Last Year’s Rookies

July 8th, 2024

Player evaluation.

Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht and most national #NFLMedia look at the same players but see two very different rosters.

One reason so many national #NFLMedia are scoffing at the Bucs is they just don’t think the Bucs roster is special outside of Mike Evans, Lavonte David, Vita Vea, Antoine Winfield and Tristan Wirfs.

Take away those players, the sophists believe, and what you have left are the Stinking Panthers.

Licht sees something else and it’s fair to say he knows what he’s doing. Without Tom Brady, the Bucs were a couple of plays from going to the NFC title game last season.

One reason Licht did not bring in any top-shelf free agents this offseason (a sore point for the sophists) is his satisfaction with how the 2023 rookies played. If their natural progression happens, the Bucs will be just fine.

Seth Galina thinks Licht is hallucinating. The Montreal-based analyst with the PFF tribe thinks the Bucs’ rookie class last year was anything but special.

Galina made these remarks appearing on Robert Mays’ podcast for The Athletic, “The Football Show.”

“The rookies you are talking about, [Calijah] Kancey, [YaYa] Diaby, [Cody] Mauch — they weren’t very good last year,” Galina said. “Trey Palmer — those guys did not have good seasons.

“They were picked high, they were picked in good spots so you have hope for them. They didn’t come out of the gates like gangbusters. This is a work in progress for those four guys, especially.”

Galina has a slight point. YaYa Diaby didn’t become a starter until the 11th game. Joe thinks he should started much sooner. Cody Mauch was OK but hit the rookie wall. Trey Palmer had his moments (39 catches plus the playoffs) and Joe is eager to see how new Bucs offensive coordinator Liam Coen uses him. But to suggest Kancey wasn’t any good because he wasn’t “gangbusters” right away is irresponsible.

The dude was hurt. He missed virtually all of training camp with a calf injury.

Folks who dismiss Kancey as just a pass rusher either haven’t seen his rush defense stats or are just not paying attention. Joe believes Kancey will be the next Bucs defensive stud.

If Licht didn’t sign a big-name because he believes in Kancey, that was a very wise decision.

41 Responses to “Last Year’s Rookies”

  1. A Bucs Fan Says:

    The knock on Diaby is he had a pass rush win rate of just 7%. Most above average OLB win at a minimum of 18%. Very hot and cold player.

  2. TampaBayBucFan Says:

    That rookie class isn’t the problem….and I do believer we’ll get some production out of SVD and Durham.

    The problem is JTS & Hall…..very high picks that aren’t showing much.

    How in the world can you complain about a 6th round pick…..Trey Palmer?

  3. Beeej Says:

    After bringing in all those aging, expensive free agents, Bucs seem to have decided to build from the draft, I like it

  4. RBUC Says:

    I agree with excluding Trey Palmer from this evaluation view point! I think his stats would have been markedly better if Baker would have looked for him more and was more accurate than he was last season. There were countless examples of replays where anybody can see Palmer had the step on his defender or flat out was wide open but Baker was locked in usually on forcing the pass to ME🚩☠️💯

  5. BucsFan55 Says:

    Never listen to the Canadian

  6. Defense Rules Says:

    Very few teams are loaded with superstars, although it seems like some ‘stock up’ to make a run at the Super Bowl (cough, cough). Reality is that the Bucs are going young because we have no choice; the salary CAP took care of that.

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    Not sure though what Galina is driving at. Bucs 2023 rookies logged a BUNCH of snaps on both offense & defense, probably as many as any team in the NFL. Mauch could’ve used a year on the bench to develop & get stronger, but we didn’t have that luxury; his was a baptism by fire. Kancey was hurt initially like you said Joe, and Diaby seemed to take about half a season to learn the nuances of Todd Bowles’ defense (Kancey’s stats seem to indicate that he did too). Hey, some veterans like Ryan Neal never picked up those nuances apparently.

  8. garro Says:

    “One reason Licht did not bring in a top-shelf free agents this offseason is his satisfaction with how the 2023 rookies played.”

    That has been my belief all along and I think he has said as much. Not to mention the fact that…
    A) Free agents are as big a crap shoot as the draft, maybe bigger. (The Tree Hugger comes to mind)
    B) We gots no money! The high end players who could actually be of help may not be as big a crap shoot but are out of our price range.

    We have alot of talented players on this roster and most of it is young despite all the talk of Mike and LVD being too old, and the we need to trade CG right now.

    Go Bucs!

  9. Pickgrin Says:

    Stupid Take.

    Our crop of 2nd year players is as good as any in the league first of all…

    And the reason the Bucs didn’t sign any “top shelf” free agents is because of the $108M in dead $ that has to paid over the next 2 years.

  10. Bucsfan951 Says:

    So much hate for a team with a winning season, winning thier division, winning a playoff game (knocking out previous years nfc champs) and making a showing in the division round game.

    I just don’t get it. If your name isn’t the Kansas City Chiefs, then I guess you ain’t spit!

