With The 26th Pick In The 2024 NFL Draft…?

January 18th, 2024

“Jason, we need a pass rusher.”

Monday night’s thrilling Buccaneers victory was a loss for Tampa Bay fans obsessed with the NFL Draft and radical change.

It reminded Joe of a what a hardcore Bucs fan told Joe at the Odessa/Pasco Big Storm Brewery taproom recently.

Joe and The Sage of Tampa Bay Sports recorded the Ira Kaufman Podcast there a few weeks ago and the guy was listening with other Bucs fans.

Afterwards, the young man calmly and adamantly explained that the Bucs can’t win a Super Bowl with Todd Bowles or Baker Mayfield, so he wishes the Bucs would lose down the stretch so they can start over with a new head coach and rookie quarterback.

Joe countered with, ‘What about if Mayfield closes strong and the Bucs make the playoffs or win a playoff game? Wouldn’t that mean Bowles and Mayfield succeeded and they are on the rise and improving?’ Joe reminded the guy that coaches often improve and quarterbacks mature.

The fan wasn’t having it. Tank and draft, he said.

Joe brings this up because a faction of Bucs fans have that mindset, and now the “best” the Bucs’ draft slot can be is the No. 25 overall pick, courtesy of the Bucs’ win on Monday.

If the Bucs and Packers lose on Sunday, Tampa Bay would own the No. 26 overall pick. The Bucs would pick No. 25 if they lose and the Packers beat the 49ers.

Might the Bucs still draft a quarterback in that spot, even if Baker Mayfield is re-signed? Of course. The Packers picked Jordan Love at No. 26 overall and that worked out just fine.

If the Bucs believe, however, that they are “this close” to being a Super Bowl contender, Joe is confident the team will have no interest in drafting a quarterback in the first round.

59 Responses to “With The 26th Pick In The 2024 NFL Draft…?”

  1. johnny Says:

    a very wise man once said: “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” or something like that. I’m not sure if I can explain what it means but it seems applicable here

  2. BucsFan-in-TN Says:

    I’ve been critical of Bowles, but I am all in now. Resign their free agents and continue to build in the trenches and I can see us continuing to compete.

  3. John Sinclear Says:

    I’d prefer they just win out and we get the 32nd pick!

  4. Defense Rules Says:

    Prefer the headline Joe … ‘With The 32nd Pick In The 2024 NFL Draft…?’

  5. Couch Fan Says:

    All the draft talk went out the window when we made the playoffs. Now its win by any means necessary. Unfortunately I dont expect any more wins this season.

  6. TomBucsFan Says:

    Go bucs

  7. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Should we tank the game vs the Lions so we can secure the 26th pick instead of being pushed all the way back to the 30s?

    I mean this fan base sure does value draft position a lot more than winning games.

  8. 40Forever Says:

    I give all credit to Jason for getting us into this position. Strong draft and sensible choice with Baker. Also credit due to position coaches for getting our rookies NFL ready. Playcalling and decisions were subpar and that falls on balls and canalis. This team could do so much more with new coaching.

  9. David Says:

    The name of the game is the championship. I doubt we have a HC & a QB in this roster to achieve it. Baker will be requesting a salary of $15M-25M a year even if Bucs win the NFC. Bucs will be limited in their free agency options due to their salary cap. We need to draft a qb to compete with Trask for QB1. We need to rebuild with our young players and through draft.

  10. Bucsfan951 Says:

    Listen, I will admit when the Bucs hit 4-7, I said to tank and start over. I’ll be the first to admit it. You or anyone can’t tell me at 4-7, after losing to the colts, the Bucs looked like a playoff team. Yeah, they turned things around after that game. But honestly, how many people could honestly say they saw that coming?

    What we saw last week versus the eagles was a really good Bucs team. We’ve seen this team before but we have also seen the really embarrassing Bucs team after the really good Bucs team. I hope the really good Bucs team shows up this week against the lions and not the embarrassing one. Remember, just 3 short weeks ago, they got punked by the saints.

  11. infomeplease Says:

    IMHO, the Bucs will draft a QB in the 4th or 5th round to add to the BM and KT mix. Not sooner. The fact that the defense has come alive and the offense is showing they can put 30 points on the scoreboard in the playoffs, is an indication that they are not that far away from where they want to be. The Bucs will use their first 3 or 4 picks to shore up their weak spots, not the QB position. If JL and his staff have another draft like the past one, the promised land is there for the claiming!

