Jason Licht: Can’t Fall In Love With Players

April 12th, 2024

Guessing game.

So the draft is in less than two weeks. In fact, two weeks from tonight will be Day 2, Rounds 2 and 3.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht said yesterday when he had a pre-draft briefing with the local pen and mic club that there are five or seven players the Bucs are focusing on that Licht believes should be available at No. 26. That’s when the Bucs are scheduled to pick.

However, Licht noted, nothing is locked in. It’s just an educated guess.

“I would say that the biggest challenge, at least for me, is you’re trying to target who might be there,” Licht said. “We say this all the time – we say it to all the prospects that are coming in and visiting – no one knows how this is going to go. If somebody is telling you they know where you’re going, they’re lying.

“Only one team, right now, knows who they’re taking, probably – and maybe they don’t. Right now, we have five to seven guys we think might be there. Then you start kind of falling in love with them and you’re like, ‘Okay, one of these guys is going to be there, and we’re going to be so happy.’

“Then, there’s the chance that none of them are. I think that’s the hardest part about picking down there late.”

It’s a guessing game for everyone. When Joe types up profiles of players, Joe is not going to inundate readers with the top players because that is just trolling.

Where the Bucs are picking at No. 26, Joe generally looks at the second- or third-best player at a given position (in case the Bucs may trade up), except quarterback. Those guys will fly off the shelf.

This is what makes the draft fun. The drama. The suspense. Like Licht said, you never know for sure who will pick what player. And then mix in trades and all bets are off.

13 Responses to “Jason Licht: Can’t Fall In Love With Players”

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    Dont worry, Mr. Licht

    You have the 32nd ranked pass rush, rushing offense, TE production, and Pass Defense.
    Two flops on the Dline. The 34 ranked Center. Nobody who started at Left guard is
    in the Building
    We got rid of starters Shaq, White, Aaron Stennie, and Carlton Davis.

    Pretty sure you can find SOMEBODY in the draft you like, and think you need.
    Should be pretty easy!

  2. heyjude Says:

    So true with all of us too. We already have our favorites that we think will fit well. And they could all fly off the shelf too or not even be on Licht’s list. Luckily, JL has backup ideas to fill those needs if necessary. Yes, this is why we love the draft. The drama, suspense, and surprises.

  3. 2023 Surprised the Hell out of me Says:

    Well said . Capatain… well said

  4. Leopold Stotch Says:

    I’d say the ’22 draft really opened my eyes a lot, because that was the year I really did quite a bit of research and I was screaming my head off and getting angrier and angrier about the picks JL was making. Can anyone outside of Minnesota honestly tell me they knew who the heck Ko Kieft was before he was drafted?

    Afterwards I saw the guys we had and was just really excited to see their contributions and now I am not as upset anymore, because I trust the front office. Especially this year, because honestly I have no freaking clue where they’re going. They could draft anyone and I wouldn’t be completely shocked. There is a logical argument you can make about any position that is drafted this year.

  5. Lt. Dan Says:

    ” there are five or seven players the Bucs are focusing on that Licht believes should be available at No. 26..”

    If that is the case then doesn’t this scenario just scream trade back and accumulate more picks?

  6. Stanglassman Says:

    I heard today that the Bucs usually only have 40-60 players on their board. They said lots of players aren’t good scheme fits and didn’t pass the Bucs player profile. Like team guy, loves football etc. So most of these players we all talk about aren’t even on their radar.
    I’d like to hear more about the teams process of how the grade the players and how they organize their list.

  7. heyjude Says:

    Exactly, Lt. Dan!

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    Licht says they are targeting 5-7 players that “might” be there – not “should” be there…. big difference.

    I believe 6 of the possible 7 players he’s talking about are Turner, Verse, Latu, JPJ, Barton and probably Wiggins at CB.

    Any one of those players makes it to #26 and Jason will be very happy to draft a player with an actual 1st rd grade at the end of the 1st round….

    I believe Licht is willing to trade up if one of the 3 best Edge rushers makes it to #20.

  9. I remember 21 Says:

    Capt. Tim speaks the truth! Our boys underperformed but overachieved last year and still only went 9-8 in the worst division in football by a country mile. Other than Whitehead we’ve done nothing to improve the team so far (re-signing players that were on the team last year doesn’t IMPROVE the {9-8} team, no matter how some want to spin it). While I agree that moving on from White & Davis was the right thing to do, does it make us better, or a little worse in the short term? We shall see. But what I do know is the little fever dream that some of you had of us doing some damage in the playoffs put us in draft no man’s land and earned us a first place schedule next year. I don’t know why nobody addresses it, but It’s NOT gonna be pretty. Ravens, 49ers, Eagles, Cowboys, Lions, Chiefs. Yikes. And somehow with bottom of the league units in pass rush, pass def, rushing and holes at RB2, WR3, TE2, G, C, OLB, and iffy depth at ILB & CB, bowles and Licht clapping each other on the back like it’s all roses. I just don’t see it. We should’ve fired bowles last season, but since we didn’t, what’s my prediction for the season? PAIN.

  10. ToAd BoWels Says:

    Could any veteran linemen, edge rushers, tight ends or running backs under reasonably kept friendly contract be available for a mid to late round pick?

    If you look at the draft over the years there have been some incredible veteran for mid to late round pick “deals” made on draft day. The Rams gave up a third round pick for the best running back in football, Hall of famer who led them to many wins over the years.

    Can you name this Hall of Fame running back (who is stolen for third round pick from the Indianapolis Colts) ?

  11. Buddha Says:

    Ian Beckles: The draft is a crap shoot. Anyone who tells you they know how the thai college game performance translates to the NFL is lying or engaging in self-deception. It is the most imprecise science you could imagine.

  12. Shane Callahan Says:

    Cpt. Tim made me laugh just now. Good take.

  13. Esteban85 Says:

    Last time we traded back we ended up with Logan Hall who is one season away from being a total bust. For some reason these late picks are ripe for the trade back and it seems like there is a lot of talent in the first two days of the draft. As Licht stated we have a lot of holes. Im not against a trade back but we have to get trenches and depth at ILB, WR, RB, and corner? 6-7 players. We need a few more picks in the first two days