Things I like about the NFL draft

by Gary Shelton on April 29, 2021

in general

Has Licht become Tampa Bay's best general manager?/CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 4 a.m.

I like talking about the draft more than watching it. I like how every team is shocked, absolutely shocked to find their athlete still on the board. I like how "analysts" who have never talked to a living scout declare themselves to be experts because they can Xerox Mel Kiper's picks.

I like boom more than busts. I like Jason Licht's resume more than Rich McKay's, and a heck of a lot more than Bruce Allen's. I like the local team not drafting in the top 10 for once.

I like bringing back Antonio Brown more than drafting Elijah Moore ... even with the risks involved. It's about this year, when Brown will be the No. 3 receiver and Moore would be No. 5. I would like to know, however, if Tom Brady has a "babysitting" bonus.

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I like trading up more than trading back, especially this year. What good is a bunch of mediocre players on a roster that's set?

I'd like an answer to this: If the Bucs are picking 32nd, why are there about 38 possibilities for who they'll pick?

I like the concept of a third safety over an extra defensive tackle. He'll get more playing time.

I like the idea of a fourth edge rusher over an eighth offensive lineman.

If everyone loves this draft, absolutely loves it, I'd like to have a fistful of tickets for that third preseason game. That's that last time any of them will see significant playing time.

I like an edge rusher, but I'd prefer one who had more sacks than I did last year (which excludes Penn State's Jayson Oweh).

I like keeping Cameron Brate more than cutting him. I like wondering if Tom Brady has given the Bucs the list of players he'd like to pick. I'd like to know what Booker Reese, noted bust, is doing these days.

I'd like to ask that if the Bucs pick a player and declare him No. 1, will Tom Brady gets upset? He's touchy when guys get weird numbers.

I know it's against my Brown-Moore logic, but if Najee Harris or Travis Etienne slips that far, I'd like either over bringing back Leonard Fournette, who has a similar skill set to Ronald Jones II. Sue me. I'm fickle.

If you're weary of picking 32nd, I'd point this out: The Bucs have had 20 years in which they had a top 10 draft pick. Trust me, 32nd is fine when you pointing out your pick while wearing a Super Bowl ring.

When it comes to Miami defensive ends, I like Greg Rousseau over Jaelen Phillips. I like healthy players over ones who have had injuries.

I like Mel Kiper over Todd McShay, but back in the day, I liked Joel Buchsbaum over them both.

I like Warren Sapp's evaluation over Christan Barmore's promise. Sapp is a lot of things, but he's pretty good at spotting a player he likes. I like Zaven Collins over Jamin Davis. I like Kyle Trask over Davis Mills.

In the Biggest Bust Bracket quarterfinals, I'd like Booker Reese over Eric Curry, Roberto Aguayo over Josh Freeman, Dexter Jackson over Keith McCants and Brett Moritz over Charles McRae.

I'd like for Licht to handle my family budget. Just for a while.

I'd like to stop reading about how the Bucs "need long-term security" at running back. People, there isn't room on the roster. Deal with it.

Again, I'd like to shy away from injured players in most cases, but I might make an exception for Alabama's Landon Dickerson.

One more time, I'd like someone to explain trading up for Kenyatta Walker to me.

I'd like to wait until Round Two to draft a quarterback. Whoever the Bucs would take at No. 32 wouldn't be a can't-miss prospect, anyway, and barring injury, he wouldn't see a meaningful snap until Year Three, if then. I'd rather get depth at safety or at the edge.

I'd like to point out, just for thought, that if the Bucs traded their second-round and third-round picks, the value chart says the team could move up to 18th in the second round. Think about it.

Also, according to that trade value chart, the Bucs could only move up to 23rd if they traded their first- and second-round chart. I'd like to offer that the team would really have to have a conviction to do that.

I'd like for Trevon Moerig to be available. See what you can do, would you?

I also like Azeez Ojulari, especially on a triple-word score.

I'd like to remind everyone that, when the NFL went to a salary cap, I was the guy who had to ask Paul Tagliabue if there was going to be a floor so cheap teams like the Bucs gave themselves a chance. My, how times (and payrolls) have changed.

For everyone who dares to compare this quarterback class to the one of 1983, I'd like to remind you of this: Todd Blackledge. Someone in this group is going to be this year's version.

Vinny Testaverde? Trent Dilfer? Josh Freeman? Jameis Winston? I'd like to point out that it's fine sitting out the great quarterback search.

In the end, I'd like to see it finish this way. The Bucs take Ojulari (or Moehrig) and then trade up in the second round and get Trask (or Dickerson). Everyone else can try for the punt return team.

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