Yahoo!: Jason Licht Gets An “A”

April 26th, 2024


Joe asked last night if Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht was bold in drafting a center in the first round.

Hell yes it was bold.

Last year, only one interior lineman was drafted in the first round. Last night, only Licht drafting Graham Barton prevented another first round without an interior offensive lineman.

As Bill Belichick pointed out last week on The Pat McAfee Show, when drafting late in the first round you don’t mind being chained to an expensive fifth-round option for a player at a premium position. Belichick rattled off several.

Belichick never mentioned center or guard (but he did tackle).

If a guy a team late in Round 1 is considering drafting plays a non-premium position, Belichick said, it’s better to trade back into the second round and likely get the same player or another player at the same position without the fifth-year option.

(The fifth-year option is only for first-round picks.)

So yes, Licht was bold in that he bucked the modern trend. In fact, Licht bucked his own personal history. Licht had never drafted an interior lineman with a first-round pick. He built a Super Bowl-winning offensive line with a second-round pick of a left guard, a third-round pick of a right guard, and a free agent center who was a sixth-round pick by Baltimore.

Maybe for being bold is why Charles McDonald of Yahoo! gave Licht an “A” grade for drafting Barton.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Graham Barton, OL, Duke
Barton is a stud offensive lineman who can play all five positions up front. He was announced as a center, so he may wind up on the interior after playing left tackle at Duke, but he’s well-equipped for the move. He’s the most versatile lineman in the draft and the Buccaneers may have just gotten a steal. Grade: A

Of course, time will tell if the Bucs got a steal. But Joe is willing to lay cash (if there is such a bet) that Barton re-signs with the Bucs in five years for a second contract.

As Joe pointed out yesterday, 92 percent of centers drafted in the first round during the first two decades of this century signed a second contract with their original team.

42 Responses to “Yahoo!: Jason Licht Gets An “A””

  1. Capt.Tim Says:

    Id play him at Left guard, and draft Fazier tomorrow

  2. BakerFan Says:

    Best player available and addresses a big need. You got to give it a “A”. I might even give it a A+.

  3. Leighroy Says:

    I think it was NFL network who mentioned the cowgirls were attempting the strategy Joe mentions, traded back thinking they could land Barton, and that they’d be disappointed with the Bucs pick. So no, this strategy isn’t fool proof especially if Barton was the guy identified to return the nasty to the OL.

    Different years bring different strengths to every draft. The narrative that one year there weren’t any interior OL taken so to do so is suddenly bold is a lazy trope imo. So is the Licht constructed a Super Bowl winning team one way, so wow he’s bold for going about it differently now. These things are organic, based on 32 teams potentially acting irrationally due to their individual circumstances.

    The first 15 picks didn’t include an edge rusher this year, when was the last time that happened? Are those GMs bold for passing on the alleged 2nd most important position in the NFL?

  4. Tony Marks Says:

    Its only bold if you subscribe to the idea there’s a rule that you don’ draft a center/guard in the first round.

    However since this is hardly the first time a team has – there never was such a rule and Licht never subscribed to it. He put in that pick in record time – no hesitation. So Its just a very good pick given who was available.

  5. adam from ny Says:

    i know a guy who studies the top 100 draft prospects…

    yeah he’s no joel buchsbaum…no one is…

    but he did say that barton was the best interior lineman in the draft…

    just sayin’

  6. adam from ny Says:

    just thank your lucky stars they didn’t draft cooper blojean…omg…that coulda been a disaster

  7. adam from ny Says:

    what if we draft tj tampa…

    the corner out of iowa state, for the hell of it and to simply be cool

    #DoItToBeCool 🙂

  8. jarrett Says:

    man i am so happy guys I didnt want like Chop Robinson were already gone

  9. Zoocomics Says:

    @Capt Tim… don’t think it will happen, but that would be sick if we actually draft a Center in the second round, to round out the re-tooling of the O-line… I would not have seen that coming at all. Can you imagine the youth we’d have on that line if Goedeke and Mauch stick as starters?

    In years past, these aren’t sexy picks, but as I’ve matured in my football watching you can have elite skill players, but if you don’t have a decent running game and/or the QB doesn’t have time to read progressions, or WRs don’t have enough time to run their routes before the QB gets manhandled, then what good are they? You want to see our best years in Tampa, during the Brady era, look to our trenches and that says it all. And that’s on both offensive and defensive lines. Drafting Oline early isn’t sexy, but damn it’s got massive potential to pay-off long-term, and it’s incredibly safe as well.

  10. SteveK Says:

    Capt. Tim,

    That would be glorious to draft another mauler. We could just line up and whip ass up front on both sides of the ball. I love Licht bc he loves trenches.

  11. adam from ny Says:

    we might grab a receiver in round 2…

    let’s see how it pans out…

    sheesh – i’ll take another o-line mauler…that’s good

  12. Bobby Says:

    Love the pick. This is the way long term winners are built. You have to get the big nasties. I always think of the way Joe Gibbs built his offense behind the Hogs. That worked out pretty well.

  13. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Graham Barton is not a sexy pick but damn, he is a nasty OL player who loves to control his opponent. He has elite skills, good at pulling and drive blocking. He is also great at pass blocking with good lateral change and balance. I read that he has a strong grip and once he has his hand on you, he’s going finish his blocks. Also known for his strong core strength and above average athletic abilities.

