For all those lamenting the fact Bucs general manager Jason Licht drafted a kicker in the second round, others have been heaping praise on him.

Proof of Licht’s successes outweighing his misses came from the NFL itself, when earlier this week the official website of the league announced the Under-25 Team.

No franchise had more players on it than the Buccaneers.

Wide receiver Mike Evans, who has notched three straight 1,000 straight seasons since entering the league in 2014, made the list, accompanied by quarterback Jameis Winston and guard Ali Marpet.

NFL.com’s Elliott Harrison wrote about Evans early career success.

 “Mike Evans turned 21 in the preseason of his rookie year, so despite already catching 238 passes in the NFL, he won’t turn 25 until August of 2018,” Harrison wrote. “Evans put up career highs in catches and yards last season, while leading the league in targets. There were times in 2016 when Evans represented the entire Bucs passing attack. The arrival of DeSean Jackson, and continued development of TE Cameron Brate, should only help Evans.”

Winston topped the list of young QBs and Elliott explained why.

“Statistically, he is behind both Dak Prescott and Marcus Mariota. Yet Winston, the youngest of the three, is asked to do so much more on a football field in spite of that youth. He’s already thrown nearly 300 more passes than Mariota, even though both came into the league the same year. (Of course, Mariota has missed some time due to injury — but that’s part of this equation, too.) Ultimately, Winston’s lack of help — juxtaposed with Mariota’s luxury of leaning on a top-flight running game — landed the Bucs QB a spot on this list. Asked one of our resident scouts here at NFL.com, Daniel Jeremiah, to rank them if he was starting an expansion team. “1) Winston, 2) Prescott, 3) Mariota. Obviously, it’s really close.”

Elliott and his staff also praised Marpet.

“A product of tiny Hobart College, Marpet has started every game he’s played in the NFL. Frankly, he probably should’ve gone higher than 61st overall, although he was the highest-drafted pick in the history of NCAA Division III football.”

It is impossible to judge a career after just two or three seasons, but few would argue all three belong on the list, while others think it should have been four, as Elliott didn’t add linebacker Kwon Alexander to his list.

Regardless, Bucs fans should be pleased that their team, and GM is being recognized for drafting a developing young talent.

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at mark@pewterreport.com
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Naplesfan
4 years ago

Not surprised – even if a cadre of Licht critics live here on the comment pages of PR, most people, both media and fans recognize the very good work Jason’s done. The standard in drafting is certainly not perfection – not when half of all first round picks fail in the NFL, and a far lower percentage make it across the other rounds. Jason’s done better than that.

scubog
Reply to  Naplesfan
4 years ago

I liked that word choice, “cadre” Naples. I totally agree with you that when one is judging the performance of a GM and his staff one needs to compare it to the more typical levels achieved by his fellow GM’s. Selecting nothing but star players is not the standard and should in no way be expected. But here, even when a drafted player becomes a solid starter it’s not good enough. Of course the real report card is wins vs losses. Under Licht’s direction we have gone from a team with the first overall pick to a team that was… Read more »

Iowabucfan
Reply to  scubog
4 years ago

I applaud both scubog & Naplesfan for your well worded and thoroughly thought through responses above. We need more of this on the PR Board Go Bucs!

Horse
4 years ago

Overall I believe Licht has done a very good job; sure he has missed a couple picks, but that’s no big deal. I believe if a Poll was taken Licht, numbers on a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the highest , he would be somewhere between 8 or 9.

macabee
4 years ago

Congrats to the guys that made the list, but the news on a few other websites is who didn’t make it – like MLB Kwon Alexander who felt snubbed. And Kwon didn’t like it one bit either which prompted him to fire off a tweet to Elliot Harrison. Kwon Alexander ✔ @Showtime17Kwon @HarrisonNFL @gregauman @HotRod256 yea! Why no Kwon you tell me what I’m doing wrong sir!? 5:13 PM – 22 Mar 2017 I won’t get into whether he should have made the list or not, But I would tell Kwon to keep playing angry, with a chip and sooner… Read more »

magoobee
Reply to  macabee
4 years ago

When I read the headline, I figured the 3 would be Winston, Evans and Alexander. I’m sorry but I do not give Licht much credit for Winston or Evans, every analyst and mock draft had them at the spots they were picked. Marpet he gets credit for. We will never know if he had to traded up to get him. At the time I thought the Alexander was a good pick, because he was a team captain for a big time program in the 4th round. But Alexander turned out to be a great pick and Licht deserves BIG PROPS.… Read more »

jordyn
4 years ago

Jason licht is an awesome general manager!!! Dirk Koetter is an awesome coach!!! Both genuinely great guys!!! Glazers Love this team!!! Players wanna play for this team and each other!!! The organization as a whole is moving on up and will be a juggernaut for years to come. They all want greatness and are truely building it year by year. I have the upmost trust and faith in all of them. Bucs will be relevant for years to come!!! Go BUCS!!!!

chetthevette
4 years ago

Think Kwon should have been on the list also. The line backers chosen are good, just think Kwon is better. Hope he stays pissed off and shows the league who is the boss!!!!
GO BUCS

