Barring disastrous circumstances, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers appear to be set at the starting quarterback position for the next two years. As the signing of Tom Brady answered the biggest question of the Bucs’ off-season, it also gave birth to new ones pertaining to the team’s future.
Specifically, who is the quarterback of the Bucs beginning in 2022? It might sound like a question worthy of putting off until 2021 or even the spring of 2022 to answer. However, unless Tampa Bay plans on being in the running for a top quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft (they don’t), the answer will have to come sooner rather than later.
Enter quarterback Jacob Eason. And Jordan Love (Utah State), and Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma), Jake Fromm (Georgia), and even Nate Stanley (Iowa). One of these young men could become the future of the Buccaneers’ quarterback position via the use of a day two pick in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft.
Getting two years to study and prepare behind the best quarterback to ever play the game would benefit any young quarterback. And it could set the franchise up for years of success in the post-Brady era.
Is Eason the guy for the job? First things first, he’s got to make it to day two, unless the Bucs stun everyone by investing a first-round pick in an understudy. If he does, then there are some other factors. Factors we’ll discuss, here.
Jacob Eason’s Collegiate Career
You see it in the tweet there, Eason threw for more than 3,000-yards and 23 touchdowns in his one season quarterbacking the Washington Huskies.
His efforts, along with those of his teammates, helped lead the Huskies to a 7-5 regular season record. On December 21st, the Huskies defeated the 19th-Ranked Boise State Broncos in the Las Vegas Bowl by a score of 38-7.
For the year, Eason finished having completed more than 64% of his pass attempts and threw just eight interceptions to go with his 23 touchdown passes.
He also ran for one score, against Washington State, in late November.
Prior to playing for the Huskies of course, Eason was a quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs, appearing in sixteen games during the 2016 and 2017 college football seasons. As a freshman, Eason started twelve of the team’s thirteen games, completing 55% of his passes and throwing sixteen touchdowns to eight interceptions.
He was injured early in his sophomore season and supplanted by then freshman, Jake Fromm. After it was clear Fromm would maintain the starting quarterback role, Eason decided to transfer back to his home state of Washington and play his final year with the Huskies.
Now, Fromm and Eason both find themselves in the 2020 NFL Draft, and one of them could be a fit for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Eason is a pocket passer who seems most comfortable when coming off play-action, and definitely enjoys throwing the deep ball. Perfect fit for Bruce Arians’ style of play, right?
There’s a lot of potential in Eason, and he has all the measurables. His arm is big enough, he’s big enough, and he has shown at one point or another that he can make every throw an Arians style system will ask him to make.
Even if Arians decides to retire after his time with Brady is up, if the new head coach adopts a similar style of play, then drafting Eason now gives him maximum time to turn his raw ability into polished professional quarterbacking. Just in time to replace the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.
Questionable decision making and holds the ball too long, especially on quick developing routes. Appears to need visual confirmation his shorter receivers are open before pulling the trigger, giving defenders opportunities to recover and close.
His biggest flaw however, comes between the ears. Eason doesn’t handle pressure very well, and for a guy with zero escape-ability, this is a problem.
Of course, every offensive line in the NFL goes out on a weekly basis aiming to keep their quarterback upright, but it’ll never be fool-proof. And the problem with developing behind a veteran is, he won’t get real reps and the team won’t get to see how his mentality is shifting, even if it does.
You can’t learn to swim simply watching someone else do it, even if that swimmer is one of the best. Eventually, Eason would have to prove to the Bucs he can stand the heat, and it isn’t likely he’d get the chance to until the franchise was leaning on him to be their starter.
Especially if the NFLPA gets their way, and a shortened pre-season.
Why The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Need Jacob Eason
The franchise can’t simply sit back and wait for 2022 to find out who the next quarterback will be, can they?
While Eason isn’t my preferred successor in waiting, he’s got the physical tools which often times can’t be developed at the next level.
What he’s lacking in mental strength, can be helped and developed. Tom Brady has made a decades long career out of being the most mentally capable quarterback in the league, because he never had the elite athletics to make it happen otherwise.
Eason won’t face a pass rush in meeting rooms or on the sideline, but he can learn a mentality there. A mentality which can help him overcome some of his duress issues when and if the time comes for him to step in as the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Should It Happen?
Again, he’s not my preference. But, given the opportunity to select him at a spot worth the investment? Sure.
There’s talks Eason could creep into the first round of this year’s draft, and no, I don’t believe the Buccaneers would be wise to be the team he lands with on day one.
Day two is more his sweet spot, and given the Bucs’ apparent ‘win-now’ mentality, drafting a back-up quarterback any earlier than the third round feels unlikely.
The conflict of course is, if Eason might make it into the first round, what’s the likely hood he’ll last until the third? Not very.
Tom Brady keeps his jersey number, NFL expands playoffs, and ESPN Power Ranks the NFL. All on this episode of the Locked On Bucs Podcast!
It’s time now for you all to let us know what you think? If the Buccaneers have the opportunity to draft Jacob Eason in the 2020 NFL Draft, what would you do?
How do you feel about Jalen Hurts for the Bucs in the 2020 NFL Draft?
This poll is closed
Draft him no matter what
Trade back candidate
I wouldn’t mind it
There are better options