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Buccaneers NFL Draft Target: Quarterback, Davis Mills (Stanford)

The Bucs drafting Mills looks like it can make sense for both sides

NCAA Football: Stanford at Oregon State Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

While looking at a quarterback, no matter which one the Bucs draft, they will serve as a backup for the next two years. For a young quarterback without a ton of experience, Tampa Bay would be the ideal spot.

Mills would get to learn behind Brady for multiple years and could start playing with a ton of weapons around him.

DAVIS MILLS’ COLLEGIATE CAREER

Coming out of high school, Mills was the number one ranked quarterback in the country by almost all ranking systems. The prized recruit chose Stanford over Alabama Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Ole Miss, UCLA, USC, West Virginia, and many more schools.

In his first two years at Stanford, Mills only played in one game. During his junior year, starting quarterback KJ Costello suffered a thumb injury limiting him to just five games that season. Mills filled in for Costello and had some success. In six starts, he threw for 1,960 yards and 11 touchdowns. Mills also earned the Gundelach Award which is given to the most outstanding junior player.

As a senior, he only played in five game due to the COVID-19 short season. Mills threw for 1,508 yards and seven passing touchdowns while rushing for two touchdowns as well. He earned the Irving S. Zeimer Award which is the team MVP and was named All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention by the coaches.

PRO DAY DATA AND ANALYSIS

Despite performing in bad weather, Mills impressed a ton during his Pro Day. He ran a 4.66 and 4.58 second 40-yard dash which was better than expected. Most importantly, Mills was outstanding throwing the ball. He completed 50 out of 54 passes during a windy, rainy day. “He answered the bell. A lot of pressure on Davis Mills with a limited number of starts (11), no combine, no all-star game opportunities, this was his one shot, and I thought he crushed it,” NFL Network Analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. “He crushed it from the testing numbers that we got, and I thought it was a clean, really pure throwing session that he put on in the rain. The day could not have gone any better for Davis Mills.”

Heading into his Pro Day, he was viewed at as a day two pick. Analysts are saying he improved his draft stock with this “flawless” Pro Day.

WHAT HE BRINGS IN 2021

Without a doubt, Mills would serve as a backup during the 2021-22 NFL season. However, if drafted on day two, it’d be pretty certain he would be the second string for the season. The next few years could be crucial for Mills who would be learning from the greatest quarterback of all time in Tom Brady and being apart one of the most dangerous passing games in the NFL.

It will be interesting to see what the Buccaneers do at the position. With Brady as the only quarterback on the roster, it looks like there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll take someone at some point during the draft. However, they could also sign a veteran to serve as the backup giving the rookie a full year of gaining knowledge.

THREE-YEAR OUTLOOK

With the upside on Mills and the way that analyst have raved about him, it looks like whoever drafts him will have a real chance to be leading an NFL team within the next few years. It could be sooner for some other teams, however in Tampa it likely will not be for another two-three years. The reason I think this is a great option for the Bucs is because they wouldn’t have to use a first round pick on him. Unless there is a surprise, I believe he will be there at number 64.

Guys taking a year to learn the offense under a good quarterback has worked numerous times in the past. For example, look at Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City. After being drafted as the 10th pick in the 2017 draft, Mahomes sat out a full season while learning under Alex Smith. No, I’m not saying that Mills is the next Mahomes. This example just shows how beneficial a learning season can be for a young quarterback with a ton of upside.

Mills’ lack of experience is one of the main weaknesses noted by analysts following the draft. A few years learning from the best could be quite beneficial and help him in that regard. Some top quarterback prospects are forced to immediately take control of the team. This has caused a lot of guys problems.

NCAA Football: Stanford at UCLA Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

STOCK REPORT

Prior to his Pro Day, Mills was expected to be drafted later on day two. Now, it’s looking like he will be drafted a bit earlier, however I still think he will be an early day two pick. According to Mel Kiper Jr., Mills is the seventh best quarterback prospect in his ESPN+ position rankings.

This is a very strong draft for quarterbacks. Every quarterback ranked ahead of Mills is expected to be a first round pick, except for Kyle Trask who could be early day two as well, which means there is a chance Mills could go earlier than expected if a team is higher on him than a guy like Mac Jones.

In Peter Schraeger’s mock draft on NFL.com, he has the Bucs drafting Mills at 32nd overall. He notes that there has been some buzz going around that Mills will be drafted in the first round. If that is there guy, they should go with him. However, some fans may be against not drafting a player who will make an immediate impact.

ON THE CLOCK...

So, Bucs Nation, it’s time to hear your thoughts. Should the Bucs draft a quarterback for the future this year? If so, is Davis Mills the guy that you want? Let us know what you think by voting in our poll and discussing your thoughts in the comments down below.

Poll

For Davis Mills, the Buccaneers should...

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    ...draft him at current projection (round two)
    (369 votes)
  • 13%
    ...draft him early (round one)
    (97 votes)
  • 9%
    ...take a better player, earlier in the draft
    (69 votes)
  • 15%
    ...draft this position, but later than he is projected
    (109 votes)
  • 7%
    ...not draft this position at all
    (49 votes)
693 votes total Vote Now