Devin Leary And The Bucs

April 18th, 2024

The Bucs don’t need a quarterback. They’ve got Pro Bowl QB Baker Mayfield and the guy that allegedly was within inches of winning the starting job from Mayfield last season: Kyle Trask.

However, Trask is in the final year of his rookie deal and third-stringer (second?) John Wolford is a journeyman that’s the kind of guy you start if you’re playing for draft position.

So perhaps Bucs officials would be tickled to select a quarterback late in this year’s draft?

The easy QB to point to is University of Kentucky QB Devin Leary because his playcaller last season was new Bucs offensive coordinator Liam Coen.

Coen played quarterback in college and is revered by Rams offensive guru Sean McVay, for whom he worked in Los Angeles. Coen knows QBs and would know if the guy has enough NFL talent and mentality to nurture.

Joe was intrigued listening to the deep breakdown of QBs in next week’s draft by Phil Simms, the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback known for his CBS and HBO analyst work.

After detailing the potential first-round-pick QBs, Simms was asked for a sleeper type QB that has starter potential and more. He went to Leary.

“Man, aggressive thrower. Big throws down the field a lot. Very strong arm, I thought,” Simms said.

“And just, you know, he played at Kentucky — it doesn’t matter, I’m judging him, not the team. But he caught my eyes. That was one of the first ones along with [University of Tennessee QB] Joe Milton that caught my eyes.

“[Leary] can really let it go. He can be on the right hash and throw outcuts all the way to the left sideline. Maybe too aggressive. I think it was Missouri he was playing, they were a better team than Kentucky. His decision making was horrendous. He threw three interceptions and every one of them was like, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ But moves around better than I thought. … Great experience. Threw for over 10,000 yards in his career.”

Joe has seen many positive quotes from Coen about Leary, but that means little. If Coen really thinks Leary can be a sleeper, then there’s a chance he lands in Tampa, maybe with the Bucs trading up in Round 6.

Tampa Bay has no fifth-round pick and owns two picks in Round 6, plus their slotted seventh-round selection.

20 Responses to “Devin Leary And The Bucs”

  1. Bucsfan Says:

    Why say Allegedly Joe? Do you have some intel that would indicate Todd was not being truthful about his assessment of the QB competition last year?
    Joe was referring to this year. Who knows who Coen sees as the No. 2 QB. Wolford was a No. 2 with Coen in L.A.–Joe

  2. catcard202 Says:

    Leary was inconsistent in live game action ALL YEAR LONG at Kentucky…Missed a TON of “should be easy completions” in the short to intermediate range… Missed a ton of drive extending plays…While looking like a rock star all year long in practice settings.

    The throwing arm pectoral surgery he underwent after getting injured at NC State definitely played a part in that…As one could imagine…But he just didn’t look right the vast majority of time, this past season at UK. (Tape don’t lie…He had plenty of drops by UK’s SOPH WR’s…But he was off a TON too!)

  3. catcard202 Says:

    Would also add UK had “leadership” issues in the locker room, which is supposed to be an area your QB1 & top DEF guy handles…For that to be public knowledge in KY & something Liam Coen actually commented on frequently, says something in & of itself. Not a direct ding on Leary, but also not a great indicator either.

    (FYI…UK FB players have nothing but GLOWING praise for the leadership of their most recent QB1 transfer – UGA transfer – Brock Vandagriff…In a way that was not expressed last spring, summer or fall in LEX.)

  4. Pickgrin Says:

    Pickgrin Says:
    April 18th, 2024 at 1:48 pm
    Because of Coen’s familiarity, I think the Bucs may be targeting Ray Davis from Kentucky in the late 3rd rd.

    Also think they are looking at the Ky QB as a 7th rd or UDFA addition…


    What Joe? No shoutout for your next article idea from 2 hours ago? LOL

    Bucs don’t have two 6th rd picks Joe – only 1 – and its a comp pick so its a late 6th. Traded away the other 6th (and next year’s) in the Carlton Davis deal.

    I doubt they will trade up for Leary – because they won’t have any ammo left at that point besides the late 7th which is almost worthless. Already missing a 6th next year and Licht doesn’t like borrowing from higher rounds the following year – unless the value is overwhelming like it was with McCollum 2 years ago.

    But yea – If Leary is available with either our 6th or 7th rd picks I could see Licht selecting him for sure. Assuming Coen has given the thumbs up on Leary as our QB4.

    It all depends on who is on the board when those picks come up probably.

    Its a hell of a long wait between pick #125 in the 4th and our next pick at #220 late in the 6th. So there will probably be at least a couple (non QB) players Jason has targeted late still on the board that he will chomping at the bit to get once #220 final rolls around…..

    The higher likelihood Leary becomes a Buccaneer is if he doesn’t get drafted

  5. heyjude Says:

    Leary sounds good on the surface, however he had a torn pectoral muscle and missed the rest of the season at NC before going to KY. Possibly a 6th round pick, if Licht doesn’t have others in mind.

  6. Bucs Guy Says:

    Leary only as a UFA.

