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So why did the Buccaneers draft Roberto Aguayo?

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Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht has essentially admitted he screwed up when he traded up in the second round of last year’s draft to select kicker Roberto Aguayo. But while it’s admirable that Licht is trying to correct his mistake by signing veteran kicker Nick Folk to compete with Aguayo, the question remains: Why did the Bucs draft Aguayo in the first place?

The common refrain you’ll get when you ask that question is that Aguayo was a great kicker at Florida State. The problem is he wasn’t.

Aguayo got a lot of attention because he was a kicker for one of the best teams in the country, and he was very accurate: He never missed an extra point in his college career, and he’s third in college football history in field goal accuracy. Aguayo’s supporters like to point out he never missed a kick inside 40 yards.

But that doesn’t make a kicker great because making a lot of short kicks isn’t what greatness is about. A great kicker is one who can consistently make kicks from longer distances, and on that score, Aguayo failed. In three years at Florida State, he made just five field goals of 50 yards or longer, the longest of which was 53 yards. That’s really nothing special; Arizona State’s Zane Gonzalez, regarded by many as the best kicker in this year’s draft class, made seven field goals of 50 yards or longer in 2016 alone, the longest of which was 59 yards. No one is expecting Gonzalez to go in the first two rounds of this year’s draft.

And even from 40 to 49 yards, Aguayo wasn’t special. In his final season at Florida State he was just 4-for-8 on kicks of 40 to 49 yards. NFL kickers make field goals in the 40-49 range about 80 percent of the time. What were the Buccaneers thinking trading up to draft a kicker who was 30 percentage points below the NFL average from that range?

Aguayo wasn’t great on kickoffs in 2015, either. His miscues included a short kick that set up the game-sealing touchdown in Florida State’s Peach Bowl loss to Houston, and four kickoffs out of bounds.

Although Aguayo was an All-American in 2013 and 2014, no one who paid attention to college football in 2015 thought Aguayo was the best kicker in the country. On the Associated Press All-America team in 2015, Aguayo didn’t make either the first team, the second team or the third team.

Criticizing the Buccaneers for drafting Aguayo isn’t second-guessing. I tweeted during last year’s draft that Aguayo wasn’t a great kicker and the Buccaneers shouldn’t have drafted him. I was far from alone; the vast majority of draft analysts ripped the Bucs for the pick.

At least Licht has brought in a competent veteran to compete with Aguayo this year. As Licht said, refusing to admit a mistake on a draft pick would be “the bigger mistake.” He’s right about that. Even if it’s still hard to comprehend how he could have made the mistake to draft Aguayo in the first place.

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42 Responses to “So why did the Buccaneers draft Roberto Aguayo?”
  1. nothinbutathang says: Mar 20, 2017 11:33 AM

    Bucs, you should have called the Saints before you traded up to get a kicker , two words for you !
    RUSSELL ERXLEBEN.

    Old timers will know who that is ……..

  2. daysend564 says: Mar 20, 2017 11:33 AM

    He could have went the Matt Millen route. Draft 3 kickers in consecutive years to see if one panned out.

  3. riggo08 says: Mar 20, 2017 11:34 AM

    Justin Tucker, one the best kickers in the NFL, wasn’t drafted he was a free agent brought into Ravens camp to compete. Teams waste picks on kickers above the fifth round….

  4. patsxsaintsfan says: Mar 20, 2017 11:36 AM

    If he turned into Justin tucker you would be saying why don’t more teams draft kickers high.

  5. icebergsimpson says: Mar 20, 2017 11:37 AM

    it’s a win-win. Either Roberto gets his act together or Tampa gets a stable body at kicker.

  6. chipper41 says: Mar 20, 2017 11:39 AM

    The decision was so bad it’s amazing this guy is still calling the shots there. Who’s to say he won’t reach again in the heat of the moment

  7. RandyinRoxbury says: Mar 20, 2017 11:40 AM

    Simple, they wanted Jameis to have an FSU pal to go eat crab legs with.

