On Tuesday, Bucs GM Jason Licht held his annual pre-draft press conference to field questions mostly with non-answers about what Tampa Bay may or may not do coming up next week. It’s particularly intriguing for Bucs fans to try to gather as much information as possible, as the team is picking fifth overall, currently, and appears destined to get an immediate impact player.
However, in studying what Licht has done in the recent past and reading between the lines on his comments Tuesday, you should be prepared for Tampa Bay to move down and accumulate another pick or two.
While GM Jason Licht feels we can get a "very good" player at No. 5, he'll still entertain trade offers to a certain extent.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) April 16, 2019
Take as the prime example of a year ago, when the Buccaneers sat in the seven spot in the opening round, but as Licht detailed yesterday, the Buffalo Bills came calling offering two close together second round picks (#’s 53 and 56) to move up five spots in the first round with Tampa Bay. Licht took the deal and the Bucs eventually ended up with defensive tackle Vita Vea at 12.
They later kept those two second-round picks acquired from the Bills and drafted defensive backs M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis to help bolster their secondary.
Also consider that Licht moved down in the 2016 draft from the 9th spot to 11th in a deal with the Chicago Bears getting an extra 4th round pick to do so. And, the Buccaneers still ended up with a guy that had been targeting, defensive back Vernon Hargreaves, from the Gators.
So, there are two examples in the last three drafts where the Bucs were slated to pick 9th or 7th and elected to move down. And, it’s important to point out that someone trying to move up to as high #5, (more so than 9 last year), they will likely have to offer a first-round pick of some type to do so.
And, there may be several teams interested in a quarterback, like Missouri’s Drew Lock, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins or Duke’s Daniel Jones that want to make sure they have a chance to get him at number five.
Then again, the Buccaneers have a need at linebacker, and as we wrote previously, if LSU’s Devin White is staring them in the face when they’re on the clock at the five spot, he will be very difficult to pass up no matter what the trade offer potentially is.
We are still a week away from the draft getting underway in Nashville, but clearly the working of the phones and the strategy sessions that lick was referring to Tuesday are laying out all the scenarios for the Buccaneers no matter whom else would be calling wanting to move up into their spot
Bucs looking for three in row leads our primer
Week 14 of the NFL sees two Florida teams at home and the other one facing a familiar foe in New York. The Bucs try to make it three wins in a row hosting the Colts, the Dolphins travel to play the Jets and the Jaguars have gone back to their rookie QB, while hosting the Chargers.
First in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers come off of back-to-back road wins, where they accumulated 11 sacks and six turnovers defeating Atlanta and Jacksonville. They will take on another AFC South opponent in the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts are stumbling with three losses in their last four games and have fallen out of the AFC Wildcard picture for the moment.
Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has played better over the course of the last two games, but returns to Raymond James Stadium, where he threw four interceptions it a loss to the Saints three weeks ago. Winston is working with two of the premier receivers in the NFL in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (above) who both have over a thousand yards this season and look to have a big day today.
The Colts have had success this season with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback and want to run the ball against what is the best run defense in the NFL, the Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay must win to keep slim playoff hopes alive trying to get into a 9 – 7 tiebreaker in the NFC Playoff Picture.
Next, the Dolphins come off a euphoric 37 – 31 win over the Eagles at home for their third win of the season. DeVante Parker had his best game as a Dolphin catching three touchdown passes. And, Miami scored on a trick play that saw punter Matt Haack throw a touchdown pass to kicker Jason Sanders. They now rematch AFC East rival the Jets who were humbled a week ago, as Cincinnati earned their first win of the season at their expense.
The Dolphins also defeated the Jets, and former coach Adam Gase, at home earlier this year
Finally in Jacksonville, the Jaguars have turned back to rookie QB Gardner Minshew. After three dismal offensive showings in a row under free agent Nick Foles, Minshew replaced him in the second half of last week. And, he sparked the Jaguars to a field goal and a touchdown in their 28 – 11 beat down by the Buccaneers.
The rookie did win four games in Foles’ absence due to his broken collarbone earlier this year. Fortunately for Jacksonville, the Chargers come in reeling having lost dramatically in Denver a week ago and questions are swirling whether it is the end of the tenure of Philip Rivers at quarterback.
Jacksonville’s defense is beaten up, including putting Myles Jack on injured reserve earlier this week with an injured kneed.
Fantasy Football “Start/Sit” for Florida players Week 14
Everyone’s favorite time of year has arrived, that is if you had a good season. The fantasy playoffs are here, and if you made it, chances are some Florida players helped get there.
This week the Buccaneers will host the reeling Colts. The Jaguars will host the under-performing Chargers, and the Dolphins travel to play the ever-disappointing Jets.
The Buccaneers will entertain the Colts, who have the 13th overall defense. The Colts are 1-4 in their last five games and desperately need a win. Last week, they were torched on the ground by Titans RB Derick Henry. However, this was the first 100-yard rusher against the Colts this season.
The Bucs again surprised fantasy players last week, when Ronald Jones was benched in the first half for not picking up a blitz. This led to Peyton Barber scoring two touchdowns, while Jones had zero points. The Colts have surrendered two passing touchdowns in each of their last three games. Last week the Tampa Bay offense didn’t have to do nearly as much as usual.
This week, expect the Bucs vertical passing to be back throwing the ball at least 35 times. With a stout run defense, Jameis Winston will need to be at the top of his game in a big test for this Bucs team.
The Jaguars offense has been rough through the air with Nick Foles back. Now, Foles is back on the bench in favor of rookie, Gardner Minshew. The Chargers come into town with the 4th ranked pass defense, but let Drew Lock and Cortland Sutton connect for 74 yards and two touchdowns. The Chargers own the 18th ranked rush defense, and that is music to the ears of Leonard Fournette.
It has been a rough couple of weeks for the running back facing some stout run defenses. This weekend look for Fournette to get back on track. With the return of Minshew means the D.J. Chark becomes even more attractive. Chark was still the top guy with Foles in, but he and Minshew have a good connection.
The Dolphins are coming off one of the stunners of the year beating the Eagles in a 37-31 shootout. This week they set their sights on the Jets, who just gave the Bengals their first win. The Jets have the leagues’ best-run defense, which is usually significant. However, the Dolphins can’t run the ball effectively at all.
That means Ryan Fitzpatrick will be throwing a lot against the 19th ranked pass defense.
Last week Fitzpatrick and Devante Parker destroyed the Eagles secondary. This week they will have all the opportunities to do the same thing to the Jets. With the tight end position a mess, Mike Gesicki is an option again, who has scored in two straight games.