Jason Licht probably had every Running Back, DL and DB lined up in order in his head well before the draft even started. Dirk Koetter and Licht both knew their respected positions in the TEAMS future just the same: Starting the season in the hottest position possible after having been given a reprieve from their anti-climatic 9-7 to 5-11 free fall when franchise expectations were at the highest in years.
It was a given, there would be no trading up and giving up picks to get a kicker, not even close. For the record, the picking of Agquayo wasn’t completely without merit. He was the most accurate kicker in the history of NCAA football, for a major program in a conference that sends many players to the NFL, for a team with a history of losing games because of a bad kicker.
But the biggest problem with the move was the Bucs were more than just a Kicker away from turning their cellar dwelling around. Far more than just one player at ANY position.
So Licht and Koetter deserve even more credit for this draft, because they could have played it SUPER SAFE and just took what they had available: #7, and #38… then the 4th round where you can still sometimes land a starter if your good.
Instead of staying put, they put their coaching lives on the line and gave up No. 7 to Buffalo who was ready to invest in a QB, exactly what the Bucs were hoping for, a desperate QB hungry team with extra picks to spare.
Now armed with 53 and 56 as well as 38, the Bucs took their prized RB, got a Corner they coveted and entered the 3rd round to get an offensive lineman they can groom. Looking at the draft, the talk for the Bucs was how to get a DL, RB, CB, or OL.
They got them all.
For Licht it makes up for a few mistakes made here and there, but overall Jason Licht has been a solid GM for Tampa Bay. Even the immortal Rich McKay made mistakes; more of a talent finder, less of a Dollars $ cents guy; Licht is more compared to his predecessor who was fired along with HC Raheem Morris.
But Morris wasn’t the problem, the Bucs failed Morris, Raheem did not fail Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers immediately went out and spent money in Free Agency as soon as Raheem was replaced, the GM who did the hiring and drafting and cut ties with Doug Williams, perhaps for the last time with the Tampa Bay organization…Mark Dominik held onto draft picks and free agency mistakes FAR, FAR too long.
Give credit where its due.. this regime cuts ties with players who are a wrong fits. And while it will be years before anyone can grade this 2018 draft.. the immediate effects are positive from Round 1 on.