Buccaneers: Drafting Kyle Trask from a skeptic’s perspective

Kyle Trask, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Kyle Trask, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Is Kyle Trask a wasted pick or the saving grace for the Buccaneers?

Helmet scouting is one of the most dangerous forms of analysis in sports. To pretend that one player from a Florida school is a better fit for the Buccaneers versus one from a rival is naive, silly, homerish, and not the proper way to go about the evaluation process. None of this is different with Kyle Trask.

The evaluation of a player should always go beyond the school they attended. All Ohio State quarterbacks aren’t busts in the NFL, all Alabama running backs aren’t first-round talents, and rampant support/attacks towards professional athletes based on where they attended college makes absolutely no sense.

In short, Jameis Winston should be a controversial figure in Bucs’ history because of his off-field issues and inconsistency on the field, not because of garnet and gold. Kyle Trask is not a bad quarterback because of orange and blue.

Frankly, before we really dive into this, the Bucs would probably be wise to stop drafting quarterbacks from within the state of Florida. There will never be a quarterback from UF or FSU that has the full support of the franchise. Trask could take over as the starter down the road in a few years and throw for 5,000 yards and zero interceptions, and there would still be fans saying the team needs to make a change because of his UF history.

That’s just college football down here in Florida; it’s different than the vast majority of the country.

All critiques aside, Trask could have a great career in the NFL. He is joining the best offense in the league with a dominant offensive line and an even better receiver corps than he played with in college, so Trask is already set up perfectly on the road to success.

Heck, the kid was likely one game away from winning the Heisman Trophy last season, so there is undoubtedly enough upside to be excited about this selection in the second round. Still, even with the stats, there needs to be some healthy skepticism going into this pick.

Stats and trophies mean next to nothing in the evaluation of a player from the college level to the NFL. If they did, players like Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin, Sam Bradford, and Tim Tebow would’ve experienced massive NFL success. Oh, wait.

In fact, of the last five quarterbacks to win the Heisman that aren’t on rookie contracts, three are backups on different teams, and one started his own football league after flaming out in the NFL. Even in the past 20 years, the only two Heisman winners to find any level of monumental success at the quarterback position in the NFL are Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson, but we will get to that in a moment.

Perhaps this is a bigger mark against Mac Jones than Kyle Trask, but the same critiques in their game remain. When fairly evaluating Jones and Trask in this quarterback class (amongst the ones that actually have a chance to make an impact at the next level), these two fall short in the arm strength and athleticism department, and the common argument used to defend these deficiencies is growing outdated.

“Everyone said the same thing about Tom Brady coming out of college. Look where he’s at now.” Yes, Brady defies logic as one of the least athletic GOATs of any professional sport. Compared to his peers in history, Brady has never looked like Deion Sanders or Lawrence Taylor, yet he has still found the greatest success in the history of the sport. It makes perfect sense to assume that the same applies to Kyle Trask.

Can Kyle Trask succeed with the Buccaneers in the modern NFL?

Unfortunately, the NFL is changing at a rate that could make players like Trask rarer as time goes on. While Trask still has more athleticism than Jones, even if marginally, quarterbacks in the modern era have to be able to move more than ever.

Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are far from dual-threat quarterbacks, but their comfort outside of the pocket stems from their ability to move at an above-average rate. Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, and Philip Rivers lack that ability today, and in the age of pass rushers that run 4.3 40s, this is a massive detriment.

There is a reason why the five best quarterbacks in the NFL today are where they’re at. There is a reason why players like Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, and even Justin Herbert were able to find so much success early on in their careers.

All of these young quarterbacks have big arms and speed outside of the pocket, granted to varying levels, but Trask does not. He may have an advantage in accuracy, but Bucs fans saw first-hand that all of the accuracy on the planet didn’t help Drew Brees in the playoffs.

Quarterbacks today need that higher level of athleticism and the ability to push the ball down the field with high levels of velocity. Trask doesn’t have that now, but it also doesn’t mean that he can’t grow into the role as a starter.

Brees didn’t jump off the page last year, but Buccaneers fans would be more than happy to have a player that could serve at that level. This may be a lofty hope for Trask, but with the tools on the roster around him, it isn’t out of the question.

In the end, any quarterback drafted in this position was going to face an uphill battle. Sure, a quarterback seemed like a great pick here with no pressing needs, but Bruce Arians’ future is tied to this player, which is a shaky support to tie yourself onto.

Arians is likely done when Brady is, which means that Trask won’t even start on this iteration of the team. Arians drafted a quarterback to be the starting man under his successor, but it would be impossible to determine the type of player this coach would want, even if it is Byron Leftwich or Todd Bowles.

If Arians was here long-term, this would seem like a better pick. Trask certainly is a fit for the system on some levels (although it looks like there were riskier picks that could’ve panned out for a bigger biscuit with the 64th selection), but this system could be long gone in four years.

Every critique aside, Trask looks great in #2 in pewter and red, and the kid should get a fair shot getting support from thousands of Gators and Noles fans this preseason as he tries to make a name for himself.

As Buccaneers fans, we can all at least take solace in the fact that not a single one of these draft picks will impact a Super Bowl window that appears to be open for the next two seasons. And who knows, Trask has every tool to prove many people wrong in Tampa Bay, and there are a lot of people hoping that will happen, this writer included.

Buccaneers 2021 NFL Draft: Let’s Tryon this for size!. light. Trending