The Tampa Bay Buccaneers could soon be preparing for life without Tom Brady.
While the Buccaneers are currently enjoying another exceptional campaign from the 45-year-old quarterback, things could soon change. The seven-time Super Bowl champion could very well call it a career after this season or depart as a free agent.
As CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso proposes in his latest mock draft, the Buccaneers could target the University of Oregon’s Bo Nix in the 2023 NFL draft to replace Brady. Trapasso predicts Tampa Bay selects Nix with the No. 23 overall pick.
“Nix feels like the type of quarterback who’ll ascend boards during the pre-draft process because of his athleticism and arm talent,” says Trapasso.
Nix Not Considered a Consensus First-Round Pick
Nix is the definition of a polarizing quarterback prospect. While Trapasso is clearly high on Nix due to his arm and dual-threat ability, there are mock drafts that don’t even have Nix projected to go in the first round. Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports actually predicts the Buccaneers to select University of Florida’s Anthony Richardson with their first-round draft pick.
A lot of the uncertainty on where Nix will land has a lot to do with his inconsistency as a four-year starter. After beginning his collegiate career with the Auburn Tigers, Nix burst onto the scene in 2019 as a true freshman, winning SEC Freshman of the Year honors after leading the team to a 9-4 record.
However, his play stagnated over the next two seasons, leading the Tigers to a collective record of 12-9. Nix then transferred to the University of Oregon for the 2022 season.
Why Nix is Considered a ‘Polarizing’ Quarterback
Nix has since put his name back into discussion as a first-round draft prospect with an impressive 2022 season. The 6-foot-2, 213-pound prospect has 27 passing touchdowns to go along with 14 rushing touchdowns while leading the Ducks to a 9-3 record.
As FanSided’s John Blair explained before the start of the season, Nix is one of the more “polarizing” players entering the 2023 NFL draft. He also goes into detail why Nix is such a unique talent.
“To go along with his ability to make plays with his feet, Bo Nix has the arm strength to take the deep shot on a regular basis,” said Blair. “This arm strength also allows him to throw despite not having the most sound fundamentals especially when it comes to keeping a solid base.”
As Blair points out, an example of Nix’s ridiculous arm strength despite his lack of fundamentals can be seen on this play versus Arkansas as a member of Auburn during the 2021 season.
Tampa Bay’s depth behind Brady isn’t great. The Buccaneers currently feature Blaine Gabbert as the backup quarterback and he hasn’t started a game since the 2018 season. Tampa Bay’s young quarterback, Kyle Trask, has yet to throw a pass in an NFL game and has failed to unseat Gabbert as the backup during his first two seasons.
If Brady does indeed decide to call it a career — or if he signs with another team in March — the Buccaneers are very likely to target their next franchise quarterback early in the 2023 NFL draft.
With that in mind, Nix could very well be Tampa Bay’s next quarterback.