Is Jason Licht Ahead Of A Trend?

May 12th, 2024

“The data says offensive line, Mr. Glazer.”

So Buccaneers Ring of Honor general manager Jason Licht drafted a center/guard in Round 1 of the NFL Draft.

Unnecessary? Maybe. Foolish? Doubtful. In line with an emerging league trend? Apparently.

So the NextGen stats folks compile and deliver raw data tracked by sensors in NFL players’ game equipment, which includes the football.

NFL teams get reams of performance numbers to study but fans only see a small percentage of the nuggets. The rest stay under lock and key. Perhaps one day NFL will sell it all to fans?

One data point pumped out recently notes that quarterbacks are holding the ball longer than ever when not executing a play-action pass.

So not throwing quickly is a growing trend. And it’s not just weak quarterbacks playing too slowly, it includes greats of the game.

“Time To Throw” by NextGen measures the seconds from the snap of the ball to the quarterback’s release.

Consider the following, per NextGen.

In 2016, Tyrod Taylor was the only quarterback to average more than 2.80 seconds on non-play-action attempts. In 2023, there were 10 QBs to top that mark, including league MVP Lamar Jackson, Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud.

The group of 10 quarterbacks with a time to throw over 2.80 seconds in 2023 was the biggest in the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016). On the other side of the spectrum (and opposite the league trend), Tua Tagovailoa got the ball out at a rapid pace, as his time to throw on such passes this season was the quickest in the Next Gen Stats era.

Joe is intrigued. Quarterbacks are holding the ball significantly longer, so logic says investing more draft capital in offensive linemen makes sense.

NextGen also added that plays in which the QB takes 5 seconds or more to throw have been on the rise. In 2016, there were 517 pass attempts with a time to throw over 5 seconds. That total was 615 last year.

Baker Mayfield was the 10th-fastest thrower last season with an average of 2.71 seconds of “Time To Throw,” the quickest average of Mayfield’s career.

Joe thinks that bodes well for Mayfield in Liam Coen’s new offense. Jared Goff and Matthew Stafford averaged 2.8 seconds of “Time To Throw” during their best years with the Rams, where Coen’s offense was born.

27 Responses to “Is Jason Licht Ahead Of A Trend?”

  1. A Bucs Fan Says:

    Yeah cause the league is soft now. Like Terry said put QB’s in dresses already.

  2. BillyBucco Says:

    The QB position is what is mostly different.
    Guys that can scramble and create plays and guys that slide around the pocket has increased significantly.

  3. MadMax Says:

    Trenches are ALWAYS at the forefront of any warfare. Our O line needed help and we got it. So glad Jason hit it twice with our 1st and 6th. Plus with our 7th in Culp as long as he can block….but he def can catch. Nod to you Jason, you and your scouts did a wonderful job.

  4. White Tiger Says:

    Echo @MadMax – JL looks to have had another solid draft. It’s about the TRENCHES!

  5. Mr. Editor Says:

    When a team is drafting that late in the first round, it’s not out of the question to draft for a Guard/Center. Doing so in the top 15 would be unusual or trendsetting.

  6. Beeej Says:

    More and more run around quarterbacks, being able to take more time slows the game down

  7. HC Grover Says:

    Maybe, maybe not. We see in the season starts.

  8. Anon Says:

    Because no one drafted after 2012 has been able to process the defense post snap. And it’s only gotten a lot worse with time as the old guard retired and even less competent QBs enter the league.

    It’s also why you’re often only as good as your OC.

  9. StickinUp4Centers Says:

    WRs have the advantage over CBs, especially with the more stringent PI, holding, and unnecessary roughness penalties. Give a QB time and a WR is bound to get open.

  10. Tony Says:


    It seems like it’s getting that way with many sports. You sneeze or fart & they’re gonna call something on you.

  11. Rod Munch Says:

    Of course they hold the ball longer, they know defenders can’t tee off on them anymore as the NFL continues to market towards women and cupcakes who don’t like violence.

  12. Esteban85 Says:

    Quarterbacks are more athletic in modern football. All players are more athletic but the quarterbacks are trending towards having run & pass capability, hence the new data. I think it is simply wise to pick the best player available at a position of need. Nothing fancy, nothing new. The fact is, Barton was the best player at a position of highest need. Great pick JL

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    What? A solid OL lets a QB spend more time to go through progressions and find a receiver?

