Cover 3 is a weekly feature column written by PewterReport.com’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat writer Trevor Sikkema published every Tuesday. The column, as its name suggests, comes in three phases: a statistical observation, an in-depth film breakdown, and a “this or that” segment where the writer asks the reader to chose between two options.

SIKKEMA’S STAT OF THE WEEK

This week’s Cover 3 is a Cover 3 of the people.

Over the last few weeks, and especially last week, I was asked to do an in-depth review of how Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht stacks up against the rest of the general managers in the NFL South since his tenure in Tampa Bay began in 2014. So, per your request, that’s what this week’s Stat of the Week column is all about.

Up until the Panthers won back-to-back-to-back NFC South titles from 2013-2015, the division hadn’t seen a repeat champion since the realignment that placed the Falcons, Panthers, Saints and Buccaneers in the same division in 2002. Since that time, the Panthers hold the most division titles with five. Thanks to their division win last year, the Falcons are in second place with four, and the Buccaneers and Saints are both tied at three. Tampa Bay has finished dead last in the division more than half the time at 8 out of 15. However, they and the Saints are the only teams to make the most of their playoff appearances with the only two Super Bowl wins in the division.

So, since their Super Bowl run in 2002, there hasn’t been much success to hang their hat on in Tampa Bay. But that’s to be expected with a franchise that has gone through four G.M.s and five head coaches since then. However, the more recent general manager and head coach on those lists seem to be really getting the ball rolling – in ways devoid of false hope like Bucs fans have been fed for so long.

Licht and Dirk Koetter have brought the Buccaneers back to relevance. With the words they say, the mentality they have, the way the prepare and the way they execute, they’ve not only brought in good players, but the right players (and coaches) who find themselves with a locker room and office at One Buc Place.

Bucs WR Mike Evans and QB Jameis Winston – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR

A big part of that is in how they’ve drafted. In Licht’s first draft with Buccaneers, he took a player who is projected to be the best at his position in franchise history in Mike Evans. In his second year, Licht took a player who they hope to say the same about in quarterback Jameis Winston.

I mean, the word “win” is literally in his last name.

Last year the team selected two spot starters in Vernon Hargreaves and Noah Spence, both player who are expected to play in full-time roles this season at cornerback and defensive end, respectively. And, finally, just last weekend he played the drafted board well and ended up taking tight end O.J. Howard (a consensus Top 10 player) at No. 19 overall.

Beyond those players there have been hits and misses. The trade up for kicker Roberto Aguayo last year in the second round and a second-round pick on tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins in 2014 seem to be big-time duds, but offensive lineman Ali Marpet in the second round and middle linebacker Kwon Alexander in the fourth round in 2015 have certainly proven to be big-time wins.

Though these draft have made the Buccaneers relevant, as proven by the team missing the playoffs by the slightest of margins last year, no one wants to just be relevant; they want to be great. In order to do that, they first have to get past the foes who know them best, the ones who see them twice every year, and the ones who may be forming their own draft strategies as counters to the Buccaneers and vice versa.

So, let’s take a look at the three other teams in the division and evaluate their draft hit rate against that of Licht since he came down south to see if the separation in the win column is soon to come.

Atlanta Falcons

GM: Thomas Dimitroff
Tenure: 2008-present

Depending on how you view success, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has a case as the most successful G.M. in the NFC South since his arrival. Dimitroff took the Falcons job in 2008 after serving as the director of college scouting for the New England Patriots for four years. Though it took his team a few years to get over the hump of early playoff exits, Dimitroff has clearly put his team in places to succeed with records of 13-3 in 2008 and 2012, and an 11-5 finishes in 2008 as well as last year which led the Falcons to a Super Bowl berth.

Since his time in Atlanta, Dimitroff’s teams have won the divisional title three times, and has kept things pretty stable. With Licht entering the picture in 2013, here’s how he’s drafted for the Falcons since then.

