Inside Jason Lichts Draft

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Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby real bucs fan » Fri May 12, 2017 10:10 am

Pretty epic article on PR that features an amazing interview with a candid Jason Licht. Tremendous insight into his draft process.

He’s not the only G.M. that snickers or chuckles or bursts out laughing at the media’s depiction of the NFL Draft and some players that draft experts and draft gurus in the media (this site included) consider to be first-rounders.

In every NFL war room there aren’t typically 32 first-round caliber players on team’s draft boards.

Nor are there even 253 players that have draftable grades in each team’s draft board, including Tampa Bay’s – despite the fact that there were 253 players drafted from April 27-29.

In my post-draft chat with Licht we delved into his 2017 draft board, but let’s start with his war room experience with head coach Dirk Koetter for the second time.

“Dirk has been through it for a full year and he’s been through two drafts now and the whole process twice,” Licht said. “He’s got a better feel for me and how I like to operate. Obviously, he plays a big role in the draft for us and I lean on Dirk for a lot of reasons. We watch a lot of tape together. He’s even more supportive of everything I do.

“We have a great relationship and it’s as good as it’s ever been. I’m a very big believer in the inclusive process – I’m a big believer in getting everybody’s opinion. I want everybody involved in it. I want us to take guys we all like and he understands the importance of having that inclusive process. Not that he didn’t before, but he understands the rhyme and reason of it and the way I do things.”

One of the things Licht likes to do is bring Koetter, director of college scouting Mike Biehl, director of player personnel John Spytek and others into his office and pick apart a draft prospect’s film and the scouts’ notes.

“There is a time at the end of the process where you’re punching holes in every single player,” Licht said. “At the beginning you think, ‘Oh we have all these great players in the draft this year’ and then you start punching holes in them. Dirk is a positive person and he does a great job of saying, ‘These are the players you like. These are the reasons I like them, too, and this is what they can do for us.”

Licht, Biehl and Tampa Bay’s scouts start the scouting process in the summer by reviewing the thousands of eligible seniors and a few prime underclassmen that may be talented enough to want to declare early. By the time the draft arrives that list is narrowed considerably.

Licht said he typically has draftable grades on only 120 players – despite the fact that more than double that number get drafted each year.

“We slot players in my top 120 – and this year it extended to 135 draftable players,” Licht said. “We whittle it down. Every year there are over 2,000 players that are going to be draft eligible, and then you throw in the underclassmen and it’s a lot. We get it down to 300 in December on our big draft board. By the week before the draft we get it down to between 100 and 150 players – this year it was 135 – that we feel are worth taking with a draft pick and that could legitimately make our team.”

As for the number of first-round-caliber players this year?

“I don’t think there is a single team that has 32 guys ranked as first-round players in any year,” Licht said. “It’s 17 or 18 – somewhere in there. That’s what we had.”

So sitting at No. 19, the Bucs were likely to select a player that may have actually been a non-first-rounder on their board – except that Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, a top 10-caliber player, fell to Tampa Bay.

“We had him fairly high on our board,” Licht said.

The Bucs also had a very high grade on Texas A&M safety Justin Evans, who was selected at No. 50 with the team’s second-round pick.

“The 32nd-ranked player is obviously the first pick in the second round,” Licht said. “We had [Evans] ranked high enough to where it would have taken an awful lot for us to get out of there [at No. 50]. We think it was good value.”

Licht and the Bucs passed on Florida State running back Dalvin Cook in the first round, and may have done so even if Howard had been drafted earlier in the first round ahead of Tampa Bay’s spot at No. 19. But would Licht have considered him with the team’s second-round pick?

“We thought Dalvin was a very good football player,” Licht said. “We had him ranked pretty high. It was a tough decision, so I don’t know. I don’t want to say anything negative towards Justin because we got him. I didn’t think Dalvin would be there at No. 50 and he wasn’t.

“If we would have used draft capital to go up and get him I don’t think we would have ended up with the players that we got. It would have caused a chain reaction in our draft. I made a decision – I really liked Dalvin – and at some point – I’m not saying that we did or didn’t try. But I’m happy with who we got.”

