The Buccaneers trade up in the 2021 NFL Draft
Buccaneers get: Cardinals 2021 second-round pick
Cardinals get: Cameron Brate, Buccaneers 2021 third-round pick, Buccaneers 2021 fourth-round pick
Trade analysis: The Bucs can’t afford to pay Brate to be the third tight end on the roster any longer. The price is too high for a player that only sees the field if an injury has occurred. O.J. Howard could get injured, but the Buccaneers need to spend their money in better areas.
As for the picks, the Bucs get to keep their second-round pick, and losing a third and a fourth does little to hurt them. They traded their fourth-round pick last year as well, and the third-round pick had 100 rushing yards. Try harder to say this trade is “mortgaging the future” when those picks were useless last season.
On the Cardinals’ end, they aren’t just a second-round pick away from competing, and they get to add yet another sure-handed weapon to the fastest-growing offense in the NFL with the picks to add depth on the defensive side of the ball as needed.
Whether people see it yet or not, Kellen Mond will be a hot commodity on draft night. After the initial run on quarterbacks subsides after the top five, Mond is the clear next best option, and the Buccaneers have no way to ignore a growing need.
Tom Brady won’t be able to play at his current level forever. An end is on the very near horizon, and while Bruce Arians is focused on winning now, Jason Licht has a job that will extend well after the current Super Bowl window closes. Given the lack of need across the entire roster, Licht could easily sit Arians down and tell him that if every rookie will ride the bench anyway, one could be trying to pick up on the traits that made Brady great.
Mond has the size, athleticism, and arm to be a great NFL quarterback, it just boils down to putting it all together when the time comes. With two seasons to learn behind Brady sparingly and all of the athletic traits, the Bucs could see this as their chance to ‘steal’ a Dak Prescott-esque quarterback outside of the top group.