Dynamic Stats For Rookie Defensive Duo

November 29th, 2023

Jason Licht can take pride in his large rookie class.

It’s always special when a team has two players rank in the “top-3” of a positive NFL stats category.

The Bucs can boast that claim.

As Joe noted Monday, no NFL rookie has more tackles for loss than Bucs rookie defensive tackle Calijah Kancey, who missed three games this season with a calf issue. The first-round pick has eight in eight games.

Who ranks third among rookies in tackles for loss? Bucs rookie edge rusher YaYa Diaby is tied for the honor with 7. He was just named a permanent starter.

The stats are one hell of a great sign for general manager Jason Licht’s 10th Tampa Bay draft class.

And they are not the only rookie contributors. Starting rookie right guard Cody Mauch is improving steadily and fourth-round pick SirVocea Dennis has some life in his game. On the offensive side of the ball, receiver Trey Palmer has been a great sixth-round pick and fifth round tight end Payne Durham is showing signs of life, delivering an A+ catch in the red zone on Sunday.

Joe could name other rookie contributors — drafted and undrafted — as well.

As Joe likes to say, don’t blame Licht for dumb, ill-timed penatlies and failing on 1st-and-goal at the 1 yard line.

43 Responses to “Dynamic Stats For Rookie Defensive Duo”

  1. Not Bodd Towles Says:

    Save this post. The Bucs will lose until they are eliminated from the playoffs, and then start winning enough to ruin their draft position.

  2. Jack Clark Says:

    Calijah Kancey, YaYa Diaby, and Vita Vea all great defensive lineman draft picks by Jason Licht. Kudos to Licht

  3. zzbucs Says:

    Aguallo Benenoch Seferian jenkings Jameis Winston, Kwon Alexander, Vernon H, Noah Spence, MJ Stewart, and many more.
    Lovie Smith…..

    True is, every GM, has goods and bads….

  4. AtlBuc Says:

    Don’t forget about Markees Watts and Mike Green (I’m not sure Green is a rookie) Joe, what’s the deal with Baker’s ankle? Is he going to play Sunday?

  5. SB~LV Says:

    Look over there
    Look over there

  6. BrianBucs Says:

    Licht has missed on as many draft picks as he has hit on, especially high picks.
    Hopefully he will hit on a good young QB in the next draft and pick a good offensive minded head coach to develope him.
    I really am excited about some of the good young Bucs so Kudos to Licht and his scouting staff.
    However it makes me a little bit nervous about him picking the next franchise QB as the last QB he picked in the 1st round turned out to be a total disaster here.
    Hopefully the next head coach will have a big say in the matter

  7. Marine Buc Says:

    Not a big deal Joe but S. Dennis was a 5th round pick.

    The Bucs didn’t have a 4th round pick. We traded it to move back into round 5 to select Z. McCullum the prior year…

    Both McCullom and Dennis will be 5th round steals for this team.

  8. realistic-optimistic Says:

    I’m still on the fence about Licht. But this class looks promising. This team will probably need another 10 rookies to start next season, just like this year. Hope he’s up to the task.

  9. stpetebucfan Says:

    I think Licht has done a good job during his tenure. I guess I can’t blame him for the JW fiasco, I do not know how that HORRID decision came about.

    Whatever I do not wish to draft a QB above the 4th round as long as the current regime is in power. IF Harbaugh, Bienemy, or Ben Johnson get hired I’ll trust them if they say they NEED a new QB.

    Otherwise Licht or somebody in Bucs personnel completely screwed the pooch on JW and so far that 2nd round for Trask is looking a big shaky although there’s still time for him.

    Bottom line Licht has been excellent with OL and finding the hidden gems required for a team with poor draft position. QB a total bust…DL a mixed bag.

  10. zzbuc Says:

    @Jack Clark
    Aguayo, Spence, Benenoch, Alexander, Stewart, Seferian Jenkings, Lovie smith were also Licht decision,

    Also you can name a lot of good ones.

    I am not that happy with Licht, but I am not blind and also see the good ones

  11. zzbuc Says:

    Sorry I forgot the worst one…. Jameis Mr Entertainment Winston

  12. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Cody Mauch hanging with the big-dogs as a rookie, is almost impressive. Not many do it well the 1st year, I don’t think.

    Tristen Wirfs was an anomaly, Bucs probably won’t see that again.

  13. Rick Says:

    Payne Durham as a blocker could be a game changer for us. He’s a big boy and can set the edge on outside runs.

  14. Duane in Sanford Says:

    Licht has held this team together with bubble gum and duct tape, $80 million dollars in dead money (to pay the devil his due for the Super Bowl), and this team still has an opportunity to make the playoffs. Fans are upset because they feel this team should be more successful with this roster, and most have come to the conclusion that Todd Bowles is the issue. If you want to talk about one guy that has seen and been through it all with this franchise, its Jason Licht. The amount of bull jive and ego this guy has had to navigate is tremendous. Its a thankless job, and continue to do it for a decade, and still want to do it, is an experience and a skillset I am certain Team Glazer heavily leans on. We all knew what was going to happen when Brady left. It has be surprisingly more palatable than anticipated and there is relief coming next season.

