Buccaneers’ Advisor Arians Has A Favorite QB In This Year’s Draft


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers season ended with a playoff loss to the Detroit Lions. The team did win five of it’s last six regular season games and beat the Philadelphia Eagles in the Wild-Card round led by Baker Mayfield.

While the season didn’t end the way they wanted, the Pewter Pirates did appear to find there next quarterback in Mayfield. There’s been mutual interest from the team and Mayfield to get a long-term deal done, and rightfully so.

So with that you’d think the Bucs focus on the draft wouldn’t include selecting a quarterback right? Enter Buccaneers former head coach and current senior advisor Bruce Arians.

Arians recently talked with Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud about the upcoming NFL draft and in particular a certain Tampa native quarterback, Michael Penix Jr.

“As far as the football grade, I love (Penix) because he does things I love to do,” Arians talking to Stroud about Penix Jr. “He puts (the ball) up the field. He’s as accurate on throws up the field as anyone I’ve seen in 15 years Just to fight through that last game after he had that ankle tore up. But what he did to Texas was unbelievable.”

Penix Jr will be 24 shortly after the draft. This could be a red flag for some teams looking for a franchise quarterback. To complicate the drafting of Penix Jr more is his injury history. Season ending injuries in his first four years is definitely a concern. Especially when those injuries were to his knees and shoulder. Arians acknowledges the injuries, but thinks they show Penix Jr’s resilience.

“I think that says everything about the kid, how tough he is to overcome all that. Then to play like he did this year. Now, the medical experts, when you get to the combine, they’ll tug and pull and do all that stuff. You’ll get the medical grade.”

This isn’t to say Arians thinks the team should move on from Baker Mayfield.

“I think he loves it here,” Arians stated. “The job he did, I mean, the job Todd (Bowles) did with the new coordinator (Dave Canales), new play-caller, new quarterback and the ups and downs. To be the only NFC team to go to the playoffs four years in a row? That’s very satisfying, for me especially.”

While Arians obviously has a favorite in Penix Jr in this drat class, he also thinks this class might be one of the better groups in recent history.

“This might be the best group of quarterbacks that have come out in 10 or 15 years. They’ve got guys running (the 40-yard dash in) 4.5 (seconds) and some guys slinging it. The passers are just amazing in this draft.”

While the idea of the Buccaneers taking a quarterback in this year’s is intriguing, I just can’t see them spending a high round pick on one.

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