The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could stop Will Levis’ draft slide should he fall to them at No. 19.
While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need to replace Tom Brady in the long term, they may want to wait a year instead of drafting Will Levis out of Kentucky at No. 19.
Levis is one of four or five quarterbacks who will go in the top 31 of the 2023 NFL Draft. However, his inherent quirkiness and mercurial personality could make him the fourth or fifth quarterback coming off the board. Although he could go as high as No. 4 to the Indianapolis Colts, Levis could conceivably fall to the Minnesota Vikings picking a few slots after the Buccaneers in the low 20s.
One thing is certain: The Buccaneers may be willing to risk it all in taking Levis with their selection.
Frankly, this has nothing to do with draft value, or really anything to do with Levis at all; it has everything to do with the Buccaneers.
Let’s discuss the ramifications of going full-blown, no risk it, no biscuit with Levis at No. 19.
NFL Draft rumors: Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to be infatuated with Will Levis
I may be one of the few people left who believes can be a great player in the NFL, but I have major reservations about him going to the Buccaneers right now. While backing up Baker Mayfield for a year makes sense, as well as getting a few starts here and there, who is to say Todd Bowles and the remnants of the Bruce Arians’ Tampa Bay staff will get another year beyond the 2023 season?
I would much rather him go to a team like the Vikings, the Seattle Seahawks or the Baltimore Ravens than Tampa Bay at this time. This is all about believing head coaches like Kevin O’Connell, Pete Carroll and John Harbaugh are not going to be fired after next season. Levis showed at Kentucky he needs structure, particularly on offense, to thrive. Who will be his next Liam Coen?
In truth, I think teams picking ahead of the Buccaneers such as the Atlanta Falcons at No. 8 or the Tennessee Titans at No. 11 are better equipped to handle Levis in their building than Tampa Bay. I would bet good money that Arthur Smith and Mike Vrabel will be back in Flowery Branch and Nashville respectively next season. As for Bowles, he is on one of the hottest seats in the league.
If I were the Buccaneers, I would not go quarterback in the first round this spring. Maybe Hendon Hooker, but I don’t think the next Kenny Pickett is going to bring a third Lombardi Trophy to the Florida Gulf Coast anytime soon, even if the Buccaneers are the reigning champs of the worst division in football. It is about throwing Mayfield to the wolves and bottoming out ahead of 2024.
It wouldn’t shock me if the Buccaneers ended up with a top-10 pick next spring. That would put them in an advantageous spot to draft someone like J.J. McCarthy, or potentially trade up for the two blue-chippers coming out next spring in Drake Maye or Caleb Williams. Rather than draft the next Jay Cutler, roll with Mayfield to be in position for the next Aaron Rodgers or Patrick Mahomes.
Levis can absolutely have success in the NFL, but Tampa Bay is horrific at drafting quarterbacks.
Leave a Reply