YearRoundPlayerOn TeamStarterPro Bowl
2014Rd 1Jake
Matthews
YesYesNo
2014Rd 2Ra'Shede
Hageman
YesYesNo
2014Rd 3Dezmen
Southward
NoNoNo
2014Rd 4Devonta
Freeman
YesYesYes
2014Rd 4Prince
Shembo
NoNoNo
2014Rd 5Ricardo
Allen
YesYesNo
2014Rd 5Marquis
Spruill
NoNoNo
2014Rd 7Yawin
Smallwood
NoNoNo
2014Rd 7Tyler StarrNoNoNo
2015Rd 1Vic
Beasley
YesYesYes
2015Rd 2Jalen
Collins
YesYesNo
2015Rd 3Tevin
Coleman
YesYesNo
2015Rd 4Justin
Hardy
YesNoNo
2015Rd 5Grady
Jarrett
YesYesNo
2015Rd 7Jake
Rodgers
NoNoNo
2015Rd 7Akeem
King
YesNoNo
2016Rd 1Keanu
Neal
YesYesNo
2016Rd 2Deion
Jones
YesYesNo
2016Rd 3Austin
Hooper
YesYesNo
2016Rd 4De'Vondre
Campbell
YesYesNo
2016Rd 6Wes
Schweitzer
NoNoNo
2016Rd 7Devin
Fuller
NoNoNo

Consistency has been a big theme with the Falcons since Dimitroff arrived. Not that the team hasn’t had its short-lived ups and down (all teams do), but the fact that he’s built winning season more than half his tenure means I would say he’s consistently good.

The Falcons have a Pro Bowler in two of the past three previous drafts, and it’s probably only a matter of time before safety Keanu Neal makes a Pro Bowl himself, which would make Dimitroff 3-for-3 since 2014. His 2015 draft was stellar. All but one of the players he drafted that year are still on the team, and more than half are starters.

Picking up players like defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and running back Tevin Coleman in the fifth and third rounds, respectively, is the draft picks he probably hangs his hat on the most. Twelve out of the 22 players Dimitroff has drafted since 2014 are starting players in the NFL, and he’s gained four starters per draft each year.

To me, Dimitroff has consistently put his franchise in places to succeed, and by drafting as well as he has, he’s made sure his calls have not been a reason for the team to under-perform. That’s a good G.M.

Carolina Panthers

GM: Dave Gettleman
Tenure: 2013-present

Gettleman made his way down south in 2013 to become the general manager of the Panthers after working as the pro personnel director for the New York Giants for over 13 years (since 1999). He was a part of both Super Bowls for the Giants, and since coming to Carolina has been the general manager for one of the team’s NFC titles, 2015, the year they made it to the Super Bowl.

Here’s a look at how Gettleman has drafted since 2014 when drafting against Licht.

YearRoundPlayerOn TeamStarterPro Bowl
2014Rd 1Kelvin
Benjamin
YesYesNo
2014Rd 2Kony
Ealy
NoYesNo
2014Rd 3Trai
Turner
YesYesYes
2014Rd 4Tre
Boston
YesNoNo
2014Rd 5Bene
Benwikere
NoNoNo
2014Rd 6Tyler
Gaffney
NoNoNo
2015Rd 1Shaq
Thompson
YesYesNo
2015Rd 2Devin
Funchess
YesYesNo
2015Rd 4Daryl
Williams
NoNoNo
2015Rd 5David
Mayo
YesNoNo
2015Rd 5Cameron
Artis-Payne
YesNoNo
2016Rd 1Vernon
Butler
YesNoNo
2016Rd 2James
Bradberry
YesYesNo
2016Rd 3Daryl
Worley
YesNoNo
2016Rd 5Zach
Sanchez
YesNoNo
2016Rd 7Beau
Sandland
NoNoNo

Since 2014, Gettleman has only drafted on Pro Bowl player, offensive guard Trai Turner. In 2014, he drafted three starters, but one of them, Kony Ealy, is no longer on the team as he was traded to New England earlier this offseason.

In the NFL Draft, picks in Rounds 1-3 are expected to be starter players. If those players aren’t, it’s considered a miss. Any starter drafted after that third round should really be considered a luxury. In terms of that standard, Gettleman, as of late, has fallen short. In the 2016 draft, he drafted both defensive tackle Vernon Butler and cornerback Daryl Worley above that Top 100 line, both of which are not starting players. His percentage for “must hit” starters is 66 percent, which isn’t very good. With only one Pro Bowler to his name, and a starter lost in Ealy, Gettleman’s drafting has left much to be desired since 2014.

