TAMPA BAY – Jason Licht loves special teams. All you need to do is look at his draft history to get an idea of how much.

Teams typically avoid drafting kickers and punters, but Licht has drafted two kickers during his time as general manager of the Buccaneers and now, he has drafted punter in Jake Camarda in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Even though he’s considered one of the better GMs in the league, many will never forget -nor forgive- when he traded up in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft to select Roberto Aguayo out of Florida State.

That turned out to be one of the worst picks of the draft and one of the worst picks in Buccaneers draft history. Aguayo bombed out before his second year in the league and never caught on elsewhere. His NFL career lasted exactly one year.

Licht drafted Matt Gay in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft and Gay didn’t make it to his second season in Tampa Bay, either. Granted, Gay has since developed into one of the league’s top kickers and he was an integral piece of the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl run; but, he was still bad enough in 2019 to where the Buccaneers felt like they had to move on.

Now, it’s Camarda, the 133rd overall pick in the fourth round of the draft, who Licht plucked off the board. While it can certainly be argued that current starter Bradley Pinion has not been good in an overall sense, the Buccaneers had so many more important needs to address with that pick. And with no more picks until No. 248, this was their last chance to bolster their offensive/defensive roster.

Take cornerback, for instance. The only player who will be under contract in 2023 is Carlton Davis III. That means five out of the six corners on the current roster, including starters Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean, are set to become free agents next March.

To add on to that, there is no guarantee the Buccaneers will want to bring SMB or Dean back after 2022. The jury is still out on both players (with Dean having more leeway than SMB) and if one or both have a down year in 2022, who’s to say the Buccaneers bring them back?

And we can’t forget about the litany of injuries at the cornerback position in 2021. All three starters missed time at one point and even depth players such as Dee Delaney, Richard Sherman, and Rashard Robinson missed time.

It’s easy to see why adding another cornerback to the mix was a bigger priority than drafting a punter.

Cornerback isn’t the only position in need of help, either. Defensive line and inside linebacker were in need and hell, the Buccaneers could’ve even taken another tight end in this draft before taking a punter made sense.

Pinion has not been good throughout his three years in Tampa Bay, but he handles kickoffs, punts, and he holds during field goal attempts. He also costs just $2.9 million in 2022, the Buccaneers aren’t in cap trouble, and it’s the last year of his deal. Bolstering the punter position with a fourth-round pick instead of bolstering a position that factors into wins and losses on a much higher level is simply a bad decision, at the end of the day.

The overall decision reflects a bad process. Hopefully the results work out, but even if they do, the pick will remain questionable, at best.

Featured image via Kirby Lee-USA Today Sports