Hail Mary Reach Or Brilliant Pick?

April 16th, 2021

Stanford QB Davis Mills.

If this came to pass, Joe would see it as a significant boom-or-bust pick.

It could be better than Tristan Wirfs or it could be worse than Gaines Adams.

Good guy and closet Bucs fan Peter Schrager, the co-host of “Good Morning Football” seen weekday mornings on NFL Network, believes a man should only do one mock draft and stick to his guns. Anything more is it just a dishonest tease.

However, Schrager has two mocks each year and that is it. Like the old school mockers (the kind Joe admired), Schrager strives for accuracy. And in Joe’s mind if accuracy in a mock draft is not a goal, then why are you wasting Joe’s time as well as the precious time of the hard-working people of America?

Schrager’s strategy with two, as he explained to good guy CBS Sports and SiriusXM personality Adam Schein on the “Adam Schein Podcast,” is to try to be as accurate as possible with your first attempt. Then, sift through all the feedback you get from NFL sources in teams’ draft war rooms and have at it a second and final time armed with strong intel.

Joe knows who Schrager speaks with and they are the biggest big shots of NFL teams. Owners. General managers. Pro personnel people. Coaches.

So when Schrager had Bucs AC/DC-loving general manager Jason Licht selecting Stanford quarterback Davis Mills, the feedback he got from NFL teams was that he was on the correct scent. It may not be Mills at No. 32, Schrager explained to Schein, but it seems teams sort of expect Licht to pull the trigger on a quarterback there.

Adam Schein: What was the feedback you got on the Buccaneers taking a quarterback at 32?

Peter Schrager: Well, it didn’t come from Tampa but a lot of people actually liked it because of the quarterback I gave them. I have them [picking] Davis Mills out of Stanford, who has only played seven games and has had two ACL injuries. And you say, “Well, I’m not taking a risk on that.” But, the seven games he played were outstanding. They have done the numbers. He has an incredible release. And he’s, like brilliant. And he’s a five-star athlete coming out of high school and a No. 1 high school recruit at the position. So, that’s one of those [picks] that is purely developmental. I’ll be honest with you. [The NFL feedback] doesn’t come from [the Bucs]. It could be easily one of the other quarterbacks, depending on who you want. I just think quarterback makes sense for Tampa Bay. They have checked all of the other boxes. “Let’s develop one while Tom Brady is here.” And if they bring back Blaine Gabbert, fine. But to have one in the holster, to have one to watch after Brady, I think that is a smart succession plan.

To quickly clear up a piece of Schrager’s information, Mills has 11 college starts under his belt, not just seven games.

Joe doesn’t think Schrager is off base — except for maybe the quarterback he selected. When it appeared Mac Jones might slip down the board a bunch, Joe wondered aloud if Jones might be a savvy pick for the Bucs. But man, this Mills. Only 11 games? It’s not like the guy was Joe Burrow.

And bad knees? That seems more like a second-day flyer at best, which Joe would not be opposed to.

In his draft guide “The Beast,” Dane Brugler of The Athletic believes Mills could go as high as the first round because, you know, quarterbacks. However, Brugler has him graded out as a third-round pick.

STRENGTHS: Big, athletic and loose body type…smooth set-up and delivery and throws a tight spiral…beautiful touch on loft throws, but also able to drive the football with proper footwork…confident making “turkey hole” throws and trusts his arm and ball placement…makes anticipatory throws before receivers are out of their breaks…loves to attack the middle of the field, but will scan the entire field and keep his eyes elevated while shuffling in the pocket…shows the functional mobility to throw from different platforms or tuck and pick up the first down…his coaches speak highly of his ability to handle adverse situations, on and off the field…physically and mentally tough and past injuries haven’t made him skittish…team captain in 2020…ranked fourth in the FBS in completions per game (25.8) as a junior.

SUMMARY: A two-year starter at Stanford, Mills operated in offensive coordinator Tavita Pritchard’s pro-style scheme and split his snaps from under center and shotgun. The No. 1 quarterback in the 2017 recruiting class (ahead of Tua Tagovailoa), his college career was interrupted by the left knee injury from high school and then a COVID-shortened 2020 season and he finished with basically one full year of starting experience. A loose, well-built passer, Mills shows the ability to scan, operate from various platforms and throw with touch/anticipation. He is one of the best middle-of-the-field passers in the draft, but needs time to grow and eliminate the “what are you doing?” plays from his tape. Overall, Mills is still learning the throws he should and shouldn’t make, but he has size and mobility and delivers a very catchable ball with the field-reading skills to be a developmental NFL starter, although the health of his left knee is a strong concern.