  8. phaktor333 says: Mar 20, 2017 11:40 AM

    He’s a good kicker…just think, how many Bucs fans did he accurately and consistently kick in the nads last season? I’d say his percentage is right up there with immortals like Scott Sisson.

  9. meetadam says: Mar 20, 2017 11:42 AM

    I actually thought there was going to be an answer on “why” they drafted him. Blackmail, bad info, nepotism… but no, turns out Licht is just an idiot.

  10. joetoronto says: Mar 20, 2017 11:42 AM

    “So why did the Buccaneers draft Roberto Aguayo?”

    Because Dracula himself wasn’t available.

  11. silvernblacksabbath says: Mar 20, 2017 11:43 AM

    They thought they had a Janikowski…. lmao

  12. kemp13 says: Mar 20, 2017 11:45 AM

    That pick was so reminiscent of so many first-time fantasy football players who deraft a kicker high because they earn so many points! Definitley not something you’d expect out of an NFL general manager not named Bruce Allen.

  13. jonathankrobinson424 says: Mar 20, 2017 11:49 AM

    Aguayo is done as a Buc. He’s been under the microscope since they drafted him and he won’t be able to perform THERE anymore. The funny thing is, he would’nt have been scunized so bad if the took him late in the 3rd or 4th. I could see the Bengals, Vikings, Miami, or the Giants trading a late round draft pick for him.

  14. wrlegrand says: Mar 20, 2017 11:51 AM

    I think a large part of the problem was that by him being drafted, he did not have to really “earn” his spot like a lot of kickers do. He went to camp as the guy and I think the results showed that.

    Now he probably won’t even break camp…

  15. baldbuc says: Mar 20, 2017 11:52 AM

    They thought they had a Janikowski…. lmao
    _______________________

    Maybe they do, have you seen Janikowski’s rookie stats?

  16. intrafinesse says: Mar 20, 2017 11:53 AM

    I’m ok with a team drafting a player for a staring spot that doesn’t work out.
    But a 2nd round pick on a kicker?
    This calls into question the judgment and competency of the GM. I consider this a fireable offense as it shows the guy doesn’t really know what he’s doing. That might be excusable if he’s also finding good starters in the 5th round, but he;’s not.

  17. TheDPR says: Mar 20, 2017 11:57 AM

    You almost feel bad for the kid because the expectations are so high for a drafted kicker. His 2nd round paychecks surely make up for it, though. Invest it wisely, Roberto!

  18. stinkymcmulligan says: Mar 20, 2017 11:59 AM

    Aguayo blamed President Trump for all his missed kicks

  19. jgedgar70 says: Mar 20, 2017 11:59 AM

    nothinbutathang says:
    Mar 20, 2017 11:33 AM

    Bucs, you should have called the Saints before you traded up to get a kicker , two words for you !
    RUSSELL ERXLEBEN.

    Old timers will know who that is ……..
    _____
    The Saints punter back in the early ’80s, before they ever had their first winning season. One in a long line of great-named Saints like Jubilee Dunbar, Guido Merckins and Dartanyan Martin (ues, I stole that from NFL Films).

    Licht probably drafted a kicker in the 5th round of his fantasy league as well.

  20. winstonpark says: Mar 20, 2017 12:01 PM

    Licht messed up with that pick, but he’s put together some really good drafts. Jameis Winston, Mike Evans, Kwon Alexander, Vernon Hargreaves, Ali Marpet, and Noah Spence. They’re building serious contender in Tampa.

  21. flipola says: Mar 20, 2017 12:14 PM

    His own GM calling him a mistake should do wonders for his confidence.

  22. realfootballfan says: Mar 20, 2017 12:17 PM

    That’s a good question because even FSU homers would point out that he seemed to catch the yips his last year that he never shook off. As pointed out, he was horrible past 40 yards his last year, and that obviously continued into his rookie year in the league.

