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Who is the Bucs' quarterback of the future?

TAMPA — The Bucs selected two more players in the draft Friday night.

A tight end from Washington. A running back from West Virginia.

Good picks, if you read the scouting reports and listen to the draft gurus. They fill needs if you read the depth chart and listen to Bucs GM Jason Licht and coach Lovie Smith.

Plenty of smiles and pats on the backs and guarantees that each was the top-rated player on the board and exactly whom the Bucs wanted when it was their turn to pick.

Well, isn't that all just swell? Except for one thing. Who's the quarterback?

Not right now. Not even come September. Long-term, that is. Next year and the year after.

The Bucs have had three rounds to take a quarterback. Instead, they've gone wide receiver, tight end, running back.

They could've taken Johnny Manziel in the first round. They could have taken Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round. They could have taken Aaron Murray, the local kid, in the third round.

But a quarterback was not in their plans. They chose to take a 6-foot-5 wide receiver and a 6-foot-5 tight end to go with their 6-foot-5 wide receiver. The running joke at One Buc Place is the Bucs are putting together a basketball team. Nice frontline. Problem is, if we're sticking with the basketball analogy, they don't have a point guard.

With all that length, it looks like the Bucs' passing game is simple: Everyone go deep and we'll just throw it up in air and see who comes down with it.

But who will be throwing it up for grabs in the future?

The past two days would have been a perfect chance to find that quarterback prospect in the draft.

But, no, the Bucs say they are all set at quarterback. Set for now with Josh McCown and, apparently, set for the future with Mike Glennon.

Know what the most shocking development of this draft has been? Not Manziel free-falling to 22nd overall or quarterback Blake Bortles being taken with the third pick. In fact, it wasn't a pick at all. It was the words that came out of Smith's mouth Thursday night.

First he said that McCown and Glennon form the best quarterback situation he has ever had as a head coach. Wouldn't that include McCown and Jay Cutler. Really? McCown and Glennon are better than McCown and Cutler?

But that wasn't the truly surprising proclamation. It was when he said, "I love Mike Glennon. Mike Glennon is our quarterback of the future here, so why would we add a third quarterback to the mix?

Ohh, ohh. Pick me, pick me. I know the answer to that question. Why would you add a third quarterback to the mix? Because you NEED one. Because Glennon isn't the answer. Because McCown is the bridge to the future, but looks more like a bridge to nowhere.

Glennon supporters will throw out statistics, such as how he went 4-4 in the final eight games of his rookie season and finished with 19 touchdown passes to only nine interceptions.

But have we suddenly forgotten that the Bucs had the worst — THE WORST — offense in the NFL last season? Did we also forget the Bucs had the worst passing offense in the NFL?

And I don't want to hear about injuries. Every team has injuries. Good teams and good quarterbacks find ways to overcome injuries.

What's remarkable is how much Glennon's stock has risen without playing a single down.

The new Bucs regime was so skeptical about Glennon that the first order of business was to go out and sign a soon-to-be-35-year-old journeyman who has a 16-22 record with five teams. Then, before the ink dried on the contract, the Bucs named McCown as the starter.

Then Glennon throws a few passes in shorts against air in offseason workouts and he's the quarterback of the future? Just like that?

Look, Glennon seems like a good kid, a smart kid. He's a hard worker. Maybe he can get better. Maybe Smith and Licht see something that the rest of us haven't seen yet. And, to be fair, the old coach, Greg Schiano, saw something special in Glennon, too.

And, the Bucs can argue that this draft, at least through three rounds, has been about filling holes. True, the Bucs needed a playmaking receiver. They can use a big-bodied tight end. Licht said you can't have enough versatile running backs.

But shouldn't quarterback be a priority, too? More of a priority than tight end? Or running back? In fact, shouldn't it be the biggest priority?

Name a really good team that has a really mediocre quarterback. Now look around and think of the elite teams in football and think of who their quarterbacks are. Just look at the Bucs division, the NFC South, where there is Cam Newton and Drew Brees and Matt Ryan.

Hey, why not at least increase your odds of finding a good young quarterback by bringing another one in right now?

There's one more day left in the draft. The Bucs have three more picks. Why not take a shot at a quarterback?

The worst that can happen is you end up with what you have now. And, you know, that might be the worst that can happen.

Who is the Bucs' quarterback of the future? 05/09/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2014 11:59pm]

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