Buccaneers could be a 'surprise team' to draft a QB in first or second round

Don't count out the Bucs dipping into the QB pool during the NFL Draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Houston Texans
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Houston Texans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

There are a few different questions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to answer with the NFL Draft right around the corner.

At the top of the list is what the team should do with the slew of Top 100 picks it has. After trading Carlton Davis III to Detroit, the Bucs own four picks in the first three rounds which puts them in a pretty good spot to cook up a great draft class.

Rebuilding the offensive line is an obvious way to spend some of those picks, but Tampa Bay is in a position where it could make a luxury selection on a top prospect outside of a position of need. That’s part of the reason why some are starting to wonder if the Bucs will be tempted to not only take a quarterback but do it on the first or second day of the draft.

Could Buccaneers draft a QB in the first or second round?

To be clear, the Bucs do not need to take a quarterback, nor would doing so mean that Baker Mayfield is suddenly expected to compete for the starting job. Tampa Bay has the position figured out for at least a year, but what happens after that is where the intrigue comes into play.

CBS Sports listed five surprise teams that could draft a quarterback in the first or second round, with the Bucs being among that group. The logic seems to center on the idea that Baker will continue following in Geno Smith's footsteps and start to regress now that he's secured the bag.

"The Bucs just re-signed Baker Mayfield to a $150 extension, but the deal is structured in a way Tampa Bay can actually save up to $20 million by cutting the redeemed journeyman after 2024, should the extended marriage not pan out. In other words, Mayfield is the guy here, but like Geno Smith in Seattle after his breakout, the bond isn't irrevocable. Only Kyle Trask and John Wolford sit behind him on the depth chart, meanwhile," Cody Benjamin wrote.

While it’s decent food for thought, we sort of did this dance last year. Will Levis plummeted down the board and was available for the Bucs at No. 19 overall. This came after the team was rumored to be trading up to get him, yet Jason Licht passed in favor of Calijah Kancey.

Tampa Bay could have traded up in the second round at much less of a premium to get Levis but passed again. Keep in mind this all happened when the team had a massive question mark at quarterback, something that isn’t the case this year.

If the Bucs had a chance to get a Top 3 quarterback last year — twice — and passed, that seems to suggest they won’t be jumping through hoops to get one now that Baker is locked in and worthy.

That being said, a guy like Jordan Travis or Spencer Rattler might be tempting if he’s there in the right spot. Tampa Bay needs to address the offensive line and figure things out at edge rush and cornerback before making a luxury selection, but there’s an arguement to be made that it should at least be on the table.

It would be a sot of atonement for botching the Kyle Trask situation. He was a second round pick who we all thought might get developed as a succession plan for Tom Brady but that never happened. The Bucs could have a do-over with another guy in this class and sit him behind Baker for a year or two before handing the reins over in 2026 or beyond.

Taking a quarterback is not a priority for the Bucs, and the idea of taking one in teh Top 100 is a little rich. It is, however, a conversation worth having and it wouldn’t be shocking to see the team wind up with a rookie in the quarterback room when all is said and done.

More Tampa Bay Buccaneers news and rumors