Jason Licht’s Batting Average

October 4th, 2023

Hitting like Tony Gwynn.

Now these draft stats are something Joe had no clue about. And they are mindblowing.

From time to time, Joe reads bizarre comments on this here corner of the interwebs claiming Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht needs to be canned. Why? He’s not good enough on the draft.

Well, NFL stats prove that is full-blown nonsense.

Licht appeared on “The Season,” a podcast produced by the NFL and hosted by “Good Morning Football” co-host and closet Bucs fan Peter Schrager. (Schrager confessed on this same pod he owned a creamsicle Hardy Nickerson jersey and proudly wore it once a week to high school.)

Schrager has access to NFL resources to dig up draft research. And this is some of what he unearthed about Licht and the Bucs.

* The Bucs have the most total snaps by players it drafted in Rounds 1 through 5 since 2014. “By a mile,” Schrager said.

* The Bucs have the most total games started by its own draft picks selected Rounds 1 through 5 since 2014. “By a mile,” Schrager repeated.

What is important about 2014? That was the first year Licht ran the Bucs’ draft.

Given this intel from Schrager, and that big-ass hunk of finger jewelry Licht owns, Joe thinks it is safe to say Licht knows what the hell he is doing.

51 Responses to “Jason Licht’s Batting Average”

  1. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Yeah, I never got that reason. Sure he’s whiffed on some picks, like VH3, JTS9, or Aguayo.. Otherwise he’s been more than solid. He’s excellent when it comes to free agency now and trades. First few years, with Swaggy Baker and Mesean, I chalk up to growing pains. Now I have 100% faith in him. Although running backs and edge rush needs to be improved, but that seems to be a franchise issue. We’ll get there someday.

  2. Hodad Says:

    A lot of those players have those rings too. People, including the sports media that should know better tend to over look our roster. We have like 12 players on this team who’ve won a superbowl. Not many NFL rosters have that make up. Licht has done a great job.

  3. Ugotrobbed Says:

    I think JL has done a good job. Having said that, what is the win/loss record from 2014-2019? I would have to think it really poor. But these last 3 years have been great (for the most part) and this year has started really good! But it’s a long season. It’s great to have a bunch of your draft picks starting, but you got to win games!
    Go Bucs!

  4. garro Says:

    Well done Joe!

    The bashers are gonna bash though. We have alot of expert La-Z-Boy GMs on this here website. LOL Their answer I’m sure is gonna be that those guys should not be starting and we should have drated the other guy and they knew it on draft day and the always popular and always lame “Aguayo”.


    The Glazers better get the extra large Brinks truck ready for Lichts next contract.

    Go Bucs!

  5. herbiebuc Says:

    licht drafted wirfs and antoine winfeild in the same draft is crazy and two very important players that won us the superbowl i dont think there is a better GM who finds true talent than jason. mike evans chris godwin trey palmer, devin white vita vea all thes players except for trey already on they way to hof careers thats a helluva job by jason

  6. ModHairKen Says:

    It started with Evans, right?

  7. Tom Says:

    The two positions that win or lose you the most games are qb and kicker. Licht s draft history with these two spots has not been good. I admit he has been very good at just about every other position except rb which may actually be his worst. But using FA to acquire Brady and baker have made up for the qb draft misses and his last 2 FA kickers have also righted the ship. Bucs are a stud rb and a couple of interior offensive lineman away from being a championship contender

  8. Duane Says:

    Virtually all of the criticisms of Light come from the wannabe GM mini-me’s who wanted to draft someone different than he did, or draft them at a different spot in the draft order. Ignore them all.

    Every single player selection, draft or free-agent, is always a 50-50 proposition or worse, for every GM who lever managed an NFL team. The good ones do better than 50%, and the not so good ones do worse than 50%.

    In Licht’s career as GM, he was learning on the job from his mistakes, just like everybody else in every other job or profession must do. His biggest errors were in coaching hires until Bruce Arians, and some busts like Jameis Winston. Licht is lucky to have survived the Winston debacle, but he made up for it by signing Tom Brady, and then winning a Super Bowl and two division championships.

    It may be that Lichts’s best GM performance is happening right now – taking a team that nobody gave a snowball’s chance in hell of avoiding a top 5 draft pick in 2024, and making the Bucs a strong contender for another division championship – after losing Tom Brady to retirement.

  9. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I don’t weigh Lichts first five years against him too heavily because he didn’t gain full control until 2019… and worked for some very bad/stubborn coaches that could not develop talent. He developed a great balance the last five years starting with BA and the past 5 years he has had 3 playoff births, two division titles, and a Super Bowl. His biggest achievement was the Super Bowl but his most important/best work is happening right now post Brady.

