Buccaneers: The Kyle Trask archetype still works in 2021
By Rob Leeds
The Buccaneers have a viable future quarterback in Kyle Trask.
It’s hard to look past the current era of the Buccaneers, specifically with Tom Brady under center, but the selection of Kyle Trask in the 2021 NFL Draft is certainly a cause to look ahead. Tampa took a chance on Trask, but this will look like a great pick down the road if he works out.
Trask is a polarizing prospect primarily due to two reasons; his alma mater and his college success.
There was no way for the Bucs to make the whole fanbase happy by drafting a quarterback from the state of Florida. College football down here is a beast of its own, and rivalries go so deep that a player is forever seen as a rival, even once they have graduated and made it to a professional team.
The Florida fans seemed extra vocal when FSU alumni Jameis Winston slipped up, much like how FSU fans voiced their concerns when the Buccaneers took Trask. The FSU-UF rivalry is the biggest in the state, so it makes sense that this will trickle into the professional level, but fans need to put their college allegiances aside before they evaluate a player.
As for his play in college, Trask was one of the best in the country last season, ending the year as a Heisman finalist.
“No quarterback that finishes so high in the Heisman voting could be a bad fit in the NFL,” Trask’s supporters argue. On paper, there should be some truth to this, but the NFL doesn’t work that way, and there are some legitimate concerns about Trask’s game.
In the modern NFL, success comes easiest to quarterbacks that have a big arm and some mobility. Arm strength and mobility, like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Aaron Rodgers, come in handy in a league that grows more athletic by the day, but there are some outliers.
Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady showed an arm that looked as strong as ever in 2021, but his athleticism compared to the other top quarterbacks was laughable. Drew Brees had neither a massive arm nor great athleticism, yet he was likely two great defensive plays away from leading his team to the NFC Championship.
Brees alone proves that there is still a place in the NFL for a player like Trask, but the Bucs’ newest quarterback needs to make his strengths even stronger.
Trask doesn’t have a cannon and isn’t the shiftiest guy, but his arm is already on par with Drew Brees’ in 2021, and his athleticism is much higher than the constantly-injured Brees.
The area the Brees set himself apart in was with his accuracy. In the history of the NFL, Brees will go down as the most accurate to do it over a long period of time in an era that favored the pass, and Trask has to emulate this success in the modern NFL.
“Replicating Drew Brees’ success” may seem preposterous, but that is proving to be one of the only ways for semi-athletic quarterbacks to win in the NFL. Trask has his work cut out for him, but even as the NFL evolves and starts to favor guys like Lamar Jackson, there is no replacement for accuracy, and Trask has plenty of it.
Kyle Trask has been compared to former Buccaneer great Brad Johnson in his style of play, which should tell you everything you need to know. Johnson never had the biggest arm, and he didn’t take many chances with big-armed high velocity throws down the field, but he was able to lead his team to a Super Bowl win.
Trask’s final season at Florida was marked by a 68.9% completion rating on 437 throws, which shows that he has the arm and the stamina to maintain a highly accurate pace down the stretch. If he can translate this level of success to the NFL level and rely on his even better group of receivers, Trask has every tool possible to be a highly successful NFL quarterback.
The cards may look stacked against him, but Kyle Trask has the best situation of any rookie quarterback in the league right now, and the proper development could make him a runaway favorite to follow up Tom Brady as the next face of the franchise.
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