Did the Bucs draft someday’s quarterback?

by Gary Shelton on May 1, 2021

in general

Trask hopes to learn from Brady./COURTESY OF FLORIDA ATHLETICS

Saturday, 4 a.m.

If Tom Brady ever does retire, and if it happens before Kyle Trask gets old himself, the Tampa Bay Bucs have a possible replacement.

The Bucs, who entered this NFL draft thinking only about depth, made their team picture look a little better Friday. It's still too early to say if either Trask or third-round tackle Robert Hainsey of Notre Dame will even see the field next season, but conceivably, the depth is better.

Trask, a Heisman finalist for the Florida Gators last season, will back up Brady. Hainsey will attempt to swing between tackle and guard.

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"In roday’s day, everyone transfers," said Bucs' coach Bruce Arians. "Things don’t go right, you transfer. He hung in there and fought it out. He’s accurate, he's smart, he's tough, he knows how to move inside the pocket. We don’t draft guys to run, we draft them to throw and he’s accurate as hell. People want to compare people. To me, he’s a lot like Brad Johnson. He was pretty damn good."

Ah, but is his arm strong enough?

Supposedly, that was one of the reasons that separated him from the five first-rounders. But Trask threw 69 touchdown passes for Florida against just 15 interceptions. "I'm confident I can play on any stage," Trask said.

"I think that I’ve showed on film that I can make every throw on the field," Trask said. "I don’t think arm strength is necessarily a huge weakness of mine, but of course I’m always looking to get better. I’m always trying to get bigger, faster, stronger, but I think I have plenty of arm strength to make all the throws there are to make in the NFL.”

Said Arians: "He has more than enough (arm). He's throws dimes down the saline. He can make every throw he wants. We’re really excited about having him."

Arians said the Bucs talked about taking Trask in the first round.

"There’s a lot to like about him," said general manager Jason Licht. "He’s a big kid. Tough, smart, a great teammate, a great leader, plenty of arm talent, touch, great proecessor. I love his story of perseverance. I looking forward to having him in the building. This is a great place for a quarterback to come and be groomed. You’re playing with the G.O.A.T and a great coaching staff."

Trask said he was looking forward to learning from Brady.

"I’m definitely looking forward to it. He was one of my favorite quarterbacks growing up, so to have that opportunity to learn that knowledge from one of the greats is a great opportunity for me. I can’t wait to get this ball rolling for sure.” 

Perhaps sitting a while will help Trask. Jameis Winston started in his first game, and his career here was not a success. Vinny Testaverde started in Week Two. That didn't work out. Trent Dilfer didn't start until week seven. Josh Freeman didn't start until week eight.

So maybe grooming a passer slowly will work out.

Trask said one of his strengths was making decisions and getting the ball out of his hands.

"[I] have that decisiveness to get the ball out of [my] hands and know what to do, and the ability to read defenses," Trask said. "But overall, I think all those things that you listed just come from preparation. I think that is one thing that really helped me excel at the college level is the amount of time and effort I put into my preparation. Whenever I’m out there on Saturdays I was able to know exactly what to do with the ball.”

All 34 of Hainsey's starts in college were at right tackle, but during the Senior Bowl week, he also played guard and tackle well enough to impress the Bucs' coaches that he can be a "four-position" player. That is, every spot on the line but left tackle.

The Bucs, said Arians, will look for speed in today's third day of the draft.

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