Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians hailed both Kyle Trask’s resilience and arm talent as the Super Bowl champions added the Florida quarterback to their ranks in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
With the No. 64 pick, the Bucs sought the man they will be hoping can go on to be a worthy successor to certain seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, whose commitment to playing beyond the age of 45 promises to give his new teammate ample time to learn behind the greatest to do it.
Trask finished the 2020 season 301 of 437 passing for 4,283 yards, 43 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 12 games, but while his accuracy earned plaudits the 23-year-old’s arm strength was subject to doubts.
Was it enough for Arians’ offense?
“More than enough (arm strength),” the smiling Bucs coach told reporters. “And if you watch that Georgia game and that comeback, he throws dimes down the sideline. He can make every throw we want and Clyde [quarterbacks coach Clyde Christensen] and Byron [offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich] went to his workout and were extremely pleased with everything they saw. We are really excited about having him.”
Trask is no stranger to the value of patience after spending his first two years at Florida as backup to Feleipe Franks, who also entered 2019 as starter before an injury paved the way for his understudy to take the reins.
In his first start since his freshman year at high school, he went 20 of 28 for 293 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 34-3 win over Tennessee, from which he never looked back.
“His competitive spirit, today’s day everybody transfers, things don’t go right you transfer, but no he hung in there, fought it out,” said Arians.
“I’ve got all the respect in the world for [Florida head coach] Dan Mullen, he’s a good friend and does a hell of a job with quarterbacks and [Florida defensive coordinator] Todd Grantham I coached with so we did all our homework.
“Everything about the guy, he’s accurate, he’s smart, he’s tough, he knows how to move inside the pocket. We don’t draft guys to run, we draft them to throw and he’s accurate as hell so I’m really excited about him. People always want to compare people. To me he’s a lot like Brad Johnson and he’s pretty damn good.”
Trask became the best of the rest as the first quarterback to fall off the board following the five taken inside the first round’s top 15 picks.
Two selections later the Minnesota Vikings acquired Texas A&M play-caller Kellen Mond, before the Houston Texans used their first pick of the Draft on Stanford’s Davis Mills.
“We actually talked about Kyle in the first round,” added Arians. “For us it’s processing information, Tom Moore, Byron, those guys have been around a long time and when you watch this guy process information he’s quick to first, second, third, fourth reads and he slides in and out of the pocket like the guys we’ve coached in the past.
“I just see a guy that has fought his ass off to get where he’s at and improved every year and I think he’s going to continue to improve. He has all the size and plenty of arm strength that we’re looking for.”
Watch day three of the 2021 NFL Draft live on Sky Sports NFL from 5pm on Saturday.
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