The 2019 NFL Draft is in the books, and general manager Jason Licht selected seven new players on the roster. After the final pick was done, Licht went to the podium and answered questions from the Tampa Bay media regarding the choices he made in this year’s draft.

Here is the full press conference from Jason Licht with his comments:

On selecting another kicker, this time with Matt Gay
“Well, he’s a big guy with a big leg and he’s also accurate, so those are a lot of good things that we like about him. He kicks at Utah but he’s also good at Sea level, kicks it far at sea level as well. We liked him as a person, we think he’s a very confident guy, and we’ve exhausted everything we can to try to find a kicker, we’ll continue to like every other position. We’ve drafted one, we’ve signed free agents, UFA’s, street free agents, gone to Denmark, so, we like this guy, and like I said, like all positions, we’ll continue to do what we can to try and find the guy we liked.”

On if his accuracy from 40 plus yards was a selling point to him
“That’s a big selling point, and he’s got a strong leg. Usually the strong legged guys that can kick it from far distance usually have some accuracy issues. This guy does not so far.”

On how much stock does he put in experience kicking in bigger moments
“You’d like to see guys to make big kicks in big moments, obviously. Kicker’s a very important position. It’s one of the most important positions on the team. Right now we have a coach that really believes in kicker and the importance of it and stresses it. He’s got a kicking background with his son Jake, who’s a good friend of mine that was a kicker. When Bruce was hired we had several discussions about what we’re going to refine the ways that we do things in terms of finding a good kicker. We still like Cairo, we think Cairo’s been really improving so far in the offseason here. We hired Chris Buono, and Chris is a very good swing doctor in terms of his experience as a kicker and as a coach in the college and the NFL. Keith Armstrong is an awesome special teams coach as well as Amos JOnes, obviously I’m trying to tell you that we put a lot of stress into the importance of all special teams, but especially kicker.

On if there was a particular moment or game of Matt Gay’s that stood out to him
“We’ve watched every kick. Chris, Keith, Amos, we’ve watched them all, it’s just like we do with every position. We watch every game, there’s a lot of different moments out of every kick, he’s had some misses, he’s had a lot of makes, so, we like him. We like his technique, we like everything about him, so right now, he’s been successful in college.”

On if this changes the game plan of having punter Bradley Pinion do the kickoffs and the kickers just kick field goals, if Matt Gay can do kickoffs, and if it’s an open competition
“Well, right now it is. You take any position in the fifth round, it’s not an automatic, you’re saying he’s automatically made the team. We want to bring in great competition for Cairo, we’ll let them kick it out through the preseason, and may the best man win. If Matt happens to win it, we’ve got Bradley who’s an elite kickoff guy in the NFL, has proven that, I don’t see why we would stop using him in that role. It saves wear and tear on a kickers leg when you have that.”

On if the opportunity to draft a kicker there superseded their chance of getting someone on the right side of the offensive line
“Right, but when sometimes the board way it is, you may not see somebody that can do that. We’ve drafted some other good players, by the way.”

On adding more defensive players on day three
“Yeah, so, with Anthony, we had him ranked pretty high on our board, we’ve liked him for a while. Big, six-foot-seven, 275 pound guy with long arms and all that stuff. I’ve seen the comparisons to Car (Nassib), no two players are exactly the same, so it’s unfair to do that, but in his mold I guess in terms of his body type. He plays very hard, he’s a good athletes, he bends very well, he has good speed to power, he’s got really good instincts, he’s a really, really smart guy and he’s been really well coached by Kirk Ferentz. Productive guy, one of the more productive guys in the draft, and there’s some versatility to him, we’ll probably play him a little bit in the outside linebacker role, we’ll put his hand down in sub. We’ll see if he can rush inside, we’ll have plenty of 4-3 looks in our defense, it’s not just a base 3-4 all the time. We like the versatility and you have to be intelligent to do all those things with Todd, so he fits thats mold.”

