Buccaneers Predicted to Land 27-TD ‘Franchise QB’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers may be looking for a new franchise quarterback in 2025.

In a 2025 NFL mock draft compiled by CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson, the Buccaneers are projected to select Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers with the 12th overall pick in the first round. That means Wilson expects the Buccaneers to miss the playoffs after advancing to the divisional round during the 2023 season.

Wilson singles out Ewers’ ability to throw an “accurate deep ball” and how he looks the part of a “franchise QB.”

“Ewers decided to return to Austin for 2024; he consistently throws with anticipation and will wear out defenses on second-level throws,” writes Wilson. “He also layers the ball well, throws an accurate deep ball and will navigate the pocket well while keeping his eyes downfield. He needs to play with more consistency, but when he’s on, he looks the part of a franchise QB.”

Quinn Ewers Would Be Selected as Baker Mayfield’s Replacement

Based upon Wilson’s mock draft, Ewers would be the fourth quarterback selected.

This is a notable selection because the Buccaneers just committed to Baker Mayfield as its franchise quarterback for the near future. Mayfield is coming off of a career year after posting 28 touchdowns and 364 completions for 4,044 passing yards. Tampa Bay promptly signed Mayfield to a three-year contract extension worth up to $100 million.

The Buccaneers could move on from Mayfield as a post-June 1 cut in 2025; but that would cost them over $33 million in dead money over the next four years. The more logical solution could see the Buccaneers drafting an insurance plan – such as Ewers – then moving on from Mayfield if he declines as a post-June 1 cut in 2026. That would cost Tampa Bay roughly $17 million over the ensuing three seasons.

Quinn Ewers Broke out as Elite QB in 2023

The 21-year-old Ewers has started over the past two seasons for the Longhorns. However, it was during the 2023 season that he really broke out as an elite passer. The 6-foot-2 quarterback threw 22 touchdowns and rushed for five more while throwing just six interceptions. Ewers not only had a productive season and was named a Second-team All-Big 12 selection, he led the Longhorns to the College Football Playoff after a 10-2 season.

As Keith Sanchez of The Draft Network writes in his scouting report of Ewers, he’s a “highly skilled quarterback” who possesses the necessary tools to be a winning starter in the NFL.

“Overall, Ewers is a highly skilled quarterback who has a natural understanding of how to play the quarterback position and projects well to be able to operate an NFL offense,” writes Sanchez. “He possesses the requisite tools from a physical, intelligence, and instinctual perspective.”

Barring an unforeseen dip in his junior season at Texas, Ewers will likely be one of the top quarterbacks picked in the first round of next year’s draft.

While Mayfield certainly had one of the better seasons of any quarterback in 2023 – he went to his first Pro Bowl – it could be a mirage. Mayfield’s 9-8 record in 2023 was just his second winning season since entering the NFL in 2018 and he has compiled a pedestrian 40-46 record while throwing 74 interceptions against 89 touchdowns.

If Mayfield replicates his 2023 season in 2024, Tampa Bay will likely avoid selecting Ewers or any other quarterback in the first round in 2025. However, if he falters, the possibility of the Buccaneers selecting Ewers in 2025 is very much there.

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This article was originally published on Heavy.com

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