Chasing A Safety

March 25th, 2023

Safety help.

One cool thing about the free agency period is it usually is a window into what to expect in the draft.

For example, after free agency, a roster with glaring holes mean you can bet that team will try to fill them in the draft.

And right now, Joe is willing to wager the Bucs draft a safety.

The Bucs lost two good young safeties in Jordan Whitehead and Mike Edwards to free agency in 2022 and 2023. Also, Keanu Neal is still unsigned. A backup last season, he has been talking to the Eagles.

Veteran Logan Ryan, who played both safety and corner for the Bucs, is also a free agent.

So why is Joe so sure the Bucs will draft a safety? Because the Bucs swung and missed on signing a safety in free agency, per NFL insider Aaron Wilson. The Bengals signed safety Nick Scott after he was being chased by the Bucs, Broncos and Rams.

So with with the Scott miss and three of their 2022 safeties either signed elsewhere or still looking for work, Joe sees that as a clear sign the Bucs will scoop up a safety in the draft.

53 Responses to “Chasing A Safety”

  1. Jeff Says:

    Foolish Bucs will ignore the pass rush and will draft a safety.

  2. Bobby M. Says:

    Safety has been a strength for Licht in the draft, let’s stick to positions we have a solid track record at drafting. Licht has a knack for o-line, safeties, WR/TEs…to some degree CBs. Licht sucks at drafting QBs….Winston is a bust, Trask can’t get on the field in two yrs, roll the dice on a young QB in rds 5-7 similar to San Francisco. Maybe you stumble upon a diamond in the rough but we need to use our picks in rds 1-4 on guys who can come in and actually compete for playing time. To draft a guy early to then come in and sit behind Mayfield and Trask is doing exactly what we did with Trask whom we have no confidence that he’s even remotely ready because we left whatever scraps Brady would leave to a career back up in Gabbert.

  3. Voice of Truth Says:

    Consistently winning teams always build and draft from the trenches back

    Not from the secondary forward

    We have never been a consistent winner because we have never built the team for the long haul

    Multiple GMs to blame of course not just JL – but how did he do pre-Brady?????

  4. Dooley Says:

    JL Skinner or Antonio Johnson would be nice

  5. WillieG Says:

    Edwards and Whitehead were two of my favorite Bucs. I hate the salary cap. Yeah, there needs to be a cap floor and ceiling to keep teams honest and competitive, but it doesn’t need to be punitive.

  6. lambchop Says:

    @Bobby M,

    Almost every QB needy team would have drafted Winston or Mariota in that draft at #1. It just so happens that, in hindsight, it was a BAD year to draft a QB. That’s not on Licht.

    Who were we going to go with? Josh McCown or Mike Glennon?

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    Brian Branch in round 1?

    Sydney Brown/Antonio Johnson in round 2?

    Jamie Robinson/Jordan Battle in round 3?

    I still believe our first pick will be an OT…

  8. Marine Buc Says:

    Pick #1 – OT
    Pick #2 – Safety
    Pick #3 – TE
    Pick #4 – RB (5th round)

    We need 3-4 starters from this draft. OT/S/TE/K…

  9. Steven007 Says:

    I know the conventional wisdom says build from the trenches back, but that doesn’t mean excluding the back. A nice d line and linebacking core and a pourous secondary doesn’t work either. Drafting a safety and or picking one up in free agency doesn’t go against that conventional wisdom either. I know it’s a platitude that’s repeated often but it’s a limited way of thinking. I’m pretty confident that the brain trust will take the players they believe to be the best ones available at the time we draft whether or not that’s trenches or back end.

  10. HC Grover Says:

    Agree need Safety, LT, DE, TE, in draft.

  11. CrackWise Says:

    I wish someone would name one other QB that got on the field while Brady was the QB.

    ANYWAYS, I like the idea of Baker being here for one reason and one reason only. It means we WILL NOT be drafting a QB.

    Assuming Baker gets the starting job. Kyle would be getting his first opportunity to actually dress for the games and it would be a super short leash on Baker.

    While Kyle may not be the answer as a starter long term. The guy is super smart and understands the game. The Bucs would do good to keep him around like they did Griffen.

