Buccaneers Urged to Pursue QB Being Compared to Patrick Mahomes

Tom Brady Patrick Mahomes

Getty Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes converse after a 2022 game.

If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers follow the national media narrative, the team could wind up with the next Patrick Mahomes — USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

“[Caleb] Williams is Patrick Mahomes,” an unnamed NFL general manager told ESPN’s Matt Miller, “but we didn’t know Mahomes was him yet.”

Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski tabbed the Bucs as a team “that must consider tanking” for Williams, the likely No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL draft. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner threw for 4,537 yards and 42 touchdowns plus 382 yards rushing and 10 scores in 2022.

“Tampa Bay currently has lottery tickets posing as quarterbacks,” Sobleski wrote. “An actual draft investment is a far more rational approach to addressing the position than hoping [Baker] Mayfield will recapture his earlier magic [or (Kyle) Trask outperforms his draft status].”

The Bucs went 8-9 in quarterback Tom Brady‘s final season with the team and return much of the same squad led by head coach Todd Bowles. The second-year Bucs head coach notably has only one winning season in five full seasons of coaching.

Bucs ‘Can’t Overlook’ Baker Mayfield’s Past on the Field

Mayfield could experience a career resurgence with talented wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The former No. 1 pick impressed in his Los Angeles Rams debut before his offseason signing with the Bucs, and he will play under offensive coordinator Dave Canales, who aided Geno Smith‘s resurgence in 2022.

“However, the Buccaneers organization can’t overlook the fact he’s with his fourth squad in a little over a year,” Sobleski wrote about Mayfield. “The Cleveland Browns chose to move on from a player who helped get them to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years, to not making it through an entire season with the Carolina Panthers, to becoming a mid-season spot starter for the Rams.”

Sobleski noted Mayfield’s confidence in various interviews this offseason, but Mayfield has yet to throw a regular season pass for the Bucs. Mayfield notably had quarterback ratings below 80 in his final two games of 2022 with the Rams.

As for Trask, the former Florida standout will compete with Mayfield for the starting job in training camp. That’s despite 10 NFL regular season snaps for Trask in two years.

Tampa Bay drafted Trask in the second round of the NFL Draft in 2021, and he sat behind Brady for two seasons.

Analyst Sees Clear Path for Bucs to Draft Caleb Williams

If FOX Sports analyst Colin Cowherd’s predictions for the Bucs hold true, Tampa Bay could land Williams.

“Three wins [or] four wins. Defensive coach, backup quarterback, four wins. Maybe five wins ’cause the division stinks,” Cowherd said on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on July 7.

“If Tampa is bad early, Week 6 and they’re 1-5, you gotta start thinking about moving some of those defensive parts, getting draft picks, and getting help for [potential college QB draft pick] Caleb Williams,” Cowherd added.

Cowherd started listing the possible losses with an 0-3 start for the Bucs against the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, and Philadelphia Eagles. After that stretch, the Bucs face four more playoff teams from last season and eight non-playoff squads, including the NFC South slate.