Misdirection Director Jason Licht

April 13th, 2024

“Mr. Glazer, I’ll tell Peter King we’re thinking of extending Robert Hainsey and see where that shows up. Even though he’s retired, he’s such a gossip girl.”

Many times, Joe and Ira Kaufman have told this story on the Ira Kaufman Podcast.

It was March of 2017. Joe, Kaufman and former Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter were having a cocktail (no, not sharing with three straws, separate drinks.)

Kaufman asked Koetter who the Bucs were taking in the upcoming April draft. Koetter quickly went on a rant about how magical Alabama tight end O.J. Howard was as a prospect and how Koetter was enamored with the guy and Howard was his absolute first choice for Tampa Bay. The Bucs thought they had a shot at getting him with their No. 19 overall pick, Koetter said, adding that maybe he was just dreaming because Howard was too damn good to be overlooked by other teams.

After Koetter was finished with his passionate rant and eventually went for a refill, Joe remarked to Kaufman how serious Koetter seemed, nearly oblivious to the fact it was a wiseguy question from Kaufman with no real answer expected. Joe and Kaufman talked about Koetter’s intensity but still left the conversation in disbelief that Koetter actually would be sharing the Bucs’ draft plan. It couldn’t be real.

It turned out Koetter was being 100 percent candid. The Bucs pounced on Howard when he fell to them and there were high-fives throughout One Buc Palace.

Joe was reminded of this story when general manager Jason Licht this week was asked what he does if he sees a consensus of mock drafts accurately projecting who the Bucs want to draft.

Licht said he tries to change the scent: “We do what we can to make sure that name isn’t on there again, you know?”

Licht noted he reads mock drafts (Joe assumes it’s the high-profile ones) with the assumption that there’s a kernel of truth to them based on good intel. Perhaps Licht was moved by the March published report of the Bucs eager to trade Carlton Davis or Jamel Dean. That sure felt like quality info not leaked by Tampa Bay.

Regardless, Joe finds it fun that Licht admits his crew has been known to manipulate the media during draft season. When else does that happen?

20 Responses to “Misdirection Director Jason Licht”

  1. JimBobBuc Says:

    Kancey wasn’t on anybody’s radar last year. Licht does a good job keeping us, and the other teams, guessing.

  2. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    Licht likes big guys up front from what i can see. Either line.

  3. Fred McNeil Says:

    Bring Back the Lawn Chairs: Kansey is actually kind of smallish for a DT. So is Hall. Anyway, Licht sure doesn’t a good job of obfuscating his picks. Nobody seems to have a clue as to who we will take. Heck, I bugged his phone and Alexa and I do his wife’s hair and I still don’t have a clue.

  4. Marine Buc Says:

    Kancey was a top 10-15 prospect on most of the mock drafts I saw last year.

    When you have the #26 pick you have to wait and see who is available…

    Our GM stated recently that this roster has several holes that need filled – so best player available at multiple positions – WR, CB, OLB, IDL, IOL.

  5. Fred McNeil Says:

    One guy had us taking a 6’8″” tackle to move to guard. Can’t remember the guys name. We would have to buy Baker high heeled cleats.

  6. Fred McNeil Says:

    I wouldn’t be shocked to see a receiver or corner with that first pick. I don’t want Kiok Ade, though.

  7. Bucs Guy Says:

    It’s not BPA — it’s best player available at a position of need. Bucs aren’t taking a S or LT in the first ID they are the BPA. And even then, you also have to consider value. Does anyone believe the Bucs will take a RB (position of need) in the first if an RB is the BPA at #26?

    Bucs will stick to their board which may only have 50-60 players listed for the entire draft. Build the trenches. IOL and Edge with the first 2 picks — either order. G, WR and ILB in the 3rd and 4th. CB and TE in the 6th and 7th.

  8. Brandon Jeff Says:

    @ Bucs Guy,
    So many needs but I like your order of picks.

  9. Defense Rules Says:

    Bucs Guy … ‘It’s not BPA — it’s best player available at a position of need.’

    BINGO! Agree with your Rnd 1 & Rnd 2 preferences (Center & Edge), but I think we’ll go ILB & RB with our 2 Rnd 3 selections, then either Guard or TE or CB with our Rnd 4 pick. The last 2 picks in Rnd 5-7 are anybody’s guess, but they’ll almost surely be BPA when we choose.

  10. SenileSenior Says:

    I like Defense Rules’ clarification and suggestions of priorities. I think this is going to be another good draft. I have faith in Jason Light and his people.

    Go Bucs!!!

  11. WhatTheBuc Says:

    I like what DR said. I’d tweak it a little if I was drafting. I would go edge/center/corner in the first. In the second I’d probably look at receiver. There may be a WR available that is a 1st round pick in weaker drafts. In round 3 I’d look for center/edge if we didn’t get one earlier then RB/G/DB. I wouldn’t take an ILB until at least the 4th because of the position is so weak. I wanted to like Payton Wilson but he just doesn’t have any ability to take on blocks with his thin frame.

  12. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Going to be interesting.

    I think we might trade out of the first to pick up an extra pick.

  13. lambchopp Says:

    @Buccaneer Bonzai,

    I doubt they trade out of the 1st Rd. There will be a guy that is higher on their board that shouldn’t be there. It will especially be tempting if Laiatu Latu is sitting there because teams are spooked.

    Also, I don’t think they think certain positions are a dire need as much as us fans do. Sometimes, these guys can be stubborn to a fault.

  14. heyjude Says:

    I think all teams manipulate the draft beforehand along with the media. Just because we hear they invited a player to work out doesn’t mean they are really interested either. All manipulation and hype.

    However, in the end, we truly love it. And when the first draft night rolls around, we are glued to our seats wondering who our team is going to draft as well as who the other teams get. The boos for Goodell, drama, surprises, let downs, anxiety, joy, et al! Love it all. Go Bucs!

  15. MadMax Says:

    Its a kicker yo, so chill….60 yd fg’s all the time….get used to it

  16. MadMax Says:

    Points are points

  17. BillyBucco Says:

    Why are you guys NOT putting ANY WRs in your projections?
    This draft is loaded with good ones.
    Do you guys wanna pass when Chris could be gone next year?
    Why wait until the need outweighs BPA?
    You keep saying Center/Edge in the first like you are shopping and every player is still on the shelf.
    The point of the BPA article is that if no Elite Centers/Edge are on the board and Brian Thomas is, you run to the podium, even though you guys apparently don’t think we need even 1.
    Listen, Im a trench warfare guy and I understand this logic despite what I WANT.
    I WANTED us to get deals done for Winfield and Wirfs BEFORE FA so we could get an edge or elite center.
    We didn’t so IMO, the smoke screen can ONLY mean anything besides Center/Edge.
    I would trade back before I took Chop if possible. Surely they are letting teams know they will be interested because of the late pick and still so many needs.

  18. Hodad Says:

    I have the Bucs taking Adoni Mitchell with the 26 th pick. This offense runs 90% 3 receiver sets. We have to add some juice to the room. Palmer is a 6th round pick, Mike is 31, Godwin on his last year. Our offense was lethal when we had Evans, Godwin, and Brown. Mitchell can play inside, outside has size, speed, production, and he fits Licht’s age profile, only 21 years old. Same age Evans was when licht made him his first pick. That was the last time we spent a first rounder on a receiver. We’re over due.

  19. Beeej Says:

    South Dakota State RB Isaiah Davis – Senior – 6-0, 281 – 4.57

    OMG, a nose guard running back. Imagine if we got this guy with a 7th or something

  20. Beeej Says:

    dang, apparently it was a typo. 218