The Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the butt of plenty of jokes when the team traded into the second round to draft kicker Roberto Aguayo. But Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht thinks the team got a steal by landing a player with a first-round grade late in the second round.
"Not a lot of people will ever admit that a kicker is worth a first-round pick," Licht told Scott Reynolds of Pewter Report. "I'm going to be jumping for joy when a few of the people in your business (the media) realize that some are."
Licht said that the Buccaneers determined Aguayo was worth a first-round selection, so it wasn't an issue for the team to trade away a fourth-round pick to move up. And if any kicker is worth a selection that high, maybe it's the one who never missed an extra point and was one of the most accurate in college football history.
Most would argue that kickers are far more replaceable pieces on a roster than any other position, and a second-round pick is better to be used at a position where starting talent is more difficult to find.
But the problem with Licht's argument that a kicker can be worth a first-round pick is that he refutes himself by saying that value doesn't matter at all. In Licht's eyes, good players are good players, and the Buccaneers will take them regardless of how other teams value a player.
"If we love a player we're going to go get him," Licht told Reynolds. "Don't worry about it. Go get him. Don't worry about how other teams have him ranked, either. If you read that this guy is a sixth-round pick and you take him in the second. It doesn't matter. Get your guy."
That's a nice thought. But the problem with taking would-be sixth-round picks in the second round is that the player can also likely be taken in the fifth round. It can be risky to wait, but playing the poker game that is the NFL Draft is part of being a great general manager.
Aguayo may turn out to be a great kicker for the Buccaneers, but the issue with the selection is and has always been the value that it offers. And value doesn't seem to be a thought that Licht spends much time worrying about.