    No reason to run off a carrier backup that has all of the intangibles but lacks the “ideal” physical traits. All you need to do is look at the list of QBs who have won SBs that did not have all of the “ideal physical traits”. Its not rocket science and our new OC has already laid the ground work for what is expected from our starting QB.

    Kyle Trask fits the bill as a long time productive #2 with the potential to take a team on a magical run.

    Just don’t understand why everyone wants to point to him not playing the last two years while we had potentially the best QB of all time.

  12. Buccos Says:

    I would resign Neal fo sho. He is a menace to society out there. A real party crasher

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    What I’d like to see:

    1st: Edge or OT
    2nd: OT or Edge
    3rd: Safety

    Look where Edwards (3rd) and Whitehead (4th) were drafted, that leads me to believe the Bucs can get a decent Safety in that range.

    I saw a mock draft of Atlanta drafting Nolan Smith of Georgia. I hope not.

  14. Dooley Says:


    We’ll add at least 1 more QB before start of the preseason, no NFL team goes into a season with just 2 QBs on their depth chart. The only question is with our cap situation and our draft selections is who, when, and where we add another QB. Drafting a QB just in case Mayfield earns the starting job, but not a 2nd contract in Tampa keeps us from having to be obligated to draft a QB in 2024 in my opinion. Which, is Trasks last year on his rookie deal and would be year 2 for a rookie QB brought in this season. That way if we have to reset the battle for our starting QB we’d still have 3 solid candidates to compete for the job this year and next.

    Totally agree tho, trying to diminish or gauge Trasks talent as a pro because he was sitting behind a combined 30 years of NFL exp between Brady & Gabbert is kind of pointless in regards to evaluating him as a player.

  15. Mike Johnson Says:

    I’m all in on a safety in the draft. But guys, your Defense had better be able to get off the field. We’d better get a pass rush from somewhere. Go DE 1st.

  16. Duane Says:

    The ignorant assumption is always that unless a quarterback is drafted early in the first round he’s bound to end up a career backup. Considering that Brady was a 6th rounder, and that our nemesis for the previous 15 years was Drew Brees, as a 2nd rounder, that is weird that Bucs fans would think that way.

    Certainly JBF should know a lot better.

    In point of fact, of the 20 quarterbacks now in the Hall of Fame, only 7 were drafted in the first round, and several of those late in the first round. The other 13 quarterbacks in the hall of fame were drafted from the 2nd through the 17th round, or were undrafted coming out of college. It gets no better than HOF.

    And that does not even include the fact that two guaranteed first year eligible quarterbacks will go in the HOF were also drafted in the 2nd through 6th rounds – Brees and Brady. And another first year eligible HOF inductee Aaron Rodgers was a late first rounder.

  17. Duane Says:

    Drafting a safety makes good sense given where we are … but then, it should always be BPA, regardless of position.

  18. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Let Neal go!

  19. Fansince76 Says:

    Pass rusher first
    safety second.
    Draft Foskey.

  20. @Hands2theFace Says:

    I like the idea of Kevin Byard from the Titans. He can be had for a mid-round pick, possibly.

  21. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Look for us to fill many of these positions of need in the draft.

    Here is where we stand from last year’s roster.

    QB Minus 1
    RB Minus 1
    WR Minus 3
    Oline Minus 2
    TE Ninus 2
    S Minus 3
    DT Minus 2

    That’s `15 positions with 9 draft picks

    So…our highest positions of need are S, TE, Oline, WR & DT

  22. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Sorry…..14 positions…

  23. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    And a kicker…..

  24. ModHairKen Says:

    Marine Buc, that’s spot on. And I don’t want to hear from the “best available player” crowd. You draft the best available at the position you need the most.

  25. Big Red Says:

    Draft best player available, unless it’s a WR or a Kicker or a Punter… unless that WR is a future pro bowler than you take him and make it work.

    We obviously need a OLineman, pass rusher, and S. Don’t forget CB (nickleback) and LB depth…

  26. Buc1987 Says:

    Tbbf…lol nice run down and take!

  27. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Offensive tackle next safety next defensive end/edge rusher next cornerback/safety next tight end next offensive guard then the rest is gravy.

