Turning Draft Picks Into Winners

April 19th, 2023


In a recent ranking system by NFL.com had Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht in the bottom half of the league for GMs. Recently, SI.com showed a far different grading system.

In short, if you are trying to turn draft picks into winners, you want Licht running your draft.

That’s the conclusion of SI’s Matt Verderameap based on a grading system that not just rewarded general managers for acing a draft pick, but for their ability to turn those picks into players who not just win but ball out in January and February.

So Verderameap has Licht as the NFL’s fifth-best general manager.

Starting seasons: 24
First-team All-Pro: 1
Second-team All-Pro: 2
Wild-card wins or bye: 2
Divisional playoff wins: 1
Conference titles: 1
Super Bowl wins: 1
Best picks: RT Tristan Wirfs, DT Vita Vea, LB Devin White.

This grade is largely buoyed by excellent first-round picks and the boost given to the Buccaneers by Tom Brady, who fueled three playoff runs, including two division titles and a Super Bowl victory. For general manager Jason Licht, the challenge now is finding Brady’s successor.

And that, boys and girls, is the measuring stick for every general manager. Can you find a quarterback? It’s really that simple.

If you find a quarterback, you win. If you don’t, you lose. That’s all there is to it.

If Kyler Traskfield is not the answer, can Licht find a stud quarterback?

30 Responses to “Turning Draft Picks Into Winners”

  1. Bobby M. Says:

    Trey Lance is available….not sure at what price but he’s as good as any QB prospect in this draft. Three QBs fighting for a starting gig, all in their 20’s….if we hit on one we have our guy for a decade.

  2. sasquatch Says:

    I’d take Lance, as long as they’re not asking for a 1 pick.

  3. unbelievable Says:

    Agree on Wirfs… and Vea when he actually plays… but the jury is still out on Diva White.

    Also- what about MFing Mike Evans?

  4. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    Devin White in his top 3 best picks??? Laughable! A number 5 pick on an inconsistent ILB who is showing himself to not be a team player… nope nope nope. Not to mention:

    Mike Evans
    Donovan Smith
    Ali Marpet
    Chris Godwin
    Carlton Davis
    Alex Cappa
    Jamel Dean
    Antoine Winfield Jr

    These eight picks are easily better, with many of them being far lower than number 5. The SI writer was on point about the #5 ranking for Licht, but waaaaaaaaay off with Devin White being a top 3 pick.

  5. Goatfarmer Says:

    Agree with Jeebs. Maybe we should go ask Kay Adams for her opinion…….

  6. zzbucs Says:

    well, what about

    1- Winston
    2- Austin S Jenkings
    3- V Hardgreaves
    4- NOah Spence
    5- Roberto Aguayo
    6- OJ Howard
    7- Ronald Jones

    As every single GM, has good ones and bad once

  7. Joe Says:

    Also- what about MFing Mike Evans?


  8. Oxycondoms Says:

    Last 2 years went dline unsuccessfully not sure how much of bowles input played a role id feel more comfortable going oline

  9. SlyPirate Says:


    The NFL is infatuated with QBs. It’s a lazy approach. Look at who plays in the Super Bowl each year and you’ll find a solid defense, a well-balanced team, and a good QB with low turnovers. It’s almost never the MVP of the league AND IT’S NEVER the highest paid QB.

    Football takes 52.

  10. Gb48 Says:

    Trade #19, White and Evans for Texans #2

  11. Duane Says:

    If you find a quarterback you win .. if you don’t you lose.

    I cannot believe a football journalist or expert would write something that stupid and obviously wrong.

    Lots of great quarterbacks coming out of the draft have played on bad teams that drafted them and still lost most of their games. It was only when the great quarterback played on an otherwise very good team that they produced wins reliably. Even so, the Bucs had the greatest quarterback of all time last season, and still had a losing season.

    A great quarterback is not even necessary to win a championship, but it certainly helps – the Bucs first Super Bowl championship featured only a fairly modest, if not mediocre quarterback.