Not only did the Bucs get a great value in Evans, who was ranked higher than the 50th player on their draft board, Tampa Bay also got a steal with Penn State wide receiver Chris Godwin, who was also rated much higher than the 84th overall selection.

“We did,” Licht said. “I’ll put it like this. You have to get ‘rounds’ out of your head when you are talking about drafting. NFL teams look at the draft differently than the media. We don’t even use the word ‘round’ – we do at a certain point, but after the draft we don’t say, ‘We had a third-round grade on him.’ The players just come off our board. If we feel like we can move back and still get the player, we will. In the case of Justin, there was a run on safeties. The few that were left we didn’t feel like would be there in the second round.”

Now here’s something that might blow your mind.

“Of our six picks they were all ranked within the top 90 of our board,” Licht said. “Now that doesn’t mean we had everybody ranked no later than a third-round pick. But we had them within our top 90 of our 135.

“Stevie [Tu’ikolovatu] was sticking out like a sore thumb in the seventh round, and there was a lot of strong conviction, including from myself, that Stevie would make our football team. So I thought I’d go up and get him. We had some intel that there were some teams ahead of us that were going to take him. We feel pretty good about him.”

The Bucs drafted six players that were ranked within the top 90 players on their board, and added a few more undrafted free agents that had draftable grades, too.

“Antony Auclair was on that list, as well,” Licht said. “We think he’s going to have a legit chance to make it. There were very few ‘Ys’ in this draft and he was one of them. We love the way he carries himself off the field, and he’s raw, but there are a lot of tools there. And his dad drives a Labatt Blue beer truck, so it’s a win-win!”

Licht, Koetter and the rest of the front office were ready to crack open some beers after landing their draft haul. But with six picks – Tampa Bay’s sixth-rounder was used to trade up in the third round to get linebacker Kendell Beckwith – not all of Tampa Bay’s holes were able to be filled.

While the Bucs liked USC cornerback Adoreé Jackson and were considering drafting him in the first round, Tampa Bay didn’t draft a cornerback at all despite the fact that Brent Grimes is 34 and is entering the final year of his contract.

“Yeah, he was a possibility for us at 19,” Licht said. “We really like Ryan Smith and what he did for us last year. We got a sneak peak at him out here at the end of the year. There were some tempting moments for us [in the draft]. I’m always going to look at that position as well. It just didn’t fall right. It wasn’t there for us at the time and the guys we picked we liked better than the corners that were available.”

Tampa Bay did sign veteran cornerback Robert McClain, who played for defensive coordinator Mike Smith in Atlanta, on Wednesday.

Nor did Licht draft a defensive end despite bringing in three high-profile pass rushers in Derek Barnett, Taco Charlton and Jordan Willis for pre-draft visits.

“I don’t think you’ll ever hear from me that we have enough pass rush from the outside,” Licht said. “I think that’s something we’ll always entertain. It didn’t fall to us. We had a lot of needs this year. We would have liked to [draft a defensive end] and we’ll continue to monitor what’s out there until August – and after August.

“You mentioned corner and you mentioned defensive end, we would like to focus even more on defense moving forward.”

When it comes to Licht’s draft board he does emphasize the team’s needs when ranking the draft prospects.

“Need plays a big part,” Licht said. “I use our big draft board as a guide to when we put that top whatever together. I’ll take layers at a certain grade – and if we have an extreme need with one position over another – and if they are the same grade the need will trump those other positions.”

I asked Licht if a player like North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was even on Tampa Bay’s draft board considering he was destined to be a first-round pick, and with Jameis Winston entrenched as the team’s franchise quarterback, the Bucs wouldn’t even consider drafting Trubisky in the first round.

“We go through a lot of exercises where if we were drafting first overall, who are we taking?” Licht said. “Second overall – who are we taking? Third, fourth and fifth and so on. At what point if Mitch Trubisky is there – and crazier things have happened – would we take this quarterback? Where would we take him? Who is he better than on our team? Is he better as a backup than some of these other players that we feel could be starters at other positions? That backup quarterback role is very important to me. As you know I held on to Mike Glennon.”



