More and more conversation is swirling around the Buccaneers addressing quarterback in the upcoming draft. Rick Stroud reported over the weekend that the Buccaneers were doing their due diligence on some veteran quarterbacks as well as preparing to draft a player at the position this April.
The Bucs plan to select a quarterback in the 2020 NFL draft. That doesn’t mean they will take one with the 14th overall pick.
But whether Winston returns or not, they need to address the position. Ryan Griffin, 30, has attempted four passes in his NFL career. At the very least, the Bucs need a young player at the position to develop into a potential starter.
I’ve said it time and time again - Bucs fans, whether they like him or not, need to prepare for life after Jameis Winston.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report posted his first post-Super Bowl seven round mock and he certainly is of the belief that the Bucs have had enough of Winston and are ready to move on. With the fourteenth overall pick, he has the Bucs taking Washington quarterback Jacob Eason.
Miller had this to say in his recap;
Starting over at quarterback might not seem favorable for Arians, but Washington’s Jacob Eason is perfect for his offense. Big-armed, aggressive down the field and smart with the football, Eason has the tools to stretch the field in Arians’ scheme and is big enough (6’6”, 227 lbs) to handle the punishment of being behind an average offensive line.
Miller’s other picks for the Bucs were; S Kyle Dugger (Lenoir Rhyne), EDGE Jonathan Greenard (Florida), LB Evan Weaver (Cal), CB Darnay Holmes (UCLA), DL Larrell Murchison (NC State).
Although I agree with Miller that the Bucs should take a strong look at Eason, I’m not big on the idea of them getting him with the fourteenth overall pick. If the Bucs decide to go the bridge veteran/rookie quarterback route, Eason would be a solid fit for Arians and the vertical offense. However, five quarterbacks in the top fourteen picks is a bit rich in my opinion.
Eason is a guy the Bucs should be able to sit on, potentially making a move back into the end of the first round to ensure that they get their guy - and get that fifth year option. Taking someone like Javon Kinlaw (who Miller had fall to twentieth to the Jacksonville Jaguars), Josh Jones, or Tristan Wirfs at that fourteen spot (should any of them be available, of course) would help either solidify the defensive line or offensive line before drafting their quarterback of the future.
The Bucs may be looking to replace Ndamukong Suh next to Vita Vea or they’ll be investing in replacing Demar Dotson at the right tackle spot, so that first round pick is vital. One would think that if the Bucs are moving on from Winston (which could absolutely mean that Winston and his agent priced themselves out of Tampa Bay’s range) they would have someone already in line to be the week one starter prior to draft weekend. Therefore, they can take their time on the quarterback front and not panic when they’re put on the clock for the first time.
It’s certainly something to keep in mind. With Eason continuing to be linked to the Bucs, it’s a solid reminder that the Bucs’ first round pick going all the way back to Mike Evans has been the worst kept secret among the NFL. The most linked players to the Bucs in mock drafts and draft rumors has gone on to be the first round pick the last six years running - Mike Evans (2014), Jameis Winston (2015), Vernon Hargreaves (2016), O.J. Howard (2017), Vita Vea (2018), and Devin White (2019).
Food for thought before dismissing the idea of the Bucs going quarterback in the first round.