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Where’s the Line Drawn for the Bucs?

Tampa Bay’s GM has it drawn, but where is it?

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Minicamp Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In a recent press conference Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht was asked about the potential of trading down versus taking a player with the fifth overall pick, to which he responded,

“We have a line drawn at a certain number.”

So, the question we have now is: Where is the line?

Really, this depends on valuation of players so I can only answer this question for myself, just like all of you can only answer it for yourselves, while we all spend the next week wondering just where this imaginary line is for the real guys in the room.

I’ll show you mine first, then you can show me yours in the comments.


NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This line is drawn squarely behind two players. If any of them are on the board when pick five comes around, and I’m Jason Licht (which I’m not), then I’m taking one of them.

The names in front of this line are edge rusher Nick Bosa (Ohio State) and defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (Alabama).

We’ve all been discussing these guys thoroughly throughout the off-season, so let’s save the ink for the trade lines, which are a little more detailed.


NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Moving back is always tricky. Of course you have your guy you really want to land in the trade back. Like Licht mentioned, this line is drawn where you feel comfortable moving back while maintaining your ability to grab one of the players you evaluate as being on the right side of the talent gap.

This group starts with LSU linebacker Devin White. So, I’m drawing my first line at the deepest part of the draft I feel like I still have a shot at my future inside linebacker. I’ll call it: The ‘White-Line’.

The New York Giants figure to go quarterback with the sixth pick. Jacksonville might be the shock of the entire draft if they went with one of our players listed above. So we’re probably safe with the first two picks.

At seven, the Lions could certainly go with an EDGE rusher to replace Ezekiel Ansah. However, neither White or Bush will be the target in Detroit.

Buffalo would be wise to give quarterback, Josh Allen some help on offense, but they could also look for a running mate to go with Tre’Davious White. Nine is a little high for any of the corners in this year’s class, but T.J. Hockenson getting past Jacksonville would be an interesting target here. Still, we feel pretty good the Bills are a 50% or less chance of drafting White.

Denver holds the tenth pick, and are a definite threat to take Devin White. In fact, I don’t see White getting past the Broncos which means our ‘White-Line’ is pick nine with the Buffalo Bills.

I’m not necessarily saying I think the Bills would be interested in a trade-up. But they represent the furthest I’d be willing to move back with confidence I could still have a reasonable shot at nabbing Devin White.


NCAA Football: Florida State at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

There are other names I would be happy netting in a trade as well, but getting past the ‘White-Line’ would take some swaying and make a trade beyond that point more expensive for the team trying to move up. Because of this fact, I’m titling this line: ‘The Price-Line’. To get a trade here, the other team is going to have to pay a hefty price to get there.

The prospect group I’m targeting here includes (again, for me) Ed Oliver (Houston, DL), Devin Bush (Michigan, LB), Brian Burns (Florida State, EDGE) and Montez Sweat (Mississippi State). More or less in that order.

After this group, there’s a drop in talent (like Licht mentioned), and given the state of the team I’m just not comfortable going further without confidence we can get one of them. But how far is too far?

Worst case scenario, the Giants, Lions, Bills and Broncos all went defense. Rashan Gary (Michigan, EDGE) is likely to be one of those names meaning two of our names should still be available. I’m thinking Bush and Burns.

Each of the next two picks (Bengals at eleven and the Packers at twelve) could use Bush, leaving just Burns remaining from my target list.

Cincinnati gets first crack at drafting one of our targets, so if they do it’s likely to be Bush, so the question then is: Would Green Bay draft Burns? And the short answer is, yes.

So, this means we can’t let the Packers pick unless they are our trade back partner and they aren’t drafting one of our target players.

Which means my line is being drawn at eleven with the Cincinnati Bengals with a special consideration for the Packers if they’re trading up for T.J. Hockenson (not happening).

Trading back to eleven in this scenario is going to cost the Bengals two day-two picks. A 2019 and 2020 second would be reasonable, but I’m looking for both of Cincinnati’s day-two picks and would be willing to add in a day-three pick swap or two to make it happen.

Again, the price to move past Denver would be high. Moving up to get a quarterback is always high. But if we’re basically forfeiting our ability to get our top interior linebacker, one of our top-two interior defensive linemen, and settling for our third-best edge rusher, then it’s going have to be worth it.

So, would the Bengals be willing to spend what’s needed to make this happen? Maybe. Zac Taylor is a new coach, and teams with new coaches often look for a keystone piece to start off their reign. Getting a new quarterback is always a good idea, especially when the incumbent has played his entire eight-year career under the old guy.

Check out James Yarcho’s part of the conversation, and get the Locked On Bucs reaction to the 2019 schedule release!

Licht has drawn some lines on his draft board. Now, I’ve drawn mine. To recap, my line to stay at five is drawn behind three players, my second line is named after a player, and my final line is an expensive one which would then draw me away from the likelihood of getting my primary target.

Where are your lines?


How many players are under your ‘Picking-Line’?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    (10 votes)
  • 13%
    (39 votes)
  • 38%
    (110 votes)
  • 21%
    (62 votes)
  • 10%
    (31 votes)
  • 11%
    (33 votes)
285 votes total Vote Now