On if there’s a chance he can play a 5-technique defensive end in the 3-4
“Absolutely, we’ll see. We know that he can russ the passer, we know he can line up in a base 4-3. We think he’s certainly athletic to do some of the things that we ask outside linebacker to do in a 3-4, so that’s the beauty of him. He’s got a versatile like we keep saying.”

On the process of discovering WR Scotty Miller and if he’ll replace Adam Humphries
“So Scotty, our scouts did a great job with him. Bowling Green didn’t have a rated prospect going into the season by a ny publication. When you go into a school that doesn’t, you try to find a sleeper, and scouts weren’t going through Bowling Green this year because of that. We did, I know some other teams did, you see a productive that’s really fast so you try to keep him under the radar as long as you can, I know we were in contact with him quite often during the spring here making sure nobody else was talking to him. And then when we found out a couple teams did and brought him in, we went there and worked him out and had a private workout with im. Our receivers coach went there and spent time with him. We just felt very comfortable in going ahead and drafting him in the sixth round, so he’s very fast. To say he’s Adam Humphries, it’s tough to do that right now, he’s got to fight to make the team. He’s different, he’s not as big, he’s more of a speed guy, in fact, he’s very very fast. I think he’s one of the faster guys in the draft, so it’s going to be fun having him out here and see what he can do.”

On if Scotty Miller is considered a deep threat with his speed
“Well, anybody that runs 4.3 is probably a deep threat. So, yeah, he is a deep threat.”

On if Scotty Miller can return kicks
“Limited, very limited experience returning kicks. We’ll give him a shot, though.”

On why he’s had more success with undrafted free agents recently than with day three picks he’s made
“That’s a good question because a loot of those players that we sign and we give those signing bonus money too, they kind of came from the same pool as those late draftable guys. You draft guys that are off your board obviously and the guys that we sign and we go after hard are still on our draft board, for whatever reason. Maybe I should of drafted the guys that we signed as free agents and signed the guys that we drafted, they’re basically this close to each other on the draft board.”

On Terry Beckner Jr.
“So, Terry went through some adversity there early in his career with his knee injuries, one on each side and he’s played I think 26 consecutive games now, two years in a row. He’s really tough, love the kid, love the grit that he has where he’s grown up in East St. Louis, it’d be tough for me to walk a day in his shoes for some of the things he’s had to go through. He’s an awesome kid, smart, incisive player, like I said, strong, I like the way he plays. He’s going to compete, I know, and he’s got a good chance to make this football team if he plays the way he did at Missouri and the way we evaluated him.”

On his thoughts about the offensive line as it stands right now, knowing he didn’t pick any players in the draft
“Stood pat so far. I say time and time again, we’re not lining up tomorrow to play regular season week one, so, we still have time. We’re working with the guys, I know that the coaches are happy with the development of Alex (Cappa), I know that Caleb (Benenoch) has been doing some good things, and he has in the past for us lining up at tackle. These guys are young, they do have an opportunity to get better, and we like the progress that they’ve made so far, but we still have time to make some additions if we have to. You can’t address every position that you may have some concerns, whether they vary from big concern to small concern, it’s just impossible, but to do it in a small amount of time during free agency or the draft. We have through August to do what we can.”

On with Roberto Aguayo facing a lot of pressure three years ago after being picked in the second round, if it gives Jason Licht any pause when selecting another kicker in the draft 
“Yeah if he made it to free agency. I know he had a lot of interest, it’s hard to say if he would have gone in the fifth round, there was another kicker taken. Maybe he’d of went in the sixth, seventh. To me and to us and to Bruce, it was a small price to pay to get a kicker. You wouldn’t say the same thing for a receiver, if a receiver didn’t work out a couple years ago that you took in the second round would you be afraid to take a receiver in the fifth round? No. It’s a very important position.”

On how he evaluates the mental toughness at kicker
“Well we spend a lot of time with them. We talk to everybody that they know, we watch their games. We have a lot of different things that we use in our scouting process to a lot of different people that we use, a lot of different tests to try to find a way that we do it. There’s no magic way to do that, but we continue just like every other team to find that resource or a few resources or many resources that we can to measure things that in a lot of cases aren’t measurable, but we continue to try.”

