Buccaneers GM Jason Licht and head coach Todd Bowles talk about their draft choices thus far.

Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht and head coach Todd Bowles had plenty to say about their busy Friday night in Las Vegas starting with Light addressing the media.

(On trading out of the first round)

“It was similar to when we traded back in the past when we took Vita [Vea]. I know we didn’t trade out of the first [round] and into the second, but similar. Went through a lot of scenarios going into this – how many guys needed to be there and who they had to be and that’s the only time we would do it. We matched a scenario there where we had five guys, I think it was. One of them was left, so we got lucky in that regard and we’re super excited that it was Logan [Hall].”

(On what he likes about DL Logan Hall)

“Well first of all, his size. He’s a big guy and has a great frame when he walks in the door. He doesn’t look like he’s 282 pounds, he looks like he could easily be a lot bigger. I’m not saying we’re trying to make him bigger. But, he’s a very athletic guy with a big upside. He’s got great feet, he worked out very well, he’s got some natural pass-rush ability – which we really like – he’s young, he’s going to get better and better. We just see that he’s got a really, really high ceiling.”

(On OL Luke Goedeke)

“Well, he’s a character now. He’s all football. I think his hobbies are weightlifting, and it stops there. Maybe driving tractors. All players are different, but he’s got a lot of similarities to when we took Alex Cappa. Alex Cappa came from a small school – I wouldn’t call Central Michigan a very small school. But, just very tough. He’s a very good athlete, he’s all business, [and] a very smart player. [He’s] got a big upside. We’re going to put him in there at guard and let him compete there. But, he can also play right tackle. He’s all about football, and when you have smart guys that are just as passionate as he is – all of our picks that we had today are like that – you’ve got a really good chance to hit on a good player.”

(On his track record drafting offensive linemen)

“Well, it takes a village here – we’ve got a lot of great people that are involved in this. So, I’m certainly not going to take all the credit. But, we have great coaches and a great staff. I’ve talked about my staff over and over and over, but I think we’ve identified the traits of what we’re looking for in an offensive lineman. So far, we’ve been very successful. Smart, loves football, tough, obviously have to have athleticism and traits as a football player, too. But, I just think we’ve got the right kind of guys that work together, jell together in that unit, which is very important.”

(On the pass-catching abilities of RB Rachaad White)

“Well, that was a big reason that we liked him and took him where we did. He’s been very involved in that offense in the passing game. He’s got great hands – it’s very important to him to be involved in the offense and in the passing game. He has a lot of pride in that. There’s a lot of backs that are two-down backs. When you have a three-down back, you put him up a little higher on the board for us, especially in our offense. He’s got a chance to be a big asset for us in that regard.”

(On what his day was like and how much consideration the team gave to trading the No. 33 overall selection)

“Well, our Chef Tracie [Hartman] put together a great buffet, so that’s how the day started. We had a lot of calls. We had a lot of people wanting to come up. It had to be right. With the limited number of defensive linemen in this year’s draft, I thought there was going to be potential to be a run because that’s a premium position, so I didn’t want to go too far back. We didn’t have a lot of action moving back two, three or four spots – even that would have made me a little bit nervous. We did have a lot of calls. I think Greg [Auman] tweeted it out – that only two trades out of [pick] 33 in the last 20 years, so [there are] not as many trades as you would think. That shocked me when I saw that too. We had a lot of calls, but really only a couple of offers.”

(On having more position flexibility in terms of who to select with the team’s third-round pick)

“Well truly, this one we went with the best player on the board. I think when you get into the third round – and a lot of times in the second round too – we went with the best player. The first round for that matter, as well. In this one, it truly was the best player.”

(On RB Rachaad White’s pass-blocking abilities and if he saw White’s willingness to pass block in his tape)

“Yeah, 100 percent. A lot of these backs – I would say most of them in college – you can pick them apart for their pass-protection skills. It’s kind of a lost art. As long as they’re willing, as long as they’re smart, as long as they want to do it you’ve got a chance to make them better and work on their weaknesses in that regard in this level. We saw that with him. We saw the passion. This guy is a really driven guy with a chip on his shoulder. When you have guys like that, you’ve got a chance.”

(On if White’s style of running is similar to RB Le’Veon Bell)

“Well he hasn’t put on a uniform yet, or even practiced in the NFL yet, so I don’t want to compare him to Le’Veon, but I see what you are saying there just in the style. He is very smooth. He is more of a slasher and more of an outside runner. He can still run between the tackles, but he’s got great vision and great patience. He really sets up his blocks well and, once again, he’s very good in the passing game.”

(On DL Logan Hall’s versatility and where he thinks he is at his best)

“Well with Logan, we think he can play the five, the four and the three technique. We think that he rushes very well inside and that’s what probably piqued our interest the most – his value in the passing game as a three technique. He’s got a lot of natural ability. He’s got a lot of room for improvement just like all of these guys, but I would say his rushing skills from the inside is what we like the most.”

(On if the addition of Hall ‘shuts the door’ on the team bringing back DL Ndamukong Suh)

“No, we’re not shutting the door on that. There are a lot of injuries that happen throughout the year and we’re not putting all of our stock in the guys we have right now, so I wouldn’t shut the door.”

