Due to his recent contract extension, Tom Brady will be the Bucs starting quarterback for at least the next two seasons. But would that stop the Bucs from selecting a quarterback of the future in the early rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft? Head coach Bruce Arians isn’t ruling it out.
Arians discussed a number of different topics, including the upcoming draft on April 29. With the Bucs drafting strictly for the depth due to all 22 Super Bowl starters returning, Arians likes the idea of developing a young quarterback. And he wouldn’t be afraid to take one early.
“If the right guy is there that we think is a developmental guy that has the upside that outweighs every other position of those five-six guys that we’re looking at, then yeah,” Arians said. “We wouldn’t be against it. Same thing in the second round and the third round. If we have five guys and ones a quarterback and we think his development’s better than those positions, sure.”
The general consensus is that the top four quarterbacks are Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, BYU’s Zach Wilson, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and North Dakota State’s Trey Lance. All four are expected to go within the Top 10, especially after the 49ers traded into the third spot. The second wave of quarterback prospects that the Bucs could be in play for are Alabama’s Mac Jones, who is also regarded as a first-rounder, Florida’s Kyle Trask on Day 2 and Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, a mid-rounder, to name a few.
When asked about what Tampa Bay’s needs are for this year’s draft, Arians first mentioned speed on defense. But Arians went out of his way to mention that he’d prefer a developmental quarterback. One other caveat is that he wants players that love the game.
“I think speed on defense,” Arians said. “As long as it’s speed. Because speed is going to help on special teams and speed develops into really good players on defense. I think both lines of scrimmage, I don’t think you can have enough depth in both lines of scrimmage. Obviously a young quarterback, but again, for me it’s speed and physicality. A love for the game, which we do every year. We look for guys that love to go and play. I think those things will be the deciding factors in who we’re looking for.”
The quarterback job is Brady’s for as long he wants it. Yet Brady will be 44 by the start of next season and won’t play forever. It wouldn’t hurt if the Bucs did their due diligence now to find his eventual successor.