Season Must Play Out Before Guessing Draft Direction

November 15th, 2023

Bucs GM Jason Licht.

So to celebrate the 2023 NFL season being at the halfway point (sort of) BSPN is looking to the 2024 offseason, namely the draft.

BSPN picked a greatest need for each team and listed players each team may be monitoring to fill that need.

For the Bucs, Jordan Reid took a swing and noted he believes there is no bigger first-round need for the Bucs than a franchise quarterback. Reid noted they may even trade up to get one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projected biggest need:

After getting off to a 3-1 start, the Bucs have gone 1-4 over their past five games, and Baker Mayfield has been up and down. He’s on his fourth team in the past three seasons. It’s time for a new face of the franchise, and that’s probably more likely to come in the draft than free agency. The Bucs could be a trade-up candidate, targeting someone like Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy in Round 1. Or maybe Tampa Bay opts to pair a veteran — perhaps even Mayfield — with a Day 2 signal-caller like Jayden Daniels (LSU) or Michael Penix Jr. (Washington).

Reid’s projections seem backward. J.J. McCarthy, to Joe, looks really average. And think about it, if Michigan didn’t have him throw one pass in the second half against Penn State last week, that just screams to Joe that Michigan doesn’t fully trust him. Unless Michigan was hiding an injury to McCarthy.

Last year Joe thought McCarthy was meh. Saturday was the first time all year Joe saw him this season and he just looked blah. Not bad but not impressive.

Jayden Daniels seems to get better by the week but he sure doesn’t appear to be that guy yet. Excellent measurables. Can run like the wind. Has a gun for an arm. But man, when he plays good teams, he doesn’t seem to rise to the occasion. At least not this year.

Now Michael Penix? Joe is a big fan. That guy has a Howitzer for an arm and he’s accurate. Joe’s eyeball test says Penix seems like a much better quarterback than McCarthy and probably Daniels, too.

But as far as the draft goes, if Bucs coach Todd Bowles pulls out a winning record and a playoff berth, Joe’s laying cash he talks the Bucs into re-signing Baker Mayfield.

41 Responses to “Season Must Play Out Before Guessing Draft Direction”

  1. MadMax Says:

    Go for the gusto….Marvin Harrison Jr….then Bo Nix. I know, impossible but you never know.

  2. Tye Says:

    If BM6 continues to improve, he is the better option than getting stuck for the next coming years with a high risk failure at qb!…

    If BM6 pans out, the Bucs can fill more needed positions that are aging rapidly…

  3. WyomingJoe Says:

    Sign Mayfield and solidify the O-Line with a Center in the first round, a RB in the second and a Guard in the third. According to some of his haters, Baker is playing at his ceiling right now, but those “fans” are wrong. With an improved O-Line he’ll be a Top 6-10 QB for years.

  4. westernbuc Says:

    I thought Penix was a first round guy but I don’t follow closely.

    If Baker leads us to the playoffs, we’ll probably be out of the picture for a top end guy, but we should still take a QB at some point. Even if we re-sign him, it shouldn’t preclude us from taking someone in the first round

  5. Crickett Baker Says:

    We will be in CAP purgatory in 2024. Our QB room is pretty strong and we even have a previous 1st and pretty high 2nd draft pick in it. They seem adequate for another year. We can sure use other positions more than a QB. If we keep Baker we don’t have to give him more than a decent raise, and have someone who knows the system.

  6. Bring back the lawn chairs Says:

    The Bucs know what they have with mayfield. Gritty, smart, and a team first captain.
    With a new qb, well it’s like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get really fresh out of college.
    Are you gonna get another problematic loser, or just another total loser?
    I say stick with mayfield.
    If the team is able to retain him….
    The better he is, the higher the bid from here.
    That’s the way free markets work you know.
    I mean for every hit, there are 5-10 throwin Samoans, and mr. Crableggs himself trying to eat W’s. Just sayin.

  7. mat Says:

    We might as well re-sign Baker Mayfield to a bridge deal if JJ McCarthy is the alternative in the draft.

