Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL draft: quarterbacks

Who the Bucs have



Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quarterbacks

The coach-quarterback relationship is a delicate one and vital to the success of the team. So Bucs coach Lovie Smith wasted no time hand-picking the guy he wants under center: Josh McCown. The former Bears quarterback is 34 and maybe not the long-term answer. But Smith has more faith in McCown than he does second-year pro Mike Glennon, who started 13 games.

Draft facts

When: Thursday (Round 1), 8 p.m., ESPN, NFL Network; Friday (Rounds 2-3), 6:30 p.m., ESPN, ESPN2, NFLN; Saturday (Rounds 4-7), noon, ESPN, NFLN

Where: Radio City Music Hall, New York

Bucs picks (round/overall): 1/7, 2/38, 3/69, 5/143, 6/185, 7/221

Bucs watch party: Thursday, Raymond James Stadium. Gates C & D open 6 p.m.

First-round order: 1. Texans, 2. Rams (from Redskins), 3. Jaguars, 4. Browns, 5. Raiders, 6. Falcons, 7. Bucs, 8. Vikings, 9. Bills, 10. Lions, 11. Titans, 12. Giants, 13. Rams, 14, Bears, 15. Steelers, 16. Cowboys, 17. Ravens, 18. Jets, 19. Dolphins, 20. Cardinals, 21. Packers, 22. Eagles, 23. Chiefs, 24. Bengals, 25. Chargers, 26. Browns (from Colts), 27. Saints, 28. Panthers, 29. Patriots, 30. 49ers, 31. Broncos, 32. Seahawks

Who the Bucs have

Josh McCown (6-4, 213): Went 3-2 as a starter for the Bears, throwing 13 TDs and only one interception. Named the starter and would be a great mentor if the Bucs draft a QB.

Mike Glennon (6-6, 232): Would've been the starter had the team not fired Greg Schiano. Threw for 19 TDs and only 9 INTs as a rookie. If Bucs draft a QB, could be trade bait.

Mike Kafka (6-3, 225): The former fourth-round pick of the Eagles is a long shot to make the team. He bounced from New England to Jacksonville in 2013.

Top five prospects in draft

1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (5-113/4, 207): Durability is a real concern but his improvisation and playmaking ability are what separate him from the pack. Scouts have called him a cross between Fran Tarkenton and Brett Favre.

2. Blake Bortles, UCF (6-5, 232): At his size, Bortles looks like a starting QB and carries himself like one. Didn't get much coaching at his position at UCF and is raw. Strictly a development player but one who could develop into the best of his class.

3. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (6-2, 214): A year ago considered the best QB in the draft. But a poor pro day combined with questions about his physical makeup has caused him to free fall. A steal near the middle or the end of the first round.

4. Derek Carr, Fresno State (6-2, 214): Might be the best pure passer in the draft and scouts love that he is a five-year starter. Has known Bucs OC Jeff Tedford since age 12, when Carr's older brother David became the No. 1 overall pick of the Texans.

5. Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois (6-2, 226): Could sneak into the bottom of the first round after strong performances at the East-West Shrine and Senior Bowl games. Level of college competition is always a concern.

Under the radar

Aaron Murray, Georgia (6-1, 207): The former Plant High quarterback started 55 games at a strong SEC program. His arm strength has been questioned, and he might drop after tearing his ACL in the final regular-season game. But he sometimes dominated in the best league in college football. Murray will be good value in the second round.

Free agency

The Bucs signed Mike Kafka and Luke McCown during free agency. If no QB is drafted, it's possible the club could add another arm for training camp. Most likely that would be an undrafted free agent who might find a home on the practice squad.

Best guess

The Bucs will come out of this draft with a quarterback, it's just a matter of when. If Johnny Manziel is there at No. 7, they may have to take him. The value of the position outweighs other needs such as receiver and guard. Both positions can be had later in the draft. If Manziel is gone, they might look to add to the position in the second or third round and might offer Mike Glennon in a trade.

 
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