  15. Costa Rica John Says:

    Licht is a good GM. You will never get them all right when drafting but he’s improved with his picks over the years.
    I think the biggest thing is don’t gamble on people with character issues.
    Go Bucs!

  16. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Trey Palmer has been a great 6th round pick – he dropped another td pass last Sunday – not so great

  17. Allbuccedup Says:

    Yeah right don’t blame Licht for Todd Bowles. Bruce Arians hired him.

  18. Duane in Sanford Says:

    If Trask had it, he would have started the season. This team did not bring in Baker Mayfield at $4 million to beat Kyle Trask out of a job. Inside OBP, Trask has been a known commodity for a few years. If he really was the guy, the vets in the locker room would be pressing for him to take the field. Not happening.

  19. realistic-optimistic Says:

    @Duane, $80 mil in dead cap is not all from the SB. Way too much of it came from last year. Signing guys like Rudolph, Jones, Gage, Hicks, and Fournette. And too much future dept with void years for David, Davis, Jensen, and Brady.

    Those decisions were not from the SB. They all occurred after Brady unretired. How much future money should a team steal for a 45 year old QB that just unretired? Not smart use of the cap IMO.

  20. Jack Clark Says:

    zzbuc Says:
    November 29th, 2023 at 11:36 am
    Aguayo, Spence, Benenoch, Alexander, Stewart, Seferian Jenkings, Lovie smith were also Licht decision, Also you can name a lot of good ones. I am not that happy with Licht, but I am not blind and also see the good ones

    Kind of hard to be blind to that Super Bowl Jason Licht got us by signing Tom Brady, Antonio Brown, Gronk, Lombardy Lenny, Tristan Wirfs, and Antoine Winfield Jr 😂

  21. Allbuccedup Says:

    For every Yaya and Calijah there is a Tyron and Hall so Licht is just like any other GM you get lucky sometimes. You really just need a head coach that can motivate players.

  22. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Ideal scenario: Trask gets to play, looks like TB12 2.0
    Bucs can now draft some real Dawgs for the trenches…. hopefully, already missing their 2 front teeth, lol

  23. Duthsty Rhothdes Says:

    Wish Steve Duemig was still in the area because it seems like every single sports talking head or scribe in the area just thinks that Jason Licht has hung the moon. Super weird that no one EVER says a negative thing about the man. Someone has to be responsible for building this doo doo team out there on Sundays. The defense is THE worst in the NFL, so is it Bowels or is it the Jessie and Joes, maybe resigning the 2 garbage corners is not all Bowels fault or the JTS or Logan Hall, etc. As a true bucs fan as many of you as well, this Sunday is setting up for a classic Buc’s L

  24. The Beer Whisperer Says:

    Don’t know if Trask “has it”… he hasn’t played.

    I’m not sure Bowles can spell “quarterback” much less rate one.

  25. Voice of Truth Says:

    The issue is not the GM or the front office

  26. Voice of Truth Says:

    Most competent coaching staffs win11- 12 games with this roster and schedule – Todd will be lucky to win 6

  27. SteveK Says:


    Think back to the rock star and his shameful pride in not drafting O-Line until he sees them play in the league. Give me Licht!

    May I ask you who constructed the roster for TB12 to WANT/CHOOSE to sign here and win a Lombardi? Good on Licht! He came back from a bust of a #1 QB too, he’s a very good GM.

    I’d argue Rich McKay was great too, but Chucky ran him off.

  28. matthew a veal Says:

    Bowles get some credit here too. barring a complete collapse, he deserves a fair chance, meaning one more good draft class to replace free agent losses and some cap room.

    if a leader that is part prick, part angel, and part dog, can be found somewhere that is what is needed. coaching will take care of itself after that

  29. Conner50 Says:

    Duane says if Trask had it, he would have started this season.

    Your wrong. Arians and Brady wasn’t gonna mentor a rookie qb at the time, both knew they wasn’t gonna be around long enough to do so. Then Bowles takes over as HC, and knew Mayfied was the starter when he signed. Due only because he had experience. There was no battle they just made it out to be, mayfield had the job day one. But Mayfield is not the answer so why not play the 2nd round pick we have not seen him play in a regular season game with the starters, only makes sense at this point. Don’t know why you or anyone disagree, if he pans out we don’t have to draft a qb in the first round this upcoming draft.

  30. realistic-optimistic Says:

    zzbuc Says:
    November 29th, 2023 at 11:36 am
    Aguayo, Spence, Benenoch, Alexander, Stewart, Seferian Jenkings, Lovie smith were also Licht decision

    That’s not really a damning list. Agree with Aguayo, Spence, Stewart, and ASF all being wasted 2nd round picks, but Benenoch (5th) and Kwon (4th) were not bad picks. OL depth from a 5th and a starting LB with a 4th. Sounds ok to me.

    Also, Lovie was HC before Licht was GM.

  31. zzbuc Says:

    @ Jack Clark

    Probably you didn’t read me completely, in case you misses it this is what I wrote.