    My shocked face: :-O

    Be still my heart!

  14. Bucsfanman Says:

    What Cobra said!!!

    It’s not complicated. More time to throw=more time for WRs to get open. AND, drum roll please, better blocking=better running!

  15. Marine Buc Says:

    Picking at #26 is way different than picking in the top 10.

    Our GM has his list of players who have 1st round grades, 2nd round grades and so on.

    When you are picking at #26 and a player with a first round grade is available at a position of desperate need you make the pick.

    Why does this have to be so complicated?

    Seems like common sense to me… But some folks have “difficulties”…

  16. Dave Pear Says:

    Great draft by Licht. He gets it.

  17. stpetebucfan Says:


    “the NFL continues to market towards women and cupcakes who don’t like violence.”

    Nope that’s not the reason badarse. QB’s are the face of the franchise and obviously the single most important player. While you might enjoy the blood and torn ligaments and brain damage…the league enjoys MARKETING their star players. You can’t market a STAR player when he’s just been concussed out of half a season or more much less receives a perhaps career ending torn ligament.

    Here’s an idea Muncher…just watch MMA. They have violence brutal enough to satisfy even a guy who would have enjoyed watching gladiators kill each other in the Roman Coliseum

  18. Pickgrin Says:


    More like Desperate Need and the most athletic ‘Center’ in modern NFL history fell to us at #26….

    I wanted us to draft a Guard in rd 3 as well – but we’ll have to make due with finding a starting Guard this year from among 3 confirmed backups and a 6th rd rookie…

  19. Just Saying Says:

    Good business to protect your biggest asset. As well as take away you opponent’s biggest asset. To me if you have a qb worth protecting you should do so. Talk of too early to draft that protection seems silly.

  20. Daniel Dream Says:

    I agree with Just Saying. You pick the best players who can help you win and that’s that. Seriously, what good is having good skill players and a good QB if he rarely has time to throw to them? In the modern NFL people want to rank the ‘value’ of a position, but that’s counter-productive. How much does the player help a team? There’s his value. Screw position or draft position. If Barton is a great starting C he’s worth a first round draft pick, easy. Frankly, you want to get a great starter from your first round picks- I don’t care what position. Get a great starter, and that’s without a doubt worth a first rounder. I think Barton will be a great C and let’s hope so because this offense will really roll!

  21. David Says:

    Of course there are many that are holding it longer, even as much as five seconds. Everyone named are running quarterbacks. Some run, some just run around, but it all means they cannot stand there in the pocket and throw, they need to move around and hold the ball longer.

    Tell me, as always, pass rush!!!

  22. Rod Munch Says:

    stpetebucfan – what size skirt do you wear? Does the old folks home let you wear it in public or just in your room?

  23. bob in valrico Says:

    ^^^ Some people never outgrow their juvenile tendencies.^^^^

  24. stpetebucfan Says:


    Whew that was a very clever burn. If you can’t rise above the level of Pee Wee Herman with your insults I suggest you stick to football.

  25. garro Says:

    The passing game is so scripted these day (for lack of a better word). Timing is everything on most pass plays now.

    I hope our New Line can give Baker a consisent three seconds but it is when he has less than the “scripted” time like 2.1 that matters the most. Those are the ones he had to scramble on and the oportunity for mistakes goes way up on those.

    Go bucs!

  26. lambchop Says:

    All three QBs are able to freelance and extend plays with their pocket awareness. Tua probably worked on his release after that season of concussions, plus he has the Cheetah so he is a QB that would be better suited to getting the ball early into the hands of a playmaker like that.

    It’s always a good idea to have a good OL, but I think there is more to this than just a OL trend. All three of those QBs didn’t have elite WRs who you would expect could dominate their routes early. I would lean more towards that being the real reason.

  27. Cobraboy Says:

    I dunno, spbf.

    I liked the BFL best when they marketed mangled paws and torn ligaments

    And concussions.

    John Lynch would never be a HOFer in today’s kinder, gentler NFL.