  8. 1sparkybuc Says:

    Mayfield is not good enough to overcome bad coaching, a yo-yo defense, and no ground attack. We’ll be drafting a QB early in the first round. We lose to bad teams. We don’t stand a chance against good teams. It’s embarrassing.

  9. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Mayfield has showed he’s capable of being a tier 2 quarterback along the lines someone like Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan or Matt Stafford. You can win with that if you build around him.

    So unless Mayfields play unexpectedly falls of a cliff in the back half of the season, Baker Mayfield will be your opening day starter for 2024.

  10. rickym Says:

    The Bucs signed Mayfield to a one year deal. As a UFA next season he will command a much larger salary next season. His play this year has elevated his status and he proved when he is healthy and in the right system he is a very good NFL QB. For the Bucs to retain him he must be paid much more than he is currently being paid.

    In order to retain him, the Bucs may have to let go of some high paid talent. Mike Evans is the most likely to be on another team next season for salary cap reasons. To me, that signals a wide out taken in the first round of the draft. There are still needs at other positions including offensive line and running back but some of those can also be filled via free agency.

    If the Bucs implode the remainder of the season, there will be changes at the coaching level and maybe higher. Of course, that would change everything!

  11. Fansince76 Says:

    Totally useless effort by BSPN, what a waste of time.
    and does Reid watch any college football at all?
    No way Penix is a day 2 pick? he will not make it past
    the first round without getting injured.

  12. Beeej Says:

    If you can’t get to the qb with 4 guys, or run the ball, it matters little who your quarterback is

  13. Hodad Says:

    Typical Buc fans ok with settling for Mayfield. I still say Baker doesn’t make it through the season. Baker could be a good bridge QB, but he’s not the future. Our record will decide what we draft, and most likely who will be the coach, and do the drafting. If we have a top 10 pick it would mean we go QB. If we have a bottom 20 whole nother ball game.

  14. Buckeyebuckchuck Says:

    Would like to see them keep building the lines. I dont think they’ve given up on Trask yet, and Mayfield is doing his job; distribute the football, dont make Josh Allen bone-head Interceptions.

  15. Darin Says:

    It has played out. No way bowles ever goes over 500. Plan accordingly

  16. Breadwinnerbob Says:

    If we resign baker as the only option with no one to develop we are looking at Milton 1 overall in 25

  17. Jeff’s grandpa Says:

    0.0 chance penix lasts till 2nd rd

  18. Seattle Buc Says:

    Wait a second. If Mayfield is our franchise quarterback as so many here say then why does ESPN say our biggest need is quarterback? Someone help me out here.

  19. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Bucs won a SB with Brad Johnson at QB and won a SB with Tom Brady at QB.
    Bucs didn’t draft either of them.
    They invested their drafts in building great Defenses.

  20. Seattle Buc Says:

    “Jordan Reid believes there is no bigger first-round need for the Bucs than a franchise quarterback.”

    Well then, just go out and draft one. Ask the teams that drafted the 5 out of 69 first-round quarterbacks drafted since 2000 who have won a Super Bowl how they drafted those 5, and we just do the same! Easy!

  21. orlbucfan Says:

    How about considering a true fullback? We don’t have one right now, and it would help the O.

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    I “hope” Mayfield proves a worthy QB, so no draft capital is wasted trying (and by the odds, failing) to find the elusive “franchise quarterback.”

    I hope for a competitive tank if this team is not a legitimate threat in the playoffs…and I do not think they are, especially with questionable coaching.

  23. Jvato24 Says:

    Whoever ignores Jordan Travis at FSU will be a fool, screen shot this and quote me!

  24. realistic-optimistic Says:

    Yes the Bucs have 2 Super Bowl wins, but a LOT of very unwatchable seasons in between. I’m tired of the endless terrible teams with a rented SB every 25 seasons. That’s not a fun product.

    You fix this by getting a young franchise QB in the draft! You build your team around said franchise QB’s strengths. You grab coaches that support those strengths.

    Paying through the nose for a one-year wonder journeyman is not sound strategy. Don’t worry Baker Buddies, you can still cheer for your boy no matter what team he’s on.

