The PR Bucs Monday Mailbag is where PewterReport.com’s Mark Cook answers your questions from our Twitter account. You can submit your question each week via Twitter using the hashtag #PRMailbag.
Below are the questions we chose for this week’s edition of the PR Bucs Monday Mailbag.
Question: In every article and mock draft concerning the Bucs, I never hear of the urgency to find a franchise QB to replace Tom Brady in a year or two. Why is that? Should the Bucs trade up to No. 1 in the 2020 draft for a QB, and what would it take? Follow my logic – we may have two years of NFL relevance with Brady at QB, but if we don’t have a playoff-caliber QB three years from now then we are back to the same old Bucs.
Answer: There are a number of reasons. The most important being, this team is in “win-now” mode. They want every draft pick this year to be a player that helps them do this now, not three years down the road. And teams don’t find franchise quarterbacks past the first round very often. How is, for example, Oregon’s Justin Herbert helping head coach Bruce Arians win a title before he retires or help general manager Jason Licht keep his job?
And what teams really ever do that? Have the Falcons done anything to find a franchise quarterback to replace Matt Ryan? Did the Chargers do anything the last couple of years to replace Philip Rivers? The Giants might be the team you could point to, but they knew they were ready to replace Eli Manning before they drafted Daniel Jones in the Top 10 last year.
When it gets to that point the Bucs will address it, but they aren’t looking three or four years down the road right now. Nor should they be.
Say Tampa Bay were to move up to get Herbert, or Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, the cost would be next year’s No. 1 plus at least a another premium pick – a second-rounder this year or next, and maybe more. So Tampa Bay has Tagovailoa on the roster to hold a clipboard for two years and now can’t draft a quality offensive lineman or running back to step in and contribute this year? That just makes little sense.
Now, if Tagovailoa were to fall down to No. 14, and there are some who think that is becoming more realistic than it was a few weeks ago, then perhaps the Bucs pull the trigger if they have him ranked as the best player available at that point. But moving up to draft a quarterback Tampa Bay hopes never sees the field until 2022 is a mistake in my opinion.
A more sensible option would be to take one later in the draft, such as Iowa’s Nate Stanley, a player we have mocked to the Bucs for the past three times on Day 3. Or if a first-round talent like Utah State’s Jordan Love slides to the second round, or Washington’s Jacob Eason, a second-round talent falls to the third round you couldn’t blame the Bucs for drafting a quarterback at that point.
Question: Do you see the Bucs adding any veteran guys to a secondary room filled with so many talented, but really young, and relatively inexperienced guys?
Answer: If I were Jason Licht or Bruce Arians then yes, absolutely. But neither has called me to ask my opinion. I could see Tampa Bay adding a veteran, but not anytime soon. Perhaps once the market completely settles in free agency they might look to see who is out there and if they are a fit.
A player who I would love to see in Tampa Bay is former Cardinals and Raven safety Tony Jefferson. With him coming off a knee injury he most likely would come cheap. The big issue there is the inability to really have the Bucs doctors get a good look at the knee right now and know what the prognosis is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But if the country gets back to normal by this summer and it looks like the season will go on, then that is a name to keep an eye on. If 100 percent healthy and ready for opening weekend, of course. His leadership and knowledge of the Bucs scheme would as asset to the safety room.
Question: Did the Bucs see enough from Scotty Miller last year in practice and his limited game reps to give him a bigger role, or do they feel they want to get a more talented “Y” via the draft?
Answer: The Bucs will draft a receiver this year and it could come early, depending on how the draft falls to them. I personally wouldn’t spend a first-round pick on a receiver, mainly for the reasons I gave when answering the Tom Brady successor question above. Why spend a premium pick on a player who, no matter how talented he is, would still be pretty far down the pecking order goes in terms of targets?
Let’s not forget, as good as Chris Godwin is now, he only started two games (he played in 16) as a rookie, and only totaled 525 receiving yards and one touchdown. I think whoever ends up behind Godwin and Mike Evans could achieve those numbers and as you suggested that player might be Scotty Miller.
— Underground King (@Brodie07Perry) April 4, 2020
Staying healthy will be the key to Miller being able to define his role in this offense. Speed-wise he is a burner and has solid hands. He missed considerable time in camp last year with a hamstring injury then was re-injured later in the year in Detroit after catching a touchdown pass. Had be been healthy all year and developed earlier and quicker he may have gotten more snaps than Breshad Perriman early in the season.
Question: Do you see the Bucs bringing in another kicker to compete this year or will the be confident in Matt Gay?
Answer: I would certainly hope so. I know the team likes Matt Gay, but there is no debating the fact that he cost the team two wins last season against the Giants and the Falcons in the season finale. Indirectly, an argument could be made Jameis Winston is still on this roster had Gay not struggled in those two games.
Kickers are going to miss kicks from time to time. Gay will miss more kicks in 2020 as well if he is the Bucs kicker. But going 0-for-3 at home in a game that ended up going into overtime where the Bucs lost to Atlanta to end the season should be just as big of a red flag as Winston’s 30 interceptions.
Maybe Gay shakes off the Falcons game and turns into Justin Tucker for the next 10 years. But I wouldn’t count on it. As a Dad of a high school kicker for a period of time, I know the mental stress and the confidence issues kickers can have. Plus, I have seen the struggle this franchise has had over their history when trying to find consistency at that position.
At the very least the team will bring in someone to push Gay during camp and the preseason, but would be wise to not just hand Gay the job without a fair competition.