Why The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Will Tank For Caleb Williams In The 2024 NFL Draft


Share post:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may not want to admit it, but they’re tanking the 2023 season. And they’re doing it in order to draft a real franchise quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The 2023 Buccaneers may be giving the impression that they’re looking to contend shortly after Tom Brady’s retirement, but it’s all PR talk — this is a team that’s going to be one of the worst in the NFL this season.

Yes, they still have holdovers from the Super Bowl squad of a few years ago. Franchise pieces such as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Lavonte David and Devin White will all return. But make no mistake about it, this Buccaneers squad is a shell of the one that won Super Bowl LV over the Kansas City Chiefs a little more than two years ago.

Think about it — Tampa Bay is entering the upcoming season with Baker Mayfield versus Kyle Trask as the quarterback competition. In other words, they have a veteran quarterback who is playing on his fourth team in a year competing against a disappointing second-round draft pick who failed to unseat Blaine Gabbert as the primary backup quarterback in each of the past two seasons.

The idea seems genuine on the surface, but the Buccaneers are well aware of the shortcomings of their current quarterbacks. Mayfield is supposed to push Trask into bringing out his best. If Trask doesn’t bring it, Mayfield — a quarterback who has never been more than average since entering the NFL as the No. 1 overall pick in 2018 — will spend another season as a stopgap option for a bottom-feeding team.

Neither Mayfield or Trask are franchise quarterbacks and they’re certainly not long-term options. If Tampa Bay was really concerned with competing this season in a weakened NFC South division, they would have signed another veteran quarterback — think Carson Wentz or Teddy Bridgewater — to compete in training camp.

Instead, the veteran quarterback the Buccaneers decided to sign was John Wolford, a 27-year-old quarterback who has four career starts under his belt and has thrown one touchdown against five interceptions for a career passer rating of 59.2.

The signing came shortly after the Buccaneers passed on selecting a single quarterback during the 2023 NFL Draft. Keep in mind that the draft was considered a quarterback-heavy one and that Tampa Bay had the opportunity to select the University of Kentucky’s Will Levis with the 19th overall draft pick. Instead, they selected defensive tackle Calijah Kancey.

Why draft Levis when you can tank and instead select two better quarterback prospects in Caleb Williams or Drake Maye next year?

USC’s Williams is considered a franchise-changing quarterback and has been compared to Patrick Mahomes.

“[Caleb] Williams is Patrick Mahomes,” an anonymous NFL general manager told ESPN’s Matt Miller, “but we didn’t know Mahomes was him yet [when he was drafted in 2017].”

As Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report noted, a scout noted the following in regards to how much teams will covet Williams: “He has the potential to be a guy owners want to lose [games] in December [to be able to draft].”

Sobleski listed the Buccaneers as one of several squads who have a chance of landing Williams in next year’s draft. He described Tampa Bay’s quarterback situation perfectly in his analysis.

“Tampa Bay currently has lottery tickets posing as quarterbacks,” writes Sobleski. “An actual draft investment is a far more rational approach to addressing the position than hoping Mayfield will recapture his earlier magic (or Trask outperforms his draft status).”

BetMGM has the Buccaneers listed with the third-worst Super Bowl odds behind the Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. To put it bluntly, Tampa Bay will be one of the NFL’s worst teams and considering the Cardinals technically have a franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray and the Texans have one in rookie C.J. Stroud, the Buccaneers may be the favorites to land the next Mahomes.

The NFC South may be weak again this year. But the Buccaneers aren’t stupid — they’re not competing for another meaningless division title and a first-round exit.

Tampa Bay is setting themselves up for their next franchise quarterback. Don’t expect the Buccaneers to come anywhere close to sniffing a playoff berth this season.

Source link

Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden
Lisa Holden is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes health, sport, tech, and more. Some of her favorite topics include the latest trends in fitness and wellness, the best ways to use technology to improve your life, and the latest developments in medical research.

Recent posts

Related articles

Suella Braverman warns of ‘hurricane’ of migrants

Receive free Conservative Party UK updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest...

Biden calls western leaders to reassure allies on Ukraine aid

Receive free War in Ukraine updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest...

Bond sell-off intensifies as long-term US yields hit 16-year peak

Receive free US Treasury bonds updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest...

Nato needs to re-establish control of northern Kosovo, says Albanian PM

Receive free Kosovo updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest Kosovo news...

Trio awarded Nobel physics prize for advances in electron dynamics

Receive free Nobel prizes updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest Nobel...

European VC firm Atomico raises $1.1bn to defy tech slowdown

Receive free Atomico Investment Holdings Ltd updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the...

Britain is Europe’s haven from the hard right

Receive free Populism updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest Populism news...

Boohoo slashes profits forecast as consumers cut back

Receive free Boohoo.Com PLC updatesWe’ll send you a myFT Daily Digest email rounding up the latest Boohoo.Com...