  12. Marky Mark Says:

    The fan wasn’t having it. Tank and draft, he said….!.Yowza with fans like that who needs
    enemies. Back when Stalin was in charge he would be sent to winter camp in Siberia. Draft RB Cody Schrader from missouri.

  13. David Says:

    Is this article relates to the Bucs roster ? Please let me remind you that we already have a rookie qb we drafted in round two in 2021 that hasn’t played yet. We either win a championship and retain Baker at a reasonable cost this year with Trask as his back up or draft a qb to compete with Trask if we don’t win any more games.

  14. Tbbucs3 Says:

    David, hate to break it to you but Trask is closer to being traded for a 7th round pick than he his Bucs starting quarterback.

    Mayfield is your 2024 starter regardless of what happens Sunday. The Bucs have a QB who they know can play/lead a team and need to follow the 49ers blueprint and build a stronger team around that.

    The Bucs in the draft need to focus on improving the secondary and pass rush which was a glaring weakness all season. Finding a new QB should be the least of their concerns.

  15. QBKilla Says:

    Picking this late I hope we go O-line. Better value than another pass rusher like JTS.

  16. bucsfaninOregon Says:

    Joe points out the absurd position of some dumb fan and then then seven posts later David shows us there are more than one dopes in the Tampa Bay area.

  17. David Says:

    LOL. Here we go with the feared Baker fans downgrading Baker’s back up at any cost or afraid of Bucs drafting a qb.
    Baker fans;
    It is either a bust or getting to the NFC championship for Bucs to even consider retaining Baker at the free agency market prices.

  18. JBuc Says:

    Play to win and draft O-line to protect whatever QB we have. See what we have in Trask before draft dreaming about QB’s to come. Dance with the one that brought ya

    Go Bucs!

  19. Marky Mark Says:

    The medical research shows a positive attitude leads to long life and good health. Some of these people on this board don,t have much time left. Baker send them out with a super bowl win this year.

  20. Marky Mark Says:

    Trask should play in the UFL spring league so we can all find out what he can do.

  21. Suhs Twin Sister Says:

    Just want to say I couldn’t be more proud of this team and its coaches at this point. Todd’s defense is starting to look like that of old once again. We are feeding the rock to all the Dawgs of the offensive side of the ball and our offense is building the identity it needed. I’ll admit I was in the tank set before the year stared, then after the first few games my opinion changed. Then the losing streak happened. And I turned on the team I love. I was being a fair weather fan and I’ll admit it. I just got too prioritized on the potential of bringing in a new, young qb. I was wrong. BAKER is a dog and deserves his flowers. He’s had ups and and few downs this year, but its hard to be a qb in the NFL and it happens to the best of em. Just hope he can continue to improve which he will. Now lets go beat those pussycats and go WIN THE WHOLE DAMN THING.

  22. D-Rome Says:

    Joe reminded the guy that coaches often improve and quarterbacks mature.

    Tank and draft…that didn’t work out too well the last time. For every Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals success story you also have the Bucs, Panthers, Raiders, Browns, Redskins, Jets, etc.

    I used to be critical of Jason Licht but not anymore. Here’s an idea: We should trust that Jason Licht knows what the heck he’s doing. He also had to improve and mature on the job as well. Joe could put up a Jason Licht confidence poll every week and I’d vote Totally Confident every time. I am on the “Put Jason Licht in the Ring of Honor ASAP” as well.

  23. Craig Says:

    26th pick should be an OL. The only decent QB that will still be there is Caleb Williams, who showed his worst side most of the season.

    There is still no evidence that our #2 or#3 QB cannot be a good QB. It is better to stay pat on QBs, even if someone else drives a bigger bank truck to Baker’s door (probable).

    Our other QBs know the system and Canales knows them.

  24. David Says:

    Baker fans;
    Bucs will not re-sign Baker unless they win or at least to play in NFC Championship. Why ? There are no additional cupcake games in NFC going forward. TB/BM will be tested and examined accordingly based on their performance in this playoffs against quality playoff teams. Bucs will draft a qb in first round to compete with Trask if we lose to Lions this Sunday. I hope we will go all the way though. Go Bucs.

  25. Show Me the TDs Says:

    What’s the point of a higher draft position? To get better players and be a better team. We came pretty close to missing the playoffs and are now two games away from the Superbowl. Let’s keep this rolling and try to win out. Getting back anytime soon is not a guarantee. Coming from a fan, since 1976, believe me. I know.

