Kyle Trask excited to stay in Florida with Bucs, learn behind Tom Brady
There was talk Thursday night of Tampa Bay possibly taking Kyle Trask with the final first-round pick.
Instead, the Bucs got their man at the end of Round 2 of the NFL draft Friday.
The defending Super Bowl champions selected the Heisman Trophy finalist 64th overall, giving the Gators a trio of draft picks in the first two rounds for the first time since 2017.
“It was just unbelievable," Trask said Friday night during a videoconference. “To have the opportunity to continue my career right down the road is amazing. I love the state of Florida and I’m glad I get to stay there for now.
“I was super excited when I saw that Tampa, Florida, number call me. It’s a feeling like no other. They were one of my most favorite teams throughout this entire process.”
Trask said he likes the Bucs system and got along great with their offensive coaches during their Zoom calls. He’ll also be able to develop and learn behind the game’s greatest quarterback, Tom Brady.
“He’s definitely one of my favorite quarterbacks growing up,” Trask said. “So to have that opportunity to learn a lot of knowledge from one of the greats is a great opportunity for me. I can’t wait to get this ball rolling.
“I’m sure it will be pretty surreal (to meet him). I’m definitely looking forward to it. Most of all, I’m looking forward to the amount of knowledge that I can just absorb from being in the same room as him.”
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. noted similarities between Trask and Brady, who agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension that will take him through the 2022 season. Brady, coming off winning a seventh NFL title in his first season with Tampa Bay, turns 44 in August.
“I think the skill set is similar,” Kiper said during ESPN’s draft coverage. “You’re talking about a 6-foot-5 quarterback. What’s Tom? You’re talking about a quarterback with limited mobility. What’s Tom? Average arm strength. Tom Brady didn’t have a huge arm coming out as well. You think about the major college program in Michigan, Kyle Trask at Florida.
“I like the improvement he showed from 2019 to 2020. His willingness to hang tough in the pocket is evident, game in and game out. His touch on deep throws is excellent. The limitation is his mobility, which puts a lot of pressure on the offensive line. And for a big kid, he has an average arm.”
ESPN’s Booger McFarland commended Trask on improvements with decision-making and processing information in his second season as the starter, while fellow analyst Louis Riddick pushed back at Kiper's suggestion that UF's receiving corps was more or as responsible for Trask's success as him.
“I really liked how Kyle Trask played,” Riddick said. “He made some big-time throws. They weren’t just, let me throw it up and let Kyle Pitts go get it. He was dropping some absolute dimes.”
Asked Friday night about the knock on his arm strength, Trask brushed it off. The Bucs clearly liked what they saw on tape.
“I’ve shown on film that I can make every single throw on the field,” said Trask, who had 4,283 passing yards and 43 touchdowns last year. “Of course, I’m always looking to get better. But I think I have plenty of arm strength to make all the throws there is to make in the NFL.”
There's no rush with Brady as the starter.
“We did our homework," Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. "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. I'm really excited about him.”
Trask joins first-round picks Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney in this year’s draft class.
Gators being selected on Saturday, the last day of the NFL draft: Marco Wilson was selected in the fourth round by the Arizona Cardinals, kicker Evan McPherson in the fifth round by the Cincinnati Bengals, defensive back Shawn Davis in the fifth by the Indianapolis Colts, defensive tackle Tedarrell Slaton in the fifth by the Green Bay Packers and offensive lineman Stone Forsythe in the sixth round by the Seattle Seahawks.