The Panthers picked some dynamic players with their 2017 draft, including Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and Ohio State receiver Curtis Samuel, but it will take a good coaching staff to get the most of them.

New Orleans Saints

GM: Mickey Loomis
Tenure: 2002-present 

Loomis has seen it all in the NFC South – he’s been in the division with New Orleans since the realignment in 2002. He was the man who hired Sean Payton back in 2006, and was the man at the top when it came to the Saints Super Bowl victory in 2009.

With the same GM and the same head coach in place since 2006, here’s how the Saints have drafted when facing Licht on draft day.

YearRoundPlayerOn TeamStarterPro Bowl
2014Rd 1Brandin
Cooks
NoYesNo
2014Rd 2Stanley
Jean-Baptiste
NoNoNo
2014Rd 4Khairi
Fortt
NoNoNo
2014Rd 5Vinnie
Sunseri
NoNoNo
2014Rd 5Ronald
Powell
NoNoNo
2014Rd 6Tavon
Rooks
NoNoNo
2015Rd 1Andrus
Peat
YesYesNo
2015Rd 1Stephone
Anthony
Yes YesNo
2015Rd 2Hau'oil
Kikaha
YesNoNo
2015Rd 3Garrett
Grayson
YesNoNo
2015Rd 3P.J.
Williams
YesYesNo
2015Rd 5Davis
Tull
NoNoNo
2015Rd 5Tyeler
Davison
NoNoNo
2015Rd 5Damian
Swann
YesNoNo
2015Rd 7Marcus
Murphy
NoNoNo
2016Rd 1Sheldon
Rankins
YesYesNo
2016Rd 2Michael
Thomas
YesYesNo
2016Rd 2Von
Bell
YesYesNo
2016Rd 4David
Onyemata
YesNoNo
2016Rd 7Daniel
Lasco
YesNoNo

Since 2014, the Saints drafts have been boom or bust. The team does not have a single players still on the roster form their 2014 draft, and that includes their first-round pick, wide receiver Brandin Cooks. In fact, Cooks was the only starting-caliber player they even drafted that year making them 1-for-6 – and the one is now gone. The following year, they went for volume with nine total picks. Though most of those players are still on the team, only three of them have come to claim starting spots, which makes their Top 100 percentage 60 percent.

The following year, however, they hit a much needed home run. All five of the Saints 2016 draft picks are still on the team, and three of them (defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, wide receiver Michael Thomas and safety Von Bell) played heavy starter minutes and were a big impact for the team. Without that draft, Loomis and Payton would be staring at the worst draft over those three seasons.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

GM: Jason Licht
Tenure: 2014-present

YearRoundPlayerOn TeamStarterPro Bowl
2014Rd 1Mike
Evans
YesYesYes
2014Rd 2Austin
Seferian-
Jenkins
NoYesNo
2014Rd 3Charles
Sims
YesNoNo
2014Rd 5Kadeem
Edwards
NoNoNo
2014Rd 5Kevin
Pamphile
YesYesNo
2014Rd 6Robert
Herron
NoNoNo
2015Rd 1Jameis WinsonYesYesYes
2015Rd 2Donovan
Smith
YesYesNo
2015Rd 2Ali
Marpet
YesYesNo
2015Rd 4Kwon
Alexander
YesYesNo
2015Rd 5Kenny
Bell
NoNoNo
2015Rd 6Kaelin
Clay
NoNoNo
2015Rd 7Joey
Iosefa
NoNoNo
2016Rd 1Vernon
Hargreaves
YesYesNo
2016Rd 2Noah SpenceYesYesNo
2016Rd 2Roberto
Aguayo
YesYesNo
2016Rd 4Ryan
Smith
YesNoNo
2016Rd 5Caleb
Benenoch
YesNoNo
2016Rd 6Devonte
Bond
YesNoNo
2016Rd 6Danny
Vitale
NoNoNo

When it comes to the Top 100 standard of “must-hit” starters, there’s only one player Licht has drafting in the last four years who hasn’t been a starter and that is running back Charles Sims, who was drafted in the third round in 2014. You could say he made up for it by offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile being a starter from the fifth round of that draft, but you want those guys to be pure luxury hits on top of the must-have hits.

