Bucs Rookies No. 22

February 18th, 2023


It’s sort of unfair to judge a draft class/rookie class by one season.

Generally, three years is sufficient to get an idea if a guy belongs in the NFL or is better suited for the USFL.

But just judging the 2022 Bucs draft class, Chris Trapasso of CBS isn’t blown away. In fact, Trapasso believes the Tampa Bay rookie class ranks in the bottom third of the league. He has the 2022 Bucs rookies at No. 22.

When given a more substantial role later in the season, [Rachaad] White was a dynamic pass catcher like he was at Arizona State. The tight end duo stayed true to their strengths in Year 1. [Ko] Kieft blocked well and [Cade] Otton made some plays as a receiver.

“Made some plays” is not a ringing endorsement for Otton. He flashed some but Joe isn’t sure if Otton is NFL starting material yet. Otton showed enough to get Joe excited but Joe has to see more. Of course, tight ends often struggle in their rookie seasons.

Ko Kieft has everything you like in a backup role. He can blast linebackers but not defensive ends. Joe had a Bucs fan gripe to him recently that Kieft cannot block defensive ends. Simple, then don’t ask him to block defensive ends!

(Perhaps Joe’s favorite Bill Belicheat quote is, “Don’t tell me what a guy can’t do. Tell me what he can do.”)

As for running back Rachaad White, in one of the few games in which the Bucs’ run game was clicking, against Seattle at Munich, White was dominant. So Joe is eager to see what White can do with a coordinator with more of a clue about crafting a run game than failed former offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich.

22 Responses to “Bucs Rookies No. 22”

  1. Mort Says:

    Your (correct) premise that it’s too early to judge them undercuts the opinion piece on CBS. How about we analyze the draft from 3 years ago instead.

  2. Brian Says:

    Online first round, Kendon Hooker 2nd

  3. SKBucsFan Says:

    The last two drafts have been difficult to judge. But then again scouts didn’t have a lot to go on in the middle of a pandemic.
    I’ve been hard on Licht in the past not because he has failed in drafting. That happens to all teams. It’s been that he trades up and consistently loses the 4th round pick in the process to get guys that would have likely been available at the spot they were originally scheduled to pick. He drafts a lot of players from small , unranked programs higher than everyone with an opinion has them rated.
    He just needs to quit being the smartest guy in the room.

  4. Marine Buc Says:

    We didn’t make our first pick (Hall) until #33… Luke Goedeke was pick #57. R. White was #91.

    If these guys continue to develop it will be a solid draft for where we were picking.

    Plus we were drafting for need last year not “best player available”. Every draft pick played a role except our 7th round pick who was cut and several were starters at times (Crumarda, Otton, White, Goedeke).

    All things considered I would give last years draft a B-…

  5. Coburn Says:

    Agree with marine. Logan hall was a disappointment, but could get better. Goedeks was thrown in too quickly… Dunno what to think. Rest all seemed pretty solid for where they were picked

  6. View from 132 Says:

    The better the team, the less the rookies shine. The Bucs had two seasons of greatness, so rookies weren’t drafted as saviors. Thankfully.

    White will be a star. A few others in that class go that will contribute for years.

  7. D-Rok Says:

    At least R. White got the Angry Run scepter for tossing that guy outta the club.
    As an additional honor, White was in the top-3 finalists at the Hall of Fame honors show for the Angry Run of the Year – he didn’t get it, but at least he and the Bucs got some league recognition.

    White is a keeper.

  8. TampaBayBucsFanSince1976 Says:

    Coordinators do not block on running plays-Offensive Linemen do. Oline was an embarassment , and that is on Jason licht who did nothing during the season to address a glaring weakness by bringing in anybody-even when players were available-quality players that could have been had cheap.

  9. BUCman Says:

    No surprise here!!! I hated our draft class from the beginning. The trade down with their first round pick to take Hall in the second round made me furious when it happened and he ended up being worse than I thought he’d be. The only pick that will be offered a second contract will be the punter. That tells you everything you need to know about this draft class.

  10. Buc1987 Says:

    Brian to promote a dude…ya at least need spell his name right. 🙂

  11. Rod Munch Says:

    I believe White can be a star. He’s fantastic catching the ball, a complete natural. He looks quick and makes good decisions as a runner. He got off to a shaky start when they tried to make him a returner, but he got much much better as the year went along, and I’d love for the Bucs to make him the full-time starter, which won’t happen if Lenny is around.

    For Otton, he’s basically a young Brate – meaning a pass catching TE who doesn’t seem to be much of a blocker. But TE’s, long with defensive lineman, rarely have good rookie years as the NFL-level of physicality is so much higher than what it is in college, it takes time to adjust. So as far as blocking goes, Otton still might get better, but as a pass catcher he made huge improvements during the year and I think he’ll be a decent start. Not Baby Gronk like some idiots were saying, but not a liability either.

