Insider suggests Buccaneers could take QB in first round of 2024 NFL Draft - Sport News

Insider suggests Buccaneers could take QB in first round of 2024 NFL Draft

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed quarterback Baker Mayfield earlier this month, but well-known team insider Ira Kaufman of the JoeBucsFan website nevertheless thinks the club could grab Washington Huskies signal-caller Michael Penix Jr. with the 26th pick of the 2024 NFL Draft.

“Although he turns 24 in May, Penix Jr. is considered a raw prospect who likely needs a year or two to be ready for the NFL,” Kaufman explained. “But anyone who watched the Huskies knows this southpaw has rare skills when it comes to throwing a deep ball with touch and accuracy.”

Insider suggests Buccaneers could take QB in first round of draft

Penix’s draft stock is somewhat of a moving target, largely because he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament twice and suffered injuries to both shoulders in college.

However, some are convinced that Caleb Williams of the USC Trojans, Jayden Daniels of the LSU Tigers, Drake Maye of the North Carolina Tar Heels and J.J. McCarthy of the Michigan Wolverines could all be off the board by the time the seventh pick is used on the night of April 25.

Such a run on quarterbacks could cause a team to take a flier on Penix earlier than what had been expected weeks ago.

As for Mayfield’s three-year contract, it’s believed the Buccaneers could escape that deal at any point between next offseason and March 2026 depending on all that occurs.

With that said, Mayfield may not love being asked to serve as a mentor for a rookie this summer considering two teams gave up on the 28-year-old back in 2022.

“By 2026, the Bucs would have an informed opinion about the pro future of Penix Jr.,” Kaufman added. “Should Mayfield falter, the Bucs could have an appealing option under center going forward.”

For what it’s worth, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht had living legend Tom Brady atop the depth chart when Licht spent a 2021 second-round draft pick on QB Kyle Trask. Trask has thus far attempted a total of 10 regular-season passes.

Licht’s history suggests he’ll use a valuable asset to acquire a rookie quarterback regardless of who is already on the roster. Then again, Trask looking like a swing-and-a-miss pick this spring could cause Licht to think twice about such a strategy and instead use the draft to bolster the squad of a team that earned a playoff win this past January.

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