National Football League

Kyle Trask Is The Latest 'Heir Apparent' to Tom Brady. How Have The Others Fared?

May 1

Once again, Tom Brady has an "heir apparent."

This time, the man is Kyle Trask, a talented quarterback out of Florida, whom the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday.

Trask was the sixth quarterback taken, and though he doesn’t come with the hype of Trevor LawrenceZach Wilson, Trey Lance or Justin Fields, he does have a solid résumé, having passed for more than 7,000 yards and 69 touchdowns while competing in the best conference in the nation.

In choosing Trask, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians cited his "competitive spirit," as well as his smarts, accuracy and toughness.

This was a move FOX Sports Betting Analyst Jason McIntyre predicted back in mid-April.

"Bruce Arians, I’m hearing, really likes Kyle Trask," he said. "He likes those big arms. ... Kyle Trask, not, like, fleet of foot. He’s not very nimble, but he’s got a big arm. … This was a three-star recruit who didn’t have many offers, then the Florida Gators were like, ‘Wow, this guy’s a very accurate passer.’"

It makes perfect sense for the Bucs to draft a quarterback relatively high in the draft. The team has a roster that is pretty set after the organization spent the offseason bringing back every key player from last year’s championship squad.

With Brady set to turn 44 by the time the 2021 season begins, it’s sensible to get someone in the pipeline to learn under the master. Then again, Brady seems intent on playing forever, and given that he has missed significant time due to injury only once (2008), who knows how long he can play?

Either way, Tampa Bay general manager Jason Licht doesn’t seem to think Brady will be bothered by Trask’s presence.

"Tom’s the ultimate team guy, and I don’t think he’s worried about anybody taking his job," Licht said. "He was totally fine. He understands. He wants what’s best for the team. So Tom’s gonna play as long as Tom wants to play. He’s earned that right."

The question is: Will Trask be the guy to ultimately succeed Brady? If so, he’ll be the first.

Patriots mastermind Bill Belichick made many attempts over the years to make sure he would be set if anything happened to his star. He had some success in that regard, though he also made some attempts that missed the mark.

Let’s take a moment to look back at all the quarterbacks the Patriots drafted after taking Brady in the sixth round in 2000.

2002: Rohan Davey, fourth round, LSU

Davey played in seven games (no starts) over the course of three seasons with the Patriots, completing 42.1% of his passes for 88 yards.

2003: Kliff Kingsbury, sixth round, Texas Tech

Kingsbury, now the coach of the Arizona Cardinals, never played for the Patriots. He bounced around the NFL, NFL Europe and the Canadian Football League before entering coaching. His only NFL action came in 2005 with the New York Jets, when he went 1-for-2 for 17 yards in a game against the Denver Broncos.

2005: Matt Cassel, seventh round, USC

Cassel played 14 seasons in the NFL, including four with New England, where he was primarily a backup to Brady. He started 15 games for the Pats in 2008 after Brady injured his knee in the season opener, going on to pass for 3,693 yards and 21 touchdowns. The Patriots went 10-5 in his starts but fell short of the playoffs.

The Patriots traded Cassel along with linebacker Mike Vrabel to Kansas City in 2009 for a second-round draft pick, which became safety Patrick Chung. Cassell was a Pro Bowler for the Chiefs in 2010.

2008: Kevin O’Connell, third round, San Diego State

O’Connell played in two games in his career, both with the Patriots in 2008, completing four of six pass attempts for 23 yards.

2010: Zac Robinson, seventh round, Oklahoma State

Robinson never took a snap in the NFL.

2011: Ryan Mallett, third round, Arkansas

Mallet’s Patriots career was limited to reserve action in four games in 2012. He also spent some time with Houston and Baltimore, completing 55.1% of his passes for 1,835 yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 21 games (eight starts).

2014: Jimmy Garoppolo, second round, Eastern Illinois

Garoppolo looked like he might eventually succeed Brady, particularly when he got a chance to start in 2016 while Brady was serving a suspension after "Deflategate." Jimmy G looked good in two games (both Patriots victories), passing for 496 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, before going down with a shoulder injury.

Brady came back strong after his suspension, however, and the Pats traded Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ersfor a second-round draft pick in 2017. There has been talk that the Patriots might try to bring Garoppolo back to New England, though that quieted after they drafted Mac Jones.

2016: Jacoby Brissett, third round, North Carolina State

With Brady suspended and Garoppolo hurt in 2016, Brissett got a chance to show Belichick what he could do. He played in three games, starting two, completing 61.8% of his passes for 400 yards without a touchdown or interception.

The Patriots traded him to the Indianapolis Colts in 2017 for receiver Phillip Dorsett. Brissett was the primary starter for the Colts in 2017 and 2019 and is currently a member of the Miami Dolphins.

2018: Danny Etling, seventh round, LSU

Etling has not taken a snap in the NFL. He signed a Reserve/Future contract with the Seattle Seahawks in January.

2019: Jarrett Stidham, fourth round, Auburn

Stidham has played in eight games for the Patriots (no starts), completing 50% of his passes for 270 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. He is currently listed on the Pats’ roster, along with 2020 starter Cam Newton and rookie Jones.

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