When the news that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were parting ways with Jameis Winston after drafting him first overall in the 2015 NFL Draft and bringing in six-time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady, it was obvious the franchise is in a “WIN NOW” mode. But, with Brady signing a two-year deal with a clause that prevents the team from tagging him after the deal expires. So, what does the mean when the team only has players such as Blaine Gabbert, who just signed a one-year extension worth $1.18 million deal and a quarterback that has only seen the field for a total of 8 snaps in his 7-year quarterback Ryan Griffin. Is Bruce Arians seriously comfortable with those two backing up and hopefully taking over when Brady could possibly call it quits? Or do the Bucs go looking for someone who could be groomed by the G.O.A.T.?
The Odd Man Out
As stated previously, the Bucs are in that “win now” mode. The question on everyone’s mind already seems to be, “who will be under center once Brady is gone?” Not many are sold on the fact the Blaine Gabbert is the answer as a back-up as he had never had much success in San Francisco nor Arizona, but the positive side is he knows B.A.’s system better than anyone currently on the roster, as they both spent time together in 2017 in Arizona. It is a known fact that Gabbert is not the answer under center for the long-term. As for Griffin, this 7th-year quarterback has been nothing more than just a roster spot since coming in the league, only seeing action for a handful of snaps. If the Bucs are looking for Brady’s potential replacement, they might be wise to look in the draft, and if that is the case, then that means Griffin is destined to be the odd man out of a roster spot within the next week or so.
Who could the Bucs draft to learn under Brady?
With many projecting the Bucs picking an offensive lineman with the 14th pick on Thursday, and top quarterback prospects such as Joe Burrow and Tua Tagavailoa projected to be gone by the end of the first round, who else could be options? Well, some fans have been taking to social media and Bucs groups speaking their feelings on who they would like. Two names that have been thrown around quite often are the University of Washington quarterback Jacob Eason and University of Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Eason, who started his college career at the University of Georgia and later transferred to. Washington following the 2017 season, had what could be considered a disappointing career throwing for only 5,590 yards and 39 TDs.
As for Hurts, his college career has been full of ups and downs. During his freshman season, Hurts would have a productive season, to say the least, as he would lead the Crimson Tide to the National Championship only to be defeated by the Clemson Tigers in the final seconds. His sophomore season would see him lead the Tide to the National Championship again, only to be replaced by Tua Tagavailoa at halftime as the Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs for the 2018 National Championship. During his junior season, he would back-up Tua and would lead Alabama to a comeback victory against Georgia for the SEC Championship. Hurts would transfer to the University of Oklahoma for his senior season, where he would set Oklahoma’s single-game yards record when he shattered Baker Mayfield’s 396 yards when he debuted and put up 508 yards of total offense. He would lead the Sooner’s to the College Football Playoffs, but they were eliminated in the Peach Bowl by LSU, and finishing 2nd in the Heisman Trophy voting for the 2nd time in 4 years.
Which one has the best chance?
With the 1st round set to begin Thursday, it’s hard to say how things will unfold. If the Bucs are indeed looking to draft a quarterback for the future, I’ll go out on a limb and say they would pull the trigger on drafting Jalen Hurts. With his college resume, it’s easy to speculate and believe his game would translate to the next level. Given the fact that he would be learning under Arians and Brady, it almost a given that he can elevate his game to the next level.