    Ko seems like your generic blocking TE. Every team needs those guys, and again. He’s a giant man and again, like above, I think he can still level up in terms of blocking.

    Hall didn’t show anything, but, like above, when you bet on rookie defensive lineman to be productive, you’re generally going to lose those bets. With that said you like to see a player progress over the year and we didn’t really see that either. After he was picked I went back and watched tape of him and I have no idea why they picked him as his highlights were awful, but obviously I didn’t watch as much tape as the scouts did. In any case, his build and weight make him an ideal 4-3 defensive end, but the Bucs run a 3-4, so that’s an issue. He’ll likely need to put on 20-30lbs of muscle, or lose 20-30lbs. But we’ll see. I never judge defensive lineman based on their rookie years since they rarely excel early on.

    As for Goedeke – well Licht has enough cred for me to still have confidence in him. If the Bucs, for cap reasons, get rid of Smith, I still like the idea of moving Wirfs to LT and giving Luke a shot at RT. If Trask is the starting QB, then the team is losing anyways, so you might as well give him a shot and see if you got something. Or if you don’t want to move Wirfs, I’d give him a shot at LT, but also draft someone.

    Jake Camarda had a great rookie year, and punters don’t tend to flake out like placekickers, so you might have a punter for the next 15-20 years, and that’s a good use of a pick.

    Zyon McCollum looked like what he was, a late round flyer. He was terrible in games, but has good recovery speed. Clearly he’s a developmental player who was rushed into action, but has the pure speed you need, so he’s got chance to stick on the roster.

  12. Marine Buc Says:

    @ Rod

    Nice post.

    I also would like to see Wirfs moved to LT and Goedeke given a shot to play RT… It seems like Goedeke might make a better OT than OG. He has a longer/leaner build than I prefer at OG.

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    Marine Buc – Thanks. After I hit ‘submit’, I thought, wow, that’s a book, no one is reading all of that. I was proven wrong.

    That, sir, makes you a great American!

  14. Pickgrin Says:

    We had our 3rd, 4th, 4th and 6th rd picks either starting or playing major roles and doing it pretty well in their rookie year.

    Our 5th rd pick is as athletic as they come and did play well on ST.

    Our early 2nd and late 2nd rd picks will surely improve enough over the next couple years to – at the very least – be adequate starters on the DL and OL.

    Any draft that nets 4 or 5 decent or better starters like the Bucs 2022 draft ultimately will is a hell of an effort by the GM and his team. Especially picking at the end of every round…..

  15. Bucco Bruce Says:

    I hope we draft Hunter Luepke in the 5th if he lasts till then. A big rb/fb that has some speed for his size, can block, and can catch. Dude is a stud imo and a great piece to add if we are going more heavy on running.

  16. Goatfarmer Says:

    Rod — White needs a different coach to be a star, one that holds him accountable with consequences for his severe inconsistency. Blowes is all talk, no accountability. No consequences.

    Put White on the Ravens or Steelers and he’d have to eat some humble pie, but would probably turn into a very good player. Alas, playing for the Toadster, he doesn’t know how to improve except by doing the same things he has been doing that yields the inconsistency.

  17. Goatfarmer Says:

    Rod — sorry, wrong White. I thought you were talking about Diva. Agree on the RB named White.

  18. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Logan Who? Any time your highest pick is a completely a no-show ALL YEAR then you (so-far) have really screwed up. Maybe he shows up in coming years but for now he is in the Booker Reese camp. Total flop! Yea, #22 and looking to go lower.

  19. Mike S Says:

    Potential cap cuts:

    Tom Brady (obviously retired)
    Shaq Barrett – 30 years old already was declining now coming off an achilles rupture just not worth top of the line $$ for an edge rusher.
    Dononvan Smith – the most penalized LT in the game. Time to move on.
    Shaq Mason – Bucs overpaid for his services. Time to rectify that.
    Fournette – Doesn’t show up in shape. Looked slow in 2022. Time to move on.
    Russell Gage – made a lot of mental mistakes in 2022. 12M is an overpay.

  20. Mike S Says:

    bucsfaninOregon they REALLY blew the DL picks past two seasons.

    JST, Hall, Anthony these guys are all busts. Might as well watch the waiver wire on cuts this season. Bound to be cast off players better than these three.

  21. Destinjohnny Says:

    If Jason hits on one player in draft I break out the Dom P
    Google his drafts man
    Guy Doesn’t have it

  22. SOEbuc Says:

    Camarda is the 💣 Good punter for a while.