TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, going into their off-season, had to be more physical and get faster, according to GM Jason Licht.
After this 2023 NFL Draft, he feels they have.
Five of their eight picks are defensive players.
Bucs 2023 draft picks
- Rd 1 19 Calijah Kancey DT Pitt
- Rd 2 48 Cody Mauch OT N. Dakota State
- Rd 3 82 YaYa Diaby DE Louisville
- Rd 5 153 SirVocea Dennis LB Pitt
- Rd 5 171 Payne Durham TE Purdue
- Rd 6 181 Josh Hayes DB K State
- Rd 6 191 Trey Palmer WR Nebraska
- Rd 6 196 Jose Ramirez LB Eastern Michigan
The Bucs started things off by drafting powerful defensive tackle Calijah Kancey (Pitt)) with the 19th pick of the first round.
In the news: The Rock Stops Here: Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht
“Well, we liked him from the beginning,” Licht said. “He’s a super disruptive interior player that you can actually play outside too. I know that our coaches are excited about all the different things you can do with a player like this because of his elite athleticism.” The Bucs coaches are pumped to put Kancey next to defensive tackle Vita Vea.
“I can’t wait to be a sponge man,” Kancey said. “Every day, I want to learn from and see how he approaches the game as a pro. I want to see what things he can help me with and what things I can help him with.”
Licht believes you’ve got to be strong up front on both sides of the ball and has a fondness for drafting and acquiring lineman from smaller schools. Case in point this year, Mauch who says he learned hard work from farming and is up for the challenge coming from North Dakota State.
“Yeah, I’m aware of that (Bucs lineman from small schools) and I’m excited to be a part of a group like that- the small school guys,” Mauch said. “I grew up on a farm. I was driving tractors when I was 7 or 8 years old crashing into things. Learning how to work hard, that’s one of the biggest things.”
In the news: Baker Mayfield And Kyle Trask Like The New Bucs Offense
Defensive back Josh Hayes is very familiar with the Bucs where his Uncle, the late Geno Hayes, was a linebacker for the Bucs. Hayes says Hayes meant everything to him and wants to make his Uncle proud.
Trey Palmer, the 6th-round wide receiver out of Nebraska, was asked what kind of player the Bucs were getting in him.
“A dog,” Palmer said. Once again, the Bucs wanted more physical and nasty players this coming season, and that comment from Palmer had to have the Coaches and Licht smiling.
We can’t do this without your help; visit our GiveSendGo page and donate any dollar amount; every penny helps.