Honest thoughts on Buccaneers QB Kyle Trask from FSU alumnus

Kyle Trask, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Trask, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports /

What do the Buccaneers really have in Kyle Trask?

This conversation has been coming for a while now. For the better part of the last year, the Buccaneers taking Kyle Trask has been one of the larger conversations surrounding the franchise.

Is Trask the future after Brady? Did the Bucs make the right decision?

This site took a clear stance on the matter: I didn’t like it. In the dozen or so articles that have followed that day, one comment pops up above all others; “you’re just an FSU fan! Your takes on a Gators quarterback will never be fair.”

Well then, let’s dive right in.

Yes, I attended FSU. The horror. I wasn’t always a Nole, though. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school, on the day before the decision was due, that I chose to go to school in Tallahassee with my best friend after a decade of both of us pulling for guys like Tim Tebow on the other side of the rivalry.

I have pulled against the Gators ever since that day, but rooting against the Gators stops outside the confines of college sports. My NFL fandom has always been separate from the one that I wear on Saturdays. And why wouldn’t I? If I only wanted Seminoles on the Bucs, my college fandom would make my Sundays much worse, especially during the past few years where FSU has been downright terrible.

Once a guy joins my NFL team, all I want for them is success. That is everything that I want for Kyle Trask. He plays for my Bucs now, and wanting him to fail will only ruin my time as a fan of NFL football. But pulling for someone does not mean that I can’t doubt them.

Not liking the Trask pick never had anything to do with the helmet he wore in college. It has everything to do with the tape.

This video has been making its rounds on Twitter over the past week from various accounts as fans (rightfully) try to warm on the idea of Trask taking over as the starter for the Bucs. These highlights have some incredible moments that should excite people, but there are also some moments of concern.

The biggest weakness that stand out in this video are Trask’s athleticism and his arm. The tape shows Trask making a few plays with his legs, but he was easily the sixth-least athletic quarterback taken in the first two rounds of the draft last season.

Kent Lee Platte has an extremely efficient model that explains this lack of athleticism relative to Trask’s counterparts currently and throughout history. A score of 5.93 (seen below) at a position that is asking its players to do more every year is somewhat concerning, but guys that don’t have top-end athleticism have succeeded at the position before.

Tom Brady is a good example; although using the best player in the history of the sport is a tall comparison to make, but it is still relevant in some ways. Brady wasn’t an athletic stud, yet here we are. If you can’t make plays with your lower body, Brady has shown us that you have to make plays with your upper body.

As for the arm talent, Trask’s tape brings up several things. First, Kyle Pitts may be the best college football player of all time. Second, the zip on the ball that you see with other top-tier quarterbacks just isn’t there.

Trask completes deep balls and a few impressive throws in the end zone, but some of these throws will never fly in the NFL. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are great, but expecting them to make plays like Pitts did against NFL defensive backs is a tall order.

Several passes also go to wide-open receivers, which again speaks to the talent of that pass-catching corps. This also can’t be a knock against Trask due to the fact that all he could do was hit the open receivers, but using passes like that as a means to justify a selection doesn’t do what some think it does.

Again, these are my personal takeaways from the tape. They are not the end-all. The numbers also don’t do much for me, and they really shouldn’t for anyone else. They were absolutely impressive, but stats in college mean little about how a guy will play in the NFL.

Heisman votes and incredible stats don’t matter when guys that win the Heisman or place in the voting and struggle in the NFL all the time. The stats and the awards don’t matter; the NFL-ready traits that you show off en route to those accomplishments is what matters. Thats why Heisman finalists like A.J. McCarron are backups, and guys like Josh Allen are in contention for being the best player in the sport.

As for the good, this past season with Dan Mullen showed that Trask was almost single-handedly keeping his coach in college football.

Seriously, what the Hell happened to Mullen? The fact that Trask was able to keep that team in contention while Mullen remained a terrible recruiter is one of the most impressive achievements of that year.

I also love Trask’s work ethic. Anyone who hears Trask’s story knows that he will leave everything on the field in practice or games. That is absolutely the personality to succeed in the NFL, and the Bucs are going to need something like that in a world without Tom Brady.

Trask’s mechanics are good, he is accurate, and he is comfortable in the pocket. He absolutely showed the talent in college to do everything Brady did during some of his more conservative outings.

These traits are great, but I’m not sure that a pocket passes with subpar athleticism and a weaker arm than the top-12 at the position is the direction the league is going with quarterbacks. Traits are big. Not everything, but athletic with a big arm seems to be more the style with this league. The good news for Bucs fans and Gator fans is that Anthony Richardson does check both of those boxes, and he interests me a lot for down the road.

The Buccaneers have an obvious decision to make on Trask

Regardless of my own doubts, Kyle Trask absolutely should start for the Buccaneers. This season is likely a wash either way, and limping to the top of the NFC South with Blaine Gabbert or another stopgap free agent is a waste.

The Bucs spent the pick on Trask, and letting him play is the only way for the franchise to grow. Either Trask succeeds and the team has a young quarterback on a cheap deal to build around, or he doesn’t, and the Bucs know they can start looking for another option.

One way or another, my doubt for Trask does not outweigh my desire to see him win. The prospect of being right in a situation like this is far less desirable than having a great young quarterback that I cheer for every week.

I will be cheering for Kyle Trask this fall. There would be nothing better than having him shut all of the doubters up, myself included.

We are all connected as Buccaneers fans, and this season should be very interesting in one way or the other. Hopefully, it is fun in the way with wins, but learning what we have would be nice in its own right.

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