Joe’s good friend Emory Hunt, the Czar of the Playbook — in his Football Gameplan Draft Guide (only $10!) — is way down on Mills ranking him dead last among his list of draftable quarterbacks. Hunt believes Mills flat out stinks against the blitz.


– Throws a very catchable ball. Has really good touch on his throws, which allow for RAC opportunities.
– Shows efficiency in throwing on the move; able to execute really well on boots, waggles and sprint out passes.
– Plays with a solid, fundamental base that puts him in a ‘ready’ position at all times to make throws.

Areas of Improvement:

– Marginal athleticism. This will be an issue for him vs the blitz and a muddied pocket.
– Doesn’t particularly see the field well, and will put the ball into harms way; especially vs zone coverage.
– Arm strength and velocity are slightly below average, especially when trying to drive the ball down the field.

Mills’ touchdown-to-interception ratio is OK at 18/8. But man, he’s a below-60 percent completion percentage quarterback in the lousy PAC-12. It’s not like he was playing Oregon, USC, Washington or Notre Dame every weekend. Completion percentage rarely improves in the NFL. Under 60 percent is Jay Cutler territory.

By comparison, the former Bucs quarterback fans love to throw rocks at, Mr. Entertainment, America’s Quarterback, Pro Bowler Jameis Winston, has a 61 percent completion percentage in the NFL.

Joe is OK with rolling the dice on this Mills no earlier than the third round. But first round? That seems like a major league Hail Mary.

52 Responses to “Hail Mary Reach Or Brilliant Pick?”

  1. Says:

    Bring back the #AmishRifle

  2. Mitch Says:

    If he is there in the 4th round sure.

  3. Pewter941 Says:

    I dont think its a good idea to put high stock in a qb that probably wont see the field until his rookie contract is about to expire. Because he will probably need a new contract, and that wont be much time for us to know if he is worth investing in long term.

  4. PSL Bob Says:

    Don’t care who we grab or what round. Just hope they grab a QB sometime during this draft and that their evaluation of the one they want is spot on.

  5. Steven007 Says:

    Josh Allen played on a terrible team in a terrible conference and had a woeful completion percentage as well. Not the best comp perhaps but an example of someone greatly improving their completion percentage after they made it to the NFL.

  6. Joe Says:

    Not the best comp perhaps but an example of someone greatly improving their completion percentage after they made it to the NFL.

    Sure. Josh Allen did improve his completion percentage while he was in the NFL. That is a rare outlier. Always remember and never forget, just because something happens once does not mean it always happens.

  7. adam from ny Says:

    umm…jacob eason…maybe go get him

  8. MadMax Says:

    5th, maybe

    Rondale Moore
    Landon Dickerson
    Darius Stills
    Pete Werner

    5th and 6th probably used up in trades or one for this kid Mills.

  9. Durango 95 Says:

    Oh let’s see 11 starts and 2 ACL injuries on a 1st round pick. What could possibly go wrong? Obviously I’m no draft wizard but how many red flags does one need to back away from that?

  10. Ash Says:

    If you are talking at 32 that’s a hell of a reach if we stay at 32 would like to see an OL or edge pick

  11. Steven007 Says:

    I agree with the point Joe, just adding some context from a recent high drafted quarterback that many thought would be a dud in the NFL. That said, I see no way we spend the first round pick on this guy. Perhaps the second rounder since that’s essentially a high third round pick anyways.

  12. Smashsquatch Says:

    Like his release, would not be opposed to drafting him in the 3rd. Fehoko stood out on that highlight reel. He’d be a nice day three possession receiver, looked good on contested catches.

  13. Medicated Pete Says:

    Not drafting a QB b/c this entire coaching staff is outta here when TB12 retires

  14. RioDeJaneiroBucsFan Says:

    QB isn’t a priority. 3rd round or later, ok. OLB depth, a backup Center, DT depth and even DB depth are much more important
    In the first two rounds, the best player available won’t be a QB

  15. Casual Observer Says:

    Agree with Rio’s priorities and assessment. We’ll soon see.

  16. MadMax Says:

    Im sorry, L Dickerson is going 1st rd, probably around 20ish, dont know why i had him in my notes as a 2nd (i work a lot and dont have much time anymore to research)….

    With that said, LD at 32 if he’s there would be a steal!!! I know we have Jenkins, but some of these guys will need replacing eventually and Landon is nasty like Jenkins…what a great guy to learn behind. A great future Center/Guard for 10 years…go watch his tape, dude is a BEAST!

