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Licht and the Bucs would select Jameis Winston, who went on to compile one of the best seasons by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. The player Licht and the Bucs selected second, Donovan Smith, started every game protecting Winston’s blind side at left tackle. Licht has plenty of reasons to feel happy about that draft class, which also included starters Ali Marpet and Kwon Alexander, who the Bucs selected in the second and fourth rounds, respectively.
This year, he has a bit of a different role.
“I’ve been able to spend a lot more time watching players, different players, this time of year than I was last year,” Licht said. “So that’s good. Once again, I have a great staff. They’ll have all that covered and will recommend to me the players that we should draft but I’ve been able to watch and get ahead of the game a little more instead of focusing on two players. I can focus on many, many more."
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Licht will be without Jon Robinson, who served as the Bucs’ Director of Player Personnel during his first two seasons in Tampa Bay. This offseason, Robinson was hired to be the Titans’ GM. With Robinson gone, the Bucs added John Spytek to fill that role. Spytek was with the Broncos in 2015.
Workouts will begin at the Combine on Friday and will carry on until Monday. Running backs, offensive linemen and special teams players will begin their combines on Wednesday with media interviews, medical exams and measurements.