Florida quarterback Kyle Trask is an interesting NFL prospect to be sure. But despite not being one of the top three or four QBs in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trask is getting some sage advice from Peyton Manning.
Speaking to Trask on ESPN’s QB21, Manning had plenty of advice for how to handle being an NFL quarterback as a rookie. He pointed out that even though he was a superstar at Tennessee, he set an NFL record for interceptions as a rookie.
“I would just tell you that that’s going to help you in this transition and anything that comes your way in pro football,” Manning told Trask. “Kirk’s heard me talk about this before, my rookie year in the NFL. I played four years in the SEC, thought I was fully prepared. Threw 28 interceptions my rookie year. That’s still an NFL rookie record. If you want to break that, Kyle, that’s fine with me.”
Manning went on to tell Trask about how to adjust to the speed of the NFL game. He said that hard work and patience will help him strike the balance between avoiding mistakes and being too hesitant.
“If I could go back and do my rookie year all over again, I think there’s a fine line, Kyle, between respect the game and the speed of it but not over-respecting it where you’re hesitant and you think, ‘Oh, I can’t make that throw. That’s an NFL defensive back. There’s no way I can throw that,'” Manning said. “I think I probably did a little bit of too much of that, and maybe over-respected it and I just didn’t play well. But give it the respect that it does deserve, right? These NFL defensive backs, they can cover. The windows are tighter. There are certain throws that you just can’t make and you’ve got to throw it away. That was my hardest thing.
“But just like you, I just kept working, kept persevering, trying to learn just how fast the game was, try to get more comfortable and certainly that game’s going to slow down and you’re going to get in that comfort zone. So just kind of be prepared for anything is what I would tell you. Keep working. Keep trying to learn. But coming out of Florida, coming out of a great program, playing in the Southeastern Conference — that’s going to pay a lot of dividends for you, I think, and just wish you the best of luck, pal.”
As a junior at Florida, Trask threw for 43 touchdowns and 4,283 yards – both new records for the Gators. He finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting after leading Florida to the SEC Championship Game and Cotton Bowl.
It remains to be seen whether Trask can parlay that 2020 season into a first-round selection in the draft. He’s got a lot of competition between Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Justin Fields, Trey Lance and Mac Jones.
Will Kyle Trask have a successful rookie season in the NFL?