Here's the link to the full article: https://www.pewterreport.com/srs-fab-5- ... -howard/2/
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Super K » Fri May 12, 2017 10:30 am

Good read.. thanks RBF..
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby PrimeMinister » Fri May 12, 2017 11:11 am

6 players in their top 90. I like it.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby threadkiller » Fri May 12, 2017 11:42 am

I think Jason's comments about not looking at the players by round is foolish. I don't understand if he is trying to chide us internet GMs, but it's mildly insulting. Of course they view players by round grade. How else would they create a valuation for where they feel they can move back and get a player? Or need to move up? I get we have a board, we also slot players where we think they will be taken...........by round. If he comes back and says we don't he's lying or we are monumentally lost.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Super K » Fri May 12, 2017 12:02 pm

threadkiller wrote:I think Jason's comments about not looking at the players by round is foolish. I don't understand if he is trying to chide us internet GMs, but it's mildly insulting. Of course they view players by round grade. How else would they create a valuation for where they feel they can move back and get a player? Or need to move up? I get we have a board, we also slot players where we think they will be taken...........by round. If he comes back and says we don't he's lying or we are monumentally lost.


Its not that farfetched..

MB opened my eyes a little when he spoke about " a guy not being a reach if he won't be there the next time you pick"...

I think Licht looks at the draft in the same way..

It's more about getting who you want at the top of ones board rather trying to figure out what round a guy should be selected in..

I kinda like it..
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby threadkiller » Fri May 12, 2017 12:05 pm

Think about it K, all our picks top 90 on our board. He already said that doesn't mean we view all as top 3 round picks, what does that mean? We had Stevie top 90 on our board, but waited until the 7th to trade up, why? How is our scouting department slotting our board against the expectation of the rest of the league if not by round?
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Super K » Fri May 12, 2017 12:12 pm

threadkiller wrote:Think about it K, all our picks top 90 on our board. He already said that doesn't mean we view all as top 3 round picks, what does that mean? We had Stevie top 90 on our board, but waited until the 7th to trade up, why? How is our scouting department slotting our board against the expectation of the rest of the league if not by round?


Yeah, I see what you are saying..

End of the day..no offense, but this ain't my cup of tea..

I am NOT a draftnik, nor do I try and appear to be one..getting this deep into the thought process and methodology of "how one drafts" isn't my kind of thing..

I'm gonna bow out now and hopefully someone who's a lot more interested in the subject and a lot more intelligent in it's regard will chime in and converse with you..
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby threadkiller » Fri May 12, 2017 12:22 pm

Yeah, I nitpick the **** out of Jason anyway. I'm sure most of these front office guys throw out way worse quotes. I also get it seems like it could be a reaction during the interview. Scott is probably loading his questions with his opinions and Jason could well be reacting to that. More of a general "You don't know our values, media dude" thing that I am jumping on his wording. I've noticed an increasing self aggrandizement about his work recently.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby mdb1958 » Fri May 12, 2017 1:42 pm

I think he left out the part about how good the need players left out from this years draft will compare to next years draft. Next year there may not be no worthwhile CB's or DE's that we can reach.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby mdb1958 » Fri May 12, 2017 1:44 pm

Ahem, I seem to remember telling ya'll that I didnt even want half the players in the first round. We did some similiar thinking and I knew things didnt reach out right with where we were picking. Every update they did the window shrunk for the players I was looking at, and then I knew somethings going to get left off.

The huge miss I had, was the urgency that was the SLB - it totally fell off my map other than the few moments I had thinking should we draft Reddick.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Teitan » Fri May 12, 2017 2:06 pm

threadkiller wrote:I think Jason's comments about not looking at the players by round is foolish.



This guy telling the NFL GM he's doing it wrong. Lol
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Fri May 12, 2017 2:13 pm

What blows me away is how they whittle down the draft board to 135.

They give no shits who drafts whom and when. They are able to reliability grab their guys and allow the other picks to let them fall to them. Absolutely wild.

The thing is, they know what particular skillset they are looking for in a position and are then able to rank guys who have that skill while disregarding the rest. I bet that they can estimate the right time to trade and/or pick based on that.