  23. dusthtyrhothdes says: Mar 20, 2017 12:26 PM

    Licht is a below average GM and has to try and show how smart he is and he is a numskull, he passed on 2 OL that would have built a wall of protection around jamies for the next 8 years, he drafts a small CB in a division with Julio Jones, Kelvin Benjamin and Michael Thomas, he signs an RB to a huge contract despite everyone in town knew that there were whispers about him having a drug problem, how does the guy running the team not hear that? Gave away 2 all pro OL due to lsitening to dunderbox lovie smith and then the cherry on top is the kicker…koetter is a good coach despite this brainiac running the show

  24. Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Mar 20, 2017 12:31 PM

    What winstonpark said. Licht may have whiffed on that pick, but the rest of his drafting has been pretty darn strong since he’s been here.

    After his first year–admittedly a mess–his free agent signings have been good as well.

  25. nothinbutathang says: Mar 20, 2017 12:34 PM

    jgedgar70 says:
    Mar 20, 2017 11:59 AM
    nothinbutathang says:
    Mar 20, 2017 11:33 AM

    Bucs, you should have called the Saints before you traded up to get a kicker , two words for you !
    RUSSELL ERXLEBEN.

    Old timers will know who that is ……..
    _____
    The Saints punter back in the early ’80s, before they ever had their first winning season. One in a long line of great-named Saints like Jubilee Dunbar, Guido Merckins and Dartanyan Martin (ues, I stole that from NFL Films).

    Licht probably drafted a kicker in the 5th round of his fantasy league as well.
    ________________
    Only listed him as a punter, cause he couldn’t cut is as a kicker, Saints got all wide-eyed, cause they thought the were getting a kicker and a punter all in one. the 67 yarder he made in college gave the Saints a stiffy , and boy, did they get the stiffy .

  26. thefatlazygamer says: Mar 20, 2017 12:49 PM

    Kickers are headcases. They are snowflakes who get shook on the littlest changes. Never waste a high pick on one.

    Look at a guy like Blair Walsh. He was on fire his rookie season. Set a record for consecutive 50+ yarders. Take away Kluwe away from him coupled with some alleged girl trouble and he’s so rattled he needs a psychologist and he cant even make extra points (before the rule change and especially after) at any point in the game consistently.

  27. milkmandanimal says: Mar 20, 2017 1:03 PM

    Because they’re morons, as I say that as a Bucs fan. Of the ten most-accurate kickers in NFL history by FG%, a grand total of two of them were drafted. There is zero evidence drafting a kicker gives you a better chance of getting a good kicker than just doing tryouts for a bunch of UDFAs; just go to Pro Football Reference and look it up.

    It was an utterly, incalculably, mind-bogglingly stupid pick, regardless of how good a kicker he is. Just ridiculous in every sense of the word.

  28. d7890 says: Mar 20, 2017 1:24 PM

    He’d been drafted in the 6/7th or UDFA this wouldn’t be an article.
    Maybe change the title to
    “So why did the Bucs draft Aguayo in the 2nd Round”

  29. edelmanfanclub says: Mar 20, 2017 1:30 PM

    Alot of commenters were praising the move because of how badly the Bucs needed a kicker. Trading up and taking a kicker in the 2nd is just poor value. Kickers can be found in the 5th and later for better value. I can understand taking the best one in the 4th round. Gostkowski was a 4th rd pick, but I do think above the 4th is poor value for a kicker when players are available at ore critical positions.

  30. zenoracledba says: Mar 20, 2017 1:36 PM

    Guess today is a really slow news day. Knocking the Bucs for a poor decision in the 2nd round is accurate, but the reality is the accuracy percentage for quality picks in Round 2 is no better than 50%.

    Short story is Bucs made a bad choice, just like 1/2 the other teams in the league.

