The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are returning their entire starting lineup from last year’s Super Bowl team for the 2021 season, which means they don’t have any glaring needs heading into the 2021 NFL draft.
But would they really spend their first-round pick on the sixth-best quarterback in this year’s class?
That’s what happens in the latest 2021 NFL mock draft from NFL Network’s Peter Schrager, which has the Bucs spending the No. 32 overall selection on Stanford’s Davis Mills.
Schrager explains that Mills’ stock appears to be rising as the draft draws near, and that a rookie quarterback wouldn’t find a better situation than sitting behind the best to ever play the position:
I don’t know where Mills goes exactly, but the buzz around the league is that he could be a first-round pick and will most likely be the sixth quarterback selected. I’ll throw him to Tampa Bay, where he can learn from a pretty good QB1.
There’s plenty to like about Mills’ skill set, and Tampa Bay’s decision-makers have admitted that a young quarterback is something the team certainly needs, especially with both Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Griffin still unsigned. That said, the Bucs are also very much still in win-now mode, and spending your top draft pick on a quarterback that shouldn’t see the field for at least a year or two doesn’t seem to fit with that strategy.
Last year, the Bucs landed immediate-impact stars with their first two picks (Tristan Wirfs, Antoine Winfield Jr.), and while they might not need that kind of player for this year’s starting lineup, they could still find a talented prospect at any number of other positions that would provide added depth and rotational help as they look to repeat as Super Bowl champs this year.
The Bucs might spend a pick on a quarterback this year, but it would be a huge surprise to see them use their highest selection on one.
To see Schrager’s full first-round projection at NFL.com, click here.