On if the hallmark of this draft for Bruce Arians and him is versatility and speed
“ Versatility, you’ve heard us say that, he and I and a lot of different people thousands of times I’m sure, ut it really was something that he stresses, that we stress. We love speed, when I called Scotty and told him we we were going to pick him, I said ‘We got the need for speed, and I’ve got the coach right here that wants to talk to you.’ So, fast guys that can play on special teams one way or another is very important to us, but also guys that, the guys like Devin (White). You’ve seen Devin now, the way Devin carries himself, the way Sean (Bunting) carries himself, all of these guys that we have this year, one thing we’re just really excited about is just their passion, their energy that they’re going to infuse the locker room with. It’s going to be a great thing I think.”

On how involved were coordinator Byron Leftwich and Todd Bowles in the draft process
“We leaned on them very heavily. Todd, Todd’s got a great way of communicating what he’s going to do, so you can picture the type of guy that he wants. He’s also got a great sense of people like I’ve talked about Bruce, he can walk out of a room after spending five minutes with somebody and kind of say ‘this is my impression.’ This is exactly what our impressions were that we had too, he’s very quick with that. Byron was very excited about the opportunity here and he likes players that play hard, that play fast, and were instivitce. Byron’s not afraid to give you his opinion, and I like that.

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Buc stops here

A wise person who really followed football told me, it takes three years to really determine how a draft turns out. Maybe only interesting to me is how that ends up. I do know the Giants regret drafting Corey Ballentine – he was involved in a shooting incident last night and was injured while his friend was killed.

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EastEndBoy

Jason Licht 2014, “I’m extremely pleased with this draft”.

Jason Licht 2015, “I’m extremely pleased with this draft”.

Jason Licht 2016, “I’m extremely pleased with this draft”.

Jason Licht 2017, “I’m extremely pleased with this draft”.

Jason Licht 2018, “I’m extremely pleased with this draft”.

Jason Licht 2019, “I’m extremely pleased with this draft”.

What do you expect him to say. The proof will be in the pudding.

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surferdudes

Well at least he’s pleased.

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Alldaway 2.0

Licht is easy to please when a kicker is drafted lol.

It feels like they drafted a bunch of special teams players but time will tell if they push for playing time.

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Wausa

This is the most disturbing answer of all by Jason Licht:

On if Scotty Miller can return kicks
“Limited, very limited experience returning kicks. We’ll give him a shot, though”

Per Bowling Green:
‘led the team with 19 kick returns, averaging 17.7 yards per return … Had three punt returns for 19 yards’

https://bgsufalcons.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=7162

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compewterpirate

Jason Licht “I’m extremely pleased with this draft!” Well, he conducted it, what do you expect him to say, it stunk?! Unfortunately Licht grins inanely after every draft pick and every draft, it’s his default setting, but as we all know hindsight is the only true perspective of success or failure in the draft. Two consecutive 5-11 seasons and no play-off appearance in four years, tells the true story of Licht’s tenure as a GM. As far as I’m concerned this is ‘last chance saloon’. This draft needs to pan out and this team better take a considerable leap forward… Read more »

Horse

Jason, you might want to consider looking at the draft board differently because so far most teams aren’t seeing what you’re seeing. My comment to you Jason, Bruce, Players, PROVE IT! Go Bucs!

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Bucsfan1983

Nobody is extremely pleased with this draft class.

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stlbucsfan

I watched the interview of Licht after the draft and want to applaud Scott for asking him some tough questions. Ignoring the DL until the 5th round will prove to be a huge mistake. Ignoring the OL completely will also prove to be a huge mistake. This team wants to move on from GMC but I have absolutely no clue how they can at this point unless they make a trade or hope someone gets cut. The emphasis of improving the run game with no additions to the OL is yet another head scratcher. Couple that with the flood of… Read more »

Alldaway 2.0

Arians isn’t known for starting many rookies so this draft class is similar to the 2018 draft class. We will know the truth of the 2019 draft class three years out.