Havok904
Reply to  chetthevette
4 years ago

If Kwon wouldn’t have whiffed on so many tackles and played better in pass coverage he would have made the list.

thewbacca
4 years ago

Yes, Kwon got snubbed. That article is heavily biased because it is meant to generate broad enthusiasm for the NFL. Even the greatest sport in America is not immune to click-bait revenue. If you are writing such an article you cannot have one team own over 15% of the spots. The only minus on Alexander is his suspension, which he owned like a professional. The Bucs were awful without him and I think that ironically boosts his value. He flourished as a young player under a new coordinator. Heck, he even looked good when Lovie was in charge. Let’s root… Read more »

surferdudes
4 years ago

The best home run hitters strike out now, and then. Disagree with Naplefan that Licht critics live here on the comment pages of PR. I find this site as having some of the most well informed Buc fans there are. I hope Naplefan is still on board should Licht select a first round running back, there by cutting Martin, and god forbid move Marpet to center.

Naplesfan
Reply to  surferdudes
4 years ago

I haven’t been a fan of all of Licht’s picks at the time they were made, nobody would be totally in agreement with all picks, with a diversity of opinion about needs and the value of individual players. Several picks that I wasn’t keen on initially turned out well anyway, and as it’s said, “all’s well that ends well”. As I wrote, the standard for GMs is not perfection. My personal opinion is that a running back in the first is a low value pick as witnessed with the Buc’s very own experience with its last two first round pick… Read more »

Buc 1976
4 years ago

I would give GM JL a grade of B-! The reasoning being two picks AJS and Roberto, but getting Kwon in Rd 4 A++.
I also think the loss of his right hand man Jon R. Was a big loss.
I trust JL and look forward to the upcoming draft! I think we all maybe a little surprised with the outcome but it hopefully will be positive.

e
e
4 years ago

I hope that suited-up Licht keeps jumping into his pool with his family after the draft for years to come…

Buc 1976
4 years ago

I read a article about 11 players that didn’t get invited to the Combine. Two players were very interesting.
#1- S David Jones 6’3″ 210 lbs 40 4.34, 10’9″ B jump,34″ vertical those are top 10 numbers. He broke his arm in 2016 but in 2015 had 9 int’s. He played at Richmond but dominated. #2 Jimmie Gilbert Colorado LB 6’5″ 230 4.62-40,37.5 V. 2016 10.5 sacks,16 QB pressed and 6 forced fumbles but needs to get stronger I have no idea where they maybe drafted but if around 5-7 get one. Go Bucs

plopes808
4 years ago

Agreed, while the draft is far from an exact science, Licht has done very well for us over his tenure. Winston and Evans may have been easy picks but Marpet and Kwon showed his ability to get quality in less obvious places. One more good draft to follow this great FA period and we’re right in the mix atop the division. The fact Kwon was snubbed doesn’t surprise me…David has been snubbed for years as well in NFL circles. The fact is, they are not household names…yet. A fire has been lit under Kwon and hopefully David as well. 2017… Read more »

drdneast
4 years ago

I remember Kwon was also snubbed in the Cowboys game this past season. All the announcers did was talk about how many tackles the Cowboys MLB Sean Lee was making but by the end of the game Kwon had more plus a fumble he caused when he put a wallop on TE Jason Witten. I would give Licht a B since his arrival. I would have given him a B plus or even an A- minus if it wasn’t for that pick of Arroyo. Even of he pans out and becomes the kicker we need, drafting any kind of a… Read more »

stlbucsfan
4 years ago

I dont share the same rose colored Licht glasses that some do so I have no problem being different. Praising him for drafting Jameis is easy but let’s not absolve him of the worst offseason in team history the year prior that gutted a competing team and made them the worst team in the league. Also his choice was between Jameis and Mariotta, both have seen successful so it’s not like he won the Peyton Manning Ryan Leaf sweepstakes he chose the hometown kid with passion on a team that needed leadership, obvious pick! Mike Evans was a great find… Read more »

cgmaster27
Reply to  stlbucsfan
4 years ago

so your’e not giving him any props for any picks, and discrediting him for the bad free agency. If you think those free agent picks his first year, didn’t have almost everything to do with Lovie’s choices, you’re crazy. People seem to forget, Lovie basically hired LIcht and had final say over the 53 man roster. Those crap players, like Michael Johnson and blowing up the line, was a good chunk about Lovie. Look at every year Lovie has coached at any team, their offensive lines have been Horrible. Yeah Licht has missed, but you have to give props when… Read more »

stlbucsfan
Reply to  stlbucsfan
4 years ago

He can get credit all he wants but the only draft picks he’s hit on have been the obvious ones. Kwon was a Lovie draft pick per this website so if Im misquoting information then it came from this very website. Jameis and Mike Evans were obvious choices to me, I was never on the fence about Jameis but either way they walk away with a legit young QB is my point. We didnt dodge some great draft day bust by selecting Jameis over MM, we certainly got the better guy but still it was truly a cant miss selection.… Read more »