(On how satisfied he is with his team’s selections on the second day of the NFL Draft)

“I feel like a broken record. I think every year I stand up here and say, ‘You’ll never hear a GM say I think we had a terrible night.’ But we all feel very, very good. I feel like cracking a beer, so that’s a good sign.”

(On how today set up the Buccaneers for the final day of the draft)

“I’m excited that we have the first overall pick again tomorrow. That opens up opportunities for possibly trades and things like that. I’m not saying we will for sure, but I know that we can regroup here and we can take the best player on the board.”

(On if Tampa Bay not selecting a tight end through the first three rounds of the draft suggests that there is confidence that TE Rob Gronkowski will be returning to the Buccaneers for the 2022 NFL season)

“I’m still giving him that time. We still talk. I think it didn’t matter if we drafted two tight ends. It wouldn’t matter. I think Rob welcomes that – the more the merrier for him. So that doesn’t show our hand on or foretell what’s going to happen in the future.”

(On if he foresees RB Rachaad White as a special teams contributor)

“We do. We talked about that a lot when we talked with him at the Combine and here. He is willing to roll up his sleeves and do whatever he can. He walked around our building here – when we had him on a [draft prospect] visit – holding a football. I said, ‘Why do you hold that football?’ He said, ‘It’s just my comfort level. I just like to have a football with me.’ It’s like the movie, ‘The Program.’ He wants to do anything he can to help the team. That’s one of the things we loved about him.” 


(On selecting DL Logan Hall with the 33rd overall pick)

“Very excited to get him at 33. He’s one of the guys we targeted at 27. Explosive off the football – very good three-technique. Long frame, long arms. Very strong. Probably going to even grow more. He’s 285 [pounds] now, next year he’ll be at least 295 [or] 300. I love the way he plays game – gets after it. He makes a bunch of plays, but when the ball is away from him, he chases the football. Everything we want in a Buc.”

(On being tempted to trade away 33rd overall selection)

“We had a few players at 27 that we targeted. Moving back to 33, which was the first one today, we had one guy left there. The other ones went off the board, so it would not have been smart to trade back down an lose the guy we wanted.”

(On being influenced by LB Grant Stuard to select Hall)

“No, he hadn’t said anything. He talked good about him during the week. But we did our own homework, and the film speaks for itself with this guy. Once you see him on tape, he jumps out at you.”

(On Hall’s length and his ability to rush inside)

“He’s 6’ 6’’, so that helps him a lot. He’s got a strong lower body. The biggest thing is he’s a good athlete. He ran hurdles in high school, he grew into his body, and he uses it to his advantage. He’s very elusive in there, he’s very strong in there, and he’s very deceptive in there. Everything that we like about him.”

(On his first interactions and meeting with Hall)
“I met with him at the combine, and I met with him again on a draft visit. We got along really well, got to know him pretty well. Got to see him pretty good, understand how he thinks and what he likes. He fits our [defensive] line room really well and he’s one of those guys that I think is going to just get better and better.”

(On Hall playing different positions on the defensive line)

“He’s going to do quite a few things, but his primary position will be the three-technique. But once you get into game-planning and everything, you’ll see him in different places.”

(On if there is a current Buccaneers defensive lineman that reminds him the most of Hall)

“Just in height, height-wise, he’s like Will [Gholston]. I think he’s a tad better athlete, taking nothing away from Will. He’s a little quicker that way. We don’t have that body type on our roster at this point.”

(On the impact of selecting Hall in attempting to re-sign DL Ndamukong Suh)

“I don’t think it will have any. We need [defensive] linemen. We like depth. We play a lot of people down there and platoon a lot of people. So, it has no bearing on the other guys.”

(On possibility of Ndamukong Suh mentoring Hall)

“Well, he’s not on our team as of right now, I can’t really say what it would be like to have him. I think the other guys in the room will manage him just well. If Suh were to come back, I’m sure he’d fit in great, too. Right now, it’s just the guys on the team that he’s going to be mentored by. That’s good enough.”

(On his first draft night experience as head coach of Buccaneers)

“Considering we didn’t pick [last night], it was pretty boring. But, it was good to be on the same page as everybody. Obviously, the scouting staff and [general manager] Jason [Licht] do a great job. Having Bruce [Arians] in there, the Glazer family in there, and everybody understanding what was going on at the same time. Being on one accord was great.”

(On why it was important to pick up extra pick in the trade of the 27th overall selection)

“Because we didn’t have a [fifth] or a [sixth-round pick]. Obviously, there are some needs that we need later on down the line that we’re going to address. So, it was important for us to be in position to try and get those type of guys.”

(On selecting Hall over University of Georgia DL Devonte Wyatt)

“Like I said, we had four or five guys that we liked at 27 and they were pretty even. When you have guys like that that are pretty even, and somebody wants to come up, you have to be sure that you’re going to come away with one of them. You don’t want to trade back to the 40th pick or the 45th pick and not be able to get anybody. You felt good about all four or five guys, it wasn’t just Devonte [Wyatt]. There were quite a few guys there that we liked. We were confident that we could get one on the second day, which we did. We got some picks in the process, so it was well worth it.”