  17. Jerry R Jones Says:

    Take into account Mills only threw to Fehoko for almost every TD he’s responsible for. Not to say he’s not talented, but he’s not blowing my mind.

  18. WiscoJoe Says:

    KELLEN MOND… that is all.

  19. Hodad Says:

    I’m OK with taking a QB with our 1st pick, but not for this guy. Should Fields drop to 32 like Jackson did to Balt sure. I think we can find a QB to develop 3rd round, or beyond. We should consider tho, TB is the only QB currently on the roster.

  20. Kobe Faker Says:

    “At his age and because the size of his gut (health), BA is not going to nor has the time to train a green rookie QB for a few years

    Blaine Gabbert will be the next starting QB after TB12”

    Kobe Faker

  21. Buc1987 Says:

    Gabbert ain’t going to BE the starting QB Kobe after Brady.

    For the 65th time Kobe Faker is wrong.


  22. Ben green Says:

    Pick a qb and tell brady you drafted his replacement for next year. Tell him you think his skills have gone in the toilet and this is his prove it year. We did that in new england and, you know the results. He’ll make you trade said quarterback before his fifth year option. I’m convinced he’ll play til 50

  23. Mike Says:

    Honestly, if the Bucs like one, I’m not opposed to a QB at the end of round 1. But, the history of the Bucs so far would say that drafting a QB is a waste of a draft pick. The only time we’ve been successful was with veteran FA QB signings. If we’re going for a developmental pick later in the draft that’s low risk high upside, that would be the safe/smart approach in my opinion.

  24. Magicbuc Says:

    He looks like Peyton Manning…and he already knows to get the ball to #13!!

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    It is drafting Aaron Rodger’s backup for 2024…

    😉 😉 😉 😉

  26. ocala Says:

    No team is picking him in the 1st. I would say there is a very small chance he is picked in the 2nd. Most likely he will be a 3rd or 4th round pick.

  27. WillieG Says:

    Jason does like the scratch and dent sales

  28. Jody Says:

    Bill Walsh strategy! Never ever pick a QB with less than three years as a starter.

  29. SlyPirate Says:

    Lousy Pac12? Herbert is doing okay.

  30. Jody Says:

    Blaine Gabbert can play!

  31. SB~LV Says:

    K Mond ?!

    A 200 lbs QB … the Front Office has a plan, it certainly would be a great advantage to have the next QB exposed to the GOAT… all
    I care is that they have a high degree of confidence in the pick and not a reach for potential.
    I can also see the Bucs trading OJ in a move up combo with one of the 3 teams with multiple 1st and second round picks.
    Or moving up without a trade to get “a guy”

  32. SOEbuc Says:

    Watching too much GFB, Joe. No QB until at least the fourth or fifth round, depending on how many picks we’ve gotten.

    I know people love the mock drafts and watching draft night, but let’s be realistic. Licht has a knack for trading in the draft and at what better position to trade down than 32. There is still a ton of developmental/depth positions for the Bucs in the second round.

  33. rrsrq Says:

    Sleeper in round three – Jamie Newman. If you struggle against the blitz, it will not get better sitting on the bench (with a lack of mobility) and knee surgeries.

  34. gotbbucs Says:

    If he gets drafted high he should give half his contract money to his college receivers.

  35. SB~LV Says:

    Someone suggested drafting a QB late and developing …IMO history does not encourage that approach…yeah..yeah..yeah…The GOAT

  36. ShiverMeTimbers Says:

    Just watching the film it looks like he’s staring down his first read on almost every play. I don’t get the “IT” factor from this guy. His receivers seemed to bail him out on a couple of those throws too. There’s better options in RD 1

  37. Cobraboy Says:

    Maybe Mac “Nobama” Jones will now drop to #32. I’d take him then…

  38. Gordon Says:

    We should take David Mills at pick 32 if he is available because Tom Brady is at the end of his career! Tom Brady was taken last in the draft to become the best QB ever. Certainly Mills has great potential and would receive training from the great Tom Brady that would help him succeed also!!

  39. Bucanero Says:

    No! Second round is the most I am willing to give for a QB. We have to be very clear in the message. WE ARE ALL IN. SEIZE THE DAY Who wants a project???? Go to the JETS if you want a project!