Bucs MLB Kwon Alexander – Photo by: Mark Lomoglio/PR

The 2015 draft is turned out to be quite the haul for Licht with Winston, Marpet and Alexander all looking like future Pro Bowlers, while the jury is still out on starting left tackle Donovan Smith – this most likely is his last year to prove it. The 2016 draft was on par with what you want, though we all know the Aguayo “yes” should be taken with a mountain of salt given where he was drafted, what they gave up for him, and how badly he struggled. The only two late-round hit to this point for Licht would be Pamphile and Alexander, but that’s certainly more than some general managers can say. Licht, like Dimitroff is also poised to have a Pro Bowler from every year he’s drafted, which is well above average for most G.M.s.

In closing, if I had to rank the general managers by these three draft classes, Dimitroff would be in first place with Licht close behind, then Loomis in New Orleans because of that big 2016, and finally Gettleman bringing up the rear but having a chance to really gain some ground with a good weekend in the 2017 draft.

I didn’t rank the 2017 classes because even though we have a good guess of which players were good selections, we really have no idea until at least one year (really, three years) into their careers.

One of the players Licht hope to tout as another Pro Bowler on his draft resume was the team’s No. 19 overall pick, O.J. Howard. Just how will Howard fit in Tampa Bay, and hopefully make his way to that Pro Bowl rank? Click the next page and find out.

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About the Author: Trevor Sikkema

Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: trevor@pewterreport.com
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tog
tog
4 years ago

Trevor, you’re killing me! Was definitely hoping for some more in-depth and analytical. A problem with evluating players as starters is that, paradoxically, if you’re worse at drafting you can see more starters from each draft. I noticed this with Dominik, where he was given accolades for finder starters in the 7th round – but these were only “starters” because the roster was devoid of talent. And the Pro Bowl is just a popularity contest, even among players. Another interesting way to evaluate the drafts is through PFR’s career-average-value (CAV). Starting in 2014 we see: TB: 133 NO: 79 CAR:… Read more »

tog
tog
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

And to be fair, you’ve done such a good job with all your articles I was curious what outside-the-box information you’d bring in to your analysis. The reality is, especially over this condensed time frame, there actually may not be a better way to evaluate it. I do prefer CAV over starter/pro bowl but that’s quibbling. I’m also not disagreeing with your conclusion . But it also begs the question – how do you objectively evaluate a draft? What makes a good draft? Is 2014 good because you got Evans and Pamphile? That’s not a great haul, especially if Pamphile… Read more »

tog
tog
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

I’ll definitely be curious if you’re able to come up with anything. Excited for this prospect scouting restructuring too. Its foiled me for a while. Like when you said “Dominik’s drafts aren’t bad” so I looked at them again (THANKS for that) and really disagreed – they were generally bad. But I couldn’t argue anything beyond subjective opinion. Is getting Gerald McCoy, a few good years from Mike Williams, and production from Grimm and Lorig a good draft? Or in 2013 getting Glennon, Spense and Gholston? Nothing spectacular, but solid starters. Is it possible that it can be evaluated by… Read more »

Praise Jameis
4 years ago

Mr. Man-Bun,

Caleb Benenoch is still on the team.

I only expect this type of mistake from a Gator. Shout out Mark Cook

– PraiseJameis

Praise Jameis
Reply to  Trevor Sikkema
4 years ago

Apology accepted. Cover 3 is always fantastic. Keep up the good work and Go Noles

Horse
4 years ago

I just don’t know. I would just be guessing. After flipping a coin I would say where is the backup quarterback? We really don’t have one and why don’t we? By

nitey
4 years ago

I like Jason, I think he learns from his mistakes and doesn’t let a mistake continue because of what was invested. I think he deserves a second contract and I think he did a good job with the recent draft.

Ultimately it comes down to wins and success. The Bucs appear to be on the up swing so a fall back this year would be disappointing.

