The Tampa Bay Bucs plan for life after Tom Brady

They could have done a lot worse. They could have traded up to draft a kicker.

click to enlarge The Tampa Bay Bucs plan for life after Tom Brady
Photo via Tori Richman/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I’ve had a couple days to deal with the Bucs’ second round pick. I slept on it. And I’ve come around to the Bucs drafting QB Kyle Trask out of the University of Florida with the 64th pick of the draft.

Would I have loved for the Bucs to draft a linebacker, or an interior defensive lineman to become the eventual replacements for Lavonte David or Ndamokung Suh? Sure, but who am I to question General Manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians? They're proven to be pretty damn good at their jobs, and if they think Kyle Trask could be the future at the quarterback position, as a freelance sports writer I should probably just shut up and listen. 

The Bucs could have done what I think would have been smart, and sit back and wait until the fifth, sixth or seventh rounds to draft a project QB to sit behind the GOAT for a couple years, but it was incredibly unlikely that Trask was going to last through even the third round, much less all the way until the fourth. 

So, again, as Bucs fans we should learn to trust that Licht and Arians know what they’re doing. I mean, sure, Licht did draft Jameis Winston and Vernon Hargraves in the first round and traded up to draft Roberto Aguayo, but he has also hit on a lot more picks than he’s missed.

Besides, comparing this Trask pick to Winston is just lazy. Winston was selected first overall, Trask was picked 64th. Winston was immediately thrown to the wolves on an awful team, Trask is going to sit and learn from the GOAT while being surrounded by a Super Bow-winning team. These are very different situations, and Trask will hopefully turn out a little better than Winston did. 

As for the rest of the draft, the Bucs filled more roster holes, drafting offensive lineman Robert Hainsey out of Notre Dame in the third round. The guy seems to be a question mark as far as what position he’s going to stick with at the NFL level, but maybe that’s a good thing. The Bucs need some versatile offensive lineman on the bench, and they have some really established veterans that Hainsey can certainly learn from. 

Now for one of my favorite picks of the draft, wide receiver Jaelon Darden out of North Texas. The 5-foot 8-inch former high school quarterback was second in the FBS for receiving touchdowns and third in receiving yards per game in 2020, good enough to be named to the AP second All-American team. Now, those numbers are pretty ridiculous for a guy who went in the fourth round, but Darden’s main knocks are his size and his lack of competition. 

Conference USA isn’t exactly a football powerhouse, and while his blazing speed allowed him to rack up some crazy numbers, he might struggle in the NFL. 

But that’s why he is the perfect fourth round pick. He can contribute on special teams as a punt returner, and maybe the Bucs line him up for some gadget plays on jet sweeps or screens. On the off chance that he continues his ridiculous production that he put up in college, the Bucs can brag about how they hit a home run with a fourth round pick. If not, it’s just a fourth round pick. No one’s getting fired over a fourth round pick. 

In the fifth round, at pick no. 176, the Bucs went with a linebacker/special teams pick in K.J. Britt out of Auburn. While Britt is unlikely to see a lot of playing time at the linebacker position, he can sit the bench and learn from some great veteran guys in Lavonte David and Kevin Minter. David can teach him a lot about being a great linebacker in the NFL, while Minter can be a phenomenal special teams mentor and help Britt learn the subtle yet important techniques that come with being a special teams guy. 

The Bucs finished out the draft in the seventh round by drafting corner Chris Wilcox out of BYU and linebacker Grant Staurd out of Houston. Both are expected to mostly play a role on special teams, with Staurd having the ability to play both linebacker and safety, a popular hybrid type of player that seems to be growing in popularity every year in the draft. 

Overall, not a bad couple of days for the Bucs. They could have done a lot worse. They could have traded up to draft a kicker. 


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