We don't have that luxury. Which is why for next season I want to focus on WHY they picked a guy rather than try to guess who they pick.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby MJW » Sat May 13, 2017 12:26 am

threadkiller wrote:Yeah, I nitpick the **** out of Jason anyway. I'm sure most of these front office guys throw out way worse quotes. I also get it seems like it could be a reaction during the interview. Scott is probably loading his questions with his opinions and Jason could well be reacting to that. More of a general "You don't know our values, media dude" thing that I am jumping on his wording. I've noticed an increasing self aggrandizement about his work recently.


Licht has never been shy about patting himself on the back. Remember last year's, "three first round picks" remark, with the big dumb grin?

From what I could ascertain from the article, we start with a list of prospects. Then we whittle it down. Then at the draft, we take the ones we have high on the list, unless we feel better about trading back instead. It's not earth-shattering stuff.

As for the great debate, there are always GMs who are very concerned with what other teams might do, and ones who aren't. I think Licht absolutely cares what other teams are doing, or else we don't wait until the 7th to take Top 90 talent Stevie T, for example. Nor do we let the Canadian tight end go undrafted. And that's fine. But dude is playing it like he doesn't think about that stuff when obviously it's a big consideration (as it should be.) The fact we've been trading up pretty regularly tells you he's giving thought to other team's boards as well.

Beyond all that, I think the proof is in the pudding. He's had an above-average run drafting here, at least as much as we can judge. Evans was a homerun. Sims and Pamphile are both major contributors. We got a franchise QB and 3 starters out of the 2015 draft. Last year's draft yielded two likely starters, a 3rd maybe in Ryan Smith, and a potential starter down the road in Benenoch. It would look much better with Vonn Bell here instead of Aguayo, of course. And this draft gave us 1 sure thing opening day starter, 1 likely opening day starter, and 4 more guys who should all make the 53 and contribute this year.

He's drafted well.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby mdb1958 » Sat May 13, 2017 2:23 am

I already asked this.

With the NFL.com draft tracker they show (I guess) 55 offensive linemen who werent drafted and then we sign 2 who werent on that list.

Cole Gardner and Korren Kirven, did our process really pull up two prospects that no one else was thinking about? Or are we just making a mini dream come true.


Actually this was done with almost all of our UDFA's that we bought into camp.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby real bucs fan » Sat May 13, 2017 9:42 am

I think all it really shows is we do our own homework. The fact we had such a high grade on Auclair, when seemingly no other team did, shows (if nothing else) that we are scouting EVERYWHERE. To extensively look at a guy like that playing in Laval Quebec says we aren't being cheap when it comes to scouting.

If Auclair turns into a player, that would be a mighty feather in this scouting departments cap.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby mdb1958 » Sat May 13, 2017 11:21 am

Everybody was talking about Auclair for a little while. I wonder if those Canadians will burn up in the Florida heat.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby real bucs fan » Sat May 13, 2017 11:40 am

mdb1958 wrote:Everybody was talking about Auclair for a little while. I wonder if those Canadians will burn up in the Florida heat.


Perhaps he's a snowbird, alot of Quebecois spend their winters in Florida.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby DreadNaught » Mon May 15, 2017 11:14 am

real bucs fan wrote:
mdb1958 wrote:Everybody was talking about Auclair for a little while. I wonder if those Canadians will burn up in the Florida heat.


Perhaps he's a snowbird, alot of Quebecois spend their winters in Florida.


Auclair had quote from last weeks mini-camp about how hot it was, even though it was beautiful weather for this area considering what he'll feel come July/August.

But like everyone he'll climatize eventually, I just hope it doesn't effect his performance. I still suggest he stays down south until camp and starts getting used to the heat and humidity.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby mdb1958 » Mon May 15, 2017 1:24 pm

DreadNaught wrote:
real bucs fan wrote:
Perhaps he's a snowbird, alot of Quebecois spend their winters in Florida.


Auclair had quote from last weeks mini-camp about how hot it was, even though it was beautiful weather for this area considering what he'll feel come July/August.

But like everyone he'll climatize eventually, I just hope it doesn't effect his performance. I still suggest he stays down south until camp and starts getting used to the heat and humidity.



If he aint used to this stuff down here, it will kill him.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Doctor » Tue May 16, 2017 8:35 am

What a great read. Some of the more straight forward talk you're going to get from a GM. Clearly Cook was very much on their board, what a shame he didn't fall to 50.