Al Davis said it best ‘Just win baby’…

Alldaway 2.0
4 years ago

Licht is clearly superior than Dominik or Allen. But is he better than McKay? Even if you don’t credit the 1995 draft to McKay, and call it Wyche’s, the draft classes of 1996, and 1997 were just as powerful to propelling the team to a competitive level. Licht is still a young GM though and is making hiccup mistakes here and there but he is learning which is a good sign. But it seems to me that Licht, like Allen, views 3rd rounders as an opportunity to find depth guys or situational/special team guys not really “starting” caliber. I do… Read more »

Iowabucfan
4 years ago

I like Mr. Licht because he is fearless. He is not afraid to do what he think is necessary to make the team better. He is not egotistical to not correct mistakes. I hope he’s stays for a while. The future is bright. Go Bucs!

jshumaker
4 years ago

I haven’t been this excited about any Bucs pick including Jameis. Reading your analysis (which I thought was excellent) just further confirmed my belief that this was the steal of the draft. The only reason I think he fell to the Bucs was because they were the first team with the luxury of not needing a player in the more glorified positions. As for GM analysis, yes draft picks are a huge part of their job. Although I would say that is more of a team effort. Having the proper scouts and coaching staff to advise the GM is a… Read more »

Devasher
4 years ago

The tough part is grading drafts only a few years out. Had you graded Dominik’s drafts a few years after they were made 1) Josh Freeman looked like a franchise cornerstone 2) Mike Williams was looking like an all-time great Buccaneer receiver 3) Mark Barron had upside at safety 4) Doug Martin looked like he could break all sorts of Buccaneer rushing records. Drafts rarely age well as time passes as the players that looked promising fizzle out (Aaron Sears, Gaines Adams, Adrian Clayborn) and players that make immediate impacts (Michael Clayton, Cadillac Williams, Tanard Jackson) prove that they will… Read more »

RootsCrew
RootsCrew
4 years ago

Excellent Cover 3, Trevor. God, are there really people debating the OJ pick? Insanity. Anyway, the breakdown of each GM’s draft classes really made it easy to compare and think about the impact they’ve had on their teams. Looking objectively, I’d agree that Licht is just behind Dimitroff. I think 2014 is a bit of an asterisk as Lovie was so involved. Even with that, Licht’s only had a couple of questionable moments in the draft. -Drafting Sims over Freeman in 2014 -Trading up for Berto with Vonn Bell & Yannick Ngakoue both sitting there in round 2. -Drafting Hargreaves… Read more »

Hank Scorpio
Reply to  RootsCrew
4 years ago

-Drafting Sims over Freeman in 2014
-Trading up for Berto with Vonn Bell & Yannick Ngakoue both sitting there in round 2.
-Drafting Hargreaves over Rankins or Tunsil
-Drafting ASJ

Licht’s mistakes are largely understandable and forgivable. Sometimes you fill a need despite someone better being on the board (VH3), sometimes you just mistakenly prefer one guy over another (Sims), and sometimes extenuating circumstances and issues you thought would be manageable rear their ugly head (ASJ).

But there is absolutely nothing understandable or forgivable about the Aguayo pick. Not then and not now.

RootsCrew
RootsCrew
Reply to  Hank Scorpio
4 years ago

Exactly. He’s not done anything egregious in the draft beside trading up for Berto. There is no Manziel or Barron or Gaines Adams in his first round picks. I think drafting Sims was overhauling his ability at the next level. If he could have stayed healthy, it wouldn’t be as bad. Feels like ASJ taught him a good lesson in managing his risks on players with off field flags. All in all he’s done just fine in the last 3 drafts. 2014 is all Mike at this point, but it can be better if Pamp keeps starting/plays well and Sims… Read more »