  10. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Evidence of Licht’s success is on the field…

    4 of 5 starting Oline…..TE, 3 WRs, RB

    2 tackles 1 2LB 2 CBs 1 S

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    And a Punter

  12. RSJCheapseats Says:

    You know who noticed – the greatest player in NFL history.

  13. Voice of Truth Says:

    His first pick ever is a HOF, he may have picked 2 more in AW3 and Wirfs, can’t forget Godwin, Marpet, White, Davis, Dean – even some that got away like Whitehead – his FA prowess has been legendary, Brady Gronk, JPP, Shaq – and on and on

    Time flies, going on a decade now and Jason has proven to be outstanding. Learned a lot from early mistakes, set a trend at position stacking to solve issues short and long term, and has led a well balanced team of talent evaluation (except RB) and cap management

    We have a keeper for sure – no better example than what he put together this year whilst eating 75 mil in cap


  14. D-Rome Says:

    He survived his #1 overall draft pick being a bust. Most GMs don’t survive that.

  15. Joe Says:

    He survived his #1 overall draft pick being a bust. Most GMs don’t survive that.

    *And* still won a Super Bowl. That’s rare.

  16. Mike C Says:

    Not like the other QB was any good that draft

  17. Abovedalaw Says:

    I’d be curious to see it year by year, and to see a comparison with GMs who have similarly long tenures. It seems like half the time young players are marginalized, it’s because the GM who drafted them is no longer with the team so they don’t have support anymore.

  18. CHRISTOS Says:

    Licht has some really good picks and has some bad picks also.
    Many times stats alone dont tell the the whole truth, like this one.
    A more complete picture would be to see how many of his draft picks continue to play significant snaps with other teams when they leave the Bucs.
    Another thing is that during the early years of Licht we had some bad teams, so draft picks playing does not mean a lot by itself if your team is bad.
    i think in draft he has done more good than bad but a GM is also judged by FA and there i believe he has more misses.
    I dont want to take anything away from Licht he has done a good job imo but dont forget the record we had before Brady came here. For example look at the record of the Patriots since Brady left.
    Go Bucs

  19. Senor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    That is freaking unreal, a serious WOW!

    One has to consider that includes the first year in 2014, when Lovie had his thumb heavily on the scale of all things Bucs. Drafting OSJ and Charles Sims and Giving away half the Oline where Donald Penn, among others, went on to have great play for the Raiders for another 4 years

  20. Joe Says:

    It started with Evans, right?


  21. D-Rome Says:

    I also find it neat that Jason Licht’s first pick as a GM turned into a (eventual) Hall of Famer. I wonder how many other GMs can claim that. He would have never made it past the 2016 season if he drafted Johnny Foosball instead of Mike Evans.

  22. Mike C Says:

    D rome…. why you busting Joe’s balls so early in the morning 😆

  23. Marine Buc Says:

    Drafting well is one of the main reasons this team is still competitive while only spending $148M on it’s roster…

    Paying off $78M of dead cap space and this team is BETTER than last years team.

    Pretty awesome.

  24. Popcorn Mike Says:

    Licht and staff must be doing something right , most of our starters are are our draft picks with a free agent here and there, other players he drafted are starters on other teams and along with that a Super Bowl, several playoffs appearances and the team has been very competitive since he’s been GM. Just take a look at the Bears, Brown, Lions, Jets over the years that Licht has been GM

  25. orlbucfan Says:

    Licht made me a believer with his UDFA signings like Cam Brate. He trained primarily under Belicheat and then came here. Glazer Boyz lucked out BIG TIME! 🙂

  26. Pewter Power Says:

    He knows exactly what he’s doing except at running back and quarterback and dare I say edge rusher

  27. 1#bucsfan Says:

    YEAAAAA TAKE THAT HATERSS. IF YOU SAY JASON IS A BAD GM just go head and stop talking cause you know nothing and for those haters who say TOM BRADY won us the Super Bowl. IT WAS JASON WHO BUILT THE TEAM THAT TOM WANTED TO COME TO AND IT WAS JASON WHO SIGNED HIM AND HIS FRIENDS. it wasn’t just gronk AB Lenny and suh that were keys to the SB it was everyone who was brought in be for TOM n co. IT WAS JASON WHO BROUGHT BA with his biggest staff who had Bowles an excellent DC and his elite offense no risk it no biscuit that Brady executed to perfection. That stellar defense that also took out 3 future hall of fame QBs on the way to a champ. BYE HATERS JASON FOR PRESIDENT!!!

  28. Day 1-76 Says:

    Except for running backs.

  29. JerkingCircleofEpileptics Says:

    Remember, not long ago, R. Fitzpatrick was on a “hot” streak. Buc’s need a running game to help Mayfield.

