Despite finishing fourth in the 2020 Heisman Trophy race, Kyle Trask is not even among the Top 5 quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, according to most experts.
Trask will likely hear his name called behind Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance and Mac Jones, but 10 years down the road, Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen thinks people will look back and say that Trask was one of the best in his class.
In an interview on SEC Network during Florida’s Pro Day on Wednesday, Mullen predicted Trask will play in the NFL for 10-15 years.
But being overlooked and having to prove himself is nothing new to Trask. His journey is part of the reason Mullen sees him becoming an exceptional quarterback in the league.
“He sat the bench here for a while and then he got the call, but he didn’t get the call in the beginning of the game,” Mullen said, recalling the 2019 Kentucky game. “We gave him the call at the end of the third quarter of a game that he had to lead us back to victory in. And he could have not prepared for that. But he was. He was prepared for that moment. You’re getting a guy that is going to prepare himself to be ready to play and lead your team to victory every single week. That’s what a pro is and that’s what he will do.”
Some, including Florida legend Steve Spurrier, even think it would be advantageous for Trask to be drafted by a team in need of a backup for a year or two.
Trask said he will be happy wherever he ends up, but even if he is drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs and sitting behind Tom Brady next season, he is going to go out and compete. Accepting the backup mentality is not in his nature.
“All I know as a competitor, you can never just be complacent and say ‘Oh, I’m gonna sit behind this guy for a year and then go.’ If you have that mindset, then you’re probably gonna get left behind. So, my mindset’s never gonna change. It’s always gonna be keep the foot on the gas, compete with whoever’s in the building.”
In preparation for the draft, Trask said he wanted to make sure he was in the best shape of his life. Since the end of the 2020 season, he cut down around 15 pounds, officially weighing in at 236.
No one expected him to light up his 40 time, and he didn’t need to, but he did reach his goal of getting it under five seconds at 4.98 in his second attempt.
Some early jitters showed in his throws on Wednesday, but he went on to have a great showing with the help of Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney and Trevon Grimes. With no second opportunity in the combine, the pressure was on to show scouts and coaches from 31 of the 32 teams what he could do.
Trask’s main focus came in showing off his arm strength and agility.
“I want to make sure they knew that I have a strong arm,” he said. “A lot of things that I’ve been hearing is that I can’t move and have a weak arm. I wanted to show just the opposite–that I can burst out of the pocket, that I can move around in the pocket and still be accurate and that I have a strong arm and the ability to make throws downfield.”
Between pro day and his recent interviews and meetings with nearly every NFL organization, Trask said teams are most impressed with his ball placement. He said that they like his ability to turn a 50-50 ball into an 80-20 ball for his receivers.
Trevon Grimes can attest to that as one of his top pass catchers.
“Kyle Trask is a phenomenal quarterback,” Grimes said. “He’s a phenomenal person. Whatever team picks him up is going to get an amazing quarterback.”
Despite a strong performance, Trask will likely still be a late Day 2 pick. But as many of the NFL’s most successful quarterbacks can attest, draft status does not always align with a fruitful professional career.
Trask’s coaches and teammates are confident that he will exceed expectations at the next level just as he did at Florida.