Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times released an article on Monday discussing quarterback options for the Bucs in case Jameis Winston doesn’t return in 2020. One interesting nugget of information Stroud gave us was the fact that the Bucs are indeed planning on drafting a quarterback in 2020.
Obviously, that’s a loaded statement that involves nuance. That doesn’t mean the Bucs will take a quarterback at 14, but it also doesn’t mean they’ll wait til the sixth round to take a guy.
What it does mean, though, is that the Bucs will draft a quarterback regardless of what happens with Winston. That in itself is interesting enough to take a look at the possible options the team could face on draft day.
Now I’d be remiss if I didn’t preface this with the caveat that all of this depends on what happens with Winston or any other quarterback in free agency.
With that being said, let’s dive in.
Who would you like to see the Bucs take on Day 1?
Evan: So, obviously can happen a lot on the first day of the draft. There’s a tiny, tiny chance the Bucs could sell the farm to move up into the third or fourth spot to draft Tua Tagovailoa, but I’d rather not see that happen. The only good thought to come from that move is that the Bucs are 100% confident he could be the future of the franchise.
Drafting a quarterback at 14 seems like a nightmare based off what I’ve seen from most mock drafts so far. Most are pointing to Jacob Eason at 14. I would hate that. If the Bucs do in fact draft a quarterback at 14, then my preference (depending on availability, of course) would Jordan Love, Justin Herbert, then Eason.
If the Bucs do take a guy in the first round, my ideal situation would be a trade back from 14, then use the extra picks acquired from the trade to move back into the first in order to take Eason. I know that’s a lot of moving parts, but I wouldn’t mind that very much.
James: I absolutely do not want the Bucs to move up at all. I want Love at 14 if he’s there, but it sound like the Colts are in love with him. So, they will likely be stuck with Eason as their guy if they want to invest a high draft pick in the position.
I’d be fine with trading back into the first round to draft Eason. That’s hopefully where the whole “bridge” veteran quarterback plan comes in. The Bucs could start said veteran for a couple of years and allow Eason to sit if he needs to.
Who would you like to see the Bucs take on Day 2?
James: Everyone should come to their senses and realize that Eason is Day 2 guy. That’s what I’m hoping for. On the other hand, if he isn’t there in the second round, then I’d rather the Bucs take Jake Fromm.
It was a very close race between he and Jalen Hurts. I love Fromm’s decision making and the fact that he has a very high interception-to-touchdown ratio in the SEC. We all know how good those defenses are, so it’s not like he’s playing against scrubs every week.
Evan: I’m right there with you, hopefully everyone comes to their senses and realizes Eason is a Day 2 guy. That would be the perfect scenario for me, as well.
BUT. If he’s already gone and the Bucs had to reach on someone, I would rather them go with Jalen Hurts. I think we can both agree that these guys may not be suitable for a second-round selection, but at the same time, there’s no guarantee he’d be there in the third, so the Bucs may feel a bit of pressure to land their guy, here.
Fromm’s arm worries me and Hurts - while raw - will work his ass off and do whatever it takes to get better. That’s always worth a lot of points in my book.
So, who’s the guy on the last day?
Evan: This may sound crazy, but if the Bucs go quarterback in the fourth round, I’d like them to grab Steven Montez out of Colorado.
There are issues with Montez, one of the biggest being decision-making, but there’s also a ton of upside. He’s a big-bodied guy at 6-foot-4, 240-pounds, but runs a 4.8 40-yard dash and has an absolute cannon.
If the Bucs wait til the last couple of rounds, then I’d like to see them go after Anthony Gordon out of Washington State or Mason Fine from North Texas. Both have shown flashes that they can play in the NFL.
James: My guy has to be Gordon, who threw close to 700 passes and 50 touchdowns in 2019. That’s right. Just in 2019. And he was a first-year starter.
He also had a 3:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, which is obviously awesome for someone who threw the ball a ton. And during their first year as a starter.
Did I mention he’s a first-year starter?
He also held an 8.1 YPA, which is pretty incredible for throwing the ball so much.
It’s pretty clear that Gordon would be the best option for the Bucs, but another option would be Montez out Colorado.
Regardless, these guys would be projects, so it could take a while for them to crack the starting lineup. And the Bucs don’t really have the time to wait.
Be sure to listen to the latest episode of Locked On Bucs to catch the full conversation. We also discuss whether or not Shaq Barrett was snubbed for Defensive Player of the Year and possible diamonds-in-the-rough in free agency!