  30. SlyPirate Says:

    The Bucs have had 51 Pro Bowl Players since 1976 (46 Pro Bowls). In just 8 years, Licht has drafted 20% of the Bucs Pro Bowl players and signed another 10% in free agency.

    Pro Bowl Draft Picks
    1. Wirfs
    2. Evans
    3. Winston
    4. Marpet
    5. Vea
    6. White
    7. Winfield
    8. Godwin
    9. Alexander

    Pro Bowl Free Agents (while in Tampa)
    1. Shaq
    2. JPP
    3. Brady
    4. Mankins
    5. Jensen
    6. Suh

    Add a Super Bowl and 2x Defending NFCS Champs. Rock star GM resume.

    Still don’t like Licht? Name a more accomplished NFC Team over the last 3 years. We’re very lucky to have him.

  31. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Just don’t draft any more kickers…

  32. #99 the big fella Says:

    My only complaint is he never drafted a franchise running back

  33. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Duane Says:
    October 4th, 2023 at 7:13 am

    Virtually all of the criticisms of Light come from the wannabe GM mini-me’s”

    Not so. I recall that 5 “Hot” tackles were initially available and the four others were picked before Wirfs. I do believe Wirfs was the last of the five. 49ers wanted Wirfs and we drafted him one pick before they got to him. They then drafted Kinlaw who has been hurt a lot. Wirfs was the last of the five available (and the best one).

    Also, I’m not so sure that plays snaps is always the best way to judge success. Look at JTS9, he plays all the time and has done nothing noteworthy during the games. Evans was an easy pick at the time.

    I give Licht a 50-50 grade.

  34. jarrett Says:

    I’ve been a big fan of Jason Lit’s drafting, always finding value in round 2 and he’s good at correcting mistakes.

    I always bring up he wasnt afraid of drafting new corners after that Vernon Hargraves mistake.

  35. infomeplease Says:

    JL and his staff need a raise $ not canned!!!!! This past draft and ufa signings afterwards are looking like a home run. The Bucs really needed that too!

  36. infomeplease Says:

    Let’s not forget JL came from NE when they were peaking!

  37. dls5492 Says:

    I didn’t have a problem with him drafting Aquayo. Licht saw the problem the Bucs had with field goal kicking and aggressively addressed it. It didn’t work out. Those things happen. But it was that thinking that got the Bucs where they are today (and a Super Bowl).

  38. AMI_Chris Says:

    But even with this batting average, it took the lucky stroke of the Patriots cutting Tom Brady loose to win that hardware.

  39. It's Corn Says:

    so by that stat he’s better than anybody… better than Howard Roseman? better than Andy Reid/Brett Veach?

    and if he isn’t, then why care about the stat.

    Of course his draft picks are going to play, because he was the one deciding not to replace them with free agents. What matters is winning.

    Take away Tom Brady, his record as a GM is 37-63!

    And you are ready to build him a statue now?

    Too much excitement.

  40. Erik The Viking Says:

    He can’t draft QB’s or RB’s effectively. DE’s have been putrid. Don’t get me started on kickers. OL, WR, DB seem to be his forte. And his free agent moves have been damn good. Winning the title wipes away a lot of wrong. We are a lucky bunch.

  41. Saskbucs Says:

    It’s Corn hahaha, Brady came because of the roster JL built. Where would the Eagles and Chiefs be right now without Hurts and Mahomes? They didn’t choose those franchises, they happened to fall in their laps. JL is a top 5 GM in the league, it’s not up for debate. Those numbers at the top back it up, his SB ring backs it up, and this division title post Tom will back it up. Every GM screws up picks and signings. Licht has cut bait on his mistakes in decent time and by all accounts has learned from them. We are fortunate to have him.

  42. westernbuc Says:

    Out-of-the-closet Bucs fan Peter Schrager

  43. unbelievable Says:

    This is why I always laugh when people try to claim he’s not a top-10 GM. Between his draft picks, UDFAs, and free agency, he’s done very well overall. Especially over the last 5-6 years. That doesn’t mean he’s been mistake free, but no GM is. He seems to hit on more than he misses in rounds 1 – 4, which is pretty rare to see. Even round 1 is normally only a 50% average across the league.

  44. unbelievable Says:

    He can’t draft QB’s or RB’s effectively. DE’s have been putrid. Don’t get me started on kickers.

    Perhaps you haven’t watched any games this year, but both our kickers are killing it. Even Matt Gay has been quite successful since leaving. Agauyo was a terrible pick no doubt. 2016 was without question his worst draft.

  45. optimisticbucsfan Says:

    Tom Brady won a Super Bowl here.

    What’s our record non-tom brady?

