Buccaneers land successor to Baker Mayfield in latest 7-round NFL Mock Draft

The Bucs can not only reload but lay the foundation for a solid future with this draft class.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v New Orleans Saints / Chris Graythen/GettyImages
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Round 4, Pick 125: Jordan Travis, QB/Florida State

A popular pick at this spot could be Kansas State guard Cooper Beebe, but we’ve talked about that before. It also might create a redundancy at guard with Cody Mauch and Mason McCormick — in addition to the other guards on the team — and taking Beebe might prevent the Bucs from making a luxury pick that could pay off in the future.

Baker Mayfield signed a $100 million deal to be Tampa Bay’s quarterback for the next three seasons, but what happens after that? Taking Jordan Travis here might give the Bucs its succession plan for Mayfield and right the wrong of drafting Kyle Trask to be that guy for Tom Brady.

This is a risky pick, mostly because it’s not certain that Mayfield won’t be the guy after three more years. It very well could be that he remains in Tampa Bay for much longer than that, but there’s a universe where the Bucs take this swing with the future beyond Mayfield in mind.

It’s almost a perfect situation. Travis is coming back from a devastating leg injury and wouldn’t have the pressure of needing to start right away. He’d learn behind Baker, become deeply embedded within the Bucs offense, and be in a prime position to take over if Mayfield either takes a turn for the worse or leaves in a few years.

Tampa Bay swung and missed with Kyle Trask but this could be a situation where they learn from their mistake. It also helps erase another potential mistake of the past — not drafting Jalen Hurts to succeed Tom Brady. Even before he became a top quarterback in the league, Hurts in Tampa Bay made sense in 2020 for a lot of the reasons Travis does.

It’s a risk, but one that could help position the Bucs to be quarterback rich in the future in ways we haven’t ever seen the team be before.