Easy Call On Most Committed Rookie

January 30th, 2024

Rookie YaYa Diaby left a greater mark this season than his 7 1/2 sacks and 12 tackles for loss in limited action.

He picked up a ton of respect at One Buc Palace along the way.

Yeah, Diaby was rather invisible in the playoffs. But he finished the season soundly for a rookie, with 2 1/2 sacks, 2 QB hits and 5 tackles for loss in his final three regular season games. That’s big-time production for a third-round draft pick.

Assistant general manager John Spytek was talking about the impact of the Bucs’ 13 rookies this season on the Buccaneers Radio Network. Spytek noted how Diaby is “always here” at One Buc Palace working his butt off to improve.

Spytek said he was talking to a group of rookies recently and asked them who’s at team headquarters the most? “And they all quickly [replied], ‘YaYa'” Spytek said, adding “I think he knows this game can be taken away from you. I think he’s learned that and he has no intention of letting that happen.”

The Bucs are determined to draft good, hungry, super-committed football players, Spytek reinforced, noting the Jason Licht team isn’t overly concerned about measurables. They’ll take the football-loving ballers and will let coaches figure out the rest.

23 Responses to “Easy Call On Most Committed Rookie”

  1. realistic-optimistic Says:

    YaYa is a legit edge rusher. Honestly, he’s the first one Licht has hit on in the draft. Really looking forward to him getting better in the upcoming years.

  2. unbelievable Says:

    Kancey looks like real deal too.

    Now they just desperately need another OLB to pair with Diaby.

    As for the notion “ They’ll take the football-loving ballers”… I think they learned their lesson after OJ Howard. As we all did.

  3. Pickgrin Says:

    6th rd pick Ramirez had high end measurables but wound up on the practice squad. Hopefully trainers and coaches can get him into position to contribute in 2024.

    UDFA Watts who DID make the 53 man roster looked like he had some juice and pass rushing ability in limited opportunities.

    YaYa looking like the next JPP in his rookie year….

    Even with Shaq’s fading capabilities and JTS appearing to be a total bust for a 1st rounder – perhaps the OLB/Edge cupboard isn’t quite as bare as it would seem on the surface….

  4. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Howard wasn’t Licht’s last height-weight-speed draft pick. JTS had very little college production but they selected him because of measurables. I think JTS and Hall was were they learned their lesson.

  5. Fansince76 Says:

    I am a huge YaYa fan! liked his game in college and was psyched when he was drafted by the Bucs. Dude should be a very good one! Now we got to get another edge in this years draft or free agency.

  6. A Bucs Fan Says:

    I think his shoulder really limited him down the stretch there. I hope he continues to build off of a great rookie season. Both Yaya and Kancey can dominate together for the next few years!

  7. zzbucs Says:

    Maybe somebody forgot about Kancey here….

    I think both were really great………

  8. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Mr. Licht and Bucs scouts: Nice draft pick, now go find another edge rusher in the 2024 draft, please and thank you.

  9. teacherman777 Says:

    JPP 2.0.

    But a JPP who lifts weights?

    Even better!

  10. unbelievable Says:

    @pickgrin – that’s a fair point on Watts and Ramirez, though I think they still have a LONG way to go even get close to the production of Shaq or JPP in their primes.

    I don’t care who it is- but the fact is we need our “front 4” to be able to apply way more pressure, more consistently, than they were able to do so this past season. If you can’t pressure QBs like Mahomes, Goff, Purdy, Allen, etc., they will eat you alive.

  11. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    JTS looks to be a dud and Logan Hall a possible dud….perhaps Jason should trade our first picks for multiple later round picks….he seems to do better there….Ya Ya….SVD, Camarda, Otton, Rachaad, Palmer., Zion Britt…Maybe Durham.

  12. realistic-optimistic Says:

    @tbbf, I don’t think Hall is a dud, but if the plan all along was to have him be a Golston clone I think he was overdrafted at pick 33. They’re asking him to be a glue guy. You don’t throw 1st round (basically) picks at glue guys.

  13. SlyPirate Says:

    JOE WRITES … “The Bucs are determined to draft good, hungry, super-committed football players … team isn’t overly concerned about measurables.”


    That was Tony’s philosophy. That’s how we got Brooks, Barber, and Lynch. Not prototypical. No crazy measurables. Just passionate, grinders, who “make football plays”.

  14. Mike C Says:

    teacherman777 Says:
    January 30th, 2024 at 3:18 pm

    JPP 2.0.

    But a JPP who lifts weights?

    Even better!

    And more fingers!

  15. RBUC Says:

    Time will tell,as in most things,but most evaluators say this year’s draft crop of Edge rushers ain’t deep at all so the Bucs need YaYa to keep improving and they may have to go the FA route to improve this pass rush!

  16. JimBobBuc Says:

    It seems Licht et al are doing much better in drafting than FA evaluation. While Gaines and Moore made some plays, Feiler and Neil were disappointing. I hope we can find an FA center and maybe a pass rusher. I’m puzzled why we aren’t doing better evaluating FAs.

  17. Usfbucs Says:

    If Yaya’s snap count matched TJ Watts he would have hit 13.5 sacks on the year as a rookie.

  18. KYBUCSFAN Says:

    I was born and raised in Louisville where Yaya played college ball, seen this kid in person all over the field during games making plays! When we drafted him, I already knew what we were getting and i’ve been telling people he WILL be a name you gonna hear a lot on Sundays! L1C4! Go Bucs!

  19. Buc1987 Says:

    Once again…don’t forget the flame broiled chicken.

  20. stpetebucfan Says:


    “Honestly, he’s the first one Licht has hit on in the draft.”

    So you believe Calijah is a miss? He was taken 2 rounds ahead of YaYa.

    I can’t wait to see these two next year..especially if they regain all their health.

    I think by the end YaYa was playing hurt and had hit the infamous rookie wall.

  21. KnoxvilleBuc Says:

    Once he develops some more moves to mix his speed and power up he could be special.

  22. Conner50 Says:

    Really hope Tampa can get Verse from fsu to pair with Yaya but he will probably be off the board by 26

  23. 76 bucsfan46 Says:

    The lesson was learned after Shoinka, look like Tarzan play like Jane.