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Bucs’ general manager Jason Licht prepares for ninth pick in draft

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Greedy man, Jason Licht. Greedy team.

One year after hitting with four starters in the NFL draft, Licht is aiming for more in the upcoming (starting April 28) NFL draft.

“I want to do better than we did last year,” said Licht, the Tampa Bay Bucs’ general manager. “So does my staff. Four starters was pretty good. But we strive every year to do better than we did the year before.”

Licht met with the media Thursday to discuss the Bucs’ No. 9 draft pick and to talk about the possibilities of moving. After all, the Titans traded away their No. 1 pick to the Rams for a bevy of future draft picks.

That move could work out for the Bucs, since the Rams are supposed to take an offensive player where the Titans might not have.

“It is what it is,” Licht says. “You have to work around it. There’s lot of good players in this draft. We have to prepare to take a player there. We have to prepare to move back. To prepare for situations where we’re enticed to move up.

“This is a very good draft the more we dig into it. It’s not very deep at a lot of positions. There are a lot of players to be picked.”

Licht didn’t give many hints into his team’s draft plans. He did offer these, however.

On character: “We’re not going to drop a guy because he has 10 jaywalking tickets. Difference between bad guy and immature guy.”

On Vernon Hargreaves’ height: “I like good football players. I like strong players. I like playmakers. No, I’m not concerned.”

On defensive players: “We’ve spent a lot of time on defensive players. That doesn’t mean we’re going to pick a defensive player. We have several needs on this team.”

On busts: “Ninety percent of the time, in my opinion, a guy busts because what’s above the neck.”

On new defensive coordinator Mike Smith and whether he prefers a defensive player: “With any coach, there are different modifications.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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