We’ve barely had any time to digest the latest draft class for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but an early NFL Mock Draft looking ahead to 2024 has the team taking a Top 5 QB.
It’s never too early to start looking ahead.
With this year’s NFL Draft still fresh in our minds, and without anything to judge the latest class on other than college tape and roster fit, some folks are already peering into the future to get a glimpse of what might happen next year.
For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, experts were predicting they’d be in the quarterback market next offseason before the one this year even kicked off. It should come as no surprise that the team is already being pegged as a landing spot for one of next year’s top quarterbacks.
The Bucs had a chance to draft one of the top-rated quarterbacks in this year’s class when Will Levis dropped to No. 19. Instead, the team went with Pitt pass rusher Calijah Kancey — much to the relief of fans — and ended up not taking a quarterback at all during the weekend.
All of that, combined with the current situation on the depth chart at quarterback, makes the Bucs easy favorites to be in the running to pick a top player next year. Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask will battle it out for the job this year, and there’s still an outside chance one of them proves to be The Guy, but it’s hard to not look ahead at what next year’s class might provide.
Early NFL Mock Draft has the Bucs taking a Top 5 quarterback in 2024
The Athletic’s Dan Brugler put together his early NFL Mock Draft and is among the first experts to officially predict the Bucs will take a top quarterback next year.
Of course, this means the team will need to be picking high enough in the draft to land one. That’s always been the caveat to any talk about putting off finding a young quarterback until next year since we don’t know where the Bucs will be picking.
Using Vegas odds for next season, Brugler has Tampa Bay picking No. 4 overall and taking North Carolina star Drake Maye.
"With 45 total touchdowns last season, Maye not only put himself on the NFL radar, but he also jumped near the top of the list. With his size, arm and athleticism, he has skills comparable to those of Justin Herbert."
For what it’s worth, Brugler has Williams going No. 1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals.
Maye, along with Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams, are both being talked about as being better than any quarterback in this year’s class. Overall the crop of quarterbacks coming out next year is expected to be better with guys like Utah’s Cam Rising, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler, and Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa looking like potential sleepers.
The depth in next year’s class is what should encourage Bucs fans, but if they get a shot at taking a top guy it would undoubtedly be exciting. That being said, the Bucs have never drafted a franchise quarterback and their only attempt resulted in Jameis Winston.
Another crack at finding a franchise quarterback is a next step the front office cannot avoid, but it’s already looking like things are falling into place for the Bucs before this current Draft class even has a chance to get comfortable.