He's not wrong about "rounds" they are pretty pointless outside of negotiating trade involving future picks. Rounds are just a way we sliced up the draft. We can just as easy slice it up into 25 selection pieces and call them "tiers".

Very true on the CB situation. I actually said it would play out like that on a couple of posts before the draft. That most CBs would go in that "void" between our two picks. There's nothing you can really do about it, the draft will just fall the way it falls. And at the end of the day you take the guy you like best even if draftniks would consider it "a reach", because he probably won't be there the next time you pick.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby MJW » Wed May 17, 2017 12:33 am

Doctor wrote:What a great read. Some of the more straight forward talk you're going to get from a GM. Clearly Cook was very much on their board, what a shame he didn't fall to 50.

He's not wrong about "rounds" they are pretty pointless outside of negotiating trade involving future picks. Rounds are just a way we sliced up the draft. We can just as easy slice it up into 25 selection pieces and call them "tiers".

Very true on the CB situation. I actually said it would play out like that on a couple of posts before the draft. That most CBs would go in that "void" between our two picks. There's nothing you can really do about it, the draft will just fall the way it falls. And at the end of the day you take the guy you like best even if draftniks would consider it "a reach", because he probably won't be there the next time you pick.


The whole "round" thing, when it comes to actual decision-making, is so incredibly stupid. "Is he a first rounder? Is he a second rounder?" What does that even mean in terms of making a pick? The Cowboys didn't have Taco as one of their 17 whatever "first rounders," but they still drafted him in the first round. Why? Because he was the highest rated player on their board when their pick came up.

The Patriots don't do it that way, according to a book I read...they never use terminology like "first rounder" when evaluating prospects. They ask the room, what is he to US? Is he a future starter on this roster? Is he a core special teamer? ETC. They don't arbitrarily assign "round" values. They don't care.

As for corner, yeah, you have to play the hand you're dealt, and you can't fix everything in one offseason anyway. It's the lack of movement on a veteran corner I don't understand at this point, but that's a different thread.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby mdb1958 » Wed May 17, 2017 2:18 am

I dont think the Patriots keep 1st rounders to long.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Alpha » Wed May 17, 2017 10:17 pm

real bucs fan wrote:
mdb1958 wrote:Everybody was talking about Auclair for a little while. I wonder if those Canadians will burn up in the Florida heat.


Perhaps he's a snowbird, alot of Quebecois spend their winters in Florida.


No ****. LOL!

Only a Floridian automatically knows what the Quebec license plate says (je me souviens).

One of the things Licht didn't address was how cap ramifications over the coming years', effect how our draft unfolds.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Thu May 18, 2017 7:24 am

If he continues to draft well, he'll be in the driver's seat when it comes to cap management.

He should be able to cut loose his free agent plugs and re-sign most of his guys.

Jameis and Evans are going to eat a lot of cap space when they ultimately get paid what they're worth, and that will make it more difficult to plug holes in free agency, so he needs to keep drafting well to avoid cap casualties.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Teitan » Thu May 18, 2017 7:35 am

Mountaineer Buc wrote:If he continues to draft well, he'll be in the driver's seat when it comes to cap management.

He should be able to cut loose his free agent plugs and re-sign most of his guys.

Jameis and Evans are going to eat a lot of cap space when they ultimately get paid what they're worth, and that will make it more difficult to plug holes in free agency, so he needs to keep drafting well to avoid cap casualties.



For some reason I see Jameis taking a more team friendly deal to help the team. He's still gonna get paid, but I can definitely see him doing this.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby mdb1958 » Thu May 18, 2017 8:16 am

Mountaineer Buc wrote:If he continues to draft well, he'll be in the driver's seat when it comes to cap management.

He should be able to cut loose his free agent plugs and re-sign most of his guys.

Jameis and Evans are going to eat a lot of cap space when they ultimately get paid what they're worth, and that will make it more difficult to plug holes in free agency, so he needs to keep drafting well to avoid cap casualties.



But then it will be. How long do you keep the group together without winning it?
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Super K » Thu May 18, 2017 8:38 am

mdb1958 wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:If he continues to draft well, he'll be in the driver's seat when it comes to cap management.

He should be able to cut loose his free agent plugs and re-sign most of his guys.

