It’s official, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has officially announced his retirement. And while 99% of the football world will celebrate what was the greatest career in NFL history, the Bucs now have to do some serious soul searching. Head coach Bruce Arians is now left with one massive question: who will be starting at quarterback in Tampa Bay next season.
There are all sorts of names that have been rumored to be on the move this offseason. Guys like Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Jimmy Garoppolo are all expected to be suiting up for new teams next year. With the Buccaneers still having a Super Bowl caliber roster it makes sense they go after one of the bigger names on the market. However, the Buccaneers may have already made their big move.
In the second round of the most recent NFL draft the Buccaneers selected Florida quarterback Kyle Trask. The Gators’ Junior threw for 4,283 yards with 43 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Despite these lofty numbers this pick was met with mixed feelings by fans and analysts alike. In fact, I’d go as far to say that Trask was an unpopular choice.
Now a full season has come and gone. Trask has had a chance to sit and learn as a rookie with his turn to run the offense potentially on the horizon. Now that this reality is here it felt like a good time to go back and reevaluate Trask’s college film with fresh eyes. No narratives and no biases, just opinion based on his play in his final year at Florida.
Games watched: LSU 2020, Ole Miss 2020, South Carolina 2020, Alabama (SEC Championship) 2020
Trask brings good NFL size. He measured in at 6’5 and 236 lbs at the combine last year, which was nearly identical to Bills star Josh Allen. This allows him to see over the offensive line and have a clear view of the middle of the field. This is easily Trask’s best quality as an athlete.
In terms of mobility, Trask is very limited. In fact I’d go as far as to call him a clumsy looking athlete. He can execute basic bootlegs and fall forward on a quarterback sneak, but other than that he brings basically nothing on the move.
His arm strength is also fairly underwhelming. Trask possesses enough of an arm to challenge defenses over the top with the deep ball. However, he lacks the velocity to squeeze the ball into tight windows. He’s also very limited when throwing off platform. This means that when he can’t step into his throw he doesn’t has the strength to get the ball where it needs to go consistently.
Trask seems to process things reasonably well at the college level. He typically finds the open man and has shown that he can throw with anticipation and timing. He was the heart of a pass heavy attack at Florida and from a mental perspective I have no reason to believe he couldn’t do the same at the NFL level.
While lacking great arm strength, Trask does excel when it comes to throwing with touch. He can loft the deep ball down the field and it often times seems to just float down to the receivers hands. With these touch throws he is generally accurate to all levels of the field.
Trask is very limited to what he can do outside of structure. He lacks the ability to scramble or even extend plays with his feet to find open receivers down field. In a league that values physical gifts and high upside players, Trask is sorely lacking.
While Trask does come off as an intelligent young quarterback, his mistakes are as ugly as they come. His games are littered with would be interceptions and leading his pass catcher right into big hits. These are issues that will only be magnified at the NFL level.
Consistency is another issue that will likely only look like a bigger problem in the NFL. Much of Trask’s success came from touch passes or throwing to a pair of 2020 1st round picks, in the form of Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney. However, even in these ideal circumstances he was constantly inconsistent with ball placement and accuracy. In the NFL, where the talent gap won’t be as large, it will be that much more difficult to find this elusive consistent level of play.
If everything is good around him then I believe that Trask can be a functional quarterback. He finds the open man and delivers a nice catchable ball a lot of the time. We have seen in the NFL that you can win games with a quarterback like that.
However, even on a strong team like the Bucs, things won’t always be good. Opposing pass rusher will flush him from the pocket. Receivers won’t always be wide open. Missed opportunities will come back to haunt you. I believe that with their imposing defense, pro bowl receivers and strong offensive line the Buccaneers can win with Trask. However, if Tampa Bay is serious about winning the NFC South again this year, let alone the Super Bowl, then Kyle Trask is not good enough to take them where they want to go.