    Hackenberg, Ragland, Jaylon Smith were way worse picks , at least Bucs kicker played and actually won some games for them.

    In real news to talk about , here’s well wishes for Dwight Clark and the SF 49er fans that are mourning his announcement of ALS. Here’s hoping for a miracle, and I wonder when the NFL is going to be held accountable for killing people.

  31. govchris says: Mar 20, 2017 2:02 PM

    There was an article last year after the draft that explained why the 2nd round pick for a kicker. The story explained that the GM had worked for NE and Bellicheck asked his staff (I think it was scouting staff) to list the top ten most valuable players on the team. Nobody chose Gostkowski in the top 10 and Bellicheck said Gostkowski should have been considered one of the their top 10 players (at that time anyway).

  32. jdphx says: Mar 20, 2017 2:04 PM

    Struggling franchise in Florida, seeking to attract FSU
    boosters and alums… who are known to spend and travel well.

    Is it THAT hard to figure?

  33. mclennon99 says: Mar 20, 2017 2:05 PM

    Roberto Aguayo is the perfect example of why Buddy Ryan absolutely HATED kickers.

    Aguayo would have been cut after his first miss.

  34. briang123 says: Mar 20, 2017 2:16 PM

    The Raiders drafted Janikowski with a first rounder and he’s been with them for over 15 years and I still think he was drafted too high.

  35. bobthebillsfan says: Mar 20, 2017 2:34 PM

    The answer is simple. The Bucs were rebuilding. Jason Licht thought – the first person to touch the ball is the kicker. Let’s start rebuilding there…..

  36. aquinas181 says: Mar 20, 2017 2:44 PM

    Absolutely right on, as stated by another GM and reported by PFT at draft time last year, it was one of “the dumbest” picks in the history of the draft. Even FSU fans knew that Aguayo, while very accurate in his first year became less so as the pressure mounted.

    Incredibly poor evaluation by Jason Licht. If you rated a GM by their worst move, he would catapult past Matt Millen for title of worst GM ever. Fortunately for him he has some good moves on his resume as well.

  37. Boris Yeltsin says: Mar 20, 2017 3:27 PM

    patsxsaintsfan says:
    Mar 20, 2017 11:36 AM
    If he turned into Justin tucker you would be saying why don’t more teams draft kickers high.

    And if I had wheels I’d be a bicycle.

  38. problem22 says: Mar 20, 2017 4:36 PM

    raiders did this something like this to when they drafted sebastian janikwoski 17 overal in 00’s except was a good pic up but i still think they could’ve waited to get him.

  39. playedthegame32 says: Mar 20, 2017 4:58 PM

    The reality is that had the Bucs had a competent GM, He’d understand the kid should have never been drafted that high. You force unreasonable expectations on the kid that he’s unable to exceed, simple due to where you drafted him. Kicking is a pressure position and you do the kid, nor the organization NO FAVORS by drafting a kid higher than he should be. Licht isn’t well liked around the league and isn’t a good GM either

  40. militantgod says: Mar 20, 2017 5:45 PM

    It sounds like you have an axe to grind with the kid. His first two years at FSU were amazing, but go ahead and skew his stats because he didn’t kick all that great his final year there.

  41. mysterytonite says: Mar 20, 2017 9:41 PM

    Aguayo is done as a Buc. He’s been under the microscope since they drafted him and he won’t be able to perform THERE anymore. The funny thing is, he would’nt have been scunized so bad if the took him late in the 3rd or 4th. I could see the Bengals, Vikings, Miami, or the Giants trading a late round draft pick for him

    Hahaha is this Jason Licht try g to drum up a market for his collossal mistake? The Bucs have two choices here:

    1. Bring Donald Iguabueke out of retirement.

    2. Hire that egg head Martin Gramatica to be the kids kicking coach.

  42. ak185 says: Mar 21, 2017 1:37 PM

    They drafted because they thought he was good. They were wrong. Is there really any question to that…?

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