Destino102
4 years ago

Based off this draft class, I think one of our strengths going forward will be our 3rd down offense. OJ Howard, Godwin, and McNichols all share one important trait and that is they are good blockers. The screen game is going to be deadly this year, and on long passing down McNichols does a good job protecting the QB. I am hoping McNichols beats out Charles Sims as the 3rd down back. Having Doug Martin back at his best is just going to be a bonus with how prolific this offense is going to be. Maybe I am getting ahead… Read more »

stlbucsfan
4 years ago

Everyone on this site knows I’m probably the biggest Licht critic for what he has done in free agency as well as the players he missed on in the draft. His issues as a GM arise when he takes on the smartest man in the room persona instead of doing what makes the most sense. His early free agent classes were littered with players that were not starters on their previous teams but he “saw” something in them that never ended up panning out. We have wasted 7th round picks on fullbacks and kick returners when talented OL were still… Read more »

e
e
4 years ago

Clearly, Licht has this team on the rise. He represents the team well and has a keen eye for talent on and off the field. Stability is the key to long term success in the NFL and Licht process is now starting to bear fruit. There is no debate at all as to whether he is our future GM. Licht could have drafted the Joe Pesci as our tight end this weekend and I wouldn’t lose faith in Licht. He’s the guy. On a side note; I find it interesting that a lot of the pundits think that the team’s… Read more »

wnb0395
Reply to  e
4 years ago

Our defense last year wasn’t that bad. We didn’t lose any major defensive players and we added a couple more plus our young defensive players (VG3 and Spence) have a year of experience and should improve also. I think you are right on E. Just think what we could have done last year with a better offense. We def could have beat the Raiders and probably Dallas and the Saints.

Naplesfan
4 years ago

As for judging Jason Licht as our GM, it’s still too early to make any final judgment. In particular, his first two years as GM he had a humongous millstone around his neck otherwise known as Lovie Smith who seemed to be driving the player selections more than Jason. So the 2014 and 2015 drafts, while having both positives and negatives, aren’t solely attributable to Jason Light’s performance and judment (though not solely void of his judgment either). Certainly no GM is perfect, not even close to it. The greatest of all of them still miss on at least half… Read more »

EastEndBoy
4 years ago

Thanks Trevor – the more analysis that can be done of GMs in general would be much appreciated. I too see some real difficulty in comparing the GMs in the South as you have. Our picks were 7th, 1st and 11th over the period in question (moving around a bit due to tie-breakers and trades). ATL picked (6th, 8th, 17th), CAR picked (28th, 25th,30th) and NO picked (20th, 13th, 12th) over those same drafts. So in 2014 for example, the Bucs had a one pick deficit to ATL, but a 21 pick advantage over CAR and a 13 pick advantage… Read more »

pinkstob
4 years ago

For me it’s fairly simple. If the Bucs make the playoffs this year I say Licht stays, otherwise I say Licht goes. Improvement means little to me because it’s subjective, milestones like playoffs and super bowls are not. Like I said in an article over draft weekend, 4 years is plenty of time to get a team into the playoffs the way the NFL is structured, no matter how bad the team started out. Like I said before, normally I only give a GM 3 years but I wanted to see one more year after getting the team to 9-7… Read more »

pinkstob
Reply to  pinkstob
4 years ago

Mental or physical problem I guess I should say.

stlbucsfan
Reply to  pinkstob
4 years ago

I think that is the very reason the Glazers have not already extended him. What I love about our owners is that they are willing to open the checkbook for any regime so that when it ultimately does not come together as planned resources will never be the excuse. Licht better hope that his decisions to draft Aguayo in the 2nd round, let McDougald walk only to replace him with lesser players and standing pat with an offensive that looks suspect to everyone on the outside doesn’t cost him his job.

scubog
Reply to  pinkstob
4 years ago

You know I have a lot of respect for you Pink and enjoy our Training Camp discussions, but I don’t agree that it should be play-offs or start over with yet another regime change. It’s obvious to this observer that the team is much better talent-wise. But what I see as a major factor is the “culture change” both on the field and even in the stands. No longer did I see the cowering of players at the first “Oh spit” moment. No longer in the stands did we think the game was over if the opponent scored first. If… Read more »

pinkstob
Reply to  scubog
4 years ago

We’re better than than we used to be but we still aren’t good enough. I agree that stability can be precursor to success and I’ve seen that in my line of work. I’ve also seen stability can be an enemy of success by getting people mired in the status quo. Stability can simply lead to more stability without progressing to the goal. We are all fans of the Bucs but one of the things I have learned since I started posting on PR about 9 years ago is not all Bucs fans share the same goals. Some fans want to… Read more »

ElioT
4 years ago

This is one hell of an article.