  11. Statistically Insignificant Reader Says:

    Just win consistently and the bull spit will take care of itself

  12. Towered Says:

    I became a Bucs fan as a kid because I love the underdog. Creamsicle unis (which weren’t widely loved as they are now,) and scalding hot aluminum benches in the big sombrero. More fans of division rivals catching a game while on vacation than home team fans in the house. There just wasn’t a more hapless sports team to place my contradictory allegiance.

    The team’s ascension at the turn of the millennium and their first championship was so satisfying. After years of being the quintessential losers, there was well deserved redemption.

    It made the aptly-called, “Decade of Depression” bearable.

    I don’t think there is any question that for the past 5 years, we have been living in the greatest era this team has experienced. Jameis’ 30/30 season was must watch football, and proved to those who matter that this team had a lot to offer.

    Then four consecutive seasons with at least a division title? Regularly featured on national games? Even getting enough recognition to be formally disrespected by network pundits is more recognition than they have received in years past.

    These are golden years.

  13. RBUC Says:

    I think this season we all will see what view of the Buccaneers is more accurate. On one hand we have lots of vocal NFL fans that view the Bucs as a team that benefited from being the best of 4 bad teams as the one left standing to beat a Eagles team that MOST believe mailed it in WAY before round 1 of last season’s playoffs! Like it or not the Detroit Lions pass the eye test by most NFL fans as a young up and coming team that is having strong drafts year after year and anticipate fielding an even stronger team in 2024. Week 2 we gonna find out if that viewpoint is fact or fantasy!! Will the 2024 Bucs play inspired enough to change the narrative or confirm what most NFL fans think they saw last season??
    GO BUCS 🚩☠️💯

  14. Buc4evr Says:

    I hear Jason about the rookie’s development last year, but still think we need to try to sign Ogbah or Lawson. Think either one could be a better role player than Gregory.

  15. Jerseybuc Says:

    Just another idiot who don’t know the roster🤷🏻‍♂️

  16. SlyPirate Says:

    “They weren’t very good last year”

    Yaya Diaby
    1st – Rookie Tackles for a Loss
    1st – Fumbles Recovered
    2nd – Forced Fumbles
    3rd – Rookie Sacks

    His stats were on par with Will Anderson. Had he started beginning of the year, he would have been DROTY.

    That’s not very good?

  17. BA’s Red Pen Says:

    Dude should stick to covering The Alouettes.

  18. Dude Says:

    “His stats were on par with Will Anderson. Had he started beginning of the year, he would have been DROTY.”

    The whole point of evaluation is remember what a player does well, and focusing on where he struggles in effort to developing said player to improve. Yaya can improve his 7.5% win rate as a pass rushers having played 515 snaps with about 26 pressures last year. I’d take a half sack regression if it meant an uptick in total pressure, just because it’d mean Yaya is collapsing the pocket more because he’s winning his match-ups more. More sacks would come behind that might not be to Yayas’ credit, but it’s a team game anyway

  19. Lord Cornelius Says:

    What a weird take.

    Between just 1) ‘they weren’t good’ and 2) ‘they were picked high’ I dunno wtf this guy is talking about. .

    We weren’t picking in the top 10 or 15. Yaya Diaby was a late 3rd rounder. Trey Palmer was a late 6th round pick.

    Not sure wtf expectations this guy has for late 6th round WR’s that go to a team with an established top 2.

    He outplayed all these WR’s that were drafted before him:

    Quenton Johnson (R1 pick)
    Jonathon mingo (R2 pick) technically 33 yards behind but Mingo had 17 more targets
    Marvis Mims (R3 pick)
    Jaylen Hyatt (R3)
    Cedric Tillman (R3)
    Michael Wilson (R3)
    Tre Tucker (R4)
    Derius Davis (R4)
    Charlie Jones (R4)
    Tyler Scott (R4)
    Justin Shorter (R5)
    Dontayvion Wicks (r5)
    Parker Washington (R6)
    Kayshon Bouttle (R6)

    But yeah what a terrible season he had lol. Wtf.

  20. catcard202 Says:

    Overpaying to sign UFA’s is not necessarily the best path forward…Neither is trading away capital on sign & trade deals for disgruntled players with their current clubs…If you draft well & keep the cupboards stocked, natural player progression will keep an organization fruitful…This is more of the approach Licht & Co. have taken, while working through all the dead money/void year leftovers from the TB12 All-In years.

  21. GP Says:

    I have very little concern about pundits takes on our roster. We have the tools to win. The real question is Will the coaching staff be able to utilize those tools and get the production that they are capable of?
    We’re talking about the top 2% of the nations talent spread across the league. Coaching is important

  22. BucU Says:

    I’ll take the underdog role with this team all day long. Our guys tend to believe they’re all that when they read how good they are. Example: Going into last years bye week at a surprising 3-1. We know what happened after 2 weeks of positive reviews.

  23. Badbucs Says:

    We’re a surprisingly good team considering the cap restrictions on our available talent. Infuse 50 million of salaried guys onto this roster and nobodies dogging us. Give it a year or two of good drafts and no stupid contracts and We’re right in the hunt. You can’t blame the pundits. Our fate is a toss up this year. Either direction is equally possible. Hoping for the best. Go Bucs!