  28. Buc1987 Says:

    Time to get youngry tbbf.

    Youngry 2.0.

  29. Buc4evr Says:

    OL,DL, first in the draft. (If available including an edge rusher). Safety and CB middle rounds. Maybe a kicker in the 6th or 7th?

  30. PA Buc Fan Says:

    Wait til next year to draft a qb. Ride with Baker and Trashk! If we suck we get our qb next year in a loaded class. If we win then still can take a qb. Don’t like any of the qbs in this year’s class honestly. I feel it’s like Winston/Marriotta year all over again. Build the trenches. Get a rb/safety and build for the future!

  31. Hodad Says:

    Trade down, draft Brian Branch.

  32. Usfbuc Says:

    We will wind up double tapping safety in this draft. One in the first or second rd and then another in a later round.

  33. Usfbuc Says:

    We will also be taking a CB in the mid to late rounds. I think one of the least talked about but most productive CBs is Mekhi Blackmon out of USC. Three INTs as a senior, one of the lowest ratings against. Only knock is that he is a small CB.

  34. unbelievable Says:

    Good defenses are built from the front, not the back.

  35. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … The salvation of this team in the coming years will be our DEFENSE, not the offense. We’ll be back to the Chucky days when our offense ranked 18th-31st from 2002-2009, but our defense kicked arse. And THAT was with an ‘offensive wizard’ calling the shots (nope, not impressed).

    That said, your list has us taking 3 offensive guys (OT, TE, RB) with 3 of our Top-4 picks. I can easily go along with the OT (as long as he’s a LEFT Tackle), but the next 3 picks need to be DE/OLB, S & CB. We’re hurting in all 3 spots. There are tons of TEs & RBs on the FA market, and if we can’t find one there, we’ve got 5 other picks in the draft to find a couple. Personally I’d package 3 lower Round picks to move up to the 4th Round if we could find a partner at the big dance.

  36. Rod Munch Says:

    Mike Edwards is fine as a backup, but he had plenty of chances to prove himself as a starter and just never put it together. Maybe he will, but I just don’t see it.

    Losing Whitehead however, that stunk. I said it last season, but if you could only take Davis or Whitehead, plus $8m in cap room, I’d have taken Whitehead. Nothing against Davis, but Whitehead and Winfield gave you the best safety duo in the NFL.

    As for Neal? LOL! Yeah, go talk to the Eagles, and let see their faces when you run a 40 and it takes 5.3 seconds. That guy is washed up and wayyyyyyyyyyy too slow to still play. Yes, he made one nice tackle, that doesn’t offset the hundreds of yards he gave up by always being 2 and a half steps too slow.

  37. Thugster Says:

    Chasing a safety? You should be chasing a real HC

  38. Marine Buc Says:

    @ DR

    Unfortunately we only have 3 picks in top 100.

    Our biggest need is OT…

    Don’t forget we cut/traded 5 players – 4 offensive players and a kicker.

    We signed 11 free agents – 8 of which are defensive players.

    Who do you think has a better chance to succeed in the NFL – a 5th round RB or a 5th round edge rusher?

    Safety is our 2nd biggest need…

    That is why I believe the Bucs will chose a safety in round #2. We need to draft a starting quality safety. Not just a special teams guy.

    Round 3 pick can go in several different directions. Our new OC likes running 2 TE sets. We only have 2 TEs currently and Ko Kieft is more of an “H” back type and is not a pass catching threat.

    Therefore – it is my speculation that the Bucs will pick a TE at pick #82… It is more lickely to find a starting TE at pick #82 than a starting DT/DE or edge rusher.

    Then we need a kicker in round 6…

    Like I said – we need 3-4 starters out of this draft. OT/S/TE/K.

  39. Marine Buc Says:


    *** likely***

  40. Dooley Says:


    We’ve got 5 TEs under contract right now. Otton, Keift, Dominique Dafney, David Wells and Dylan Cook.

  41. JonBucFan Says:

    With no pass rush I don’t care how good a corner or safety is….

