By: Mike “DatBucc’nGuy “ SeDoris
Tampa Bay Buccaneer General Manager has really had some success in the first round. He came out of the gate swinging in 2014 by drafting in my eyes the best pick he has made thus far. Granted some of the newer picks are still unproven but it’s going to be hard to eclipse Mike Evans. Evans is on path to be donning a golden jacket in his future if his career stays on the same trajectory. This past season adding his 7th consecutive 1000 yard receiving along with a ring helps push him further towards the halls of Canton. Look at these stats, tell me he isn’t headed to enshrinement.
The following draft Licht selected a Heisman Trophy winner with the first overall pick. While this pick may be the most controversial of Lichts tenure it definitely isn’t the worse!
Jameis Winston is the sole member of the 30/30 Club and no it’s not a category any qb would be knocking down the door for membership to. However JW did amass amazing statistics through the air having a 5,000 yard passing season. Winstons antics “eating the W” in all honesty might have been the straw that broke the camels back with his stay in Tampa Bay. Now with the rival Winston looks to resurrect his still young career.
After solidifying to offensive skilled positions, it was time to address the defense. In the ‘16 draft Licht, in my eyes, made his worst selection. Vernon Heargraves III. Coming out of The University of Florida VH3 was supposed to be a lockdown corner. With the 11th pick Licht reached a little grabbing Heargraves. knowing he was in a division that would have to face Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton Tampa Bay looked to shut down any potential aerial assault. This is why most states have the Lemon Law when it comes to purchasing an automobile. VH3 in my opinion was not just a lemon he was the whole dang lemon tree.
With VH3 being the worst first round pick in Lichts tenure the next years pick may be the most puzzling.
In 2017 after a solid year by Tight End Cameron Brate the Bucs decided to pass on many of the teams positions of need (such as running back, Dalvin Cook) to select OJ Howard. While Howard’s ceiling is vastly higher than Brates, he just can’t seem to stay out of the trainers room or off the injury report.
While the jury is still out on OJ this may end up being a make or break season.
Jason Licht,to this point in his career I would say was looking like a middle of the road GM. In 2018 Jason Licht changed the trajectory of his career and the Bucs franchise. With the 12th pick of the 2018 the Buccaneers select Vita Vea a mountain of a man who greatly impacted the Bucs playoff and Super Bowl win. While not everyone in the fan base was behind this selection at first, you will be hard pressed to find anyone not behind this selection today. Vita is the anchor of this top tier defense.
Linebacker Devin White made immediate impact after being selected in 2019. Playing next Lavonte David, Devin White quickly stepped into a leadership role as one of the team captains in their 2020 Super Bowl championship. White and David quickly have become the best linebacker duo in the NFL!
In 2020 with his eyes on the prize Licht got aggressive. Trading to the 13th pick Tampa drafted a the bouncer of Club Brady! In 799 pass attempts Wirfs allowed only one sack. You read that correctly seven hundred ninety nine! Tristan Wirfs is more effective than today’s leading birth control!
While a lot of the picks are still young in their respective careers I have ranked them below from worst to first. That’s not saying that the rankings won’t change especially since the data is always evolving.
7 CB Vernon Hargreaves III (2016)
6 TE O.J. Howard (2017)
5 QB Jameis Winston (2015)
4 LB Devin White (2019)
3 OT Tristan Wirfs (2020)
2 DL Vita Vea (2018)
1 WR Mike Evans (2014)