Great job, Bucs fan’s need more information like this.

Thank you!

arizonajoe
4 years ago

I am really rooting for Jason Licht. However, he has to overcome that terrible second round pick in 2016. When you put your neck out and do something no other GM would do, you ask for criticism. Look at how they are killing Bears GM Ryan Pace for his trade up this year. Licht traded up last year to do something completely stupid. Jason could have gotten him in the 5th round (likely). But hopefully he learned from his mistake and will move on. Jason used to work under Arizona’s GM Steve Keim who is highly praised among NFL GM’s.… Read more »

a-bomb
4 years ago

I enjoyed the analysis. I think the fundamental question about drafting is defining what is “success.” Is success finding Pro-Bowlers or All Pros (high impact-type players)? Or is success keeping the overall talent level high at every position? I tend to think that it is somewhat a mixture, but there has to be a high talent level to sustain consistency. Many unemployed GM’s have drafted Pro-Bowlers, but the really good ones keep a consistent talent level and thus allow their teams to be competitive over longer periods of time. Maybe you made the most important point without actually saying so.… Read more »

toofamiliar17
4 years ago

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again – I’ve been doing in depth prospect evaluations since the 2006 draft, and Howard is the best TE prospect I’ve ever seen, bar absolutely none. There is not a single hole in his game. In the running game, you can pull him, or he can man up on the guy across from him and remove him from the play on power runs. He has the feet and hands to seal the edge on zone plays. His work as an H back is spectacular. And he’s about as good and athletic of… Read more »

fl0nase
4 years ago

Wow, that was a great film analysis. I’m sooo pumped to see how difficult Howard makes it for opposing teams now. The blocking you reference WAS dominant. And against quality opponents no less. If I had a beef with Licht’s draft strategy I would say that he hasn’t tended to draft from an inside out standpoint thus far. O-line and D-line are categories that you see perennial playoff teams draft plenty of. And we always seem thin at both. Outside of that I’ve been generally happy. The Kwon pick alone gives him a lot of latitude in my book.

Julian Jordan
4 years ago

Should Jason Licht be extended? Yes.

Give him another 4 years.

He has plenty of challenges awaiting him this year whether or not he’ll be back or not shouldn’t be on his mind.

LOCK HIM UP.

There’s so much that stats can’t account for that I’ve seen in this draft. We’ve got us a good General Manager.

WiltheBrewer
4 years ago

As a fan of both Barth and Murray, the pick of Aguayo in the 2nd was definitely a WTF?moment. However, the fact that he got Spence w/ the initial 2rd pick, then used the 4th rd that he got in trading down- and still getting VHlll- to move back up, i don’t find it egregious as some here do. Aguayo’s not a bust yet- I’m hoping he wins the battle that we’ll all see on Hard Knocks!
Loved seeing some of that video of Howard blocking DLineman! Thanks again for breaking it down for us Trevor

SappAttack
4 years ago

a 3 year “keep up the good work” extension seems smart, and then extend him for 5 if he turns us into a perennial playoff team with a top 5-10 salary sounds about right to me. he’s done a GREAT (not good, but great job) but this is the Bucs and I’ve seen plenty of meltdowns which could come from anywhere. front office, players, MRSA – you name it

compewterpirate
4 years ago

A truly excellent post, especially the very insightful breakdown and analysis of the multi dimensional talents of our latest 1st round draft pick, O. J. Howard. It’s the first time I have read one of Trevor’s articles and I was genuinely most impressed. Clearly a lot of time and effort was taken to break down the different facets of OJ’s game and I thoroughly enjoyed the excellent usage of relevant video clips to illustrate the points that Trevor was making. Frankly PR subscription is already incredibly cheap and to get this quality of journalism added to the mix makes it… Read more »

Buc 1976
4 years ago

J Licht has one EXTREMELY good draft he got 4 starters and a slot R and a TE in UDFA the same year I think.
The only knock is 5-7 rd to many missed opportunities, it is those picks that help some teams make the playoffs year after year. Go Bucs