The Bucs made two selections on the second day of the NFL draft taking Florida quarterback Kyle Trask in the second round and Notre Dame offensive lineman Ryan Hainsey in the third. While Hainsey provides important depth to Tampa Bay’s offensive line, it was the selection of Trask made by general manger Jason Licht that fascinated those watching.
Some liked that the Bucs picked their eventual successor to Tom Brady in the second round, while others thought it was too early to do so. What Licht likes about Trask is his perseverance and quick ability to process a play. For Hainsey, Licht is interested in positional versatility to play anywhere on the line.
Listed below is a full transcript of Licht’s press conference after day two of the draft where he went into detail about his two most recent selections.
On drafting Kyle Trask
“He was on the board. He’s a position that I’ve only drafted since I’ve been here, we’ve only drafted one quarterback. I always wanted to, it’s just never fallen the right way for us. There’s a lot to like about him. He’s a big kid, he’s tough, he’s very smart, he’s a great teammate, great leader, he’s got plenty of arm talent, got great touch, he’s a quick processor. I love his story of perseverance. The guy’s a fighter. He’s a competitor and once again a great team player. He’s had a lot of great players there at Florida he’s thrown the ball around to, and has had a lot of success. And we have a lot of great players here too.
“Looking forward to having him in the building and in time developing him. Like I said in the previous press conference, this is a great place for a quarterback to come and to be groomed. You’re playing with the G.O.A.T. (Tom Brady) and you got some great, great coaching – great coaching staff.”
On Trask’s story and if that gives Licht confidence in what he will do in Tampa Bay
“Absolutely. When you meet him, and talk with him, and spend time with him like we have, it just really comes out – his personality. Of course he’s competitive. He wants to play, but he also is very realistic and knows that he is not ready-made. At least from our conversations, this is a perfect opportunity for him to sit as long as he has to sit. We’ll see.”
On criticism of Trask’s arm strength and ability to make plays
“We took him, we like him, we liked what we saw. There’s going to be critiques about every player that we take and you like to point those out. We liked what we saw, like I said, we think he’s a quick processor and he’s had a lot of success there. Just love his demeanor, he’s got what it takes above the neck, in our opinion, to thrive at the position and be better and better. That’s what we’re going to do, just try to get him better and better with this group of quarterbacks that we have and we like.”
On Robert Hainsey and where Licht sees him playing
“We see him as a real versatile guy. We’ll see how it goes when we get him in here. He played right tackle, three-year starter at Notre Dame, and really held his own. [He] was a very consistent player there. It’s not that we think he can’t play right tackle, but we do think he has a big upside at guard or center, which he played at the Senior Bowl and kind of caught our attention – just the versatility aspect.
“He’s a captain. A tough guy. He’s very smart. He has all the traits that our current group has. I think he’s going to fit in great. He’s going to be a guy that we can hopefully plug in at four positions; be a four-spot guy at some point. Like all of our picks, these guys don’t have to go in right away and play. We’re not relying on them. We have the luxury of developing these guys and into their future roles whether it’s offensive lineman, starting guard, starting right tackle – whatever it is.”
On if there’s a comparison between Trask and Brady from coming out of the draft
“Yeah, the fact that he had to wait his turn and when his opportunity came he grabbed it and went with it and had a lot of success with it. I know what you’re saying. I’m not going to compare him to Tom Brady, the greatest of all time right now. But I do think there are some similarities in terms of their competitiveness. Just the way like what we talked about. The perseverance that he had and he’s been able to thrive in after giving an opportunity.”
On if the Senior Bowl is when Hainsey jumped on the Buccaneers radar
“It certainly helped. We liked his Notre Dame tape. We liked him at right tackle, but the fact that he went in there against the best and held his own, and played very well at both positions – guard and center and tackle, he moved up and down the line throughout the week –really helped. It was very helpful for us to see him there, just like it was several years ago when we drafted Ali [Marpet] to see him at the Senior Bowl and the week that he had.”
On what jumped out at him about Hainsey from his physicality
“He’s got really strong hands. He’s a very instinctive player. He plays with tremendous effort. He’s a good athlete. He does a great job into the second level. And like I said at the Senior Bowl, just putting him in there at guard and center and it’s as if he’s been playing there the entire time. He’s just a natural in terms of his instincts.”
On how much Licht kept Brady in the loop on the Trask pick and how smooth that’ll go
“I think it will go very smoothly. Tom’s the ultimate team guy and I don’t think Tom is worried about anybody taking his job. We had some casual conversations throughout the last few weeks that, of a scenario might come up where we could take a quarterback. I don’t have many conversations with Tom about the draft, but he was totally fine. He understands, he wants what’s best for the team. Tom’s going to play as long as Tom wants to play. He’s earned that right.”