  25. Fred McNeil Says:

    You sure seems to like this Penix kid. I don’t watch college so I only know what I’ve read…mostly here. Hopefully our draft position will be terrible. This season could still go either way. If we pick really late would Penix likely be still available? This guy seems to peg the kid as round two, but these guys typically guess more than know. What do you think?

  26. Joe Says:

    I’m tired of the endless terrible teams with a rented SB every 25 seasons. That’s not a fun product.

    Trust Joe. The Glazers know this. That’s why they have long-coveted a franchise quarterback.

  27. ocala Says:

    Bucs will most likely not have a realistic shot at Maye or Williams so the Bucs should look for best available in the first round.

    I would like the Bucs to re-sign Mayfield, but draft a Nix, Travis or Daniels in the second round to develop behind Baker.

    Someone commented that the Bucs are in bad shape with the salary cap next year, but that is not accurate. Currently the Bucs have the 11th most cap space at $47.7MM per Spotrac.

  28. Buddha Says:

    Penix is a stud. The kid at USC looked awful against Oregon. Baker wants to be here! He does not want another year starting with yet another new offense. He likely will sign a reasonable contract with incentives.

  29. T. McGee Says:

    Can’t wait to buy a Penix jersey… go Penix! Stick it to the opponent!

  30. Marine Buc Says:

    Way too early to tell and there are so many questions to answer…

    – What to do with:
    – Mike Evans
    – D. White
    – LVD
    – Winfield
    – Jenson
    – Gage
    – Mayfield

    The Bucs will need to sign @ 25 players with @ $65M under the cap and only 6 draft picks to get it done (we don’t have a 5th round pick)…

    Some very tough decisions will need to be made. We will probably end up with another 10 rookies added to the roster when all is said and done.

  31. John Sinclear Says:

    Draft Penix – just to see what Joe does with his nickname!

  32. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Penix Jr is a local from Tampa Bay Tech….would be awesome to see get drafted by the Bucs….agree w Joe that McCarthy is meh unless he’s playing against Minnesota every week.

  33. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Desaun Watson out for the year….bet they wish they had Mayfield!!

  34. SlyPirate Says:

    Penix is a round 1 pick. Bo Nix could fall to round 2. He plays like a savvy NFL pro.

  35. TonySoprano Says:

    Penix is an older prospect that isn’t very mobile and has had 2 ACL tears. That’s why some talking heads are projecting he’ll go in the 2nd. But man, just watch that dude throw the ball – it’s a thing of beauty. I’m a huge fan.

  36. Seattle Buc Says:

    Joe Says: “The Glazers have long-coveted a franchise quarterback.”

    That’s nice. But if over the course of three seasons they never put their second round QB pick in a game with the starting offense how will they know? Oh, I get it. They’ll know just like the Packers knew about Favre and the Patriots knew about Brady while Favre and Brady were riding the pine! Oh … wait … Neither of those teams had an inkling of what they had in Favre and Brady until Favre and Brady went in after Don Majkowski (Favre) and Drew Brees (Brady) went down with injuries. Oh, now I remember! The Bucs are one of the top teams at developing quarterbacks – Steve Young comes to mind – and just know! 🙄

  37. Seattle Buc Says:

    Tbbucs3 Says: “Desaun Watson out for the year….bet they wish they had Mayfield!”

    Trade Mayfield for an offensive lineman or a draft pick and start building the cornerstone of every offense.

  38. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Seattle Buc, Id rather trade Trask for a 7th rounder and a stadium hot dog.

  39. Seattle Buc Says:

    Tbbucs3, you never answered my questions. What year did you drop out of FSU and how many Jameis jerseys do you have?

  40. Tbbucs3 Says:

    Seattle, what does Trask being a 2d round bust have anything to do with FSU? Sorry, unlike you, I don’t see a gator helment when Trask is playing in preseason.

  41. Capt.Tim Says:

    Meybe if we get the Number one pick, we get our QB!
    Jameis Winston. Yeah, we tried and failed miserably at that.
    Mayfield is a very good QB.
    We need to fix Oline and Dline.
    That is the weaknesses killing this team