  14. Tackleblockwin Says:

    Whoever wrote the rule not to draft oline in round one is not thinking clearly. Last night we drafted a center, who has a very high chance of being one of the better centers in football for many years. Also, centers play just about every snap on offense. Third, we need to address the oline. Fourth, we were able to get the top interior lineman at pick 26. So I guess I just don’t see why we wouldn’t pick him. BTW, did anyone notice how quickly our pick was turned in last night. 0% hesitation. He was one of Jason’s guys, and we were not going to trade out.

  15. DoooshLaRue Says:

    Winning is sexy and you win in the trenches.

  16. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Belichick is no draft expert. It’s the main reason he was let go. There is no reason, whatsoever, to follow his lead.

  17. Pickgrin Says:

    Fonzie gives a thumbs up…..

    And Jason Licht gets an aaaaaaaaay

  18. Hodad Says:

    This was a no brainer of a pick. We’ve missed that tone setting anchor in the middle. Baker’s new baby is sleeping better tonight. I was hoping Thomas Jr. fell to us, but can’t wait to see Barton pancaking some dudes. If you’ve noticed IOL are getting paid these days. Centers touch the ball as much as the QB does. You see what a guy like Kelsce, and Jensen can do for an offense. Licht hit the sweet spot at #26 with Barton.

  19. 2 thumbs up Says:

    Pete Prisco on CBS sports gave 8 first round A grades. Tampa’s pick of Barton was one of them.

  20. BUCman Says:

    This was not bold…….it was the clear and obvious choice that we were lucky to make. A+++

  21. Gipper Says:

    Captain Tim,

    Like your thinking about Barton as a left Guard and Frazier as a Center in today’s draft. Let Hainsey and Mauch battle it out for right Guard. Hope Mauch has ben hitting the weights hard. He needs more upper body strength.

  22. Easy The Great Says:

    TRENCHES TRENCHES TRENCHES…. Solid way to build the offensive line who is now one of the youngest and only gonna grow together. SOLID PICK

  23. BucBaker Says:

    “So yes, Licht was bold in that he bucked the modern trend.”

    The challenge with having more than one “Joe” is that you all sometimes contradict your own articles. For example, I think we can all agree that one year doesn’t qualify as a “modern trend.” And as you or the other Joe pointed out in one of your recently posted articles, the year before last 4 interior OL were taken in the first. You also pointed out that statistically Centers taken in the first were more successful than those not.

    So, you’re saying he was bold because he did something different than what occurred last year? One season doesn’t make a trend.

  24. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Bill Belichick draft Logan Mankins, a perfect comparison for Barton, out of Fresno State with a late first-round pick? Mankins went on to earn multiple Pro Bowl selections, including one with the Buccaneers, and All-Pro honors. He even filled in at left tackle, contributing to the Patriots’ Super Bowl victories.

  25. Buchen61 Says:

    What can I say other than awesome start to the draft…way to go Jason
    I hope we get a stud RB to go with Barton

  26. orlbucfan Says:

    Yep, there’s that versatility that Licht likes. Go Barton, Licht and Bucs!!

  27. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Barton’s Pro Comparison

    Logan Mankins

  28. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    A lot of good the fifth round option does us on JTS…….

  29. JimBobBuc Says:

    The big boards that I studied have Barton as the best OL available when the Bucs picked, better than OT’s, OG’s, and OC’s that were still available. Also he was the top ranked IOL in the draft by most boards. Daniel Jeremiah says ” Barton has legitimate five-position flexibility.” Since 2018, an average of 1 center and 1 guard have been picked in the first round.

  30. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Graham’s parents posted a video message to Graham through duke footballs twitter! It was a special message and made me think this kid has what it takes to be a great pro!

  31. stpetebucfan Says:

    Joe has pointed out Barton’s off field assets. Went to Duke, he’s no dummy, interned for a U.S. Senator, he’s obviously an impressive guy off the field as well.

    I grew on the Ohio river across from Cincinnati. When I was in grade school we had no team and just like the Dolphins were piped into all the Florida markets before the Bucs and Jags…we got the Browns before the Bengals.

    I became a huge fan of Paul Brown!!! Yep he brought us the Bengals but the man made so many innovations from the face mask to giving prospects IQ tests, to alternating his guards to send in plays before technology.

    Paul Brown would LOVE..LOVE..LOVE this pick!!!

  32. Cobraboy Says:

    BPA + Need = bigly win.

  33. Bojim Says:

    Ive been giving JL an A for the last few years.

  34. MadMax Says:

    Why did this just pop up in my brain….Barton is our new LT and Wirfs our new C.

  35. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    Madmax – because your brain went sideways. Lol

    Great pick! Go get more offensive beef! Got my wish in rd 1. Trey Benson or another bigger back in rd 3-4 and Im all set.

  36. Sacker58 Says:

    Barton is a great pick and a real need but I think the Bucs were hoping Verse or laitu were gonna slide far enough to get either one.

  37. Shane Callahan Says:

    Once again, I agree with Cpt Tim.

  38. Greg Says:

    Joe says:
    “As Joe pointed out yesterday, 92 percent of centers drafted in the first round during the first two decades of this century signed a second contract with their original team.”
    Wow! Joe, didn’t you have an article a few weeks ago about the Bucs possibly taking this guy?

  39. Bucfan1988 Says:

    Walterfootball also gave the Bucs pick of Barton an “A”….

  40. drdneast Says:

    He also had a future HOF GOAT at QB who could get rid of a ball faster than Joe can lay down a bet at the Seminole Hotel.

  41. drdneast Says:

    He also had a future HOF GOAT at QB who could get rid of a ball faster than Joe can lay down a bet at the Seminole Hotel.

  42. BucBucBucs!! Says:

    A+++ We picked a great center, an area of need He sounds like a team leader too. Go Bucs!!