc…

  42. geno711 Says:

    GOB Says:
    May 2nd, 2022 at 2:05 pm
    Was secondary a need they ignored? Guess we’ll find out. The bucs secondary overachieved during the superbowl run. The next season they were decimated due to injury.

    I get your point but although I do not see either Dean or SMB as studs they are reasonablely solid cornerbacks. Going back to the 2019 draft:

    Deandre Baker 1st round 30th overall.
    Byron Murphy 1st round 33rd overall.
    Rock Ya-Sin 2nd round 34rh overall.
    Trayvon Mullen. 2nd round 40th overall.
    Joejuan Williams 2nd round 45th overall.
    Greedy Williams 2nd round 46th overall.

    All are the above are playing but who of that group is better than our two guys?

    By the way, I clearly think our two guys will be getting over 5 million a year on the open market next year.

  43. Bucamania Says:

    And whaddya know, the Bucs drafted a defensive tackle and a guard with their first two picks. It’s amazing how that worked out after Bucs fans listened to general manager Jason Licht and head coach Todd Bowles talk about the importance of sticking to the draft board and taking the best available player.

    LOL exactly.

    What’s with JL drafting a bunch of old players? Three 23yo picks and a 25yo.

  44. NewarkBucsfan Says:

    Excuse me, “Superbowl season hero” we seriously talking about ROJO, who couldn’t score being on the 2 yard line, the same ROJO that failed to block time after time. Other than that you’re right on point.

  45. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    That new corner seems like he gonna be a nice surprise.

  46. Allbuccedup Says:

    Licht sure loves kickers!

  47. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I liked this team before the draft so I like them after the draft.

    I’m like show me the money. I sorta get excited by the “prospects” of a new player blowing up, but I’m more excited by all the players on the Bucs who have already blown up at least one season…many have more…and so there’s no reason to doubt they can do it again if they remain healthy.

    The only thing worse than getting truly excited about the NFL draft and what it will mean going forward is the fuss over college signings. High school kids have a lot of growing before they’re close to be ready to judge.

    The NIL rules may change the face of college football recruiting anyway,

  48. GOB Says:

    Allbuccedup, hopefully this dude will help. The bucs were terrible at the field position game. They got away with it against most teams. But, when the game is tight, it can mean the difference.

  49. BigMacAttack Says:

    Every position on the field carries a value too. QB is obviously the highest. Then you have receivers and corners, but also outside lines and inside lines. Every GM probably has a slightly different rating. Then you have your offense and defense infills 😂. RB’s I believe round out the bottom, even lower than kickers, and punters don’t even make the list yet we drafted one. This is joke

  50. K2 Says:

    The players they draft are the ones that they think will help win now and in the future. Jason always talks about trying to draft players that intersect the value/need and not reach too much. In general, they do a solid job.

    The problem is that we value our own opinions and media peoples opinions above scouts, coaches and GMs. Obviously, the media has already graded every draft and knows without a doubt which teams got the best values. In reality…they don’t have a clue!

  51. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Hey we can draft best player available, and not even come close to filling a need. No time to screw around. They had to go trenches to start the Draft. They got the BPA at the moment in their mind for their need.

    GO BUCS!!!

  52. Mikebuc40 Says:

    BPA at the position of need.

  53. Anonymous Says:

    Draft was ok. I still believe bucs made a mistake in not drafting wyatt.

  54. Edward M Hosch Says:

    Hope they didn’t make mistake in not taking a solid DT in wyatt. Could you imagine him and veta vea in the middle of that defense