  26. Zoocomics Says:

    @infomeplease…why would we draft a QB in the 4th or 5th Round? Don’t know if you are arbitrarily stating this without great through to it, but unless there is incredible value there, there’s more value in the 4th or 5th CB/S. If we sign Baker to a 4 year deal, Trask is under contract for another year, and one could argue in this offense Wolford could be more effective than Trask and he certainly has more game experience. I just don’t see the need for us to waste a valuable pick there.

    Point is, we’re not going to find our future starter at QB in the mid-rounds. Cousins, Wilson, and especially Purdy are rare finds in the middle rounds. Most of them don’t work out as starters.

    Just so we’re keeping score, 27/32 NFL teams rolled out a QB to start the season that was a 2nd Rounder a greater, 23 of them were former first rounders. After injuries, it got messy and I don’t think there was one back-up QB that came in, with the exception of maybe Browning on a VERY talented Bengals team who looked like a potential starter. With the exception of Purdy, every remaining QB left in the playoffs are first rounders.

  27. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Craig the only people who say Trask is garbage are the Baker glee club “male” cheer leading squad. They think they know even though we’ve never seen Trask play a season yet. Never seen so many grown “men” threatened by another man in my life. You put them all together it would sound like a 70s ERA convention

  28. LANshark Says:

    Someone will pay Baker what he’s worth after this season. Should be Tampa Bay, but who knows – I could see the Steelers making a run at him, maybe the Broncos. Hard to say. But we should know before the draft.

    IF the coaching staff had ANY confidence in Trask, AT ALL, he’d have played SOME this season. I’m guessing they have no faith in him whatsoever.

    As for the draft, first round pick the best available player. That will probably be a cornerback or safety, possibly a WR in the 26-28 range. Second round pick up your highest graded center or guard. Third round, find a rotational edge rusher, or a solid D Tackle. Somewhere in that mix, find a “tough yards” runner – like the kid from Missouri or Wisconsin. Someone that get’s 4 yards on 3rd and 2 every time, cause that ain’t White’s strength. Then another o-lineman, maybe from a small school since the GM is good at that.

    There, draft done. Oh forgot one… in 7th round, pick up Jordan Travis from FSU… just to piss off the FLA fans…

  29. stpetebucfan Says:

    As usual D.R. gets it. I too prefer to drop to the 32nd pick!!!

    Licht has had two amazing drafts with sucko positions. We once had the #1 pick in the entire draft…how did that work out for us.

    I get that many here believe get a great QB and win. Others…like me…perhaps in the minority…believe build a great effing TEAM and the Bucs win.

  30. infomeplease Says:

    Zoo, this year’s college QB talent coming out is perhaps the deepest ever. The chances of finding one to develop into a quality starter is high. DC seems to be the guy you want developing him. The fact that the Bucs weren’t even playing KT in cleanup time during recent games is a huge tell (poker term) of what the coaches think of his development stage. Just sayin’.

  31. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    I’d prefer we draft 32. Me too brother me too. Since I’m holding a Bucs win Super Bowl ticket that pays out 70-1. 😎

  32. Half_Sac Says:

    Man, I hate Bucs fans. Even when we won the Super Bowl with Brady we always bitch and moan. You’re not a fan if you’re wanting the team to tank when it has a playoff roster and is on the verge of making it into the playoffs. You’re just an incel who is looking for attention with bad takes and negative energy if you think like that for anything you are a ‘Fan’ of.

  33. BucEmUp Says:

    Oline please

  34. Steven007 Says:

    David, sigh. You’re a troll of very little brain. No matter what happens on Sunday, Baker will command 25 mil at the very least and more likely close to 30 per year for either this team or another team. That’s just the economics of the NFL.

    As for the calm fan, hoping for the tank, if as a fan it takes a team to have your very favorite head coach and quarterback or something close to it to be a fan of that team, then you’re not an actual fan. Wasn’t a fan of Baker before we signed him. But he’s my quarterback. Was definitely in the camp of letting the coach go If we had a failed season, and starting over. That didn’t happen either and I’m happy about it because I want the team to do well. We all fan differently I suppose.

  35. Alanbucsfan Says:

    A good receiver, Center or LB/pass rusher will be available at end of 1st round

  36. PanthersSuck! Says:


  37. TonySoprano Says:

    The 26th spot would likely be an ideal slot to grab the draft’s top Center or Guard. That would be more than ok with me.

