We’ve all had a few days now to process the NFL draft picks for the Buccaneers. Everybody has an opinion. Why did the Bucs pick three defensive backs on day 2? Why take a kicker in the fifth round?
We heard from Jason Licht over the weekend on his philosophy behind selecting Devin White, picking three defensive backs on day two, and the selection of kicker Matt Gay in round five.
Devin White will be one of the best linebackers in the NFL this season. Bruce Arians loves his speed and versatility and has this to say about the selection of Devin White.
“Position flexibility is huge for us, Obviously, (White) is a three-down player. He can walk out on the edge and do some things. He can cover backs. He can cover the great backs man to man. With all the spread that’s coming in, there’s no quarterback that is going to outrun him.’’
Jason Licht said that White had been number one on their board for six weeks and they knew all along that White was the guy. “We like the versatility and you have to be intelligent to do all those things with Todd, so he fits that mold. We know he can rush the passer. We know he can lineup in the 4-3. We think he’s certainly athletic to do some of the things we’re going to ask outside linebackers to do in a 3-4. That’s the beauty of him.”
Position flexibility and versatility seem to be the new buzzwords in Tampa for the defense in 2019.
The Bucs then selected three defensive backs on day two. Sean Bunting, Jamel Dean, and Mike Edwards.
“You’re just always trying to get better,” Licht said. “And it’s not really an indictment on the guys who are here. It’s a long season. the injuries start stacking up and our depth wasn’t where we’d like it to be. We needed to add an infuse of talent. I really wasn’t happy with the play of the secondary as a whole last year, just because of the lack of depth. Competition is a good thing.”
On the play of Jamel Dean Licht said “He plays a physical game, He’s a really good press guy and he’s a really good tackler.”
On the play of Mike Edwards who probably has the best chance of starting in 2019 of any of the three defensive backs who were selected Licht had this to say “He’s a playmaker, He has good speed, a tough guy and just finds a way to get his hands on balls.”
The Bucs then chose defensive linemen Anthony Nelson from Iowa in the fourth round and again flexibility and the ability to play more than one position played a part in the drafting of Nelson.
“We want to bring in great competition for Cairo” Licht said. “We’ll let them kick it out in the preseason, and may the best man win.”
The Bucs then selected their only offensive player in the draft, wide receiver Scott Miller of Bowling Green.
“We had a private workout with him” said Licht. “Our receivers coach went there to spent time with him. We just felt very comfortable drafting him in the sixth round.”
Miller will get a real good look in the return game with the loss of Adam Humphries.
With their last selection, the Bucs went back to the defensive side of the ball selecting Terry Beckner Jr. from Missouri. Licht is really high on Beckner, “I know he’s got a good chance to make this football team if plays he way he did at Missouri. He’s really tough. Love the grit that he has. He’s an awesome kid, a smart instinctive player. He’s a strong. Like the way he plays.”
So another draft is in the books for Jason Licht and the Buccaneers. Licht had better make sure he hit on the majority of these picks, or this may have been his last draft in Tampa. The fan base and the Glazers will not tolerate too many more 5-11 seasons.
We need to start seeing improvement immediately.