The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope they have found the heir to Tom Brady and select Florida quarterback Kyle Trask in the second round of the NFL Draft Friday with the 64th overall pick.
Trask, the sixth quarterback drafted this year and the first to be taken after Thursday’s first round, only need to venture 136 miles down I-75 from Gainesville to play for defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers.
“Living in Florida is great,” said Trask, who grew up in Manvel, Texas. “I loved my time at the University of Florida. Having the opportunity to continue my career right down the road is amazing. I love the state of Florida. I’m glad I’m staying there for now.”
Trask completed 552-of-813 passes to 7,386 yards and 69 touchdowns in 28 career games with the Gators. He passed in 4,283 yards and had nine consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes last season and also set a single-season SEC record with five 400-yard passing games.
Trask is the first Gators quarterback to be drafted since Tim Tebow turned 25 in 2010, and he’s also the first quarterback to be drafted by the Bucs since Jameis Winston was first selected overall in 2015.
Congratulations @ ktrask9. You are the true definition of endurance and gravel. Your patience and hard work have paid off. Looking forward to seeing you Sunday for a long time. @Buccaneers pic.twitter.com/F3TpXowAAp
– Dan Mullen (@CoachDanMullen) May 1, 2021
Florida coach Dan Mullen tweeted a congratulatory message to Trask, calling him the “true definition of endurance and gravel” and adding that Trask’s “patience and hard work has paid off. Looking forward to seeing you Sunday for a long time.”
Trask’s 43 passing touchdowns led FBS in 2020, and he broke Danny Wuerffel’s 24-year school record of 39 and tied him for third place on the SEC season’s record list behind Joe Burrow and Drew Lock.
The Bucs can take their time with Trask, who will develop behind both Brady, who is under contract for another two seasons, and Ryan Griffin, who was third-string quarterback last year.
Brady, who won his seventh Super Bowl in his first season with Tampa Bay, turns 44 in August and has repeatedly said he would like to play at least until he is 45.
“They certainly have a good system going on there in Tampa Bay. The opportunity to learn [from] one of the biggest I saw growing up, it’s been one of my favorites – getting this opportunity is really remarkable, “said Trask about Brady. But still, I have to get in and work with the tail and do what I can to help this team. “
Trask said he kept an open mind throughout the process before the draft, but admitted that Tampa Bay was one of his favorites. He had a strong familiarity with their explosive offense because Bucs games are broadcast in Gainesville.
“I was certainly not 100% sure of anything just because I know how crazy the draft can be,” he said. “I was just super excited when I saw Tampa, Florida, number call me. It was a feeling like no other … I was like, ‘Man, that was incredible.'”
“I just think the organization is in a good place right now,” Trask said. “I got along just as well with all the offensive coaches in all the Zooms and being able to talk to them on pro day and stuff like that along the way. So I’m really looking forward to getting started and putting in the work and doing what I can for to help the team. “
Tampa Bay’s pick of Trask with the final pick in the second round started a race at quarterbacks. Two spots after he was selected, Minnesota Vikings Texas A & M’s Kellen Mond took No. 66 overall, followed by the Houston Texans’ choice of Stanford’s Davis Mills of No. 67.
The eight quarterbacks selected from the top 70 overall picks were the most in a single draft of the joint draft time, according to ESPN Statistics & Information.