Bucs pick Washington pass-rusher in draft

by Gary Shelton on April 30, 2021

in general

Tryon (9) hopes he can contribute to Bucs.)/Photo courtesy of University of Washington)

Friday, 5 a.m.

Because the NFL draft turns everyone into general managers, perhaps you find yourself a little let down today.

Joe Tryon?


Why not Christian Barmore? Why not Azeez Olujari? Why not Trevon Moehrig? For crying out loud, why not Kyle Trask?

Well, here's why: Jason Licht (and his scouts) said so. Together, they said that Tryon was the better bet.

Are you going to distrust him now?

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Oh, maybe there was a time you would have. But no general manager in Bucs' history has had a run like Licht's, especially in the last 14 months. Frankly, I'd make the argument that Licht has ascended to the best general manager the Bucs have ever had. So if he says that Tryon is a better gamble than Ojulari, or anyone else, for instance, I'm inclined to believe him.

"We took him because obviously, we thought he was a better fit for us," Licht said. "Finding a 6-5, 260-pounder who runs a 4.63 40 and who has solid production -- and we feel he has a chance to be even better. Everyone has opinions based on mocks. We base ours on tape and on our evaluations."

With the Bucs, it's a matter of trust, and a Super Bowl has won over all doubters around here. Licht brought in Tom Brady, and Tristan Wirfs, and Antoine Winfield. He originally drafted Devin White and Vita Vea and Carlton Davis. He obtained Shaq Barrett, and Jason Pierre-Paul and Ndamukong Sah. He kept Lavonte David. So if they can find 18 snaps a game for Tryon, who was well thought of, then bully.

It's odd, because the Bucs have never had a draft that mattered less to the product the team will put on the field in the following fall. Frankly, there were positions (running back, wide receiver) where they don't seem to be any jobs available, certainly not for the 32nd-best athlete available.

“I think he’s going to be a nice piece to have. Any player we picked this year is going to be what you call a luxury. It’s nice to stockpile at outside rushers. He’s big, he’s an athletic player, he plays very hard. If he had played this year, his value would have gone up. We’e actually very excited about him."

Licht said the team didn't talk much about moving up. He said it considered moving back if Tryon was not there.

But the Bucs did such a complete job in free agency, they pretty much had a set roster.

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