Tampa Bay drafting a quarterback to learn behind Tom Brady looks reasonable to Buccaneers staff and NFL analysts alike, but one analyst came out to left field on who the Super Bowl champions will pick.
“I’m going Bucs take Justin Fields at 32,” NBC Sports’ Chris Simms said on his show, Chris Simms Unbuttoned, on Monday. “Bucs got everything. There’s no need on their football team.”
My 2021 Mock Draft…full explanation of all 32 picks here: https://t.co/lCNaOJ7FWk pic.twitter.com/JFpIA8qFs6
— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) April 27, 2021
Ahmed Fareed, Simms’ co-host, looked surprised at how Simms ended his mock draft with the reigning champs taking an Ohio State star once considered the second-highest rated quarterback prospect. Field’s draft stock has fallen in recent weeks amid rumors of work ethic issues and health per Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.
“I didn’t go into this with a preconceived notion like I’m going to leave Justin Fields for 32. I didn’t do that,” Simm told Fareed on the show. “You know how I do this. I want to be right. I want to use logic. I know it’s not my big board.”
“I know I have my concerns about him,” Simms added. “I know there’s other teams that have their concerns about him.”
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Fields a Fit in Tampa?
Simms isn’t delusional on the Bucs wanting to take a quarterback as both head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Jason Licht have expressed interest in doing so.
“If he’s there, they’re going to take him because they’re going to go, ‘great, this is perfect for you — learn from Tom Brady,” Simms said about Fields. “Brady will be able to teach him some of the mechanical stuff, and then ‘oh, Brady wants to retire, great, we got our guy, and he can take off.’”
Brady will turn 44 at the start of the season and has two years left on his contract after signing an extension this offseason. While Brady has shown interest in playing past 45 years of age, he also told Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan that he doesn’t have many years left to play. Tampa’s lone signed backup, Ryan Griffin, is 31 and hasn’t seen a lot of regular season snaps.
Fields has an accurate arm and can make plays with his legs. He completed 70.2 percent of his throws for 2,100 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six interceptions in eight games played last season. He also rushed for 383 yards and five touchdowns on 81 carriers.
“If it happens at the end of the night, I’m dropping the mic, and I’m not coming into work the next day,” Simms said.
How Fields Falls to Tampa
Simms said that he looked at each team’s needs and considered other options of where Fields could land instead of the Bucs.
Additionally, Simms said he looked back at Atlanta, Detroit, and Denver, and still wasn’t convinced those teams would take Fields over his projected picks for them. Atlanta picked tight end Kyle Pitts, Detroit took tackle Penei Sewell, and Denver drafted linebacker Micha Parsons in Simm’s mock draft.
“And the two teams — the Bears, I don’t know if they have the green light like we’ve talked about, and I got Washington making the play for Trey Lance, so that’s where it got dicey,” Simms told Fareed.
Fareed acknowledged the conundrum of where Fields would fall but believes another team would pick him up in the 20s via a trade. Fareed didn’t rule it Tampa nabbing Fields at 32 as impossible though.
“If that is the end of the night, that will be the greatest draft show, three-hour, four-hour however long it goes, that we’ve ever had,” Fareed said.