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macabee

I like the Bucs draft a lot more after 2 days. During the draft, there were moments when my favorite player was being passed over that I said a few WTFs. They knew Greedy Williams was there at 39. They drafted an LSU guy at 5, so they had plenty of intel on Greedy. Two other CBs went after the Bucs before Williams was finally picked. Didn’t want him. After having time to evaluate some of the players selected, I see what they did. Speed, tackling, and scheme fit was the plan and they stuck to it. It is clear… Read more »

Dman

Successful teams build from the trenches back. We do not. Licht’s record speaks for itself.

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Alldaway 2.0

This puts more pressure on the Bucs coaching staff to develop Cappa, Benonch, Liedtke, Boozer, Nelson and any other undrafted rookie free agent.

Time will tell.

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drdneast

Dman, I agree with your trenches remark. But no matter hkw deep a draft it`S difficult to find an edge rusher as a sure thing in the second and beyond rounds. It happens but not often. They are like franchise QBs then in the third round and later. I can only name three. Russell Wilson, the GOAT and the previous GOAT, Joe Montana. Offensive lineman are a different breed though. They often get lost on a bad team or are looked over because teams are looking at other players with more flash. They are the grunts of the team.the ones… Read more »

This is Team has forever been inconsistent we have had young 1st time young coaches and Gm’s, we have had old over the hill coaches & Gm’s. what we have not done is stick with one young coach talented at developing & recognizing talent this has been the Glazers family business for over 20 years. Win now culture has brought this team 0 playoff wins since. If Lovie was still coach would we have a playoff win by now? Hell even Raheem Morris. Steelers have had two coaches since Chuck, b4 chuck they were awful. I hate the Cowboys, Jerry… Read more »

bucianco

I think our biggest issue (as in we the fans) is that most of our data is by way of analysts and mock drafts. Scott Reynolds had us primed for what we thought were great picks for Licht/Arians to choose from. When they ignored his suggestions, we naturally felt like they strayed from the path of enlightenment. There were also those players some of us followed in college, and when they weren’t picked either it was a slap in our faces. It keeps getting said by the faithful here in the forum that we never know how a draft pick… Read more »

BucRy

Honestly, I could care less if Jason is pleased or not..Bruce Arians thought on the draft is what’s really important cause he’s the key to winning, Jason sounds like a broken record.

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Devasher

How can you not be pleased with your draft when you get a good ‘Sea Level’ Kicker in the 5th round? Those Sea Level kickers are worth their weight in gold! I’d be willing to bet Jason was about to turn the card in for Cody Ford at 39 until the Bills traded up and swiped that S Eating grin off of his face and he resorted to taking a small school CB prospect out of need. I really do find it funny how Bruce Arians says you get fired if you draft for need then the Bucs draft is… Read more »

BucRy

@devasher I was thinking that Bruce Arians purposely said that as a message to Jason not to screw up!

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Dave

Damn, that’s 100% completely and utterly false. Successful teams draft from the trenches back? Well let’s start with the dynasty of the last 20 years. Pats much prefer a good secondary to a good DLine. Has been the case for quit some time. So let’s take a look at it shall we. Out of the 12 playoff teams last year, only 4 of them were in the top 10 in sacks. Proving you can win without a great DLine. Out of the 12 playoff teams, only 2 were in the bottom 10 in pass defense. Proving that you need a… Read more »

Horse

Dave, I never, never, never follow the leader game. I could care less what other boards, sites, polls say. I only look at what I see with my own eyes and then evaluate. I’m not saying I’m right, or you’re wrong; none of us know the correct answer because there is no correct answer. I’m having big issues with Licht, and I haven’t seen this coaching staff coach with pre draft players and now post draft players perform. I just know we did poorly in the Red Zone as to our past Defense. I sure hope going all in rounds… Read more »

elvenspears

When did Licht ever have a good draft? I’ve heard all of this rhetoric every draft. Didn’t the miss out on Luke Kuechly for mark Barron in 2012?! Need vs talent gets you picking in the top 10 every year.