    The NFL does not stand for “National Quarterbacks League”. It takes a team, not just a quarterback.

  12. xdptoddx Says:

    How are any of those “best picks” better than Mike Evans? Seriously… I want to discount that article on that alone.

  13. JimbobBucsFan Says:

    SI’s little exercise only considered the past 5 years. Hence no mention of Mike Evans.

    Franchise quarterbacks keep a team in the national limelight but don’t guarantee Super Bowl appearances. Building complete or overall high quality teams matters.

  14. AlwaysBucs Says:

    Licht is not a good GM, if he was a top 5 GM this roster wouldn’t have as many holes as it does. He’s presided over 9 drafts and his teams he’s built have had 3 winning records out of 9 seasons…

    The 3 year playoff run was fun but it only masked his bad roster building

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Licht has done a very good job with the draft…….not so much with some of the fAs…..
    Rojo, Miller, Watson, Howard, Gay,Stewart, Edwards, SMB have found Jobs with other teams.

    For me…..his best pick was Chris Godwin (3rd round)……..

    You expect good picks in the first round Like Evans, Wirfs, White, Vea…..

  16. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Find a goat and you win. Been there seen that:)

  17. sasquatch Says:

    Gb48 Says:
    April 19th, 2023 at 4:34 pm

    Trade #19, White and Evans for Texans #2

    I thought I had heard the dumbest ideas possible. Then I read this.

    I’m okay with trading White, but there is NO WAY we’re trading Evans, and suggesting it is beyond clueless. And both of them PLUS our #1 to move up for a QB that may or may not be a franchise player? This is what losing teams and awful GMs do.

  18. Letsbucinggo Says:

    Vea, White, Wirfs then Tyron and Hall hopefully the bad streak of two ends.

  19. Hodad Says:

    To soon to give up on Hall. Rookie DTs often struggle, and Hall is very young. Let’s see what he looks like in year two.

  20. BringBucsBack Says:

    Licht’s best first round picks fell to him. He moved up a couple of spots to draft Wirfs which, turned out to be a stroke of genius. Many of his other picks turned out to be made while having a stroke. I contend drafting Agoyo in the 2nd is the worst pick in the history of the NFL. Why, he traded up IN THE 2ND ROUND for a none football player on a team that was much further away from a championship than a kicker. He seems to draft OL well, I have to admit and he seems to draft better in the middle rounds. He has had a lot of high draft picks to have so many holes, pre and post-Brady.

    I insist that he and all non-football players are over-rated.

  21. Doc Says:

    The only thing this guy is good for is running up the salary cap and drafting kickers.

  22. sasquatch Says:

    ^ dumbass

  23. Goatfarmer Says:

    Another night in Maroonville.

  24. SOEbuc Says:

    Weinfield is a keeper

  25. Jon Grudin Says:

    Trade Devin White for Trey Lance straight up

  26. garro Says:

    Getting that QB is starting to become an exercise in insanity and or criminal behavior.

    Like setting the entire franchise back years because you bet the farm on a QB bust. Or the recent criminal one… Tanking!

  27. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Trey Lance? You guys are comedians. He has 100 pass attempts in his career. On what exactly are you basing his value? Ability to get injured?

  28. Tony Says:

    Roberto Aguayo should be in there, too! He was an awesome pick.🤣🤣🤣🤣

  29. Infomeplease Says:

    As Jeebs points out, there are plenty of great picks by JL, that didn’t make this list! And plenty that didn’t do well too. What concerns me the most is the past 2 drafts haven’t produced much yet. Looks like we found a punter and running back and?

    JL needs to kill it again this draft and some of those past 2nd and 3rd year guys need to pick up their play if the Bucs want to win their division again!

  30. Peskajumba Says:

    1. Evans
    2. Marpet
    3. Wirfs
    It probably won’t be a crazy thing to flip 2 and 3, but I don’t think it’s at that point, yet. Not just considering stats and Madden ratings.