1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Bucs

Why Kyler Murray, and other quarterbacks, may hold key to Bucs draft

Tampa Bay is hoping for as many quarterbacks to be selected ahead of its No. 5 pick as possible.
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray goes through passing drills at the university's Pro Day for NFL scouts in Norman, Okla., Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
Published Apr. 15

TAMPA — The quarterback draft class of 2019 will go a long way in determining the type of player the Bucs may be able to select at No. 5. They need several snap-takers to be snapped up quickly.

Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, at 5-foot-10, may nonetheless stand helmet and shoulder pads over the others as a prospective first overall pick of the Cardinals. Or maybe they trade the selection to the Raiders at No. 4.

“Like the rest of the league, I think the kid is fascinating,” Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said of Murray. “It’s kind of where are we going as a league at the quarterback position. Is he too small? Is he dynamic? I think we’re all trying to figure him out. I think all 32 teams in the league are trying to figure out the entire position.”

And if you’re the Bucs, you want to sing the praises of Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins like Jon Gruden.

“Impressive guy, man,” Gruden said. “Redshirt sophomore, 50 touchdown passes at Ohio State. He’s a big guy, you feel his presence when he walks in a room. He’s a really calm, cool customer and they did a great job at Ohio State transitioning from an offense from a running quarterback to a passing quarterback. That’s why Urban Meyer is one of the great college coaches of all-time.”

RELATED: Is FSU’s Brian Burns underrated? And should the Bucs draft him?

Why stop there? The Bucs have to hope the difference between Missouri’s Drew Lock and the Colts’ Andrew Luck may only be a vowel. They should remind everyone how Duke quarterback Daniel Jones played for David Cutcliffe, who developed Peyton and Eli Manning.

At worst, several teams drafting behind the Bucs — the Giants (No. 6), the Broncos (No. 8), the Bengals (No. 11), the Dolphins (No. 13) or Washington (No. 15) may want to offer Tampa Bay an attractive package of additional picks to swap spots in the first round.

“I guess it’s a nice place to be, if anybody wants it,” Bucs general manager Jason Licht said of the No. 5 slot. “We’d certainly listen. We did last year. It had to be the right amount of capital that we wanted. We’re not just going to give it away. I do feel like there are five players I would like to pick right now, so a lot goes into it.”

Unfortunately for the Bucs, there are signs that maybe the Cardinals are cooling on the idea of pairing Murray with new coach Kliff Kingsbury. They already have quarterback Josh Rosen, whom they took in the first round a year ago. And general manager Steve Keim may realize they could address their many needs with the proper haul of draft picks for the No. 1 spot.

The fact that Murray took visits to the Giants and Washington tells you teams are getting the feeling that the Cardinals, who have not tipped their hand, may be vacillating. There also would be a chain effect on the other quarterbacks if Murray drops.

RELATED: Join our Bucs Cannon Fodder Facebook group for conversation, polls, story links and more

The Raiders own three first round picks this season. They have two more in 2020.

Of course, they also have Derek Carr. Both Mayock and Gruden have called Carr their “franchise quarterback.” But for how much longer?

Gruden always has had a wandering eye when it comes to quarterbacks. It’s one of the reasons Gruden’s QB Camp was such a popular segment when he was a broadcaster on ESPN.

“I had an opportunity, a unique opportunity to coach some really good players in Alabama at the Senior Bowl,” Gruden said. “The kid from North Carolina State (Ryan Finley) impressed me, I think Daniel Jones out of Duke has a huge upside. I think Drew Lock’s got a quick release, accurate passer, lot of production. Haskins we met … met Murray ... it’s a good class. If they get in the right system with the right coach, it could be a great class.”

Lock may have the strongest arm and he played all four seasons at Missouri, which is an advantage over one-year starters such as Murray and Haskins. Jones visited with the Giants, who also own the No. 17 pick.

RELATED: Sign up for our Bucs Red Zone email newsletter to get Bucs news delivered daily to your inbox

Of course, the notion that a team could draft a quarterback in the first round and develop him to the point where he re-signs a second contract and finishes his career there is a foreign one to the Bucs. It’s never happened in Tampa Bay. Jameis Winston is on the final year of his rookie deal that will pay him $20.9 million this season.

But instead of being in the QB market themselves, the Bucs hope to take advantage of a draft fertile in defensive talent.

The Bucs would be delighted if players such as Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, Kentucky defensive end Josh Allen, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver or Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat were pushed to them at No. 5.

LSU linebacker Devin White is a legitimate option for the Bucs and would fill the void left by Kwon Alexander, who signed with the 49ers as a free agent.

But any discussion of the Bucs pick has to begin with quarterbacks and where they are drafted. And any discussion about quarterbacks begins with Murray.


  1. A 2018 file photo of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant coach Skyler Fulton. AP
    Former Bucs assistants Paul Spicer and Skyler Fulton faced accusations of violence against women before coaching in Tampa Bay under Dirk Koetter, according to a USA Today investigation.
  2. Kevin Minter played linebacker for Todd Bowles in Arizona, was released by Bowles last year when Bowles coached the Jets and is starting Sunday for the Bucs' defensive coordinator when Tampa Bay plays host to the New York Giants. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    When rookie linebacker Devin White went down, the Bucs turned to a player who keeps showing up in Todd Bowles’ defenses.
  3. Cameron Brate (84) tries to get some extra yards during the Bucs' 38-35 loss to the Giants on Nov. 18, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. JULIO CORTEZ  |  AP
    Tampa Bay Times staff picks: What the Bucs have in common this week with the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys.
  4. New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) looks up at the jumbotron as head coach Pat Shurmur and starting quarterback Eli Manning huddle before an August preseason game. ANDREW MILLS | NJ ADVANCE MEDIA/ANDREW MILLS | NJ ADVANCE MEDIA  |
    The Bucs have lost six of their last seven against the Giants and are have lost 12 of their last 15 meetings against rookie quarterbacks.
  5. The Bucs will get their first look at rookie Daniel Jones Sunday when he starts for the New York Giants in a 4:25 p.m. game against Tampa Bay at Raymond James Stadium. FRANK VICTORES  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Exploring quarterback changes for the New York Giants, Florida Gators and USF Bulls.
  6. Giants quarterback Eli Manning speaks to the media in East Rutherford, N.J., on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. Coach Pat Shurmur announced Tuesday that Daniel Jones, the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, is replacing the two-time Super Bowl MVP as the starter, beginning Sunday at Tampa Bay. TOM CANAVAN  |  AP
    The veteran says he hasn’t thought about asking the team to waive his no-trade clause.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Shaquil Barrett (58) sacks Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) MIKE MCCARN  |  AP
    The outside linebacker recorded three sacks in the the Bucs’ 20-14 win at Carolina.
  8. Linebacker Kevin Minter and the Bucs defense have played well. Can they keep it up? MIKE MCCARN  |  AP
    After two games, the unit has allowed only one touchdown. How do they keep it going?
  9. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco) BRIAN BLANCO  |  AP
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Why things are looking up for the Bucs, UCF and USF football, and maybe not for the Gators and Rays.
  10. Eli Manning has two Super Bowl titles with the Giants. ADAM HUNGER  |  AP
    His legacy is intact as rookie Daniel Jones will start against Tampa Bay.