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Buccaneers Projected to Trade Up for SEC Quarterback in First Round of 2023 NFL Draft

Tampa Bay is being projected to make a move for one of the top quarterbacks in the draft.

The NFL Draft is roughly a month away and there's still no certain direction for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The roster has a variety of needs that could be improved with the right selection in the first round.

READ MORE: Cowboys favorite to land 7-time Pro Bowl wide receiver from Buccaneers

It's only been a couple of weeks since the Buccaneers signed veteran quarterback Baker Mayfield to a one-year deal. As of now, Mayfield is expected to compete with former second-round pick Kyle Trask for the starting job and the right to replace Tom Brady.

With that being said, it wouldn't necessarily be a surprise if the team continues to explore ways to improve its quarterback room, whether that's through the draft or other means.

According to CBS Sports, that also includes trades. During a three-round mock draft that was published on Thursday, Chris Trapasso projected the Buccaneers to trade up and select Kentucky's Will Levis. In the hypothetical deal, Tampa Bay sheds the No. 19 pick and a 2024 second-round pick for New England's No. 15 overall selection.

"The Buccaneers don't wait around for Levis as he gets this close to them," Trapasso wrote. "Serious competition for Kyle Trask and Baker Mayfield. The Patriots get No. 19 overall and a 2024 second-round pick to slide back in this swap."

Tampa Bay is clearly doing its homework on quarterbacks in the draft. General Manager Jason Licht stated earlier this week that the franchise expects to bring in at least quarterback prospects for top-30 visits leading up to draft day.

Following the NFL Combine, it appears that Anthony Richardson, Bryce Young, and CJ Stroud are the three most coveted quarterbacks on most boards. Regardless, Levis still offers a ton of talent, athleticism, and the type of mentality that a franchise wants in its locker room.

Levis played through multiple injuries during the 2022 season, completing 185/283 (65.4%) of his passes for 2,406 yards with 19 touchdowns to ten interceptions. A year prior, he completed 66% of his passes with 24 touchdowns to 13 interceptions.

The Massachusetts native recorded a 34-inch vertical jump and a 10'4" broad jump in Indianapolis. 

For those curious, the remainder of the mock draft had Tampa Bay picking Alabama defensive tackle Byron Young in the second round (No. 50) and Tulane running back Tyjae Spears in the third round (No. 82).

Stick with BucsGameday and the Locked On Bucs podcast for more coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throughout the season.

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