Jason Licht compared Graham Barton to three elite Buccaneers players

The Buccaneers rookie has some big shoes to fill, and Jason LIcht is already comparing him to some greats.
Duke v Louisville
Duke v Louisville / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

While the rest of the NFC South seemed to be either scrambling or in shambles on Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got in and out of the first round with exactly what they needed.

Both the Saints and Panthers did alright, but that might be colored by just how hilariously bad the Falcons pick was. Using the No. 8 on Michael Penix Jr., after paying Kirk Cousins $180 million, is the sort of comedy the entire division -- not just Bucs fans -- will be enjoying for the next four years.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay landed Graham Barton at No. 26 which already feels like an absolute steal. He was expected to get picked well before then but an early run on quarterbacks and then edge rushers pushed the board back.

It all worked out in the Bucs' favor, as they drafted a lineman who Baker Mayfield is already a fan of and Jason Licht is comparing to some elite players.

Jason Licht compares Graham Barton to Ryan Jensen and Tristan Wirfs

Speaking with the media after the draft, Jason Licht praised Barton and compared him to three elite offensive linemen he'll be following in the footsteps of.

"He's reminded me, and a lot of us, of Ali [Marpet]. He's got some Ryan Jensen in him, which is a very good thing too, and the personality of Tristan Wirfs," Licht said. "So we've got some pretty good lab work there."

All of those comparisons are great, but the one about Jensen sticks out. Barton played tackle and guard at Duke but he projects to be a center for the Buccaneers, which means he's going to be replacing Jensen in the middle of the line.

Hearing that Licht already sees some of Jensen in Barton is even more reason to love the pick. Everything experts have said about the kid implies that Tampa Bay landed not only one of the best players in the draft but one of the smartest as well.

Pairing Barton and all he brings with Wirfs is a dream scenario for a team that has struggled so mightily over the last two seasons to muster up solid offensive line play. There's still a ton of work that needs to be done, but the Bucs are already much better off than they were on Thursday morning.

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