Buccaneers' GM Jason Licht( Rock Riley)

Bucs GM Jason Licht Wants The Best Players But The Right Players

Buccaneers' GM Jason Licht( Rock Riley)
Buccaneers’ GM Jason Licht( Rock Riley)

TAMPA, Fla. – With the NFL Draft looming, Bucs GM Jason Licht took time to reflect on what he’s learned over the years when picking players.

“Going after the right kind of guy and avoiding the temptation to go after the talent and not necessarily the whole person,” Licht said at his annual pre-draft press conference. “I think we’ve done a great job of identifying that with our character grade.

When you think about it, it’s rare over the decade that Licht has been the GM that the Bucs have drafted a player who has run afoul of the law. 

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“When you see players getting in trouble, suspended, whatever, I’ll look up, and yep, we had a ‘do not touch’ grade on them.”

Licht had a busy offseason signing his star players to new deals. Qb Baker Mayfield, WR Mike Evans, LB Lavonte David, safety Lavonte David Jr. and kicker Chase McLoughlin. Again, Licht believes those are good guys besides being really good players. That was his first priority. Now the Bucs turn to the draft and according to Licht there isn’t any one specific need for the team, there’s a lot.

“We have a lot of needs and that is ok to have a lot of needs,” Licht said. “I think that is a good thing actually. We came very close to the NFC Championship game last year and still signed our guys back. I always like the trenches. If there is a great corner that is sitting there and he is staring us in the face and he is clearly a better player than we have at certain positions, then it would be hard to replace.”

Tampa Bay doesn’t appear to be in the market for a quarterback in this draft having signed Mayfield, 3rd string John Woolford this offseason and having Kyle Trask already under contract. Licht believes this draft is top-heavy with quarterbacks but said they’ve done their homework on all of them and never say never in the later rounds.

The Bucs will pick 26th in the first round. After that Tampa Bay has number 57 in the second round and two picks in the third round at 89 and 92, but you never know who’s going to make trades and all Licht kept harping on is getting the best players that will make them better and character guys, leaders.

This is the fourth consecutive draft that the Bucs will be selecting at number 19 or later in the first round.  

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