  42. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    I don’t think anybody is against drafting a Qb. Just don’t use a high pick for a Qb project. They can draft a qb project in the 4th or later rounds. We need our 1st and 2nd rd picks to contribute right away. So unless we are drafting a qb to start this year what’s the point? Especially with the Mayfield signing. I doubt a rookie qb is going to overtake Mayfield for the starting gig. So please draft O-line in the first.

  43. Dooley Says:

    Cade Otton, Ko Kieft, Dylan Cook, David Wells, and Dominique Dafney are the 5 TEs we’ve got under contract rn

  44. gotbbucs Says:

    They’ll continue to draft hybrid corner/safeties. Bowles wants flexibility on the back end.

  45. Defense Rules Says:

    Marine Buc … OK, so if Jason & Todd listen to us, we’ll draft a Tackle & a Safety in Rnds 1 & 2 (I could go with either in Rnd 1 depending upon BPA at the time). It’s only Rnd 3 where we diverge. Not a problem, remember defense rules.

    OK, so if you didn’t buy into that one, let’s try this. TEs & RBs are plentiful as FAs. There are 37 TE free agents this year, of whom 14 have been signed. Of the remaining 23 TEs, 9 are 30 years old or older, leaving 14 to pick from. TWO of those have Market Values listed at $9-$10 mil, so they’re outta there. Surely ONE of those 12 remaining experienced TEs is worthy of a reasonable contract.

    There are 46 RB free agents this year, of whom 26 have been signed. If the remaining 20 RBs, the vast majority (18) are 27 or older. The remaining 2 RBs are meh. Thus we need to use TWO of our 9 picks on RBs (surely we’ll hit paydirt with one of them). I much prefer that they be in rounds 5-7 where we have 7 picks right now. IF the opportunity arises, package 2-3 of them to trade for one Rnd 4 pick.

    As a sideline on the TEs BTW, I believe that Ko Kieft is a much better receiver than most give him credit for. He was only targeted 10 last year, but he caught 7 of those (70%) for 80 yards (11.4 YPC) for 1 TD AND 5 first downs. So on his 7 catches, he hit paydirt on 6 of them. Otton & Brate got a lot more attention (and more targets), but percentage-wise, neither came close to Ko’s results. I really like the young man; he reminds me a lot I think of my all-time favorite Buc, Mike Alstott.

  46. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    How about a legitimate Edge Rusher in the first round, Antonio Johnson in the second or Jartavius Martin in the third? Both Safeties are reputed to be solid in the slot.

  47. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Positions of Need/Potential Addition (s)

    • Brian Branch – Height: 5’11 | Weight: 190| 40 Time: 4.58
    • Deonte Banks – Height: 6’0 | Weight: 197 | 40 Time: 4.39
    • Julius Brents – Height: 6’2 | Weight: 204| 40 Time: 4.53

    • Jordan Battle – Height: 6’1 | Weight: 210 40 Time: 4.53
    • Sydney Brown – Height: 5’9 | Weight: 198 | 40 Time: 4.47
    • Jason Taylor II – Height: 5’11 | Weight: 204| 40 Time: 4.50

  48. Anthony Gironda Says:

    John Johnson III is still available.

  49. garro Says:

    Right now we have squat on the edge rush. Shaq may or may not be what he was. JTS has not been anything more than average at best and a liability in coverage. Depth is good but Like it or not we need upgrades at edge rusher. Fine draft a safety but not a priority over edge or OT.

  50. garro Says:

    @Defense Rules
    Yes and at least two of those targets were all but uncatchable. Brady put way to much juice on a short pass to him on one of those and the other was just a tad too high for him to reasonably come down with it. I really don’t think we are in great need of a TE. I played the position and it is incredibly difficult to catch short fastballs unless they are on target and absolute missiles are next to impossible for most tight ends. I’m impressed with Kieft and who knows, year 2 could see vast improvement. Using a draft pick on a TE would be a waste in my opinion.

  51. BucsNoles Says:

    First 2 picks should be OL and DL

  52. DJB Says:

    First six picks:

  53. Goatfarmer Says:

    While the offense will be in the bottom half of the league, at least the defense will not be able to rush the passer. Although, the secondary will fail to grasp Bowels’ complex coverage schemes, leading to ever increasing busts. Fortunately, mediocre QBs dissect the Toadster like he was a frog.