The good news about having the last pick of the first round is it means the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are coming off a Super Bowl victory. Bucs general manager Jason Licht recently admitted the team does not have many pressing needs and can focus on the future with the No. 32 pick.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell does just that in his latest mock draft by orchestrating a trade between Florida teams. Barnwell’s trade proposal has the Jaguars moving up from No. 45 to get back into the first round, and the Buccaneers land quarterback Gardner Minshew as part of the deal. The Jaguars also send the Bucs their fifth-round selection. Tampa Bay has little need for a quarterback as long as Tom Brady is wearing a Bucs jersey, but it would be a good opportunity for the team tois bring in a potential successor to learn from the all-time great.
“Getting Minshew would lock down the most obvious collapse point on the Tampa Bay roster and give it a possible bridge quarterback behind Brady,” Barnwell detailed. “Minshew doesn’t have much use for the Jags after they draft Trevor Lawrence, but with two years left to go on his deal at a total of just over $1.8 million (before any performance incentives), he is a bargain in terms of backup quarterbacks. This deal would value him in line with the 86th pick in a typical draft by the Johnson chart and get the Jaguars a third first-round pick.”
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The Bucs Are Open to Drafting a Quarterback
Tampa Bay signed Brady to an extension this offseason which means he is under contract for at least the next two seasons. Brady showed no signs of his skill level falling off last season, but it would be good for the Buccaneers to have their potential future quarterback on the roster to learn from Brady. Licht admitted the team is open to drafting a quarterback, but it has to be the right fit.
“You just want to make sure that you’re not picking a quarterback just to pick a quarterback,” Licht noted in his pre-draft press conference, per Buccaneers.com. “You want everybody to be onboard, and the guy’s got to have the right mindset. He’s got to be, obviously, talented and can through the ball, but he’s got to be somebody that we all feel comfortable with above the neck. There’s always positives to drafting a quarterback if all those things align.”
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians admitted the team could select a quarterback at No. 32. Barnwell’s proposal has the Bucs moving down thirteen spots and gives the team an opportunity to focus on other positions with the addition of Minshew.
“If the right guy is there that we think is a developmental guy that has the upside that outweighs every other position of those five or six guys that we’re looking at, then we wouldn’t be against it,” Arians said, per The Athletic. “The same thing in the second round and the third round — if we have five guys and one’s a quarterback and we think his development is better than those positions, sure.”
Minshew Could Be Developed as the Bucs Future Quarterback to Succeed Brady
The Jaguars are moving on from Minshew for a player that many have as the top quarterback prospect of the last decade in Trevor Lawrence. It is not necessarily an indication of Minshew’s potential as the quarterback proved to be a capable starter in his first two NFL seasons. Minshew threw for 2,259 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 66.1% of his passes in nine appearances last season. The Jaguars quarterback also added 344 rushing yards proving to be a threat with his legs as well.
“The Buccaneers were able to bring back just about everyone from a team that finished second in DVOA and won the Super Bowl,” Barnwell noted. “They could use depth along the offensive line, a rotational edge rusher and the thing they get here: a backup quarterback. Tom Brady looked like his old self last season, but the Bucs would be foolish to not bring in an upgrade over Ryan Griffin behind Brady just in case. The cliff can come at any time, and there’s always the chance of a freak injury, like the ACL tear that felled Brady in 2008.”