  24. Booger Says:

    I just hope if we do start out miserably, the FO sees it and admits it as soon as possible. Then, they have the guts to make the trades for future draft capital. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Vea, Dean, all of them, if the price is right. There’s nothing more crushing to keep expensive aging star players around too long (with great value), just to eventually allow them to ‘walk’ while getting absolutely nothing in return. Mike’s contract should look VERY good and enticing to an above average team without a true #1 looking to lock up a playoff spot… We should be able to get a pretty decent haul there, of some high picks! Then, hope that they collapse and we wake up with their #12 overall, first round pick in 2025!? We could really load-up on future picks with those four guys!!!!

  25. TF Says:

    Why is everyone so annoyed. His statement that this draft class didn’t get out of the gate very well is 100% accurate. And practically every single draft class in existence is a “work in progress”. No fighting words really. Could he have singled out Kancey for his finish? Maybe. But Galina has a “slight point” just like Joe has a slight point he could have given more credit to Kancey and not label him a “work in progress” and YaYas season. But Kancy was definately a work in progress the first 6-7 weeks and it’s not really insulting and not worth a dual over his talking points.

  26. Badbucs Says:

    Exactly Booger. No stupid contract extensions extending cap hell. Bite the bullet now if it looks bad at all. Dancing in ’26.

  27. Dave Pear Says:

    BA’s Red Pen Says:

    “Dude should stick to covering The Alouettes”

    Perfect. What a maroon the Canadian Cocktail is.

  28. Boge Says:

    Nah, Kancey flashed instantly. His first game back after preseason he made an impact in a handful of plays before getting hurt again. His playoff performance was incredible. I’m excited to see what he does this year, JTS will be lucky to have this guy blowing up the pocket in his contract year.

    Cody wasn’t great, but showed potential, it’s clear he needs to get bigger and stronger.

    YaYa was raw and his win rate may have been low but he had a tone of TFFLs for a rookie in very limited time. The dude is a freak of nature and could become the next JPP.

    Judging anything beyond the 3rd round in their rooikie year is a bit silly.

  29. GoneGator Says:

    So @Booger, how long do we wait? What constitutes a miserable enough start to begin dealing off foundational talent and rebuilding again?
    If we struggle early, or “we start out miserably” we should just blow it up? Couldn’t disagree with that opinion more.

    This team has talent, leadership, coaching in place to compete now.
    If we’re going to struggle I hope it’s early on. As much as I’d like to see us dominate all season I want us peaking when it matters most, @ seasons end! As long as we get to the playoffs fairly healthy it’s all good.

  30. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Mike Evans, Lavonte David, Vita Vea, Antoine Winfield and Tristan Wirfs”

    he left out a few names…Godwin, for example.

    Rookies almost never do great in their first year. Yes, you get the occasional blockbuster guy, but outside of that, it takes 2-3 years.

  31. Travis Says:

    Kancey and Diaby were undeniably good last year as rookies.

  32. Booger Says:

    Definitely before the trade deadline, Gator! What do you think… 2-5, 1-6, or 3-4 then losing that Week 8 home matchup versus ATL, making us 3-5 going TO Kansas City!? I would say that would qualify.

  33. Booger Says:

    It’s definitely NOT sitting there at 3-6 or 2-7 and with the thinking that well, IF we can WIN-OUT!?

  34. Rod Munch Says:

    Talk about a clueless idiot that doesn’t know what they’re talking about… Kancey and Yaya weren’t good? Did this moron even watch any Bucs games?

    As for Palmer, the guy was a 6th round pick and made a number of plays. The fact you even make the roster as a 6th rounder is a win, and if Baker didn’t miss him all the time when he was running wide open, he’d have had a nice year.

    This Canuck should stick to covering the CFL since he clearly has no idea what he’s talking aboot.

  35. Drunkinybor Says:

    That’s fun and cute! Now let’s do four rookies for every team! If stamps rookied were just nit do good 😔 😟 I am sure if we are do below average. At the very least 15 teams had multiple rookies, more than 4 all shine and shine bright! That will be neat.

  36. Drunkinybor Says:

    Now I’ll write that in English for our American audience.

    That’s fun and cute! Now let’s do 4 rookies for every team. If Tampas rookies were just not so good. 😔 😟 I am sure if we are so below average. At the very least 15 teams had multiple ×4 rookies, all shine and shine bright! That will be a neat excercise.

  37. 40Forever Says:

    I’m Canadian and ashamed of this guy.

  38. Rod Munch Says:

    You Canadians are all the same, with your beady little eyes and flapping heads. Y–you’re trash!

  39. ballwasher61 Says:

    Hoser’s eh?

  40. Badbucs Says:

    Not blowing it up Gator. Just restocking with younger, cheaper talent. Maybe a couple oldies a year for 3 or 4 high value youngling. Better to dump them a year or two early for a return than suffer through the inevitable decline and zero return. Licht has been spot on lately. Now is the time to rebuild out of the 100 million cap hole from the Brady SB. It should be done even if we’re only mediocre.

  41. unbelievable Says:


    Diaby was a 3rd round pick.

    Palmer was a 5th rounder.

    “High picks” lol

    That said, JTS and Logan Hall can be chit all over IMO.


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