    I am not that happy with Licht, but I am not blind and also see the good ones…

    Maybe this clears what I said

  32. Sly Pirate Says:

    Titles: Super Bowl, 2x NFCS Champs
    FA: TB12, Suh, JPP, Jensen
    Trades: Gronk, Mankins
    Draft: Evans, Wirfs, Winfield, Vea, Godwin, Camarda, Marpet
    Coach: Arians

    BUT …
    Keeping Bowles, and letting him destroy a winning culture, is making Licht look soft and incapable. If Bowles is retained for another year (tough to even type) then Bowles and Licht should go.

  33. Jack Clark Says:

    zzbuc Says:
    November 29th, 2023 at 12:40 pm
    Probably you didn’t read me completely, in case you misses it this is what I wrote. I am not that happy with Licht, but I am not blind and also see the good ones… Maybe this clears what I said

    I was agreeing with your original statement and referring to the Licht haters who are willfully blind to the fact that his draft picks and free agent signings won us a Super Bowl. I’m also not happy with many of the choices Licht made as well.

  34. William Walls Says:

    “LIcht has missed on as many picks as he’s hit.”

    Yup. That’s how you know he’s really good, because that’s as good as it gets. Average GMs hit on about a quarter of their picks, and bad GMs are right just about as often as a broken clock.

    Think of drafting success like you would a MLB player’s batting average and you’ll be better rooted in reality. Plus, you’ll sleep a lot better.

  35. BrianBucs Says:

    Licht has only had 3 winning seasons in 10 years.
    Just sayin’……………

  36. Joe Says:

    Think of drafting success like you would a MLB player’s batting average and you’ll be better rooted in reality.

    Yes. Heard Bill Polian say this several times. Batting average for first round picks is about .500. And it obviously grows worse as the draft continues.

    Also heard Polian say if you can find four quality starters (he didn’t say “Pro Bowl”) in a draft, that’s what you are shooting for. Three Pro Bowlers in a draft, he said, is sensational.

    For example, the 2020 draft may have only produced two starters for the Bucs, but the quality of those starters make that Bucs draft potentially one of the best in NFL history.

  37. Conner50 Says:

    California Dreaming….
    Exactly they talk about the guy so badly but yet to see him in a game with Godwin and evans. Gotta be Florida State fans

  38. Joe Says:

    Not first round quarterbacks. Only 38% are even signed to a second contract by the drafting team. Only 7% win a Super Bowl.

    Don’t care if it’s 20 percent. You keep swinging until you hit one. Buffalo and Cincinnati and Houston have tried for years and years to draft a quarterback. They didn’t quit swinging. They finally made contact.

    And seven of the quarterbacks in the last 20 years were first round picks. Tom Brady (sixth round pick) really throws that off.

    Drew Brees was a first pick in second round. Carson Wentz, who got Philly, what, 11 wins before he got hurt in their Super Bowl season was on his way to an MVP award, was also a first round pick.

    So if you are waiting to draft a multiple Super Bowl-winner in the sixth round, better also leave the address of your grave where Bucs fans can leave flowers when the team next wins a Super Bowl with a sixth round pick.

    Joe will take his chances with a first round pick of a quarterback every day. The ones that pan out, Joe doesn’t see the owners of those franchises slitting their wrists is agony.

  39. BucsFanSince76 Says:

    Rich McKay is the BEST GM in Bucs history and it aint even that close.
    During his tenure as GM, McKay drafted players such as Warren Sapp, Mike Alstott, Ronde Barber, Derrick Brooks, and Warrick Dunn. McKay constructed the 2002 Buccaneers’ Super Bowl-winning roster that featured seven Pro Bowl players. The Buccaneers’ 41 Pro Bowl selections between 1997 through 2002 were the most in the NFL.

    Sapp and Brooks – both selected by McKay in the first round of the 1995 NFL Draft – are now both members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sapp was enshrined in 2013; Brooks in 2014. According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, McKay is the only general manager in NFL history to have his first two draft picks as a GM be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    In 1998, McKay, then president and general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, worked closely with the Glazer Family, the city of Tampa, former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco, and Tampa Stadium Authority on the successful construction and opening of Raymond James Stadium.

  40. Fansince76 Says:

    Licht is not the problem, Bowles is the losing factor.

  41. unbelievable Says:

    @ zzbuc – Lovie was hired before Licht

    And I ran through the stats with someone a few weeks back, but in rounds 1 and 2, Licht is over 50%. 50% is the average for round 1, round 2 is even lower. He’s also been quite good in rounds 3 and 4 too.

    Is he the best GM in the leauge? Nah, if course not. But I’d but him in the top-10 or maybe top-12…

  42. teacherman777 Says:


    Please add a sentence or two about Izien.

    He’s a rookie and our starting nickle.

    Hayes is top 10 special teams player in the NFL.

    This might be one of Lichts best drafts (plus undrafted)

    Merriweather also looks like a legit NFL safety. He looks cut and fast.

  43. Joe Says:


    Those two fall under the line Joe used “Joe could name other rookie contributors — drafted and undrafted — as well.”