Is it a bluff?
Today in Indianapolis as NFL coaches and executives watch the top college prospects work out the captain of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Lovie Smith, declared he’d take an extra look at the 2014 class of quarterbacks.
How serious the Bucs head coach is about nabbing a quarterback with the seventh overall pick remains to be seen. Smith did sound like was ready to pull the trigger if the right signal-caller presented himself with Tampa Bay’s first pick, as he was quoted in the Tampa Tribune:
“I know enough about the draft to know that, yeah, there’s (a quarterback) that would be worthy of the seventh pick… And whenever you have a chance to get a franchise quarterback, you have to consider that… If you ask me do I think we can win games with Mike Glennon, I’m going to say, ‘Yeah, we can win games with Mike Glennon,’ … If you ask me would you like to upgrade the position? I’m not running around the question. That’s a yes, too.”
A rough translation would have Smith in the ‘we have a quarterback we can win games with, but not the big game.’ The odds of finding THAT quarterback, especially in the third round, is extremely rare. Mike Glennon very well may not be the proverbial ‘franchise QB.’
Smith and the Bucs have one of deepest quarterback classes in recent memory at their disposal, as there are several top prospects expected to go early. That list includes Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, and Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville. Whatever Smith or GM Jason Licht’s opinion is of Glennon, they know that without a truly special player under center, there’s little hope of a championship run.
With the big three names (Manziel, Bortles, and Bridgewater) likely to be gone by the 7th pick, would Derek Carr of Fresno State be the no-brainer pick? or would the Bucs have to trade up? While Glennon didn’t earn the key to the car, he did earn a learners permit after a rookie campaign that produced the best numbers of any first year passer in 2013.
Drafting a quarterback at seven would be mean Smith should demote Glennon immediately, or better yet find a new home for him. Dividing the locker room, and damaging Glennon’s confidence in the franchises’ commitment to himself wouldn’t be the way to go. Because of the importance of the position, if Smith and Licht think they’ve found a gem, they might as well pull the trigger.
Of course, anything a coach or GM says before the draft should be taken with a grain of salt. There is a decent possibility that Smith is engaging in some combine gamesmanship. Or he’s dead serious.
Either way there needs to be a definitive decision made on Glennon’s future.
Follow James on Twitter at @JGoTheFan