  40. Bucanero Says:

    We can stock a later round QB and next year another one and the year after. In 2-4 years will see how they play out. No need to waste a high pick on a project. I would prefer Offensive line. Protect Brady, give him more weapons or improve our defense. Those are all priorities before looking for backups. 4th round there could be a guy and remember that the main argument is that the guy can sit back and learn from the goat so really it is not so much about the guy but the teacher he will have. Priorities fellows.

  41. Bucanero Says:

    The other thing is that it may make sense for the Bucs to draft this guy. But who else is going to grab him from us? Can the Bears develop him? Who is going to pull the trigger in the 2nd round? If for some reason Bucs management is infatuated with this guy they have to know the market is thin and in any case we could acquire the player later by trade. he won’t be a 1st round franchise QB. He can be acquired later.

  42. Oneilbuc Says:

    Bucaner. The only thing about the moment mindset is it can hurt the future . Look at Philly after they won their superbowl and look at Baltimore and Pittsburgh after they won their superbowl . That’s the difference between a one hit wonder and a culture change. Look at the bucs after the 2002 season it took 18 years to get back and they weren’t even a competitive team for at least 12 years out of the 18 . I rather Baltimore and Pittsburgh results vs ours and Philly . Big Ben is holding the Steelers back.

  43. Allbuccedup Says:

    Maybe if they trade back and get an extra pick in the 3rd or early 4th round but if they really want a QB might as well roll the dice with Trask hes played good competition.

  44. Steve M.] Says:

    If you are sure Brady will be playing in 2022.
    Take a QB next year in the draft and have him learn under TB then.

  45. firethecannons Says:

    No!!!!!–here why–when Brady is through then we sign Aaron “jeopardy” Rodgers and keep the party going not 3rd round rookie w/o a chance in hell of being decent

  46. Cobraboy Says:

    I’m in the camp that says you draft *some* QB every year, even if it’s the 7th round.

    It’s the Gump “Box of Chocolates” theory…you never know. Did the Pats know about Brady’s potential in Round 6?

  47. Jonny Says:

    Kellen Mond has all the tools and great accuracy at all levels. He played very controlled under Jimbo Fisher and got progressively better as a pocket passer each year. His area of improvement as per multiple analysts is the fact that he doesn’t tap into his athleticism and too disciplined for his own good. He would be the best student Brady would inherit. Kid has a huge chip of his shoulder that he is being undervalued for reasons that don’t seem to matter for Lawrence or Fields.

  48. Bucanero Says:

    @Oneilbuc, If we were talking about Ben Roethlisberger but it is Brady and his preparation is completely different. I want the Bucs to win again and nothing that could potentially hurt our chances. Not a project that pretty much could end in a bust. Win today, make a habit of it. That’s all. Sure, get a QB in later rounds. We also can draft other positions that help us now and in the future. It is not like we are going to the pawn shop to fill the fridge. Management worked to be able to have this moment. Our future is brilliant but we have to win again, win more. I want to pick 32 next year. Get mister future promise next year or the year after that. Don’t you want this franchise to pile 3,4,5 Lombardis? I don’t want talented first rounders who turn out busts. I’m sick of those. We happen to have a sixth rounder who players want to play for who is obsessed with winning. I want to give that sixth rounder every f chance. We gave Jameis promise Winston five years and not even one playoff game we got in return. And the MF hates us. No thxs.

  49. Michael Says:

    Trade out of first round and get a first next year 😀👍🏻🏈

  50. David Says:

    Only if he is available in round 3 or later

  51. Oneilbuc Says:

    Bucnor. I want to win as well and keep winning . But I don’t want to wait another 18 years for just 1 superbowl after this one. Because ain’t no guarantee we winning this year and Brady is year to year with either retirement or his arm . So that’s why I think drafting a quarterback in the first round is a good thing and then we can go all defense and offensive line . I want sustain success and as for Jamies goes they didn’t give him the same players they gave Brady. They never drafted a offensive linman in the first round like they did Brady . They never focus on getting him a runningback or even ran Rojo like they did for Brady . And I know a lot of people on this site will say different because of the hate towards Jamies. And I will tell you this for the next young quarterback if they give him a running game and have him throwing 45 times a game up the field it will be the same results regardless of who the quarterback is . I said the same thing when Brady came in . They tried the no risk it no biscuit offense with Brady and we were 7 and 5 and all most lost the NFC championship.

  52. Cainishere Says:

    QB at 32 yes Mr. Stanford? Uh no sir. 2/3rds of college players never make it to the NFL. He played against kids. He gets hurt super easy. No thanks, need someone with intelligence and durability and skill that Brady can mold into a champion.