  7. Hearty Dikerson Says:

    Bucs – Please ensure you’re expanding your search and not only focusing on guys you’re familiar with. That’ll be lame if we end up drafting 2 or 3 Kentucky players just because we know them.

    I already feel Licht has been guilty of that by overspending on the below average Greg Gaines and 0-sacks-in-2-years Gholston. We could’ve signed guys off the street for vet minimum and gotten the same production. But they’re “Licht’s guys.”

  8. Pickgrin Says:

    Hearty Dikerson Says:
    “That’ll be lame if we end up drafting 2 or 3 Kentucky players just because we know them.”

    Why? Davis and Leary are both good players… As long as the value to get them is in line – whats the problem?

    Hearty Dikerson Says:
    “I already feel Licht has been guilty of that by overspending on the below average Greg Gaines and 0-sacks-in-2-years Gholston. We could’ve signed guys off the street for vet minimum and gotten the same production. But they’re “Licht’s guys.”

    Gaines is worth the $3.5M and Gholston likely IS playing for close to vet minimum. They know the system and coaches know what to expect from them.
    Saying players “off the street” would be just as good is pretty silly…

  9. Hearty Dikerson Says:


    I don’t think Leary is a good player. I also think there better RBs in the mid rounds than Davis. I don’t want the Bucs to overvalue the “familiarity” Coen has with them at the behest of skipping over more talented players.

    “Guys off the street” means other FAs. Didn’t think I’d actually have to spell that out. Space-eaters on the dline are a dime a dozen. Vet minimum is less than $1M. Ghosting made 2.5 last year, Gaines is making 3.5. So yes, I think paying 200-300% more than that for the production we’re getting out of these guys is unwise.

  10. Pickgrin Says:

    Hearty –

    Leary is a “good” prospect if he gets selected at the end of Rd 7 or better yet – comes as a UDFA….

    Your idea that “more talented” RBs will 100% be available when and if the Bucs select Davis is purely opinion and speculation. Negative projection more like….

    Licht and his scouts have earned the right to be trusted when it comes to evaluation. The draft grade they put on Davis and where he is slotted on their board will have little or nothing to do with what Coen says about the player.

    “Familiarity” is a bonus and a plus. Not a reason to jump a guy up your draft board in the heat of the moment when there are other/higher rated/better players available at that same position.

    If Jason Licht drafts Davis – it will be because at that moment of selection – Davis was at or very near being the BPA on the Bucs draft board – at a position of relative need.

    Coen’s strong approval of such a selection would be a nice bonus – not the determining factor.

  11. Biggun Says:

    Ok, Leary, was at NC State 2019-2022 and was the starter in 2021, he’s a slightly bigger Baker and is a friggin gun slinger and quick read of defense and not scared to let it rip! Would be a much better backup to Baker, Coen had him one year, his 2022 season was cut short with and significate injury only 6 games played (torn pectoral) 2023 went to Kentucky. So to me he would be perfect to work with Baker on the new offense and can win if called into the game. This would be a no brainer! Oh and Payton Wilson on defense and Wala some magic can happen with our motley crew with these draft picks!

  12. Marky Mark Says:

    Grab him after 3

  13. Esteban85 Says:

    We cannot waste a draft pick on this guy. UDFA, I imagine there will be a couple Kentucky players picked up.

  14. ATLBUC Says:


  15. BillyBucco Says:

    Those of you who don’t like Ray Davis obviously didn’t watch the Florida game.
    This guy could be the biggest sleeper RB in the draft.
    Done know much about Leary and he doesn’t excite me much from what I have seen.
    Would rather get another Trey Palmer potential in the 6th.

  16. TampabayDJ Says:

    @Hearty Dickerson – You sure say “I think” and “I don’t think” quite a lot. I for one , don’t think you are the GM of the Bucs, or GM of anything for that matter. So why don’t you leave it to the guys who get paid millions to make the decisions of drafting talent for their NFL TEAM !!?? This isn’t Madden 24 , and you don’t own the Bucs . And you don’t know anyone with the Kentucky football program, nor do you know anyone with the Bucs. So saying ” people WE know ” sounds a little over the top there. Anyway , JL will do what he thinks is best for our favorite team. Go Bucs

  17. TampabayDJ Says:

    Hearty Dickerson – You sound like a child playing Madden ! You don’t know anything about NFL talent evaluating, and you’re not the GM of the Bucs or anything for that matter. ” I THINK ” and “WE” ? Your a fan, you don’t own the Bucs or are even employed by them , unless you clean the toilets after a game ?

  18. Tim Says:

    Big arm, makes a few bonehead plays a game, sounds familiar.

  19. Hearty Dikerson Says:

    @Tampabay DJ – thanks for clarifying I’m not the GM of the Bucs. But this site, and all other NFL message boards might get a little stale if only NFL GMs were allowed to post their opinions, no?

    Yes, I say “I think” because I’m making it clear it’s my opinion. That concept is clearly going over your head though. Maybe open your mind a little, don’t get so offended just because someone doesn’t agree with you (or your beloved Jason Licht.)

  20. BUCman Says:

    FYI Joe, they only have one 6th round pick. The other was packaged in the Carlton Davis trade