Jameis and Evans are going to eat a lot of cap space when they ultimately get paid what they're worth, and that will make it more difficult to plug holes in free agency, so he needs to keep drafting well to avoid cap casualties.



But then it will be. How long do you keep the group together without winning it?


While true...everyone WANTS to be New England or even Pittsburgh..

Decade long run of good/great seasons, multiple SB appearances, multiple SB wins..yadda yadda yadda..

I would be ecstatic if we could put together a 5-7 year run comparable to what GB and Baltimore have done..

Routinely in the playoffs, competitive each and every year, both have won a SB (in their current QBs tenure)...

Yes, the Ravens have tailed off some and GB has put up some ridiculous inseason results..but you catch my drift?...
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby DreadNaught » Thu May 18, 2017 9:46 am

Teitan wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:If he continues to draft well, he'll be in the driver's seat when it comes to cap management.

He should be able to cut loose his free agent plugs and re-sign most of his guys.

Jameis and Evans are going to eat a lot of cap space when they ultimately get paid what they're worth, and that will make it more difficult to plug holes in free agency, so he needs to keep drafting well to avoid cap casualties.



For some reason I see Jameis taking a more team friendly deal to help the team. He's still gonna get paid, but I can definitely see him doing this.


The NFLPA will require Jameis to get his market value. He can try to help the team as far as structure in some ways, but the value of the deal is going to be in the $25/yr range by the time he re-signs. By then guys like Stafford, Derek Carr, Matt Ryan, and maybe Aaron Rodgers will have new deals in place and the QB market in that range.

And Licht/Glazers will be like "take my money" b/c that is the cost of doing business. We're lucky to have 'that guy' at QB b/c we know what the alternative is.

To MB's point, our drafting becomes increasingly important every year as these young guys start getting re-signed. We won't have the cap to go after bandaids in FA like Ayers, Grimes, etc and it will be incumbent on 1st contract guys to fill weaknesses on the roster.

But this is an issue successful franchises deal with, so I welcome it. It's much better to be re-signing your own draft picks and have cap management issues than spending big in FA every offseason b/c your roster sucks.

We have one the best cap guys in the NFL in Mike Greenberg.
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby DreadNaught » Thu May 18, 2017 9:48 am

Super K wrote:
mdb1958 wrote:

But then it will be. How long do you keep the group together without winning it?


While true...everyone WANTS to be New England or even Pittsburgh..

Decade long run of good/great seasons, multiple SB appearances, multiple SB wins..yadda yadda yadda..

I would be ecstatic if we could put together a 5-7 year run comparable to what GB and Baltimore have done..

Routinely in the playoffs, competitive each and every year, both have won a SB (in their current QBs tenure)...

Yes, the Ravens have tailed off some and GB has put up some ridiculous inseason results..but you catch my drift?...


Get ready then, b/c that is exactly what is going to happen here in Tampa over the next 5+ years..
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Re: Inside Jason Lichts Draft

Postby Doctor » Thu May 18, 2017 10:40 am

Mountaineer Buc wrote:If he continues to draft well, he'll be in the driver's seat when it comes to cap management.

He should be able to cut loose his free agent plugs and re-sign most of his guys.

Jameis and Evans are going to eat a lot of cap space when they ultimately get paid what they're worth, and that will make it more difficult to plug holes in free agency, so he needs to keep drafting well to avoid cap casualties.

I just don't see it.
We're in great cap position and the cap is rising (a lot) every year. Unless you make a series of bad signings or perhaps if you don't renegotiate and actually end up at the final year of those 5 year $100+M deals, you simply don't find yourself in tough spots. Colts signed their expensive QB and WR a couple of years ago and are still more than fine on cap space. Keep and eye on what the Raiders do. Or the Packers, Davante Adams is playing for peanuts and could emerge as a top WR next year and are expected to give Rodgers a raise soon too. Falcons gave Julio and Ryan big time money, and it hasn't slowed them down one bit. They were still able to go out and get Sanu last offseason and give Poe $8M this offseason without a problem. Ryan AND Julio are combine for <$38M of the cap, less than 22%... that's still a lot of cap left for everyone else. This isn't the days of old when your franchise QB could eat up a quarter of your cap by himself.
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