    Take that number and you have a true “licht” w/l %

    Licht is the most overrated GM in the league and would have been fire if not for Tom saving his career. Tom brought Gronk Lenny and AB. Without them this team isn’t winning anything.

  46. Rod Munch Says:

    optimisticbucsfan Says:
    October 4th, 2023 at 5:24 pm
    Tom Brady won a Super Bowl here.
    What’s our record non-tom brady?
    Take that number and you have a true “licht” w/l %
    Licht is the most overrated GM


    So lets see, you build a team through the draft over the course of years, then you completely discount the peak of that build to get the true number.


    What an idiot.

  47. Bucs Guy Says:

    Looking at picks in rounds 1-5 under Licht:
    Draft strengths by position – O-Line, WR, LB, CB, S
    Weaknesses – TE (Sefarion-Jenkins, OJ Howard, Otton, Durham) – 2 busts, 2 too early to tell though neither look great
    QB (Jameis and Trask) – 2 busts
    RB (Sims, McNichols, RJII, Vaughn, White) – 2 fair, 2 busts and 1 too early to tell though not looking great
    Neutral – D-Line (Spence, Vea, Nelson, Hall, Klancey, Diaby) – 1 great, 1 good, 1 bust, 3 too early to tell
    P/K (1 Punter [great] – Camarda, 2 kickers [good and bust] – Gay and Aguayo)

  48. Bucs Guy Says:

    Looking rd 1-5 picks under Licht
    Strengths – O-Line, WR, LB, CB, S
    Weaknesses – QB, TE and RB
    Neutral – D-Line, P/K

    Nobody is perfect in the draft though it appears he’s been better on D than O.
    TE picked OJ and ASJ (rds 1 and 2) and they were busts. Otton and Durham too soon to tell, but neither look better than fair. He needs help evaluating/picking TEs.
    Picked Jameis #1 overall and Trask #1 in rd 2 = busts; seemed like good picks at the time. Maybe we should consider going with FAs (Brad Johnson, Brian Griese, Jeff Garcia, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tom Brady, Baker Mayfield vs.Leftwich and McClown).
    RB (Sims, McNichols, Ronald Jones, Vaughn, White) None of them were better than fair, but I’ll give White another year. Never felt more than OK about any of these picks when selected. He needs the most help evaluating/picking RBs.

  49. unbelievable Says:

    ^ Though it’s worth noting that Otton and Durham were 4th and 5th round picks… so expectations should be much lower for them compared to OJ (1st) or ASJ (2nd).

    Howard’s lack of success seemed to be a combination of 1) Koetter being inept with rookies / young guys and 2) Howard simply lacking the fire to through the grueling aspects of the pro league.

    Also you really can’t call Trask a “bust” when the guy has never even played a game. No one knows whether he’s any good or not.

  50. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I like Jason Licht, but this really isn’t a good way to measure success.

    Really, it point more to injuries forcing draft picks to start.

    optimisticbucsfan Says:
    “What’s our record non-tom brady?
    Take that number and you have a true “licht” w/l %”

    The issue with what you said is that a good part of the superbowl team was built before the arrival of Tom Brady.

    In fact, Brady would not have come unless Licht had built a good team.

  51. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bucs Guy,

    Otton and Durham were late rounders…can’t really end up as busts. Though I think Otton has been decent. I’m hoping he will do well.

    You’re right about OJ and ASJ though. Both had injury issues in college, so it isn’t like there were not red flags.

    With Jameis, he had no real say in whether to pick Winston or Mariota…not that either was good. We’ll never know if he would have gone QB or not if he did have a say.

    It was back when the Glazers trusted head coaches more than their GM. Once they started trusting him, everything changed.

    And there is no way Trask can be accurately considered a bust at this point. Until he is truly put to the test, no one really knows.

    And I think that is why I wanted Trask to get chance to start. So we can find out.

    So many fans think only about the current year, and do not really consider 2-5 years down the road.

    Mayfield is doing okay against garbage teams…amd he lost against a team that may or may not be above average this year.

    But even if he wins 8-10 games…is that showing enough? We have had an amazingly easy schedule so far. It reminds me of the 10-6 season under Morris.

    And we sucked the next year because the schedule was tougher.

    If we were beating good teams, Mayfield would probably win me over. But we can walk into the playoffs just beating the bad teams on our schedule because our division is so bad.

    If that happens without us being able to beat good teams, it is a total waste of time…because we will be one and done. We’ll be punished by picking later in the draft.

    And, to top it off…Mayfield would get a good contract after only being able to beat bad teams.

    And Trask will likely move on before we even know if he is worth keeping around.

    What if he pulls a Steve Young on us and excels elsewhere. We look like fools for never giving him a shot…and the Quarterback Curse is reborn.