It’s officially draft week.
No more stupid mock drafts where everyone pretends to know who each team is picking (yes the irony is not lost on me considering that’s been my past two articles), no more trying to guess what trades are going to happen (at least I didn’t do that), it’s time for teams to start zeroing in on some guys they want to draft.
And your Bucs are a team that is very much in flux when it comes to what they want to do with any of their picks, but especially that first rounder.
Do they go safety? Do they go offensive or defensive line? Or do they go EDGE? No one knows, and that’s probably what makes this so fun.
But some mocks have had the Bucs drafting QB Will Levis out of Kentucky, either by trading up or by Levis falling to 19. The top 3 QBs seem to be a consensus of Anthony Richardson, CJ Stroud, and Bryce Young, with Levis being sort of the odd man out, with the Colts, Texans, and Panthers selecting any combination of those 3 guys.
Of course, something weird could happen, because it’s the draft, but let’s assume that those 3 go top-5 and Levis is the 4th QB taken.
Now, we can disagree on if he’ll fall all the way past the Falcons and the Lions and the Titans to 19 or if they’ll even trade up to get him (and we’ll get into that), but without further ado, here are the pros and cons to the Bucs drafting Levis in the first round, wherever that may end up being.
A Potential Franchise QB
I hate this cliche term “franchise QB” that gets thrown around so damn much, but yet here I am using it. Yet, without using that stupid phrase, Levis could certainly be a long-term solution for the most important position on the team, and that isn’t something to be taken lightly, especially if he happens to fall to the Bucs at 19. Kyle Trask and Baker Mayfield are more than likely not going to be the starter for this team for the next 5-10 years, but Levis certainly could.
More Clarity Moving Forward
This team lacks real direction when it comes to the future, mostly because they sacrificed so much in the Brady era to win. Not something to complain about, as it was worth it and absolutely the right thing to do, but it’s just reality. They don’t have any surplus of picks or cap room, but they’ve also made it clear they’re still trying to remain competitive with their offseason moves. Looking beyond this year, they just have no vision and no solidified starters at any position. You could say everyone is on the trading block moving forward, simply because they might not be able to afford to re-sign a lot of their high-caliber players. Investing in Levis gives them a clearer picture of what the future of the Bucs will look like.
A Potential Steal At 19
Everyone loves to be right, and everyone really loves to be right when so many others are wrong. If Levis falls to 19, there were 18 teams that passed on him, and if he turns out to be a success, there will be at least a few teams who will be kicking themselves for missing out on his talent and sticking with whoever they have now. The Bucs could either be the savviest team in the NFL for doing this, or the dumbest. Which leads us to…
Missing A Chance To Fill Out The Roster
Not only does spending a first on Levis eliminate the opportunity to draft an impact player at a position of need (like the EDGE, offensive line, or secondary), it also shifts all of the position priorities down a peg. Say, they were going to go o-line first round and fill out the rest of the draft accordingly, now that they’ve missed the chance at filling that hole with a first, they might feel compelled to do so with their second, and the domino effect continues.
Possibly Having To Trade Up For Levis
Many (myself included) have been adamant about the Bucs’ need to either stand pat at 19 or trade back, as they have too many holes to fill to spend multiple picks on one player. But, there’s still the possibility that the Bucs jump at the chance to trade up for a guy like Levis, and if they do, that’d be a loss of draft capital, something the Bucs will have to seriously consider when making a move like this. They better be pretty damn sure Levis is the real deal, and I think we can all agree that the Bucs’ front office has had a spotty history when it comes to drafting QBs.
So, I think y’all can see where I stand on this issue (don’t draft him), but there is certainly room for disagreement and discussion. It’ll be intriguing to see how this all plays out Thursday night, and then we can all stop talking about “fits” and “draft boards” and all the other draft talk that has been nauseating.
Make sure you follow Carter on Twitter, read his work at Creative Loafing and check him out on the RBLR Sports Podcast.