Bucs head coach Lovie Smith isn't about to tip his hand on next week's NFL Draft, but when it comes to grading players, he can be easy to read.
"When we watch offensive lineman he's like this,” GM Jason Licht says, leaning back in his chair, looking uninterested. “When we watch defensive players, he's like this! [jumping forward and laughing]."
Mini-camp has given Smith time to see the talent he already has. Filling holes with the draft isn't necessarily the Bucs’ plan. Smith and GM Jason Licht will be in agreement when it comes to making their pick: take the best on the board, regardless of the team's need.
"Our team’s needs in September are going to be totally different than what the team’s needs are right now,” Licht said. “So the player that you take, you may not have a need for him now. [Then] lot of times you are thankful you have him when the season starts."
The next time Lovie Smith and Jason Licht step up to the podium will be right after they make their first round selection. How they got to making that pick will be the result of hours of evaluation. Right now, the Bucs Draft Board is set, but it's not set in stone.
"It has been documented, and we think that's the case that there's a lot of good players a little bit further down in the Draft. But at that 7th spot though, we feel we're going to get a pretty good player," Smith said.
The Bucs will have a lot of options on Draft Day. With the amount of quality players available this year, the Bucs are in a good position to improve their ball club.
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