  38. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Update that to 31st here shortly. I think Bowles brews up a D that shuts down MoTown (hey they just played their Super Bowl) and Shanahan does what he does best, pisses away a chance to shine. Cant see them beating the Crows

  39. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Goff panics and does stupid crap with inside pressure. Think Todd doesn’t know that? Niners feast on intermediate center but Purdy doesn’t have the arm strength to hit the sideline throws. If i can see it, you bet your butt Bowles sees it.

  40. Buddha Says:

    The two youngest teams in the NFL are: #1 Green Bay
    #2 Tampa This is significant because we are not likely to face big salary cap problems for a number of years. Baker will sign a team-friendly contract. He loves it here and he does not want to play for yet another new coach and offensive coordinator. He has a huge drive to WIN that only the great ones have. A second and perhaps third year with Canale will show a completely new Baker. The team has won 6 out of its last 7 games. That says a lot about the future.

  41. Buddha Says:

    The Buccaneers will be looking for a center and a guard. If Evans leaves they will need another wide receiver as well. Licht has shown he knows how to find offensive lineman after the first round.

  42. orlbucfan Says:

    I don’t care where Bucs draft. In Licht and his Staff, I Fully Trust!

  43. orlbucfan Says:

    Hey joe, does Licht still dunk himself in the pool when the Bucs win?

  44. Mr. Editor Says:

    I understand the support for the tank and draft strategy because the salary cap has altered our thinking about building teams. However, the philosophy should be to get the best players available (in free agency and the draft) at every position every year. How can an organization build a fan base and winning mentality among the players if it’s intent on losing on purpose? Did the Patriots during the decade-plus Tom Brady years ever pursue that strategy?

  45. Beeej Says:

    David/whoever you are .. Would you grant that Baker is better than 50% of this year’s NFL starters? If yes, HOW much improvement can we get at the QB position, esp when it comes at the cost of fewer draft picks for weak positions on the team?

  46. geno711 Says:

    Sure, you typically get better players and in theory will get a better team eventually with a tank and draft strategy.

    Tell that to the Detroit Lions though and all those years that they were in the Top 10. How about the current Detroit Pistons and how many tank and draft years they have had and they are still the worst team in the league.

    For every successful story there are years like last year when the Bucs were in the middle of the draft order and got Kancey, Mauch and Diaby and other guys later that all worked way better than guys picked in front of them.

    Last year some Bucs fans were wishing the same thing and lamenting that we did not Darrell Wright at tackle instead of Luke Goedeke. Or hoping that 1st rounders Will McDonald or Tyree Wilson as DE instead of the value we got from Diaby.

    Just ridiculous!

  47. Defense Rules Says:

    LANshark … ‘IF the coaching staff had ANY confidence in Trask, AT ALL, he’d have played SOME this season. I’m guessing they have no faith in him whatsoever.’

    You’re ASSUMING things that have no basis in fact. I too WISH that they’d played Trask (just so we’d have a small feel at least for what his potential is), but they didn’t. And that’s perfectly understandable IMO since we were behind the 8-ball most of the season AND Baker was the most experienced QB we had. Bowles & Canales obviously felt more ‘comfortable’ with him behind center, and that’s their prerogative as coaches. It was THEIR careers on the line, not mine & not yours.

    Aaron Rodgers sat for THREE years behind Brett Favre before getting his chance to be the starting QB. Worked out pretty well for him. Jordan Love sat for TWO years behind Aaron Rodgers before getting his chance to be the starting QB. Worked out pretty well for him too it appears.

    Kyle Trask’s only ‘sin’ was being drafted by the Bucs, and he had no say in that. He was never gonna start in place of Brady, and was never even gonna be #2 as long as BA was boss & Blaine Gabbert was still here to be Brady’s backup. Sounded like Trask acquitted himself pretty well in Training Camp this year, but Bowles (as should’ve been expected) went with experience. Again, his prerogative. And it’s all worked out great IMO. Performance is what counts.

    But there’s no need for folks to denigrate Kyle Trask in the process. That young man has a LOT of upside, and once he leaves the Bucs … and he will after next year I have a feeling … some other team will benefit. It’ll be interesting next season to see who the Bucs bring in to ‘compete’ once again with Trask, because no way this team’s paying $40 mil plus for Baker Mayfield. Not with Wirfs, Winfield & several others (like Evans, McLaughlin & LVD?) also NEEDING to be paid.

  48. Particular set of skills Says:

    I’ve been a fan for a very long time. When I was young, I wanted either 12-4 or 4-12. Of course, there were not many 12-4 (never)back then…..
    And hoping the next big rookie was our savior (Sandman, McRae, Bo, Winston, etc)….

