Most young talented rookie quarterbacks (QB) are historically dropped into nightmare situations and expected to magically turn everything around. Some do – – and most do not.
This is not the case for Tampa Bay QB Kyle Trask.
Trask was dropped into a dream situation after being selected in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft by the defending Super Bowl Champions. As fellow rookie QB’s Trevor Lawrence (Jaguars) and Zach Wilson are dodging incoming defensive linemen and linebackers like bullets while playing behind patch work offensive lines, Trask will be getting a tan sitting behind the greatest to ever do this, QB Tom Brady.
As Trask learns from the master, he also gets to sharpen his saw in practice going up against the sixth ranked defense in the league (2020) and defensive master-mind, Bucs’ defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles. The same Bowles who left Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes dazed and confused in the big game last February. The same Bowles who played safety in Washington under defensive guru Richie Petitbon, who used to befuddle the likes of great signal callers, Randall Cunningham and John Elway.
Trask, who was already good, could never in a million years hoped, prayed or wished for a better situation to find himself in. While Lawrence, Wilson and third pick overall QB Trey Lance have the weight of the world on their shoulders, Trask’s only concern is what would he like to eat for dinner tonight. All he has to do is watch film, study and practice. Of course, like with all back-ups, Trask is only a hit or two away from being the guy, but short of that happening, he has a lot of time to develop.
Trask has the world by the tail.
There is no question, sitting behind the legendary QB Brett Favre served QB Aaron Rodgers well in Green Bay – – just as it served QB Steve Young well sitting behind QB great Joe Montana in San Francisco.
It gets even better.
The head coach in Tampa Bay is also known as “The QB Whisperer.” Bruce Arians has an illustrious past working with some of the best to ever play the position. Arians revealed he views all the QB’s he has worked with “as family,” and now Trask is part of that family.
Outside of Brady (who even Belichick had given up on), Arians has worked with four Pro Bowl QB’s in the past, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer.
I already liked Trask coming out of the University of Florida even before all of this. I had Trask on my QB board behind QB’s Justin Fields and Mac Jones and ahead of Lawrence, Wilson and Lance. I felt Trask had intangibles along the lines of QB’s Brett Favre and Tim Tebow. I also felt he threw the most beautiful touch passes of the entire draft class. Trask grew on me, the more I watched him. It was not always pretty with Trask, I admit that, but he also seemed to get the job done. I really liked that about him. Trask also was at his best when things broke down around him. I loved that about him.
Trask was different than Wilson and Lance – – his team actually played somebody. Trask’s Gators went up against Miami, Tennessee, (5) Texas A&M, (9) Georgia and they played it close with (1) Alabama in the Citrus Bowl. Despite the strength of schedule, Trask led the nation in touchdown passes (43) and he was second in the nation in total yardage behind Jones (4,283).
As an evaluator, I first considered how Trask played on film and then I considered the strong level of competition he played against and of course, the impressive statistics he posted in the process. It all added up to success in my mind.
Throw in getting dropped in to learn the pro game from Brady and Arians while playing on the defending Super Bowl Champions, we may very well see Trask emerge as the cream of the crop three years down the road.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.