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EastEndBoy

You do realize Mike Mayock is the GM of the Oakland Raiders…just saying.

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destinjohnny

We u asked him about the kicker he stammered so hard

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Wadeless

Our offensive line was bad last year and it won’t be better next year. Our defensive line was below average last year and it won’t be much better this year with GMC and JPP being a year closer to “over the hill status”. Only a breakout season from Vea along with JPP playing younger than his age and Nassib playing above his talent can make it otherwise. I don’t think GMC has anything left in the tank and Spence is the ultimate tease. I don’t see how this plays out well. Of course, I’ll be rooting for the Bucs just… Read more »

JC1145

Has there ever been an NFL GM in history who didn’t say they were pleased with the results of their draft? Ever?

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scubog

Sure were a lot of questions about our 5th round choice. I suppose he just might be the only late round pick who contributes if he can unseat Santos. Let’s hope folks here give the youngster a chance instead of destroying Roberto’s fragile psyche. @Dave: I too learned a long time ago that Mel Kiper’s Big Blue Book and the other such publications I used to buy and scour through every year were in no way the gospel or some sort of Nostradamos prediction of things to come. One need only go back a few years to see how wrong… Read more »

Dave

I couldn’t agree more. Anyone saying we screwed up or we made bad picks because we chose Bunting over Greedy, or White over Allen is so off base. All those players were very closely ranked, and very closely talented. Nobody on earth knows which ones will be better. But my point is, everyone in here seems to insanely underrate coaching, and really overrate the GM. The GM does not coach the players, nor does he play. He makes the selections based on the direction his COACH sees the team being successful as. Coaching is everything in this league. It’s every… Read more »

matador

While everyone can pick at a player here or there, I don’t think people are saying the players we drafted aren’t any good or that the team will be worse off after this draft. I think what they are saying is we basically acknowledged that Bust Licht’s draft last year was so bad that we had to go back and redraft half of it, in order to address some of the same holes he tried but failed to fix then. And to do that we had to neglect other areas of the team, such as OL and DL (in a… Read more »

jongruden

I loved drafting White with our first pick he will be L David level of player in NFL, highly questioned every selection in every round except the kicker who is very good seen him kick several times. When they announced Bunting with our second I said “who”? I was astonished we didn’t take the good cover corner from again LSU. I had to break out the you tube videos and see what kind of skill set he possessed. I loved how we addressed corner and safety position in draft I question the players we selected. On a side note I… Read more »

artpac

Super Bowl odds came out…we are ahead of the dolphins and the cardinals and tied with about 5 other teams at 100-1….those odds seem high

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JC1145

I thought the same about Williams but even after the Bucs took Bunting there were two more corners taken before the Browns took Williams as the sixth corner selected. That doesn’t add up for a player who was the highest rated corner on most ranking services and mock drafts. There must have been some kind of red flag for him to slide that far down.

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Dave

And there in lies the problem. Jongruden, you basically just proved my point on everything that’s wrong with Bucs fans. So because YOU’VE never heard of Bunting, and because Greedy comes from a popular school, that means We messed up by taking Bunting over Greedy? Lol wow that’s your analysis? Even though multiple experts had Bunting rated higher. Good thing you can weren’t running the 49ers team in 85. So would you have had Toon and Brown rated higher than Rice because they went to Miami and Wisconsin, as opposed to Rice who went to Mississippi Valley St? Because you… Read more »

Dave

Also Jongruden, the Bucs did not mess up taking Carlton Davis. He is a very talented corner who has a bright future ahead of him. Problem with him last year was Mike Smith’s epically bad defensive game plan considering the players he had to work with. So instead of playing press man knowing how tall and physical Davis is, they play 10 yards off the line of scrimmage. Yeah that really suits the talent you have on your team. Simply by canning Smith and bringing in a real DC like Bowles will makes this secondary light years better. Watch how… Read more »

sunshineben

Dave .. Please get the help you need soon:>))

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