    Its naive to think we should tank if whatever…. Enjoy the ride and let it take you wherver. Life is short. Be in the present and appreciate what you have…..

  49. LANshark Says:

    Defense Rules: My father coached 40+ years in high school, “retired”, then coached 12 more seasons in college, winning 9 National Championship rings (bonus points if you can figure out the college). I have a brother who’s coached 20+ years as a head coach. I have been coaching for more than 20 years as well. I know how coaches think.

    Believe me – there were plenty of opportunities to insert Trask, if they wanted to. They didn’t. Tells me all that I need to know. May not be accurate, who knows, but they definitely don’t have much if any faith in Trask.

  50. TampaBayNative Says:

    I hate this whole notion of “if you’re not Superbowl-bound you must tank for draft picks.” Growing up as a Bucs fan in the days of endless losing in the Big Sombrero, just seeing the team win was a treat! Now here we are, so jaded and cyncial that wins aren’t enough; that having a consistently competitive team on a multi-year playoff streak means nothing. I can’t get onboard with that. Tanking is a really risky proposition for ownership. Declining ticket sales, waning enthusiasm for the team, steady erosion of the fanbase… that stuff takes years to rebuild! I think a better strategy is to stay the course, aim for steady improvement year over year, and benefit from the consistency and continuity gained from avoiding the hard reset. The draft is too much of a gamble anyway.

  51. UKBuccaneer Says:

    The draft is a crapshoot. You can get your guy at 26. At 3. Or at 199.

    Play the game to win, always.

  52. Bucs Guy Says:

    Who we re-sign and what we do in FA will determine what we do in the draft. My preference is to re-sign McLaughlin, Evans, Winfield, LVD and Baker.

    Pick up a left Guard or Center in FA. Also, look at maybe a S.

    Then in the draft go for (in order)
    1- DE/OLB
    2 – C or G
    3 – RB (Power)
    4 – TE
    6 – LB
    7 – CB/S

  53. Gipper Says:

    David Says:
    January 18th, 2024 at 10:50 am
    LOL. Here we go with the feared Baker fans downgrading Baker’s back up at any cost or afraid of Bucs drafting a qb.
    Baker fans;
    It is either a bust or getting to the NFC championship for Bucs to even consider retaining Baker at the free agency market prices.
    Davey, it’s almost no fun commenting on your ramblings anymore. What exactly is “……….the feared Baker fans……?” Note even what sure what language you are talking. Crispness of thought and correct syntax is important when you want your comments to be taken seriously. Work on improving those things before you continue hurling insults at Mayfield.

  54. Popcorn Mike Says:

    Picking 38th would be fine with me if we could beat Detroit. Wherever we pick please do not draft an edge rusher. Seems that we’ve pick an edge rusher at least 5 to 6 times over the pass years and none has been special. Go out and sign a DE, that has work best just see S Rice, P Paul and Sue. I wish they would go QB, OT, WR, DT or WR, QB, OT. I am not a GM but those are just my wish picks 😊

  55. David Sucks Says:

    David is the worst fan on this site, I start my day reading some of these articles and the discussion goes good until I come across his comments that make me want to throw up. This guy has to be related to Trask. He is a Traskite Cult Member or better yet the leader of the Trasky Cult. I hope we get rid of Trask so I can finally stop reading these people go on and on about how good of a QB he is. I’m half tempted to think these are AI bots posting these messages. How can someone be so miserable and drone on so much about Trask. Joe please ban David please I beg you. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if David is paid opposition to stir the pot.

  56. Onetrickpony Says:

    Get us a bulldozer of a running back, like Mike Alstott was

  57. bulldog Says:

    LANshark Says: “they definitely don’t have much if any faith in Trask.”

    Is that why he’s been the backup all season and not Wolford?

    Is that why in the 2023 draft, with Trask the only quarterback on the roster, the Bucs failed to draft ANY quarterback in ANY round?

    Go back to coaching peewee football.

  58. bulldog Says:

    Defense Rules Says: “Kyle Trask’s only ‘sin’ was being drafted by the Bucs”

    And playing at UF. Had he played anywhere else, especially at FSU, Joe and half the fan base would be rioting over the Bucs’ failure to play him three years running.

  59. Buccup Says:

    The more wins the Bucs get this season, the lower they fall in the draft. The more wins Baker Mayfield gets, the more expensive it is to re-sign him. Seems like a double whammy. But man! Isn’t this why they play the game?!? Who cares about four or five slots higher in the draft? Pay Baker what he’s earned. LFG!!